If you are in the market for a new home, you may be hitting the pavement and checking out open homes. Staged homes can make homes easier to view, but also can be set up in a way that can hide issues with a home. Make sure that you aren't looking past things like small spaces or damages because of staging. Here are four things you should try to look for when viewing a staged home.

1. Access to Light

Homes for sale often host open homes during warm seasons, in the middle of the day. Another tactic is taking off curtains to bring in the most light, making a home look light and airy. It is a good idea to come back at different times of the day, or at least orient yourself to what direction the sun will shine in on a home.

2. The Size of Rooms

Staged homes will sometimes remove specific doors to common rooms and hallways to make a house more accessible and to seem bigger. Another way to increase space is to have smaller furnishings that can trick your brain into thinking rooms are bigger. Try to imagine your sectional couch and king sized bed in a home that might be staged with a loveseat and a full sized bed instead.

3. Hidden Smells

You'll most likely run the other way if an open house smells of pets and cigarettes, but you might also want to rethink things if a home's smell is over the top with cookies or flowers. If every door is open and the air freshener is pumping, the realtor may be trying to cover up odor. If you can come back on another day after a home has been closed up, you can get a better indication of hidden smells.

4. Stains and Water Damage

While staging might look nice, this is also a great technique to hide any stains or damage. Covering up water damage with artwork or a stain with a throw rug can be so effective you wouldn't even think to look further. You might want to take a quick peek behind staged items, but it isn't polite to do a full inspection at an open home. If you are interested in a home, come back later on in the week with your realtor and investigate.

Staging is a great way to envision a home, but it also comes with some tricks of the trade. Few people will try to overtly mislead you, but don't get taken advantage of just because you aren't staging-savvy. As a potential homebuyer, you need to take responsibility to know what a staged home might be trying to cover up. For more information, contact RE/MAX EXECUTIVES PLUS.