How do you stage luxury homes for sale in 2020? What’s working and what’s not?
To get the best and latest luxury staging tips of 2020, we turned to Certified Canadian Staging Professional (CSP™) Elite and Luxury Specialist Lori Pedersen.
Lori’s staging team won the “Home Staging Team of the Year – 2020” Award this year, and are known for home renovation, space planning, redesign, color consultation, and so much more.
Beyond staging tips, we asked her which mistakes she sees luxury professionals making when they stage luxury homes, as well as what luxury professionals should look for in a staging team.
Here’s what Lori had to say:
Listing a home “as is” might save your seller a few thousand dollars now, but could cost them up to hundreds of thousands of dollars when all is said and done.
“A lot of people think luxury staging is expensive. But if you think about it, you’d spend $200 to detail a $20k car before you sold it, so that’s 1%. So, 1% of a 3M house is $30k… you can do a lot of staging for $30k — these are investments that will come back at the offer table.”
She goes on to explain, “It’s very true that you only have one chance at a first impression…Sometimes if a home has been marketed for a very long time and it’s all of a sudden switched up, it might almost backfire because people might think they’re getting desperate. It might achieve a sale, but it might achieve a sale lower than if it had come out properly to begin with.”
Lori says, at minimum, a listing needs new paint before it’s put on the market.
Possibly the most surprising one of Lori’s staging tips is that the smooth, neutral look we’ve seen in staging and open houses for over a decade is making its way out. Cool grays are seeing less popularity while warmer tones are “in,” and black statement pieces are making a comeback.
Lori says, “Grays have been in for ten or fifteen years it seems, and people are definitely now gravitating towards warmer tones. Really nice beiges are coming back — definitely not the caramels and the tans that were even before the grays — so definitely no yellow-toned beiges, but nice soothing and warm beiges.”
Another secret weapon to add to your arsenal of luxury staging tips? Use black to draw the buyer’s eye to the best features of the home.
“Staging in the last few years has been very neutral — nothing very jarring or shocking — just very smooth. But we’re seeing a resurgence back to black. Black is showing a strong place in staging. When everything is neutral and smooth, your eye has nowhere to rest.”
“But if we ground things with black pieces, like art that has a black frame, or a beautiful black marble island in a kitchen, those are things that really draw your eye. So if we can position some black elements in the space, we can literally draw the buyer’s eye out to the selling feature.”
On that note, Lori also mentions that in the luxury market, it’s okay to take some risks. Luxury buyers are typically looking for something a bit more notable and memorable, so staging has a bit more creative leeway here than in the traditional market.
Just because someone has a website and a few photos posted doesn’t mean they’re the right stager for your listing. At the same time, it may not always be possible to go with the best of the best due to budget or that stager’s availability.
So how do you find the right team you can trust with your seller’s home?
Lori says, “It’s important to look at their resume. Are they certified? Do they have insurance? A lot of things you’d think are basic, but they’re not. There are a lot of hobbyists in this industry. So it is really important to verify that they’re full-time, and that they do this on a regular basis and have experience. It’s also good to look for awards and accreditations.”
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