Duke Warner Realty

Let the Buyer Beware: Home Staging can Camouflage Concerns

Bend Oregon Real Estate Home Staging

The practice of home staging is controversial. Realtors and home sellers advocate it, but home buyers should be wary. Think of home staging like froth on coffee. Looks good, smells good, but without a foundation of quality beans, you may experience a bitter aftertaste.

Home Stagers may effectively froth over problems with staging. Take area rugs – these bad boys can cover anything from a stained carpet to water damage. How about the aroma of chocolate chip cookies baking? Cookies baking could mask lingering pet or tobacco odors. Oversize drapes create the illusion that little windows are bigger.

Homebuyers should open the drapes and scrutinize the windows. Are any panes cracked? Are windowsills rotting? Are the actual windows too small to let in adequate natural light?

Are you beginning to get the picture?

Take Note: This article in no way indicates home sellers and/or home stagers deliberately set out to deceive home buyers. It simply points out that home stagers may sometimes employ tricks of the trade to show the home in its best possible light.

Let’s Analyze the Cookies Baking

Be mindful that home staging is all about creating little stories that grab the home buyer’s emotions. So, the aroma of cookies in the oven can take the buyer back to a pleasant childhood memory of mom, cookies, and milk after school.

Emotions can distract a home buyer from old, mismatched appliances, watermarks from past leaks underneath the sink, or old cabinets where only the hardware was replaced.

Watch Out for Little Furniture

Home stagers frequently use small-scale furniture. For instance, a family room containing only a loveseat and TV creates the illusion of a larger space. Always carry a measuring tape when you go home shopping. Measure room dimensions and make notes.

Empty closets are smaller than they appear. Measure them also.

Watch out for walk-in closets masquerading as a bedroom. Clever home stagers can furnish it with a twin bed, piled with pretty pillows and a couple of floor lamps. A true bedroom has windows, a closet, and a door.

Walk the House

Walk through each room in the house using your objective eyes. Look up. Look down. A freshly painted ceiling in only one room could hide a leaky roof or plumbing mishap.

Remember to lift area rugs and assess the floor underneath for stains, cracks or warping.

Look behind large wall paintings and mirrors. They can conceal big issues such as termite damage or mold in the walls.

Go outside and walk around the house. Check out the HVAC unit. Does it appear to be in good shape? Look up and eyeball the roof. Any obvious signs the roof needs replacement or repair? Is the fence leaning or obviously in need of attention?

Final Thoughts

Realtors suggest – Let the buyer beware!

Home staging is all about helping the seller show their home in the best possible light, to help it sell faster and, in some instances, for more money. It was not developed to deceive the buyer by camouflaging concerns.

If you view a staged home with too much froth, rely on your realtor and home inspector to give you an unbiased opinion.

After all, everyone is not out to get you.