Weekly Roundup: NYC adjusted prices, SoHo’s highs, upward trending rates, $117M record price, houseplant pointers, recovery skeptics

Housing prices below 2008 peak, sales 21.8 percent lower than 2007 peak

But 2012 median lowest since 2004 adjusted for inflation

Beachfront houses wrecked by Sandy being sold ‘as is’

Assembly, Senate pass renewal of co-op/condo tax abatement

Building in Williamsburg tops list of 10 best-selling new developments in 2012

Region’s foreclosures tick up in November

Boerum Hill beats out Dumbo as Brooklyn’s top neighborhood, while SoHo and TriBeCa priciest in Manhattan during 2012

Maintenance fees now average $1.70 per square foot, up 30 percent since 2008

Lawsuit aims to collect rents paid by tenants citywide who live in apartments made uninhabitable after Sandy

Multi-talented writer finally does good all by himself in sale of $11.25 million Hollywood home

Brooklyn Nets guard makes successful $15.8 million play for Tribeca penthouse

Barbara visits Continue reading

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A home stager offers good advice for free

Karen Ginsberg

The first seller’s “don’t” offered by New Jersey home stager Kristine Ginsberg of Morris County is the one I liked the most.

In a blog post, she begins by saying that sellers shouldn’t think that they know more than their broker, insisting on a higher price than the broker advises.  Says Ginsberg:

They are the experts and know the market.  This is the most important “don’t” when selling your home, bar none!

It is good advice, though the notion of using what a professional suggests is hardly novel.

In her blog, the stager also distills some of the most important measures an owner can take to ensure a successful sale.  Continue reading

Staging can help sellers in an unexpected way

$5.65 million penthouse staged by Jill Vegas.

Rare is the prospective buyer who isn’t tuned into staging.

Approximately 25 percent of homes for sale are staged, up from fewer than 5 percent in 2007, according to Barb Schwarz, CEO of StagedHomes.com in a SmartMoney post related to open houses

She puts the average cost at $1,800 for a professionally staged property in the U.S.  In New York City, you can be sure that barely pays for painting a living room alone.

Although staging can make a buyer suspicious that something is wrong, something perhaps concealed, respected staging consultant Jill Vegas maintains that Continue reading

Out and About: Now you do finally see it

Apartment in search of a buyer

Hardly a week goes by that I don’t come across advice about staging.

Although this post doesn’t include any advice, I think the essentially before-and-after photos show why it’s normally harder to tempt a buyer with a vacant apartment than one that has been staged.

The condo shown in the photo is in a new development in West Harlem.  It is on the fifth floor of the building, which is across from Morningside Park, and prospective buyers could not be faulted for failing to envision its possibilities.

But show them the same apartment Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: U.S. stats sadden economists, Big Apple market seems stable, so much more!

Sales of luxury apartments buoy Manhattan market, suggesting Q3 reports will document ‘remarkable stability’

Before suing your co-op, it pays to get the facts right

Rents edge up again this month

But at least now you can find no-fee apartments on a cool map

Or check out a cool statistical infographic on our ‘city of renters’

Unless you have $1,600 to spare, think twice about renting out your apartment for less than a month

Seven tips for finding a great general contractor merit a look

Downtown Manhattan loft market is up a bit over 2007, the strongest full year in Manhattan residential real estate history, says broker/blogger Sandy Mattingly

In fraught market, buyers are still buying. . . with frayed nerves

The verdict is in: Only the most innocent buyers would fail to hire a lawyer for their purchase of property

Long Island mansion finally sells after high-profile owner hacks price

If he really collects 50% more than he paid in 2009 for his newly listed condo, this guy will be the stuff of legends

Still out of England, comedian Continue reading

Out and About: Is the emperor wearing clothes?

The listing broker appealingly staged this UWS apartment himself.

When a property has been staged, you almost always know as soon as you walk in.

One way you can tell immediately is if the placed is overdressed–too much stylish furniture well placed and too many objéts that are exactly right for the space. There might be a gorgeous throw draped all too casually over the arm of a sofa, a dainty flower in a bud vase on the bathroom vanity, a bottle of wine flanked by crystal goblets. Continue reading