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Potential move to the US - question about real estate

(11 Posts)
LittlePigLittlePigLetMeIn Mon 20-Feb-17 15:45:02

We are potentially moving later this year to the USA. Instead of doing more practical research I am finding myself lost in real estate sites.

The area we may move to has had population growth in recent years and most of the houses for rent and sale are less than ten years old.

My question is about staging houses. About 95% of the houses I see look staged. How does this work? Is there some kind of system where one person moves out, the house is then staged, the next person moves in. Or do they stage it for the real estate photos but if we were to view the house it would have the owner or tenant's furniture in?
Or, when a house is first built do they stage it for photos that will be kept on file for any future advertising?
I have also wondered if the houses are actually empty and therefore easy to stage and it is indicative of too many houses being built in the area.

If it helps the area is the Dulles Technology Corridor.

If anyone knows the answer to my curiousity I would be grateful. grin

Want2bSupermum Tue 21-Feb-17 01:39:26

It depends, are you seeing the same home listed for rent and for sale? If so they will be listing with the place staged. If just for rent they will use stock pictures sometimes and when you see it in person it will be empty.

allfurcoatnoknickers Wed 22-Feb-17 01:48:39

We just listed out apartment as a sublet and they used our furniture, but then photoshopped the hell out of it so it looked all fancy.

Likewise, we just bought an apartment and the listing photos had new furniture added in via photoshop - not the furniture we saw when we viewed the house.

I'd take everything with a grain of salt...

misssmilla1 Wed 22-Feb-17 01:54:47

It depends. Lots of houses we saw (in NY) were staged and people lived in them. Very common to totally declutter and put stuff in storage and get signature pieces put in (bought or rented through the agent) for photos and open houses.

Also totally normal to have the family decamp for the weekend for open houses taking all their day to day shit with them. Felt like viewing show homes as a result

OMGBecky Wed 22-Feb-17 02:06:31

I actually live 20 mins from there. I think it depends on the individual house/owner. I know some people will put some of their own (not as nice) stuff in storage and hire someone to help stage it with new furniture etc so it shows better. Usually that furniture will be in the house while it's on the market for viewing. If it's a brand new home, or one in the process of being built you may be seeing pictures the model home, which will look perfectly decorated. Are you looking in Ashburn? I remember everything looking perfectly staged when I looked at houses there.

Vagndidit Wed 22-Feb-17 08:32:33

Professional staging is very much a "thing" in big US real estate markets. My friend makes an insane amount of money doing it in TX. People generally do a massive declutter and rent out storage to put the majority of their stuff when selling a property.
Or as was also suggested, the pictures could also be of model properties--which are staged for sale purposes, obviously.

And this is just a person observation, having owned homes both in the UK and the US, because of their more generous sizing, houses in America are generally less cluttered, have more manicured gardens, etc. Uk properties can seem a bit more cluttered and scruffy by comparison.

LittlePigLittlePigLetMeIn Fri 24-Feb-17 12:43:11

Thank you all!

It makes more sense now. I was just bewildered seeing so many perfect houses.

OMGBecky - yes that is where I am looking.

mathanxiety Wed 01-Mar-17 06:51:57

When I sold my house I decluttered and depersonalised like crazy.
I had fifteen years of stuff to come to grips with, and 5 DCs, who had all sorts of odds and ends I had to cull. It took me about a week to get through it all, followed by a really deep clean and some paint touchups.

A lot of people in an area like the Dulles corridor would not have that much accumulation, especially if the houses are recently built, and therefore I suspect that what you see is people's actual homes and minimal/manicured lifestyle.

In my case, my RE agent gave me a few tips about staging, including making the most of the garden, which I followed. It took about two weeks to whip the house into shape, hide excess books, put away family photos, cull stuff like vases I had been keeping for no reason. I did a deep clean indoors, put some plants where the RE agent suggested, rearranged some furniture and lamps, washed all the curtains, touched up the odd spot with paint, and gussied up the garden. When I was all done, the agent sent a professional photographer who normally worked with her, to take photos. They were gorgeous.

(Since seeing a few property porn threads here I have to say I am shocked at the state of many UK houses depicted. So cluttered, so messy, so full of reminders of who lives there, and the photo angles are terrible. I know people generally don't have basements or built in closets to hide stuff in, bu 'scruffy' is indeed the word. They would not sell in the US. Thank you for giving me the chance to get that off my chest.)

SquinkiesRule Sat 04-Mar-17 19:31:16

We staged our US house ourselves, it looked great. Also depersonalized , no photos up anywhere looked like a show home. I thought I was going to have to keep it up and live like that, but it sold in a day.
Selling only takes 30 days to complete, we asked for an extended 45 day sale, and got it, so all the boxes packed needed packing anyway.

SquinkiesRule Sat 04-Mar-17 19:33:03

Also wanted to add, look on realtor.com to look at houses where you will be.
You can have one agent take you to look at houses listed with any agent, they do muliple listing, and share the commision when they sell each others properties.

mathanxiety Sun 05-Mar-17 02:55:22

You would actually be daft to expect to go through the process without a buyer's agent working on your behalf. Your buyer's agent can recommend a RE lawyer (for contract and for any clouds to title) and an inspector (for mechanical and structural issues in the home).

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