Running On Real Estate for October 10

Karen Monroe

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

The season is changing and so is the supply of available housing inventory. Turns out, buyers have a host of options when it comes to finding their next home. Supply creates demand and demand creates bidding wars. Attention, potential sellers: if you're considering putting your place on the market, now would be a good time. Get going before winter and the holidays arrive, when buyers go into hibernation until spring.

What to do if you are ready to sell? As always, get a real estate agent you trust and enjoy working with. Have them over to assess your home and pull comps of other properties similar to yours that recently sold or are currently listed in your neighborhood. This helps you and your agent to determine the asking price.

Price is key. Coming on too high, even though you feel like your property is way better than anything else in the neighborhood, is not going to attract potential buyers. Too low is a giveaway. Priced to sell; that's what you want.

So you have the price, now you need to prepare. Get your home show-ready. Tidy up and remove the clutter. Box up all the trinkets and collections of random non-essential items in every room and store them away. This also gives you a head start on moving day. Take the magnets off the fridge. Put away family photos and personal items. Make sure valuables like jewelry are safely out of sight. Clear the closets. Visitors will indeed open them up to see if their belongings can fit. Help them imagine this by having an orderly, not overflowing, closet that offers room to spare.

When I sold my home in San Francisco a few years ago, my agent made some interesting suggestions to prep for open houses. Clear the medicine cabinet of prescriptions and remove any bottles of liquor that may be around. During open houses, turns out people steal this stuff. Crazy.

Once your home is ready for market, keep it in the same state of readiness as it was the day the photographer came to shoot it. Your agent wants to help you sell your home, so help them. Be sure to have a plan on where to take the kids and dog when you need to vacate for two hours on a Sunday afternoon. Sellers should not be present at their own open houses order during private showings. It is awkward and inhibits prospective buyers.

When the price is right and your agent keeps showing your home, it will sell. Whether you need to sell before buying your next place, or not, start looking around right away. The seasons change, so does your role from seller to buyer. And as I repeat myself, hold onto that agent you like.

On the Run

We talk to each other all day, but no sound comes out. Is this really talking? Do email and text, Facebook and LinkedIn actually count as speaking to one another? From what I gather, some people don't even use the phone anymore.

I'm not exactly sure why. A quick phone call can most efficiently clarify a question, conversation or challenge. Using an iPhone as an actual phone can save time and eliminate the back-and-forth of an email thread. It's also more personal for building and strengthening relationships. The sound of a voice, the inflection in tone, and energy come through over telephone wires. Not so in a tapped out text.

Whatever you prefer - team phone or team digital - let's keep on talking to each other.

Karen Monroe practices real estate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 156 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. She lives in the neighborhood and represents buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Karen can be found walking her dogs and running the parks, paths, streets and bridges of Brooklyn and beyond. For feedback and all of your real estate needs, contact Karen at

October 10, 2013 - 8:00am



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