Austin Schuster

FROM ESTATE TO GREAT – Home Staging with Cheryl Eisen

majestic tHomes Staging Oct Michael Weinstein PhotographyIt is a given that staged homes look better in pictures, bring in more buyers, sell on average 73% faster and for about 17% more than un-staged homes (Source: RESA).

The reality is that an un-staged “fixer-upper” can take twice as long to sell as a typical un-staged home. Even with a bargain-basement price tag, if buyers don’t emotionally connect with a home—they have no reason to take on a time consuming, expensive gut renovation.

This is a lesson that Austin Schuster, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor and Associate Broker of Sotheby’s International Realty, learned a few years ago when he took over a dilapidated estate listing at the upscale Majestic condo on CPW.

The listing, which had languished on the market for over a year with another firm, was in such poor condition that the previous broker posted only a portion of the fireplace in the listing photos.

”I thought a fresh coat of paint, a good cleaning, and better photos would be enough to attract new buyers” said Schuster. But several weeks later and zero offers on the table, Schuster decided–with a healthy level of skepticism–to give staging a try.

The 7 day staging transformation was so dramatic that Schuster said he could not believe his eyes. Still, drama is meaningless without significant results; and not only did the home sell in just two weeks—it sold at a price the previous agent said was not possible.

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Unchanged for decades, the estate was in shambles. From missing appliances, pink, black and mirrored walls, to linoleum flooring, peeling paint, and musty carpet-covered wood floors, this was the true definition of “estate-condition.”

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AFTER: In just 10 days the entire home is transformed with new paint, light fixtures, luxurious draperies framing the incredible central park views, transitional, authentic furniture and modern art. The glamour of the grand home rose again, creating a bright and incredibly lush duplex that would resonate with its celebrated past.


What most Brokers and Sellers don’t realize is that the right stager can quickly transform a rundown listing into a stunning home that exudes warmth, style and luxury–bringing in ample buyers, competitive offers, higher sale prices.

“The significant return on investment that these stagings have produced for my sellers make it an easy sell to other skeptical sellers. The record-setting prices I show continue to win me more listings.” says Schuster.

Today, with an impressive roster of multi-million dollar estate sales under his belt, Schuster considers staging, and IMG, his “secret weapon.”

Visit Luxury Stager Cheryl Eisen, President of Interior Marketing Group (IMG)