Home staging is all about deflecting attention from the flaws. If you’re a first time home buyer, you must know how to see beyond the staging. After all, if there are problems under the surface, they’re yours with the home should you decide to purchase it. Seeing past the staging is not as easy as it sounds.
Especially when it is done by a professional, but understanding staging techniques will help you to spot them. Study the dimensions of the floor plan to see if all of your furniture will fit. Don’t go by what you see, as they know all sorts of tricks on how to make rooms look larger. The other reason for measuring, is to see if you’ll want to remove a wall partition at some point if the room is too small, and you’d like to create more space.
Staging can be used to improve aesthetics, but don’t forget about the actual purpose for a home: safety and functionality. Be sure that the AC systems are in working order, there are no plumbing issues, the fireplace is safe, as well as many other things.
Be sure to have a list ready for the inspector of your own questions. When you see a renovated home, you’ll be able to tell immediately if it was a cheap job, or a nice one. If it was done on a minimal budget, go ahead and assume that lots of corners were cut. Again, be sure to inspect the mechanical and electrical aspects, as well as the appliances. Read: Fannie Mae’s 5 Ways to Examine a Staged Home.
If you’re dead set on purchasing a particular home, visit the home a few times to get a fair idea of how much light comes into the home. Be sure to visit at night as well, to be sure that it is a good neighborhood. Many areas seem nice during the daylight.
Be sure to note any smells when you walk through the house. Don’t be fooled by candles and other scents that designers use to stage homes; sometimes these are used to mask problem-smells such as mold, or pet stains. If you have an experienced inspector, he will be investigating the home for these types of things, but you should still be on the lookout for red flags yourself.
These tips can help you see past home staging and make a true assessment of the value of the house. You must remember that during the selling process, the home is a product, and products are advertised to be fully functional, and of the best quality. This is rarely true. Every product has flaws if you dig deep enough. You don’t need to go into it cynically, but be realistic.