Archive for the ‘Sellers Tips’ Category


Considering Selling Your Home?
Low inventory across the country has been the real estate story since the start of 2017, and our area is not immune. Local buyers as well as those from NYC and surrounding areas are yearning to see more supply for their demand. You don’t know when an opportunity might present itself; therefore, it is certainly never too early to start prepping your home. Some of our suggestions to think about if a sale may be in your future:

  • Professional Exterior Photos: Exterior photos should be taken when the weather is nice. This avoids the risk, when listing last minute, of having to take photos in the middle of winter when trees are bare and snow is on the ground. We recommend taking exterior photos anytime from late April to October. Keep in mind that photos are the first impression when buyers looking online!  Joan O’Meara and Team offer complimentary professional photography and it isn’t too late in the year to book now…email us today at jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com to discuss photographing the exterior of your home.
  • Have a Plan/Punch List:
    • Discuss remodel/improvements with a stager and/or experienced agent to confirm return on those investments. Our team works with a number of stagers we are happy to recommend.
    • Declutter
  • Prepare for Inspections:
    • Have utilities serviced
    • Check for leaks
    • Schedule an energy audit
  • Get Informed:
    • Work with a knowledgeable agent to stay up-to-date on housing market and trends.
    • Ask an agent to set you up for automatic local market email updates such as the one below. You won’t miss a new listing!

Joan and team are available to work with you to assure a smooth and successful listing process whenever you might be ready.



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In addition to cleaning out the closets and decluttering the inside of your house this spring, there are many ways you can spruce up the exterior of your home as well:

  • Clean the window and screens (best to do on a cloudy day).
  • Check the exterior walls and look for splitting wood, peeling paint, mold, etc.
  • Remove debris from gutters.
  • Inspect the roof for any damaged or missing shingles.
  • Repair and clean deck. Might be a good time to stain it as well.
  • Clean outdoor furniture and grill.
  • Clean out garage and wash the garage door.
  • Check the driveway for cracks or winter damage.
  • Weed the garden beds and remove shrub covers (if applicable).
  • Trim back shrubs and mulch.
  • Check in-ground irrigation system or have it professionally serviced.

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It is a well known fact especially in the Northeast that custom mudrooms can add substantial value to a home. Many homeowners in the suburbs consider these rooms essential to family living. A recent Journal News article suggests that mudrooms are the new “it” spaces. You might want to consider focusing on the mudroom if you are planning renovations. To read the article click HERE.

Here are some custom mudrooms from home builder SAC Development:

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Author Sarah Pike recently wrote an article for Zillow outlining a handful of do-it-yourself projects that could boost your home value.
Her top suggestions:

  • Adhesive Backsplash Tiles in Kitchen
  • Install Crown Molding in the Bedrooms
  • Install Ceiling Fans
  • Update Laundry Room (new wood cabinets and shelving)
  • Clean Garage and Paint Garage Floor
  • Upgrade Landscaping
  • Paint Front Door
  • Change Light Fixtures
  • Update Window Treatments

To read the article in full click here.
Bonus RoomBedroom with Crown Molding at 265 Milton Road in Rye
New Construction – Currently on the Market

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Set the stage for selling success! Sellers can’t afford to turn off educated buyers by missing critical steps in presenting their home. With the current interest in new construction, staging can be even more critical in this competitive market.

Top 5 Tactics for Staging Your Home:

  • Seek and heed expert advice
  • Less is more
  • De-personalize where you can
  • Clean inside and out (including de-cluttering counters)
  • Tackle small improvements first

Staging Statistics:

  • The Real Estate Staging Association studied 63 unstaged homes in 2013 that spent an average of 143 days on the market with no offers. After staging, those same homes were relisted and generated first offers in an average of 40 days.
  • In a separate study, RESA looked at 481 homes that were staged before hitting the market. They garnered an offer in an average of 23 days.
Source: Realtor, January/February 2015


Feel free to contact me at jomeara@houlihanlawrence.com for a complimentary market analysis of your home or for professional stager recommendations.

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According to the Trulia Pro Blog, even buyers who are looking at modest, budget-friendly homes still have a “wish-list” of luxury features that they are looking for. Here are six features/luxuries compiled by Trulia that sellers can install at a relatively low cost:

1. Automation

Programmable thermostats and smart home systems are now available at very low prices. The Nest Learning Thermostat for one of the most simple-to-use, inexpensive alternatives around. It learns the temperatures you prefer without any complicated programming process, it can detect when no ones home and change the temperature accordingly, and it is even remote controllable via Wi-Fi and mobile app.  In some areas, home cable companies are now bundling temperature automation and smart home features like remote-controlled lighting, temperatures and security systems and even smoke and carbon monoxide monitors right into the same online dashboard you use to pay your bill or order a movie on-demand.

2. Nature Niceties

The range of cost for landscaping and creating what many now call outdoor rooms is vast. But there are also dozens of inexpensive projects that can level-up a home’s nature factor, like:

  • Installing raised vegetable beds in the backyard;
  • Hanging a vertical garden on the kitchen wall;
  • Putting in window boxes or outdoor seating;
  • Installing a bird bath or planting a new tree.

3. Delicious Details

Adding little details can make a home feel custom and filled with character. These little projects can be high in aesthetic impact with a relatively low investment of time and money.

  • Adding crown moldings or baseboards;
  • Adding interior or exterior shutters;
  • Painting moldings, baseboards, mantles and door trims a contrasting color to the surrounding areas;
  • Replacing doors and lighting fixtures;
  • Replacing dated faucets, sinks, toilets and hardware— even recessed lighting soffits and door handles;
  • Painting exterior eaves, doors, trims and fences.

4. Solar

A survey by Sunrun revealed that over 40% of Americans believe a solar system cost more than $20,000; and eight out of 10 homeowners said they would install a solar system at home if cost wasn’t a factor. Solar is not for everyone, and not even for every home, but in states with sunny, hot summers and energy bills to boot, installing a solar system can create the double luxury of allowing owners to run the home on renewable energy and reduce energy costs in one fell swoop.

The truth is, in some states, cost isn’t a factor. There’s a new generation of companies— solar power service providers— who will pay for a solar system, install it on the home for little or nothing, and pay for its maintenance. In turn, the homeowner pays them for the power used.These arrangements are not available everywhere, but it’s certainly worth investigating whether you can find a solar service provider in your neck of the woods who can boost the perceived value of the home.

5.Built-ins (or faux ones)

Built-ins like desks, book shelves, closet systems and even kitchen recycling centers feel particularly luxurious because they offer a polished approach to efficient use of the space in a home, and often eliminate the need for bulky pieces of furniture.

You might be surprised to realize how affordable it can be to build a desk or closet organizer into your existing space. Or, get up to speed on all the off-the-shelf built-in alternatives that are on the market, like a kitchen nook dining set in lieu of a built-in banquette. Think creatively: placing a day bed under a window with a bookcase on each end is a fantastic alternative to building a window seat between built-in shelves. Look for built-in alternatives on Craigslist or Freecycle, then have it painted or reupholstered, to get a luxe, custom look at a very low price.

6. Dedicated Spaces

Like custom built-ins, dedicating a space to a particular favorite activity is a special luxury, even if the home is not otherwise especially luxurious. The idea here is to simply dedicate a space to an activity, painting it, installing the appropriate furniture and carving out a place for all the supplies that are involved in that activity.

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The Houlihan Lawrence 3rd Quarter 2013 Market Report

“Westchester County’s real estate market continued to gain strength in the third quarter. Single-family home sales surged by 29% compared to Q3-2012, with the median sale price up about 4% from the same period last year. Year-to-date, home sales have increased by 22% from 2012, while the median sale price is up 5%. Tight inventory levels, which have defined the real estate market locally and across the U.S. this year, contributed to homes selling faster and for closer to asking price.”  To View the Full Report…Click Here.

Joan O’Meara Quarterly Newsletter: Realty Check

To read my 3rd Quarter newsletter (both Harrison and Rye versions) including the article on “How to Avoid Missteps in Selling” visit my Website.

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