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October 2019


With Halloween coming up soon, I am pondering the phrase "Trick or Treat" as to how it might relate to staging a home for sale.  While there are a few naysayers out there who feel that staging tricks buyers into buying a home, I think it's more about treating them to a vision of how the home could look when shown at its best potential.  

Most buyers cannot envision a space when they walk into it and how they might set up the room, how they might live there, how good it would look with some TLC.  The apartment featured below in our Staging Success Story is a great example of treating a buyer to a vision of how good the apartment can look with just some deep cleaning, updates (painting, lighting) and nice decor, without renovating the bathroom and kitchen.

As George Matthews of Compass states in his testimonial below, all of those improvements added value to the apartment and took it from a possible less than $800,000 listing price to an $850,000 listing price which more than recovered the owner's investment in staging. Plus it sold quickly, saving on carrying costs. 

And an offer was accepted in just 2 1/2 weeks at 99% of the asking price!

Happy Halloween!

Warm Regards, 

Do nna M. Dazzo, President
Designed To Appeal
In This Issue
Testimonial of the Month
Tips and Tricks of the Trade: Living in a Staged Home By Donna Dazzo
Did You Know.....? Don't Make This Living Room Coffee Table Mistake By Gabrielle Savoie from MyDomaine
FREE Closet Organization, Open House & Moving Checklists

"Donna and her team did an outstanding job with the transformation of this estate-like-condition one-bedroom for sale listing in a desirable post-war co-op. 

The apartment was in a neglected state with the original kitchen and bath.  The seller knew that he had to make an upfront investment to prep the apartment for sale, but didn't know how to proceed nor did he have the resources. 

Based on my prior success working with Donna and the contractor on a prior UES listing, the seller had confidence in my strategy and recommendation. Donna and her team proved themselves once again and the process preparing the apartment for sale was seamless.

The cosmetic upgrades coupled with Donna's sophisticated clean modern staging design resulted in a well appointed apartment! The striking listing images were so powerful that it drove tremendous buyer traffic to the listing. The improvements and staging brought out all of the positive attributes of the apartment: the great 975 sf open layout, abundant natural light with open exposures, and generous room sizes, while removing focus on the original kitchen and bath.

Without the updates and staging, we estimated an asking price well below $800K. By doing the required improvements and then staging, we created tremendous value and felt confident in pricing the apartment at $850K. We had an accepted offer after only 2 1/2 weeks on the market and we were in contract in only 30 days following the first Open House. The seller more than recouped his initial investment with a rather quick sale near the full asking price in a very challenging market with abundant for sale inventory of like apartments."

George Matthews, Associate Broker 
New York, NY
Staging Success Story:  
"Sold" In Just 2 1/2 Weeks at 99% of Ask! 
Closing Price:  $845,000

While the apartment was not technically an estate holding, it certainly was in "estate condition" due to the lack of updates to the bathroom and kitchen as well as old and stained wall-to-wall carpeting in the bedroom, walls that had not been painted in decades, and outdated furniture. 
  • furniture and carpeting were removed
  • walls were painted in an off-white color we selected (Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee)
  • light fixtures in the dining room and foyer were replaced with more modern ones we chose
  • the outdated window treatments were swapped out for drapery and sheer panels
  • rental furniture and accessories were brought in to create a light, bright and updated living space
As you can see, the transformation was dramatic.  Even though the kitchen was not renovated, the paint, some elbow grease and our staging went a long way.

Living Room Before Updates

Living Room Before Staging

Living Room After Staging

 Living Room Before Updates

 Living Room Before Staging
 Living Room After Staging

Living Room Before Updates

Living Room Before Staging

Living Room After Staging

 Dining Room Before Updates

Dining Room Before Staging

Dining Room After Staging

Kitchen Before Staging

Kitchen After Staging

Bathroom Before Staging

Bathroom After Staging

Master Bedroom Before Updates

Master Bedroom Before Staging

Master Bedroom After Staging

To view the entire report from Corcoran click  here.

Despite the recent decrease in prices and the increase in days on the market and inventory,  read  how the past nine years have brought 13 new million dollar neighborhoods to New York City.
By Donna Dazzo 

So you've had a professional home stager come to your home that's for sale and you've implemented everything that he or she recommen ded to get your home sold fast and for top dollar.
You've removed your family photos so that buyers can imagine themselves living there rather than feeling they are encroaching on your private space.  You've decluttered and have discarded, donated, given away or stored off-season clothing, extra furniture, toys, files, papers, books, magazines and other items so that buyers will feel like there's adequate storage in your home.  You've organized your kitchen cabinets and closets so that buyers will get the impression that you are a homeowner who really takes care of the home.

But now what?  You're thinking "We live here.  How can our home possibly continue to look like it's show-ready all the time?"   Well, relax, it doesn't have to look show-ready ALL the time, but there are some things you can easily implement so that you can become show-ready at the last minute:

  • Purchase a basket or box with a lid that you can put keys, today's mail, papers, etc. into and keep it in an out-of-the way place such as a shelf in a closet, or in an appropriate place, like on a desk.  Besides eliminating a cluttered appearance, doing this will also protect your privacy.

  • Buyers don't want to see your toiletries or hairdryer on the sink vanity in the bathroom.  If you don't have a closed cabinet under the sink in which to store these, purchase baskets to store these items.
  • Buyers also don't want to see your half-used bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body wash and soap bars in the shower or bathtub.  Think "hotel".  Would you want to check into a hotel room and find that? Purchase one or two of those plastic or metal shower totes with a handle so that you can easily put all of these items into it and store away under the sink or in a linen closet.
  • Your home stager most likely recommended that nice, new and fluffy towels be displayed during showings (remember, think "hotel"). 
  • If you make the beds and fluff up the pillows every day, you don't have to scramble at the last minute in case you get a call that someone wants to see your house.
  • Pets and all evidence of pets, need to be removed before a showing. Not every buyer is a pet lover, and some are allergic to pets, so for these and other reasons, take the pet and food bowls, leashes, beds, litter box, toys, cages, etc with you if possible or bring to a neighbor's, friend's or family members' home while yours is being shown.
To learn more of my personal tips & tricks for home staging, visit my blog here.
Didyouknow    Did You Know.....? 
Don't Make This Living Room Coffee Table Mistake

Be Mindful of the Height
There's nothing more awkward than a coffee table that's too high or too low. To ensure you feel comfortable in your living space, opt for a coffee table that's the same height as the cushions on your sofa or one to two inches lower. Any more and you risk the space looking and feeling just a little off.

Pay Attention to the Proportions
Similarly to finding a coffee table that has the right height, you should look for one that has the right length in relation to the width of your sofa. Specifically, your coffee table should be approximately two-thirds the length of your sofa. So for a 96-inch sofa, for instance, you should look for a coffee table that's 64 inches long.

Know Your Clearance Rules
After you've figured out the height and length you're looking for, it's time to choose the ideal shape of your coffee table. Often, choosing between a square, rectangle, round, or oval coffee table boils down to the length and clearance required around it. Traditionally, your coffee table should be 12 to 18 inches away from your sofa - any more or less than that will feel uncomfortably close or far. Between your coffee table and your TV stand or fireplace, you should calculate at least 24 inches to 30 inches to leave enough room for circulating around the space.  To find your ideal coffee table width, measure the length between your sofa and TV stand and subtract 42 inches.

Strike the Right Balance
Another handy rule to follow when choosing a coffee table is its "weightiness." In other words, it should complement the other furniture in the room to make the space feel proportional and balanced. What does this all mean? If your sofa has high skinny legs, consider a table that's solid all the way to the ground or has shorter chunkier legs. On the other hand, if your sofa has no visible legs, choose a coffee table that has higher skinnier legs. An interior designer once told me that when a room feels too "leggy," it doesn't feel as grounded-and it's something that's never left me.

Consider Your Own Needs
Of course, when choosing the right coffee table for you or your family, you should consider your lifestyle. Do you need a piece with a lot of storage? Consider a storage piece. Are you one to play board games in the living room constantly? Make sure it's a comfortable piece to gather around. Do you have a tendency to put your feet up on the coffee table when watching TV? Maybe an ottoman is a better option for you. As for coffee tables that are kid-friendly, opt for a piece that has no sharp edges and isn't made of glass.  I've heard enough horror stories of kids breaking glass tops to know it's not a good idea. 
To read more on How to Choose the Right Coffee Table, click  here!
Market Overview: The East End
  To view the entire report from Town & Country Real Estate: Hamptons Real Estate  click here.  
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