Every investor and homeowner hopes for a fast sale when they put their luxury property on the market.
Yes, the Canadian luxury real estate markets are proving their resiliency during COVID-19, (Engel & Völkers saw a 30 per cent increase in YOY closed sales volume from January to June 2020). However it’s still normal for people to be anxious selling real estate during a global pandemic.
Staging your luxury home is one of the best ways to leave a lasting impression on potential buyers. It will help you move towards more competitive offers, even a fast sale.
We spoke with luxury interior styling expert Red Barrinuevo, principal designer at Redesign4More and property stylist on HGTV’s Hot Market, for his tips on home staging for a fast sale.
The importance of home staging
“The problem with luxury properties is that most of the time, they’re so spacious. So it’s easy to get lost in how to properly decorate, maximize, and utilize each space. Especially in homes over 4,000 sq. ft.,” Barrinuevo explains.
When there’s a lot of space, it can feel overwhelming. Staging is important because you set each room up. You can give it the right layout using appropriate furniture to create zones.
For example, if you have a big family room you’ll set up an area dedicated to watching TV. And on the other side, you can create a more intimate seating set up for reading or relaxing.
“It’s important to make sure buyers will understand how they are going to maximize and utilize each area of the house. Staging helps people envision the possibilities of what they can do in the home.”
Home staging: focus on the foyer
When it comes to selling your luxury property, first impressions matter.
“I want to make sure that as soon as they open the door, they are overwhelmed with the beauty and potential of the space,” Barrinuevo says. “Luxury homes are like a trophy for all the hard work that you’ve done. Looking to purchase something aspirational like a luxury property is a big deal.”
Neutralize your decor
As much as you love how your home looks, it might not work when you’re selling it. That’s because it’s so personal and so specific.
“I’ve worked on so many properties and luxury homes that have been degraded by really big designers. It’s different when you’re selling a home because decorators or interior designers cater to the home owner’s personal style,” Red says.
“Most of the time, we remove some pieces to make way for something more neutral. The fact of the matter is that the pool of potential buyers in the luxury real estate market is already pretty small. So if we don’t neutralize [the look] even more … the pool is going to get smaller and smaller. My job as a stager is to attract as many buyers as we can.”
Make your home spotless
Oftentimes when people are selling their homes, they light candles or use essential oil diffusers for showings. But some people have allergies, and scents are subjective so it might do more harm than good.
“I always tell my clients: just make sure the home looks and smells clean. It has to be impeccably clean – especially the kitchen and the bathroom”
Previously vacant properties usually aren’t a problem, but a deep clean is still recommended. However, if you’ve lived in the home, open the windows and get a professional cleaning done, Barrinuevo explains.
Also, be especially mindful of cleaning your carpets and getting your curtains professionally cleaned so that the home smells fresher and cleaner.
“Repainting walls is not only a good way to touch your space up, but will also help the home smell fresh again,” Barrinuevo says.
Layouts are even more important in smaller luxury properties
“Staging and selling condos really have their own set of rules. You need all the aspects of a home in one smaller space, but it still needs to be functional. Depending on the home, a professional stager will help you make the right decisions for designing living, sleeping, and, dining areas.”
Adding light fixtures like small chandeliers or pendant lighting also really helps define the space and helps buyers think about ideal layouts.
Whether it be a luxury condo or a luxury home, the decor you use is always an important factor to consider.
“It needs to showcase the style of the condo or the house. You also need to think about who the target buyers will be and keep the location of the property in mind,” he said.
After all, staging a luxury studio in downtown Toronto will be very different than staging a luxury 3-bedroom condo in the suburbs because potential buyers are very different.