Homebuyer Beware—Watch Out For These 5 Sneaky Staging Tricks That Drive Up Home Prices

Some homes that are on the market look cluttered and have too many personal belongings in them. Others are completely empty, and can feel cold without furniture and decor.

But, a well-staged home? That can strike the perfect balance, appealing to the emotions of potential buyers as soon as they step through the door.

Home staging, when done right, prompts buyers to imagine their own lives in the home. In fact, staged homes most often sell for 6% to 25% more than homes that haven’t been professionally staged, according to Home Staging Resource, an education site for home stagers.

If you’re shopping for a new home, it’s a good idea to be on the lookout for staging tricks that could be driving up prices. Here are five common ones to watch out for:
Source: (Daria Nepriakhina/ Unsplash)1. Potted plants and flowers
Sellers want to make a good first impression, so expect to see some potted flowers or plants greeting you on the front porch. They may even put out some rocking chairs so you can imagine yourself drinking a cup of coffee on the porch on weekend mornings while leisurely reading the Sunday newspaper.

Upping the curb appeal is something real estate agents preach to sellers. So, remember, the driveway has probably been power washed and the lawn freshly mowed and given some extra landscaping love.

A word of caution for buyers, don’t let the $50 worth of flowers add on thousands of extra dollars to the sales price.
2. Candles and scent diffusers
Staging can go beyond furniture and home decor. The aroma of fresh-baked cookies is a bit of an old hat by now.

Rather, take note of any fresh citrus scents wafting through a home because there’s a good chance those candles or scent diffusers have been thoughtfully placed.

Washington State University marketing researchers found that a simple orange scent prompted shoppers to spend 20% more money and buy more items than those shopping with a more complicated scent (i.e. an orange-basil blended with green tea).

While the experiment was held in a home store, it could translate to home shopping. The takeaway? A simple scent adds ambiance without being distracting. Shop accordingly.
3. Bathrobes in the master bathroom
Plush bathrobes hanging in the master bedroom nearby cozy slippers will help sell you on the idea that your future bathroom is no ordinary one.

Rather, it’s a spa-like oasis where you’ll unwind, whether that means putting on your robe to enjoy breakfast in bed on the weekends or grabbing for it after a relaxing soak with a glass of wine in hand after a long day at work.

The plush bathrobes are reminiscent of luxury hotels, which can definitely be a draw. Other hotel-like amenities incorporated into home staging might include extra pillows on the bed and high-end towels.

But, look beyond the robes to see if the bathroom has other amenities on your list such as updated hardware and cabinets, heated floors and a luxe shower.
4. Updates to the living room, master bedroom and kitchen
A well-staged home will probably have updated hardware in the kitchen, plus modern furniture in the master bedroom and living room. Perhaps some new art has been added to the walls, too.

Thanks to a 2017 report from the National Association of REALTORS®, sellers know exactly where to invest their staging energy.

The master bedroom, living room and kitchen are the areas buyers are focusing on when it comes to staging, according to the report. According to that same report:
55% of buyers said that staging the living room was very important 51% said staging the master bedroom was very important 41% said staging the kitchen was very important. Children’s bedrooms and guest bedrooms were the least important to buyers when it comes to staging.
Interestingly, the NAR report also found that 27% of buyers will overlook other property faults if a home is well-staged.
Source: (Pixabay/ Pexels)5. A set dining table
Do you notice the tables are set in the dining room and kitchen nook when you’re walking through homes? That’s definitely intentional.

Again, the name of the game is getting buyers to imagine their lives in the home. MHM Staging, a company in Florida, recommends sellers set tables in the home with simple place settings and centerpieces to get buyers thinking about their daily routines in a new place.

Header Image Source: (Francesca Tosolini/ Unsplash)