Staging is one of many things a real estate agent works with sellers on. This is a good, reasonable and honest thing to do to showcase a home in the best possible light. But, staging a home for an appraisal is a completely different thing!
When a lender (mortgage broker) calls a staging professional to stage a vacant home to make it look like someone is living there, red flags should come up. Remember, it is very common for an AGENT to call and ask for a home to be staged. It is very uncommon for a lender to do so. It is especially odd when the staging is only needed for a few days and just long enough for a few photos to be taken while the appraiser is there.
Questions should be asked – is this vacant home being staged to sell or is it being staged for a refinance? Would the second one be wrong? YES!
When a property is staged to sell, it is showcasing the home to show the “highest and best use” of the property. When a vacant property is staged for an appraisal, there is a good chance some type of refinance scam is taking place.
Don’t participate! The housing market does NOT need any more problems!