How to Inspire Your Buyer with Luxury Home Staging


Consider this luxury home staging case study at  285 Lafayette Street, a trophy Manhattan penthouse in a prominent SoHo loft building. 285 Lafayette had previously been on the market unstaged, and according to its owner garnered only a handful of showings over a seven-month period during a prime, low-inventory “sellers market." When the property was re-listed with Compass agent Brett Mitchell, he saw an opportunity: Brett enlisted notable staging vendor Interior Marketing Group [] to showcase the home in its most opportune light, with the goal increasing its desirability to high-end buyers. The result? Brett won far more showings in the first 48 hours of the property going live on the market than it had over the entirety of the previous seven-month span.


“The space is enormous,” Brett explained. “The last thing I wanted buyers to feel when they entered was, ‘I don’t need rooms this big, I wouldn’t know what to do with the space.’” While a sprawling empty apartment allows room for imagination, the boundless scope of it can be overwhelming. “I knew having gorgeous furniture properly arranged throughout the space would allow buyers to appreciate the home in a whole new way, and once it has been ‘dressed up,’ the perceived value of the home would become much more significant.” The staging of 285 Lafayette clearly laid out to buyers the many ways the rooms in the home can be used, plus elevated the overall quality of the spaces by being arranged and decorated in a refined, luxurious manner. 


Michael J Franco is another Compass agent who places a high value on luxury home staging, and has successfully incorporated it into marking his listings for years. “People walk into a property and after seeing it beautifully staged, they get excited about assuming that lifestyle for themselves. It’s terrifically aspirational.” Michael describes how upgrading a listing to match the likely aesthetic of its target buyer can facilitate an easier road to a transaction. “Once you put some lipstick on it, so to speak, the potential of the space is much more apparent. Then the buyer isn’t worrying about the work that needs to go into the home, but rather dreaming about the wonderful life they can live there.”


Cheryl Eisen is President and Founder of Interior Marketing Group, and detailed her staging company’s mission to create highly differentiated luxury spaces in partnership with with their in house interior designers and partner landscape designers, Cheryl noted, “When a home is priced at a luxury threshold, it is essential to amplify its most remarkable and desirable elements, such as the sophistication of its architecture or its stunning views. The staging should feel as sumptuous as the space itself and ideally, elevate it even further.” 


The IMG approach to luxury home staging begins with understanding elements such as a property’s listing price, location, and community attributes. From there, the home is staged to look like the custom interior design project potential buyers would likely commission for themselves if they ultimately bought it. Cheryl adds, “If a buyer can’t imagine what a home would look like furnished, they may choose another home where they can.” Sometimes, very unique or specific furnishings are required to properly stage a particular space. In these cases, IMG works with their in-house fabricator to craft custom pieces which perfectly suit the scale of a room, such as crafting a curved headboard for a bed in a primary bedroom with curved walls. Elevated efforts and customizations such as this truly reflect the luxury experience. 


Interesting to note is today’s level of expectation from buyers as a result of the real estate reality television show craze. Michael detailed, “There is a lot of dialogue about staging on these shows, and the spaces featured in the episodes have exceptionally curated and designed interiors. This creates an assumption among buyers when touring properties that they’ll be beautifully staged, just like on TV.” Similarly, Brett revealed that several prospective buyers who toured the 285 Lafayette property have subsequently inquired about buying the home equipped as-is, a clear indicator that IMG’s staging was a success. “Attracting qualified buyers to a listing at this price point is my priority and the seller’s priority” Brett underscored. “A superbly staged space helps get high-net worth-clients in the door, and hopefully leads to a successful sale.”


Thoughtful consideration of the tastes and expectations of homebuyers at luxury price points can help to create spaces which inspire and captivate, resulting in less days on market, higher final sale prices and more satisfied sellers. To achieve this, staging is an effective and sometimes crucial tool, as a seamless look often leads to a seamless transaction process. Luxury can be defined as, “A material service conducive to sumptuous living.” Given this, a seamlessly elevated experience when selling a home is certainly what luxury is all about.

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