How to Spot What’s Hiding in a Staged Home
Staging a home is a way for home sellers to show potential buyers what the home will look like when they live there. A staged home can give the buyer an idea of where to put their furniture and how to decorate. While home staging can accentuate a home’s nice features, it can also cover up some unwanted damage.
Realtor.com compiled this list of what to watch out for to determine whether a home is a great buy or if the seller is trying to cover something up.
Wall and Floor Damage
Watch for wallpaper that has been painted over. Removing wallpaper can get messy and is very time consuming. Also, be wary of excessive wall decorations. A pretty picture may be covering up a crack in the wall or mold. If the current homeowners are pet owners, consider checking the corners of the carpet. Pet urine typically won’t cause structural damage but can lead to peeling and warping.
Oddly Placed Furniture
An armchair or side table that looks out of place may very well be misplaced for a reason. Take note of area rugs or oddly placed pieces of furniture to see what they are covering up. Feel free to rearrange and investigate.
A common trick during an open house, is to play background music to cover up other noises. If you think the mood music may be covering up traffic noise or loud plumbing, ask to turn it off and have a listen.
Real Estate Jargon
Is it “low maintenance” or is it small? Is it a “blank canvas” or a fixer-upper? Is it a “hidden gem” or in a questionable location? Read real estate listings carefully, and don’t be afraid to consult your real estate agent if you see a term you haven’t heard before or if you think something might have another meaning.
Buying a home is a big investment, don’t be afraid to ask questions during a tour. The best line of defense against deceptive listings is partnering with an established real estate team to help you navigate your search.