Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Home Staging vs. Hiding— How to Inspect Homes on Chicago's North Shore

It's easy to get distracted when shopping for homes on Chicago's North Shore. You may find yourself focused on the kitchen updates, the backyard, and of course, the neighborhood, but quickly overlook issues hiding in plain sight. North Shore home sellers may go so far as to hide certain problems with home staging—underneath large furniture or behind hanging pictures, for instance—and it's up to you to recognize them when you arrive for a showing.

As your North Shore real estate expert, I am here to help you make the best decisions when buying a home in Northbrook, Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, Deerfield and the surrounding areas. Below are four signs a home seller could be hiding a problem area with staging:

Listing Language
Before you even arrive at the home, you can get an impression about what you might find just from the language used in the listing description. Keep an eye out for phrases like "quaint," "cozy," "low maintenance," or "fixer upper," as these can often mean small properties that need a great deal of work.

Rugs can be a great addition when staging a home for sale on the North Shore, but as a buyer, don't always assume they're just for decoration. Rugs and runners can sometimes be hiding pet damage, warped floors, or larger structural damage. Walk over the rugs several times, paying attention to how the floor feels, if it creaks, cracks, or feels sloped. If so, you'll want to take a closer look before moving forward on the home.

Painted Floors
You love your own pets, but how many pet owners want to move into a property to deal with someone else's pet damage? Not many. If you find yourself in a North Shore home with painted floors or happen to pull up the carpet and notice spots that have been painted, the sellers may be trying to cover up pet damage or water spots.

Furniture Arrangement
If the furniture placement in the home feels off,  the seller could be covering up problems underneath or around the area. For instance, is there a large couch in the center of the room? Are there picture frames hung in odd places? Look underneath or around the couch, checking for floor damage, or behind picture frames for signs of water or cracking.

Ready to buy a home but don't know where to start? Found your dream home in Northbrook, Glencoe, Winnetka, Highland Park, or Deerfield? Give me a call today for more information about the buying process or to take those next steps toward becoming a homeowner!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Janie Bress
Your North Shore Real Estate Expert

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