What’s Really Lurking Behind that Couch?

While hosting a dinner party last week, I found myself in the middle of a discussion about the state of the economy. Our friends were discussing their frustrations in being unable to sell their home in the current market.

These particular friends were planning on moving out of state and their moving date was fast approaching. They knew that they were not going to be able to sell their house before they had to leave South Florida and were leaving their home in the hands of a realtor.

My friend told me, our realtor says that we should leave the house furnished because it will sell quicker.

I was surprised at this bit of advice! My first thought was that the rooms would appear larger and more spacious if the house were empty. You also wouldn’t have to worry about any unsightly clutter. A potential buyer could walk through the home and imagine their own furnishings, color scheme and decorating instead of someone else’s ideas. But my friend led me to see another perspective. It was easier, she told me, to picture the layout of a house when furniture is already placed. As long as it’s tasteful, this particular realtor swears by this tactic. It also gives the house more of a comfortable feeling it’s a home, not a house.

I suppose I can understand this line of thought. But whether or not it actually sells homes quicker has yet to be determined.

While I was considering all of this, a thought occurred to me: The home inspection!

Let’s say that the house does sell and the new buyer orders a home inspection. There have been countless times that furniture and personal items have blocked or even HIDDEN problems within the home. It’s entirely possible that some of these empty homes that have furniture strategically placed behind could serve another purpose to cover up things.

For example, there was a house that Building Inspection Services inspected not too long ago where a bookshelf had been pushed up against a wall to hide a large settlement crack. In another home, there was illegal wiring running within a kitchen cabinet. The homeowners had stacked canned goods in front of the wiring, making it difficult to detect without removing all of the contents of the cabinets.

In perhaps one of the most shocking cover ups, some people had thrown a carpet and a couch over a Subterranean Termite nest colony. When the couch was moved and the carpeting lifted up, thousands of tiny termites could be seen!

Considering the potential for hidden items, I think I’ll stick to my original line of thought. While the sellers of a home may have wonderful taste in home furnishings and a terrific interior decorator, I can’t help but wonder what’s lurking behind their furniture and decorations.

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