10 Quick Tips To Stage A Luxury Home

Staging a luxury home for sale involves paying attention to every little details of how others see the home to make sure it puts its best foot forward.

It isn’t dishonest or unethical in any way. It’s simply a process of removing distractions so the true beauty of the home can shine — without anything unpleasant or unnecessary detracting from it.

While some staging tasks can be accomplished in seconds and other take hours or days, there are many things you can start on now to make a luxury home more likely to sell. Here are 10 tips for effectively staging a luxury home:

1. Consider the approach. Remove untidiness outside a home and make sure that any gates, property walls and driveways are clean and easy to maneuver. A pothole hear the entrance gate or a security fence that’s damaged makes a bad impression from the start. Fix any issues outside before showing the home.

2. Take a tour through the house. Walk through each room as a potential buyer would when viewing the home. Note where the eye settles, then try to point out the best features of the room. If there aren’t any or they’re obscured, try to improve the room.

3. Get rid of interior clutter. Paperwork, collections and personal photos that are important to you are distractions to potential buyers. Clear these things away so potential buyers can easily imagine their property in your art niches and on your built-in bookshelves.

4. Reduce furniture. You should leave enough furniture in the home to help establish scale, but you don’t want to restrict traffic flow or inhibit a buyer’s imagination. Remove pieces that don’t support the overall style and look of luxury that you want to convey.

5. Give it a deep clean. This includes odor removal. Make the home seem sparkling fresh and clean — and as new as possible. Even older homes with great character need to be spotless, otherwise finicky buyers will be turned off. This matters just as much in luxury homes as for other houses because cleanliness establishes that the home has been well cared for.

6. Go neutral. If you’ll be painting or staging with rented or borrowed furniture, keep the color scheme neutral. This allows potential buyers to examine the house without being distracted by loud design elements. Light-colored floor coverings are great too.

7. Keep accessories to a minimum. Those little knickknacks that make a luxury house a home may not appeal to everyone, so keep them to a minimum. Use a few items to suggest how a space could be used, but keep them generic. When in doubt, decorate with simple green plants.

8. Clean up storage spaces. Garages, basements, attics and other major storages spaces shouldn’t be filled with your junk. Move your excess possessions to offsite storage, then clean up storage in and around the home to make it look large and promising.

9. Repair. Take the time to fix frayed carpet edges, sticky doors and cabinet hardware that doesn’t quite work right. The quaint little things that make your house unique will distract and displease buyers, so eliminate all problems, even if it costs a bit to accomplish.

10. Do it all again. Once everything has been done, check it again. Potential buyers come to a home to scrutinize it, so don’t let them find any flaws. If you don’t sell the home immediately, keep rechecking that things are as you want them and fix additional issues.

Staging a luxury home for sale is just the same as staging any other home — except the stakes are higher. When buyers are expected to shell out hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars, they have a right to expect perfection.

They won’t get perfection, of course, but if you stage your house carefully, you can eliminate distractions and help buyers see their dreams becoming a reality in the luxury home you’re selling.


10 Things You Should Know About Luxury Homes Before You Buy One

luxury home interior

Image courtesy of Steve Bennet

Buying a luxury home is a completely different process than buying a traditional home in a middle-class neighborhood. Then again, some of the same rules apply. But when more money and a bigger property are at stake, the risk and potential rewards get magnified.

If you keep these 10 things in mind when buying a luxury home, you’ll be in good shape. If you don’t, you could end up with a high-priced home that you can’t really live with.

1. It’s about more than bedrooms and bathrooms. Luxury homes come with a lifestyle attached. It’s a country-estate lifestyle or a gated-oasis lifestyle. Or it’s the lifestyle of someone who either wants seclusion or wants to show off. Be ready for what people will think about you — and for the realities of living in what some would call a mansion.

2. You should really keep your emotions in check. Whether it’s fear, guilt, excitement or greed, emotions aren’t the friend of a homebuyer. Look at tax implications of the home and other legal obligations, especially if your luxury home is a second residence. You need to balance emotions with what your business sense tells you.

3. Cash changes everything. If you can afford to make a cash deal, all the rules change. Cash talks in the luxury home market just as it does in many other kinds of transactions. Mortgage rates don’t matter, and proof of cash proves you’re serious about making a quick and simple deal.

4. You give up some things. If you move to a country estate or a gated home, you may have to give up walks around the neighborhood, chats over the back fence and perhaps quick trips to the corner store. And there’s almost never a McDonald’s around the corner from a luxury home.

5. Choosing a broker matters more. If you can afford a luxury home, you’re at the top of your game. Choose a broker who’s at the top of his or her game too. Select someone who knows the neighborhood and the market. And since you’ll be generating the agent a huge commission, expect to get some premium-level service in exchange.

6. You may have to prove you have money to even see any properties. Luxury home owners don’t like casual visitors, so you may have to prove you can afford the house before you even get a glimpse of it.

7. Laws aren’t the same everywhere. If you’re moving out of state, have your agent explain the buying process to you. It’s not the same everywhere, and big luxury home transactions may involve transfer taxes and disclosures that you haven’t dealt with before.

8. It’s best to consider a home’s relationship to your work. Settling for a small home near your work may give you a better quality of life than having to drive through rush hour to reach your oasis in an posh area.

9. You can change most things. You can put in a bigger pool, remove the dated décor and redo the landscaping. But if the house in an inconvenient, windy and isolated location, you can’t change that, so buy based on where a house is rather than just on how nice it is.

10. The basics still matter. A high price doesn’t always mean high quality. Check the energy efficiency, ventilation, structural integrity and foundation to make sure it’s a sound house.

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Why The Luxury Home Market Keeps Getting Better

A luxury home in a small town

A luxury home in a small town (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The luxury home market keeps getting better because the economy as a whole is getting better, but there are a few nuances and issues that make things look particularly rosy for those fortunate enough to participate in the luxury home market.

While average Americans may not realize just how hard the economic downturn that started in 2007 hit the richest people in the nation, the severe impact had been showing clearly in the luxury housing market until recently. Just a year ago, a large portion of the luxury homes on the market were still distress properties, especially in the hardest-hit cities.

Today, analysts suggest that there are now so few foreclosures i4n this class of homes that distressed properties aren’t really an issue anymore. Without foreclosed homes bringing th market down, price points can rise unimpeded.

Short sales are still an issue, but there any many fewer of those than just a year ago too.

No More Presidential Concerns

A quick Internet search is all it takes to reveal articles touting improvement in the luxury housing market in just about every city in America. Things are looking up in Miami, in Austin and in Dallas too. There are positive signs in the Midwest and in the Northeast.

One thing that slowed sales of expensive homes in 2012 was the presidential election. While those who don’t follow politics closely may find it surprising that uncertainty about who will guide the country for the next few years makes any difference at all, there were people on both sides of the political spectrum who were genuinely concerned that the wrong man would be elected president.

It happens every time there’s a hotly contested presidential election, including in 2008, according to experts.

With that issue now decided for four years, that factor is out of the mix, releasing the market from another potential concern.

So Much More

In many areas, there’s still a glut of luxury homes on the market, but that’s starting to clear. And that clearing is a good sign. Luxury home buyers who insist on a discounted property may still be able to find something to satisfy their needs, leaving premium homes that are just coming onto the market for buyer who are just entering it.

In some cases, homes are coming onto the market now because sellers are finally no longer underwater with their luxury home. In addition, their business interests have recovered to the point that they can afford the move up or the move to another city that they were planning before the economic downturn, creating more sellers and more buyers.

Luxury homebuyers choose their homes almost exclusively because of location, so that means the news is especially good for those who are selling in popular places. And because people have an increasing interest in walkable communities and neighborhood shops, buyers with money are also now considering nicer homes in traditional neighborhoods too, helping the overall real estate market.

It’s a rare moment when home-buying conditions are great and home-selling conditions are pretty good too. The luxury homes market is benefiting from this balance just as much as other housing markets — if not more. And all indicators point to even more improvement in the economy and even stronger home prices.