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Star Stager Meridith Baer Hits the Hamptons

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Meridith Baer is both a star stager—with her own HGTV show, Staged to Perfection—and a stager to the stars, with A-list clients ranging from Heidi Klum to Madonna to Brad Pitt. In 2013, Meridith Baer Home staged 800 properties including a $60 million dollar loft in NYC. She was recently named Los Angeles' best stager by Angeleno magazine.

So when we heard Meridith was about to stage her first project in the Hamptons, a new home built by Tom Bennett, in Water Mill next to Matt Lauer's ranch, we knew we had to chat with her about her experience here. Demonstrating that a beautifully staged home gives a seller a huge advantage in a competitive market, the house received two offers in five days, including one for all cash. Tom says he's never had a property create a bidding war in less than a week like this, especially in January.

How was your first experience in the Hamptons?
Working in the Hamptons is a natural extension of the work I had been doing for years. My business started in the Palisades, Brentwood and Malibu areas furnishing traditional East Coast style homes, and so I had an affinity for Hamptons homes from the beginning. The geographic areas—although they are on opposite coasts—are kindred spirits. They are like cousins. As I've begun designing in the Hamptons, I've injected a California approach to living near the water that is simultaneously sophisticated and relaxed.

How does the Hamptons home market differ from LA?
They differ much less than people might expect. People are drawn to the same types of lifestyles, which is what we are selling. In both markets, the design is oriented towards relaxation, entertainment, and living well. Additionally, these homes are frequently marketed as second (or third) houses and so they are resort or destination homes.

Any staging tips for readers?
The best way to sell a house for the most money is right out of the gate. So get your home turnkey ready and put your best foot forward. You want to appeal to as many buyers as possible so keep things neutral and simple. Get rid of pictures and clutter, paint your walls white, and help the buyer imagine themselves living in the space . . . not you! If you don't have time to do this yourself, your best option is to call me!
· Meridith Baer Home [Official site]
· Stunning New Construction In A Beautiful Water Mill Setting [Saunders]