Don’t be sold by the staging: how to look past the furniture!


Switch on the TV and you’re flooded with home shows presenting fast and easy ways to make your home look better. In many cases, these fixes are either cheaply done or heavily sponsored. You may have also heard the old saying You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and as a Real Estate Agent, I know this saying is well imbedded within our industry.

In today’s world there is so much information available relating to property and in many cases, you can google a property address and find pictures of a home and how it looked before styling from a time when it may have been previously sold. This is the first thing I recommend people do when they are looking to purchase a property.

When you see two brand new cars alongside each other for sale, one dirty and the other clean, you are always attracted to the clean one. Styling or presenting a property for sale, will always enhance the opportunity for the seller, so what do you need to do as a buyer when inspecting a property that has been styled for sale, remembering that styling is superficial and a more in-depth look is needed around the structure of a property?

  1. Look underneath any temporary floor coverings.
  2. Some furnishings can mask damage to walls so look closely in every room of a home.
  3. Measure rooms according to your furniture and look beyond the styling as homes are styled to suit the space available.
  4. When standing in any room, try to imagine your own furniture and how it would look.
  5. Take photos where possible so that you can match to your own personal furnishings when you return home as it is quite easy to forget what a room looked like once you have left a property and even more confusing if you have seen several properties that day.
  6. Kitchens and Bathrooms are a big focus with home stylers, so it is important to have a thorough look and again look beyond the decorations. Open cupboard doors that may be covered with hand towels or other decorations and once again you can never take too many photos.

It is important to remember that homes are styled for a reason. This is to enhance the presentation and to make you feel that you are walking into your dream property. Try your best to look beyond the styling as it is amazing what you can see when you look under the sheets!

Home styling and the positioning of furnishings, when done by professional stylists, are not just there to make the property appealing but also to improve parts of a home that need enhancing to make them attractive to you. The stylists need you to be impressed. That’s fine however after you have walked through a home that appeals to you, walk though again only this time look beyond the furnishings and remove the emotions and let your practical side take over.

Do not rush this part of the inspection and take as long as is possible as it can be eye opening the second time around. Buying a home can be a wonderful emotional experience, but moving in and living with issues that were not evident to the naked eye when first inspected can be disappointing, and in some cases expensive and can just ruin the experience of owning a home. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but don’t let this stop you from scratching the surface a little when you are looking to buy your home.



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