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Home > Home Buying Tips > Getting Past Home Staging Techniques

Getting Past Home Staging Techniques


Home staging has become all the rage in the home selling process during the last few years. If you are considering buying a home soon, make sure you are aware of the latest techniques and how to see through them to make certain your attention is not distracted from any possible flaws.

Home sellers and real estate agents frequently utilize home staging to maximize a home's assets and cover-up things they hope you won't notice. There is no doubt that home staging can not only be effective, but even hypnotic. Even the savviest home buyers have found themselves being distracted by staging techniques.

One of the most common home staging techniques employed today is the use of miniscule furniture. The premise is the same as wearing certain clothing items to make yourself look slimmer. Real estate agents and professional home stagers often place small-scale furniture in a home to make it look more spacious. For buyers who need larger rooms to accommodate their furniture and/or their lifestyle, this can certainly present a big problem. The best way to combat this tactic is to bring along a tape measure when you are viewing homes to be sure you know the actual dimensions.

Carefully engineered cover-ups are also commonly used to camouflage a host of items the sellers and real estate agent would prefer you not notice. That fresh-baked cookie smell could be used to hide the stench of pet urine, stale cigarette smoke or a musty scent. Breathtaking window dressing just may be covering up scenery that is less than appealing. Sellers and real estate agents have become quite adept at hiding an array of turn-offs and it is important for buyers to know how to see past the camouflage to ensure they are seeing the house as it really is; warts and all. Don't be afraid to assert yourself and insist that the drapes be opened and even the music be turned off. Many buyers feel uncomfortable about snooping and subsequently discover unpleasant surprises after the fact. Taking the initiative and the time to investigate can help to save you from disappointment as well as unexpected costs.

Well-planned staging can also incorporate carefully marketing techniques that will have you imagining living a completely different lifestyle. Walk into a dining room with a banquet style table set with serving pieces for 12 and you could easily start picturing yourself hosting dinner parties. See a well-organized craft room and you may begin imagining yourself spending all your spare-time scrapbooking. An exercise-room already set-up and ready to go and you might start looking ahead to getting into the best shape of your life. Staying on your guard is crucial to protect yourself from such tactics. You must be realistic. Remember, you are buying the house; not an elaborately orchestrated background scene. Unless you already enjoy certain hobbies or a particular lifestyle, once all of the staging is removed you will still be stuck with the house as it is. Make sure you are seeing it for what it is and not what the sellers and agent want you to see.

All homes, unless they are brand-new, have flaws; however, some have more than others and sellers real estate agents have become quite adept at covering them up with décor. Carefully placed pieces of décor can cover up an array of problems. When viewing a home for the first-time, be sure to carefully consider décor items that may be there for the sake of appearances only. Sure, it could be the seller has a rug hanging on the wall because they like it, but it could also be there to disguise a crack or water stain.

Finally, take note of any staging techniques that could be used to cover up flaws within the neighborhood. Real estate agents often carefully schedule open houses to ensure buyers will see homes for sale during times when the neighborhood is relatively calm. To find out the real story, make it a point to come back and view the home during different times of the week and day to find out what the neighborhood is like at night as well as during the weekend. Otherwise, you may find yourself living next to neighbors with a dog that barks all night or on a street that turns into the main thoroughfare on the weekends.

While home staging techniques may be commonly employed today to make homes appear more appealing in a competitive market, smart home buyers can stay on their guard and see past even the most aggressive techniques.


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