Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December Doldrums -- Not This Year!

It's the middle of December, with the holidays looming large on the horizon. The business of real estate is supposed to be in the doldrums by now, just ask anyone. Surprisingly, in my world it's exactly the opposite. If it were not for television shopping channels and the Internet, my family would have been unhappily searching for some indication that the holidays had not completely passed me by.

With a new listing in tow and a surprising number of offers coming in on another property I represent, I'd have to say the local market, like the weather on Long Island is uncharacteristically warm for this time of year. It's a boon for homeowners who've done everything right, only to be forced into a state of limbo, their future plans on hold while their houses vie for attention as the market sorts itself out. As the year comes to a close I'm happy to see more of a balance, with buyers in increasing numbers inviting sellers to dance. Whichever side of the transaction you find yourself on, enjoy this moment of sanity.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Staging Hits The News

The mass media is finally picking up the "news" that staging can help homes sell faster . . . especially in slower markets. To those of us in the trenches, there's nothing new about it. In most of the country staging is a viable marketing tool and one that's been used successfully for years. Admittedly, New York is often late to the party when it comes to innovation in real estate sales.

For years, long before it had a name, I've been "staging" homes to get my sellers top dollar in any given market. For most people, walking into a warm and lovely space excites their emotions and keeps that property top of mind. Builders have known this all along. That's why most developments have model homes, beautifully decorated, maximizing the space and characteristics of that particular architectural design.

Let me show you a recent, yet modified update I did to a space to make it competitive in today's market. Without changing the homeowner's furniture, I removed 40 year old flocked wallpaper, old carpet, worn down to the floor in the high traffic areas and replaced the equally worn kitchen floor. We painted the walls Linen White (not usually my first choice), had the floors scraped and polyurethaned and I brought in accessories to bring the house into the twenty-first century. Does it make a difference? You bet it does! Though this home is not yet sold, we've had two offers on it and positive feedback from buyers and Realtors alike.