January 25, 2017
Q&A With Meridith Baer, Home Stager Extraordinaire
Meridith Baer is known for staging homes and getting them sold in record speed—with a record 1800 homes staged in one year, here, she answers our questions on how it all works.
by New York Spaces
NYS: You have an incredibly luxurious home staging company. Where and how (we assume you own much of it) do you store and source the products and designs you use?
Meridith Baer of Meridith Baer Home: We own all of the furnishings we use in our staged homes. Currently we are installed in about 600 homes. In addition, we have 300,000 square feet of warehoused furnishings in Southern California, Northern California, Florida and Connecticut. The latter services Manhattan, the Hamptons, and other Eastern areas.
Although we buy extensively from outside sources around the country, we also manufacture our own lines. Much of our upholstered furniture is made in our downtown Los Angeles facility.
Every year we source at the Highpoint shows, NY Now and Las Vegas. And sometimes we'll do the China and
European shows. We hit auctions, estate sales and flea markets for unique finds and we're always on the lookout for talented emerging artists.
NYS: What drew you to manufacturing your own line and what does it consist of?
Meridith Baer: When we couldn't find the exact new looks we were craving, we began manufacturing our own
lines. We make everything from mirrors, lamps, and accessories to upholstered furniture and casegoods.
NYS: How did you get into staging?
Meridith Baer: My career in staging began as a complete accident. I'd been an actor and model when I was young and then moved on to writing for many years. However, my love was always gardening, rearranging furniture, and hunting for household treasures.
The home I was leasing sold and a friend agreed to let me "store" my furnishings and 250 large potted trees and flowers at a large spec home he was trying to sell. It sold right away for half a million over asking...and the brokers who had seen what I'd done began asking me to do the same for them. I simply said yes....and 19 years later my company staged 1800 homes in one year!
NYS: Why would you say staging is necessary in this day and age?
Meridith Baer: If you want to sell your home fast for the highest possible price, staging is a necessity. The goal of staging is to help the buyers fall in love with a home and easily picture themselves living there.
NYS: We were completely shocked to learn that you install over 140 properties per month and that many of those sell in less than 30 days. Why do you think that is?
Meridith Baer: Many buyers are brilliant at what they do for a living, but might not have a clue how to put a home together. But they know it when they see it. We do the work for them. They can either buy the property furnished as is, buy the items they like the most and add it to what they already have, or bring by their designer and say, "Create this for me. This is it!"
NYS: We heard a rumor you had a docuseries on you. Can consumers still watch it? If so, where can they find it?
Meridith Baer: A few years back we did a series on HGTV called "Staged to Perfection." It followed me and my team on a typical staging project, from start to finish. You can find select segments on hgtv.com.
NYS: What are some tips you would give to someone who wants to stage their home for a holiday event etc.?
Meridith Baer: To stage for a holiday event, I like to go with all one color. At Christmas I like everything to be white and silver.
NYS: Is there a certain trend each year that you implement to help stage a home? If so, what where some recent ones?
Meridith Baer: Trends come and go. We try to stay just ahead of the curve and incorporate all styles of furnishings in our inventory. In recent years we've seen styles go much more modern. But we don't forget the past...we love to do a blend of old and new. And as modern became a little cookie cutter, we have begun adding rich textures and color to the mix to warm it up.
NYS: Where are your services offered?
Meridith Baer: Currently we stage in all parts of California, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida. We have also done projects in Mexico, Las Vegas, Arizona, Baltimore, Massachusetts, and Washington D.C.
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