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May 2020


I hope this newsletter finds you well.   However, if you, your family. or your close friends have experienced the adverse effects of COVID-19, you have my heartfelt sympathies.

As I am primarily based in New York City, we continue under the state's Stay at Home and PAUSE orders.  As of this writing, the city has met only 3 of the 7 metrics established by the governor for an opening of Phase 1 businesses.  Suffolk County on Long Island has met 5 of the 7 metrics.

Real estate is a Phase 2 business in New York State, so it may be awhile before we get back to business as usual.  In the meantime, I am offering virtual staging consultations for owner-occupied homes.  You can first start out with a free 30 minute consultation.  See article below Also in the meantime, I have been staying with my 90 year old mother in New Jersey and working remotely from there.  I am thankful this pandemic has given me an opportunity to spend some quality time with her.  

This month, we are pleased to announce our latest Staging Success Story.  Closings that have been in the works have finally started to occur as buildings in the city begin to allow them.  This apartment was listed in January, and in less than 2 weeks, a contract was signed at above asking price!

I am sure you are wondering what the state of the real estate market is in both New York City and on the East End of Long Island.  What we do know is that in the city, listings had fallen dramatically in the last half of the first quarter.  I have not seen any reports of pricing dropping as well.  You can see the latest coverage for the first quarter of this year below.

Regarding the East End, the demand for rentals in the Hamptons for Spring and Summer seem to be beyond precedent.  I know that with my own house which I rent, I have never seen this volume of inquiries for long term rentals in the 20 summers I have been renting my house!  In   this article, you can read more about the d emand for Hamptons rentals.  The Hamptons is not the only place New York City folks have fled to.  This   article illustrates on a map where New Yorkers went.

Have a safe Memorial Day Weekend.  Be mindful and stay healthy!

Warm Regards, 

Do nna M. Dazzo, President
Designed To Appeal
In This Issue
Testimonial of the Month
Staging Success Story: "Sold in Less than 2 Weeks! 340 East 64th Street - 12B
Market Overview: New York, NY
Market Overview: The East End
FREE Closet Organization, Open House & Moving Checklists

"This building had five 2 bed 2 bath apartments on the market at the time I got this listing.  Donna did an amazing job transforming this apartment to a hip and modern home. We had three offers at the first open house, an accepted offer over asking, and a contract signed within two weeks. Thank you, Donna."

-Helena Park,, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Compass, New York, NY
Staging Success Story: 

$1.47M 2 Bedroom/2 Bath

"Sold" in Less Than Two Weeks at Above Asking Price!

This apartment was occupied by a mother and daughter, and the furniture in the apartment did not offer a cohesive and upscale look.  The real estate agent and the seller wanted to get the best possible price, so they called in Designed to Appeal to evaluate what furniture we could use and what pieces we would need removed and replaced with rental furniture of a more appropriate style. 

After our evaluation of the furniture and the negotiation with the seller on what we would be able to use, it was decided that t he only piece consistent with the look we wanted to achieve was their existing modern gray sofa. So we brought in attractive rental furniture and our decorative accessories and artwork to create a cohesive and upscale look. And t he owners decided to move out while the apartment was on the market.

We also recommended that the entire apartment be painted, except for the living room which was in good condition.  Again, after some convincing, they agreed to proceed.  Our contractor also replaced some damaged mirrors in the bathrooms and the bar area.

Our GOAL was to present a move-in ready apartment that presented a lifestyle to a potential buyer that they could aspire to.  As a result, the owner  received three offers at the first open house! The first serious buyer wanted to buy all the furniture and accessories in the apartment.  That didn't work out, but an offer was accepted at above asking price from another buyer and a contract was signed in less than two weeks after going on the market!  

Foyer Before Staging

Foyer After Staging

Dining Room Before Staging

Dining Room After Staging

Living Room Before Staging

Living Room After Staging

Guest Bedroom Before Staging

Guest Bedroom After Staging

Master Bedroom Before Staging

Master Bedroom After Staging

"The coronavirus pandemic is affecting real estate in unprecedented ways and the ultimate impact on the New York City market is far from being known. As a quarterly synopsis based on closed sales, this report is by its nature a look in the "rear-view mirror" and is only minimally reflective of the shifts in business at the end of March.

What this report does show gives us some optimism: a rise in sales. First Quarter 2020 closed sales increased 2% versus First Quarter 2019. An uptick in activity that started in late 2019 continued in early 2020, and by mid-March closings and contracts signed were up 10% versus the same period in 2019. Lower pricing and record-low mortgage rates were unlocking pent-up demand.

Then as the state's stay-at-home order went into effect in late March, many sellers chose to take listings off the market. Inventory quickly fell to about 6,400 active listings, a 7% drop versus First Quarter 2019 and the lowest inventory figure since First Quarter 2018.

Prices fell again this quarter largely due to the effects of high supply, and fewer high-priced new development closings. The impact of coronavirus on pricing was likely minimal since most closings were for contracts signed prior to March. Nevertheless, for the first time in ten years, median price and average price per square foot declined together for a second consecutive quarter, falling annually 8% to $1.05M and 9% to $1,686, respectively, back to levels seen in 2015.
Pamela Liebman, President & CEO, Corcoran

  • Closed Sales were up 2% to 2,455
  • Contracts Signed were down 8% to 2,258 (however were up 10% thru mid-March)
  • Days on the Market were up 16% to 135 (its highest level since 2013)
  • Inventory was up 2% to 6,966 by mid-March however had dropped to 6,400 by the end of the quarter as listings were pulled off the market.
  • The Median Price declined by 7% to $1.05 million
  • The Average Price per square foot declined by 9% to 1,682
To view the entire First Quarter 2020 Manhattan Corcoran report including the breakdown between condos and co-ops, click  here.

To view the First Quarter 2020 Brooklyn report from Corcoran, click here.

"The world came to a grinding halt as of mid-March, but the fall out from that will not show up until the 2nd Quarter Home Sales Report, due to the nature of the time-frame from time of contract, to closing, and then recording. I do, though, hypothesize that some of the lack of statistical data here is due to the closings of government offices - in this case, lawyers and title companies were unable to record closing documents as of mid-March in Suffolk County. If the closings are not recorded, then the data doesn't show up on my report. As an example, looking at All Hamptons Markets Combined,you can clearly see less closings (again which may be a result of county offices closed), yet the Total Home Sales Volume and Median Home Sales Price rose nearly 9% each.

I will venture to say, the entire East End should, undoubtedly, experience heightened interest as we emerge from this life-altering event. There will be interest from people who wish to secure a safe haven for their families and the nostalgic experience of life and nature in full harmony."
Judi Desiderio, CEO, Town and Country Real Estate

The following is a comparison of First Quarter 2020 vs. First Quarter 2019, according to Town and Country's Quarterly reports for The Hamptons and North Fork.

Hamptons Markets Combined
  • Number of Sales are down 20% to 244
  • Sales Volume is up 8.7% to $581.6 million
  • Median Sales Price is up 8.7% to $1.15 million
North Fork
  • Number of Sales are down 22% to 60
  • Sales Volume is down 33.3% to $41.1 million
  • Median Sales Price is down 7.3% to $574 million
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