Staging is the art of making a home appear more appealing when showing it for sale. Staging techniques include changing the lighting, rearranging the furniture to make the room look bigger, baking cookies to give the home that welcoming smell and using certain paint colours to make a room feel brighter.
Staging techniques are used to make the home feel more attractive to buyers, but they can be a little distracting when you are looking at a home that you are considering purchasing. It is easy to fall in love with an elegantly decorated kitchen or dining room and get carried away; not realising that the home’s floor plan doesn’t meet your needs or it doesn’t have any storage space. Many home buyers make the mistake of looking at the superficial attractiveness of the home, without considering the reality of the property that lies underneath.
If you are serious about finding the right home for you, it is important to look beyond the staging and fight the urge to get drawn in by the lovely décor and the beautiful homey vignettes that the seller has created. When you find a realtor, they can help you to understand what to look for. If you can do this, you will find out a lot more about the home during an open house and will be able to make a more education decision about whether or not it is right for you.
Here are some of the important things that you should look for, beyond the superficial appearance of the home:
Check for Mould and Water Damage
Sometimes home sellers will bake bread or cookies or light scented candles to make their home smell nice. Other times, they will be doing so to mask the smell of a damp basement. Take a close look at the floor, walls and ceiling of the basement to check for water damage. If you see any water stains, this can be a red flag. Water problems can be very expensive to repair, so this is an issue that you will need to know about before you go any further with the home purchase.
Look at the Storage Space
With the amount of stuff that the average family owns, having enough storage space in the home is a very important factor. When you are looking at a property, the stager might have emptied out the closet so that it will look neater and larger. However, this can distract you from noticing how many closets there are and how big they are.
When you are looking at a house, pay attention to how much storage space there is and how large your closets actually are. You can even take measurements, so that you can go home and find out whether your large items will fit.
Consider the Floor Plan
The floor plan of a house is usually something that you cannot change [or would be very expensive to change] so it is something that you should pay attention to during a viewing. For example, if you have young children and want to be near their bedroom, but the second bedroom is in the basement, the floor plan of that home will not work for you. Also, if the home is too small for your needs you won’t have enough room and if it is too large for your needs you will end up paying too much in maintenance, utilities and property taxes.
Look Closer at the Furniture
Professional stagers sometimes will use undersized furniture with the intent of making a room look larger in comparison. This can trick homebuyers into thinking that they have a spacious room, until they bring their own furniture in and the room seems smaller. Before you go to view a home, take measurements of your largest pieces of furniture so that you can determine whether or not they will fit.
Essentially, the most important thing to do when viewing a home is to look beyond the superficial impression and concentrate on the quality of the home itself. Sellers will always use staging techniques to make their home more appealing, but it’s up to you to look closer. It doesn’t matter how pretty a house looks on the surface – if it doesn’t have “good bones” then it will not be a good investment.
Kelly Rossi loves her husband and their two kids. She is looking to relocate to a new property and she is working together with a realtor in order to find the perfect home for her family.