Everyone knows (or should know) that staging is very important when selling your house. A seller should always try to maximize the space in their home and make it look very appealing for potential buyers. However, buyer beware! Sometimes a house can be staged so well that it hides potential flaws or problems that become yours if you buy the house. Here are a few things to keep conscious of while viewing a home:
· If you walk in and the room is heavily scented with air fresheners it may be an indication that the owner is trying to mask bad odors. Many bad smells can be extinguished with a good cleaning but some, such as cat/dog urine, can be very difficult to get out of flooring or walls. If you are really interested in the home, ask for a second showing without any air fresheners so that you can smell the true scent of the home.
· If you notice that the home is staged with very small or minimal furniture, it may be that the house and the rooms in it are small and the stager is trying to make it appear bigger. If you really like the home, make sure it will fit your lifestyle. Will your furniture fit? Will your family be tripping over each other all the time? Is there enough living/storage space? Take a measuring tape and find out.
· Look under and behind the staging. Lift that area rug and see how the flooring looks underneath. Look behind the shower curtain and make sure the tub and shower are in good condition and the caulking and grout are in good shape. Open the cabinet doors and look under the sinks to see if there’s water damage. Open the curtains and look at the view. Sometimes the curtains or blinds are closed for a reason.
The key is to look beyond the staging to the bare bones of the home and always have an inspection done. Is the house in good shape and will it fit your needs? Those are the questions to ask yourself as you’re viewing houses with your Realtor®.