For most people, staging a house before a sale usually involves a good cleaning, a fresh coat of paint, some new throw pillows and maybe a $10 orchid from Home Depot.
But for the super rich, getting a home ready for sale has become a high-priced production. Today's mansion stagers are dressing up their clients' homes with custom furniture, expensive artwork, lamps, books, table settings and even sports cars for the garage.
"We do everything to dress the house so that it looks its absolute best and it sells for the highest price as quickly as possible," said Heide Ziecker, head of design at Meridith Baer Home, which stages high-end homes.
With prices for luxury homes on the rise again after the recession, staging trophy properties has become big business. Meridith Baer is now working on more than 100 properties a month, with 150 employees and monthly sales reaching $2 million. Their celebrity clients include Matthew Perry, Brad Pitt, Madonna, Katy Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow and Rhianna.