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  • Writer's pictureYour #1 Phan

Look Beyond Staging

Falling in love with a beautifully staged home is easy, especially if it smells like freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Sellers stage spaces in their home so that it is as attractive as possible to buyers. They clean, declutter, depersonalize, and redecorate so that potential buyers will be able to picture themselves living in the home. There's nothing wrong with a seller presenting their home at its best - sparkling clean and ready for viewing.

But before you let yourself be enchanted by the romantic table set for two, the aroma of cookies coming from the oven, or the spa robe laid out by the bathtub, remember to focus on the size and layout of the rooms, and what changes you might need to make after their furnishings are removed.

When you view homes for sale that are staged, ask yourself the following questions:

Does the staging make sense? Would you really put your own furniture as close to the fireplace or as far from the window? An attractive but odd arrangement is a tipoff that the room is either not well designed or that a problem is being minimized.

Is the staging hiding outdated fixtures? Bathrooms and kitchens are the most expensive rooms to repair and update. Move the bottle of bubble bath and look behind the shower curtain. Is the caulk fresh? Is the porcelain tub or sink stained? Is the finish worn off of the fixtures? Is the staging overdone? Candles burning in every room or tons of air freshener may be masking pet odors. Heavy drapes may cover windows that are too small or with ugly views. Big beautiful rugs may be covering up a stain or discoloration on the floor below. Taking a moment to look underneath or behind will help you minimize surprises and move forward with a plan.

If you like the home well enough for another viewing and to make an offer, take measurements and make sure your things will fit. Walk through the home with an eye on how your daily routine can flow through the home with your own furnishings in place. Don't forget to jot down things you saw and want to ask Your #1 Phan about.

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