A few reasons why you won’t be getting top dollar for your house!

So, the news seems to keep improving for the housing market.  In fact the premier report of the Hamptons market from Miller Samuel and Douglas Elliman (yeah, I’m a little biased but I’m pretty sure Douglas Elliman is the only firm that hires an outside appraiser Jonathan Miller to compile their report ) showed growth for the east end with all indicators pointing to this momentum continuing into 2013.   In fact, it appears to be the best market in about 5 or 6 years.     But even with all of this are you sure you’re still getting top dollar when selling your property?   Well there are a couple of mistakes I see sellers make over and over again and they can be affecting your bottom line.    Hopefully you’ll find my two cents worth more than a couple bucks.


A whole site dedicated to bad pics.  courtesy: badmlsphotos.com

1) Lousy photos – remember the old days where real estate agents would have you primp and prime for that public open house.  Well, those open houses are important too but odds are this won’t be the first time the potential buyers will be seeing your house.   Most buyers begin their search on the web and when the photos stink, they’re not even going to take the time to see your house in person.     If your broker or agent isn’t spending the money to have a professional shoot your house, they’re not the agent for you.   It’s amazing to me how some properties even in  the 3, 4, 5 or higher range have photos their agent took with their own digital camera.    If you don’t believe me, go take a look on HREO.COM, some of those photos are just plain bad!

2) Cruddy Curb Appeal – We all know that updated kitchens and bathrooms will do a lot to help sell a house but if front of the house is a mess, odds are potential buyers won’t even take the time to cross the front door.   So, if the paints chipping off the front door , you can easily see the foundation and the ’69 GTO still on cinder blocks in the drive way you may want to reconsider putting your house on the market.

3) Buckets of Clutter – I know you know this and your listing broker probably does too.  So, why not listen to them and get rid of all the extra furniture, nick knacks and the piles of pictures.    If you’re having a hard time separating yourself from some of your beloved possessions try renting a storage space or one of those “PODS,”  and have it take away.

I don’t do previews and I’ll get to you when I do!!!







4) The Rock Star Broker – They’re #1 they have 99 listings and they have bigger fish to fry than your “shack”.    Now, don’t get me wrong and it’s not sour grapes, there are some really great top brokers out here.  They have teams and assistants that juggle all of the balls with team work and could cook a souffle at the same time.  The sad truth though is  they’re not as common as you think.   In fact, I hear it over and over again from other agents across the board, “they refused to let me preview” or “they never return my calls.”   Hmmm, even the greenest of agents sometimes hits a home run and sells that zillion dollar property.    It’s simple math, the more people that get easy access to your house the better offer.  If your broker uses the words “I” and “me” too often, that should be your first tip off.

5) Pathetic Pricing – time but they’re not  Don’t make it about you… when you’re pricing your home it’s about the facts and the stats!!!  How much will a qualified buyer be willing to pay for your house.   Buyers don’t care about home much you paid for it or how much money you’ll need to pocket at the end of transaction.  They also don’t care about the custom gilded tub or the fung shui designed rose garden odds are those improvements were done for you and mean little to the potential buyers.  I admit it’s not a science and brokers don’t ever really know at what price a home will sell.  But they should have a good idea based on recent comparable sales and what’s currently on the market.  Remember, sellers typically get the best prices for their property early in the game.  So, price it right from the start and avoid aggravation and frustration.   As I’ve said before,  If you’re friend thinks it’s such a steal at that price, why don’t they buy it??!

Finally, the folks over at Designing the Hamptons have identified the location of this years designer showcase house!!  So, where is it… you have to click on their link to find out.  It’s their scoop and more importantly, I’m so over this designer show houses.    You know it’s been done to death when they start doing these in Hackensack N.J. and they HAVE!!   I’d rather see someone build and decorate a house with stuff on a budget… say … from Sears…or Home Goods now that I’d pay to see…. MOVE THAT BUS!!!

The Sun is Shining on the Hamptons Real Estate Market!!!

In what has to be a first… the Hamptons Designer showcase house has actually sold in a relatively short period of time! That’s right! 129 Stoney Hill rd. is reportedly in contract. The 7,000 square foot home with an additional 3000 of lower level living was listed on the market for $5,500,000. While we don’t know what the actual selling price is, $5+ million asking price in Sag Harbor and not on the water was an aggressive take. Once again the Hamptons market is defying conventional wisdom! Maybe the house was actually better done than I thought? I was there when Jill Zarin was whining her way through a tour and I had to cut it short because of my headache!

Meanwhile some home improvements in East Hampton as the historic windmill on North Main street gets a face lift. I’m not sure what it’s costing but I’m sure it isn’t cheap. Wouldn’t it be greener and more economically responsible to put up solar panels instead?! I mean how much power does that thing generate anyway!?

Finally, once again the Sag Harbor Rag-a-muffin parade has come and gone. So what was the verdict! Try $250 worth of candy “packed.” Anyway, a good time was had by all and I’m a little poorer!

We’re s – h – o – p – p- ing…we’re shopping!!

So, with so many expensive mc-couture stores coming to the Hamptons, it’s great to see some quality merchandise that’s beautiful and unique. Echoing the artisan boutiques and galleries of a day long gone by… say back in the mid 90’s.. Sag Harbor is now home to Adornments Fine Jewelry. (Thank god for spell check you don’t want to know how I badly I misspelled jewelry). Owner Joseph Maio who worked as a marketing director for a major design firm has brought his expertise into a chic and cool shop featuring the works of designers such as Gurhan, Lauren K. and Margot Morrison. Joe also has designer bags that are totally cutting edge and aren’t ripped off and sold off of a card table on the corner of 57th and Madison or a Hong Kong market. Take the time… go see Joe.. the store itself is beautiful but don’t be intimidated.. the prices are right and much of his wears are truly works of art. Adornments is located at 83 Main St., Sag Harbor 725-0051.

In the meantime some good real estate news….NOT… that adorable little cottage on Highland Terrace better known as the 2006 Designer showcase house is back on the market at a new improved price of $16,950,000! Let the foreclosure jokes begin!!! The house which was at one point $24 Million and then $12 million is for now some reason at it’s new 2009 price. So what do you get for this bargain price… you get the ability to finish it yourself!!! Consider it a do it yourself kit… kind of a Sears and Roebuck house for the new millennium. Personally I would think for that kind of money SOMEBODY… could take a trip to home depot and put in some of the missing door knobs and light switches!! Hey, Ikea sells this stuff too…. HELLO! $16 Million dollars… call me picky! Personally, for the money I find these home kits a little bit more desirable!! http://www.shelter-kit.com/
Well are there other foreclosures south of the highway that are finished? I actually know of a few… get in touch and I’ll fill you in.