More Than Meets the Eye – Beware of the Traps of a Staged Home
Home staging is something that most are familiar with. It is the idea that we try to create the best impression of our home when selling the house. It used to be just run the vacuum over it and do the dishes but nowadays there is a whole set of rules to follow!
The idea is, that a staged home stands out from all the others and therefore gets sold more quickly. It certainly can be carried to extremes with reports of sellers hiring storage units to cart their junk off to. Larger items of furniture are encouraged to be put into storage by professional ‘home stagers’ so that the house looks bigger and more spacious
Another instruction is to remove anything personal like photographs, so that the prospective buyer can visualize the house as their own. Closets are de-cluttered so that they look more spacious and all bathroom paraphernalia is supposed to be gone from the counter top! Garbage bins are even removed and hidden from sight.
However it has been suggested that home staging can also be deliberately used to hide a multitude of sins!
The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA, who solely represent buyers in the realty business) has suggested that as much as 82% of buyers are sidetracked from the important issues by a well-staged house. This organization also concedes that home staging nets more cash and faster sales – so it works!
Some of the underhand tricks used in staging can include using smaller furniture to make a room look larger, placing rugs over damaged parts of the floor, or using curtains to hide rotting sills. Also specified is the practice of putting a cheap paint job on to cover defects. Your realtor is legally obligated to let you know of any defects, but only if he actually knows about them!
Buyers are urged by the NAEBA to be cautious and to remember that when the house is sold, the stage is taken away. The tricks of home staging do not improve the floor plan, or the square footage of the home or the quality of the neighborhood, and these are the qualities that you will be re-selling at a later date.