A Home Staging Pro Explains The Art Of The Sell


The Art Of The Sell

Home stagers are not only employing high-end furnishings, but also museum-quality art–think Basquiat and Picasso–to sell listings. We asked Janus Cercone, developer and interior designer of Malibu-based Jaman Properties, to give us a glimpse behind the more artistic side of elite home staging.

When did this trend start? Several years ago, a friend with an amazing art collection was deaccessioning, so we suggested using our property as an ad-hoc gallery–and ten substantial pieces sold.

How often is the art sold along with the house? The art often sells before the house. Frequently, the lesser-known work sells more briskly than that of more established artists. For instance, a recent property was filled with some of the most important artists in history, like Warhol, but we sold a Vija Celmins before the house even went to market.

What are the logistics? No one will let you pack a Picasso in your Porsche. You’ll need professional art transporters and installers who are insured from the moment they pick up the piece to the moment they return it. We use the company who installs for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art–it’s pricey but safe.

Do you cater the art per client? We research every buyer before they see the house to vet their potential response to the art. There’s a fine line between specificity and universality. Every element must reflect the emotion, quality and rarity of the property, but it must also offer potential buyers the ability to imagine their own narrative. At the end of the day, we’re selling a story.

PHOTO: Ethan Pines