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Greenwich Citizen Article on Greenwich CT Real Estate

I thought this article started to shed some light on the interesting movements in Greenwich CT Real Estate office closings and sales this year including the closing of Engel & Völkers and the sale of Prudential CT Real Estate to Brookfield Residential Property Services.

Greenwich market tough for local firms

Published 02:41 p.m., Wednesday, December 14, 2011

While our local market is slowly recovering, both in terms of volume and price increases, the toll this housing recession has taken on local firms has been severe.

With high fixed expenses for rent, advertising, utilities and support staff, the pressure of reduced income has caused firms to close branch offices, layoff staff and in two cases shut down or sell their business.

Open for business in 2007, Engel & Völkers' Greenwich "shop" on Greenwich Avenue had a lot of promise.

An excellent walk-in street location (but limited parking) plus access to wealthy European real estate buyers with highly valued Euros made a lot of sense to me.

While the startup of any new business is slow, it did gain some traction but ultimately failed in August.

The store front is now vacant, as many of you have seen.

More recently, Prudential CT real estate, with four Greenwich addresses, has had its corporate sponsor sell its real estate business enterprise to Brookfield Residential Property Services.

However, some Prudential real estate brokerage franchises, including those in Greenwich, will be able to continue to use the Prudential brand, depending on the terms of their franchise agreements.

Like most businesses, real estate is not a walk in the park, or land trust.

Advice to buyers from Barbara Corcoran

The "queen" of real estate and NBC's chief contributor on the topic is Barbara Corcoran.

Having sold her real estate firm, The Corcoran Group, in 2001 for $70 million, she's now the only female "shark" swimming in ABC's popular "Shark Tank" program.

Here's what she advises buyers to ask themselves when shopping for a home.

Are there expensive new cars in the neighborhood?

New cars usually come with young people moving in. Jobs bring them in and that means the market is about ready to turn around.

Can the neighbors afford an average house?

Just because you can afford it, you better make sure that everyone else can afford it. This one's a little puzzling since I don't know how you'd determine this.

What's the average price per square foot in the neighborhood?

The only unemotional statistic is price per square foot. No emotion, no confusion.

Are the cheaper homes in the neighborhood selling? Every real estate recovery starts from the bottom up.

The food chain moves right up the line.

Are there a lot of "For Sale" signs in the neighborhood?

While Barbara says that's not a good omen, it's tough to tell in Greenwich since our ordinances don't allow these signs to be used by realtors.

You'll have to look online using a map view of the area you're interested in.

Staging Tip #22 of 25:

The dining room

Each week I include a staging tip to help sellers turn their home into a real estate product for sale.

If you've been following this series and putting these ideas into practice for your home, you'll appreciate this week's tip focused on possibly the most improperly staged room in the house to buyers in terms of getting them to commit to a purchase -- the dining room.

As you tour houses for sale, you will see dining rooms set with the best china, silverware, stemware, napkins and serving pieces.

The room looks ready for a grand event and it's what almost all realtors recommend.

That's not staging, however, and here's why: It calls the prospective buyer's attention to the beautiful table settings, not the room.

Remember what you're selling.

Clear off the dining room table except for one nice centerpiece.

Remove extra leaves from the table to make it smaller and thereby make the room appear larger.

Unless it's in bad condition or of poor quality, remove the tablecloth to show the beauty of the table.

Two to four chairs are enough unless it's a huge dining room.

Remove any extra dining room chairs especially if they crowd the table or the corners of the room.

Use ivy and a green or contrasting colored ribbon to set off the centerpiece.

Alternatively, you may use a draped table cloth fanned out from the centerpiece to the corner of the table angled toward you as you enter the room to create drama.

Remove any extra serving pieces and knick knacks from sideboards and buffets.

Minimize the viewable dishes in the hutch. Remember: Less is more.

Stay tuned for the living room and bathroom staging tips coming in the next two columns.

I'll then sum them up and give you some compelling statistics on why these steps really help when selling your home.

This Week's

Success Quote

"I want a house that has got over all its troubles. I don't want to spend the rest of my life bringing up a young and inexperienced house." -- Jerome K. Jerome

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