New real estate staging tactic: happy family

Company adds fake mom, dad, kids to model homes

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As the potential buyers filed into the open house in Southern California, they gasped in surprise. Instead of the traditional empty residence with a few pieces of tastefully arranged furniture, they discovered a family baking a cake.

Like the tastefully arranged furniture and the cake in the oven, the family was part of the staging of the Centex model home in Santa Clarita, Calif. — completely fake.