“Staging” a home that’s for sale is a common practice in real estate. Ensuring a space is aesthetically attractive should help draw the eyes of prospective buyers. There’s nothing inherently wrong with staging a living space. However, sometimes sellers may resort to tricks designed to obscure problems with a home. Here are three warning signs you should be aware of if you are in the market for a house.
1. Seemingly random coverups
Along with staging, cosmetic upgrades are commonplace when sellers decide to put their homes on the market. However, if the upgrades or coverups appear random or without any sort of reason, you should be on alert.
New drywall or paneling in only one room may be covering up a serious issue, such as mold. If only one room has been remodeled while the rest of the home appears shabby or out-of-date, it’s worth asking why. Maybe the seller only had time or money to redo one area. On the other hand, it could be an effort to obscure a larger problem.
2. A seller doesn’t seem to have any answers to your questions
As mentioned above, a seller may have a perfectly valid reason for only upgrading one room in the home. However, if a seller fails to satisfactorily explain why they did certain things to the home, you should be skeptical. You should also be wary if a seller uses the excuse of not having lived in a home for long to help explain away their apparent ignorance.
3. A seller is quick to explain away issues
The opposite of a seller who doesn’t seem to be able to explain anything is the one who is quick to brush away your concerns. You shouldn’t accept answers along the lines of, “All homes have issues,” or, “With a home this age, there are bound to be problems.” While even newly constructed homes can have their issues. However, a seller should be forthright so you know exactly what you may be getting into.
A home inspection can help, but it’s not foolproof
You’re always well-advised to have a home inspector walk through a house before you commit to anything. However, be aware that a home inspection will not uncover all of the potential issues with a home. In fact, sellers may even use tricks to prevent home inspectors from looking at a certain area, such as placing heavy furniture in front of a problem space.
When you’re making an investment that is as significant as a home purchase, you should take every possible step to help protect your interests. An experienced legal professional can help you through this process and serve as your advocate should any issues arise.