This summer we’re looking at the state of the luxury agent and broker in today’s increasingly complex real estate market. In October, we’ll gather in Beverly Hills at Luxury Connect to share best practices, network and create a blueprint for the luxury agent/broker of tomorrow. Don’t miss it.
Through my experience in New York City real estate, I have come to learn that selling property is more of an art than a science. Homes connect with the individual on a personal level. As a real estate agent, it was important for me to understand how to help clients envision themselves in a home.
There is no better way to do this than through home staging and design.
In NYC, it is common for a broker to recommend home staging to the seller. This is done to show the potential of a home and help buyers connect with it.
The first step in home staging is to understand the history of the property, the geographical location and the potential buyer pool for the property.
There is no uniform way to have a property staged. For example, a co-op building on Central Park West and a gleaming new condo tower on West 57th St. would be staged completely different.
A co-op would have the old-world Gatsby-style elegance, while the condo tower would be minimalistic and focus on the top-of-the-line finishes and views. Even though they are completely different, they both would fall into the same category of “luxury staging.”
Hiring a luxury design professional
When thinking of luxury staging, the word luxury stands out. By definition, luxury means “the state of great comfort and extravagant living.”
This is exactly what the staging of a luxury property should embody, regardless of what type of luxury property it is.
In my experience, I have learned that people seek grandeur. Therefore, a luxury building must be luxury on all levels — architecture, furnishings and finishes — to grab the attention of current homebuyers.
When hiring a luxury stager for your property, the first step is to review several stagers. Remember what I said about real estate being an art? Each stager is an artist with his or her own style.
Interview several stagers to ensure you are choosing one who is a good fit for your property.
Interviewing the pros
Below, you’ll find 10 questions you should ask home-staging pros to make sure they’ll be a good fit for your clients’ needs.
1. Can I take a look at your portfolio?
Ask for a portfolio up-front to save time and make certain your aesthetics align.
2. Can I see references from similar properties?
3. How will you study recently sold homes similar to this one?
By learning how recently sold homes staged the property, you can learn what your buyer prefers.
4. How will you maximize the space?
The furniture should always maximize the space, and help accent the bones of the apartment — the floors, moldings, wall space.
5. How will you showcase all of the spaces in the home?
Hallways, landings, outdoor areas and multiple bedrooms should be staged to show the real-life applications of each space.
6. How will you integrate artwork into my property staging to connect homebuyers to the home and highlight high ceilings?
7. Where will the furniture and artwork come from? Is it used, new, rented?
8. Are you insured?
Always make sure the stager is insured or is using insured movers and storage. If you live in a building, this should be setup in accordance with the procedures of the board and management.
9. How long is the staging term?
10. Is there a wear-and-tear policy? What is it?
Staging a property is an essential part of the home selling process. Not only does it help home buyers visualize themselves in a space, but it also highlights the many uses of the various rooms that no one might have thought of before.
By using a staging design professional, you are simplifying the buyer’s journey. They don’t have to imagine how they can make the space work for them. They will see it first hand.
Thinking of bringing your team to Luxury Connect? There are special onsite perks and discounts when you buy those tickets together too. Just contact us to find out more.
Alex Lavrenov is a licensed real estate salesperson at Warburg Realty in New York City. Connect with him on LinkedIn.