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Renovating to get Results

The New York Times // Nov 10, 2011

Michael Garr has sold over 300 million dollars of real estate from Central Park South to Tribeca. He is also the Broker Specialist for the Chelsea Mercantile, having completed 59 transactions in the prized building. Here, he writes about going above and beyond simple staging to sell apartments at top dollar.

Last Sunday’s article in the New York Times about sellers renovating their homes to appeal to buyers only scratched the surface of the work that goes into preparing my exclusive listings for the market. My team of contractors, tilers and painters have renovated several apartments and guided owners to make spot-on choices that will yield fantastic results at the closing table. For example:

After six months on the market with another company, the owner hired Michael Rubin and I to market a top-floor duplex on West 22nd Street. We chose a walnut stain for the floors after they were sanded. We removed the floor in the kitchen and put in a cream tile, which pulled everything together for a fresh buyer-ready look. The vanity in the bathroom was replaced, and updated light fixtures and new hardware were added and then painted Benjamin Moore White Dove — a color many art galleries use. For the terrace, the wood planks were painted a brighter color and plants and flowers were placed on the sides. The outdoor space felt larger (feelings are facts in real estate) and inviting. For the staging, we added the little extras needed for dramatic photogenic touch: bright pillows, hip table lamps and understated art work … all from my staging storage unit. An offer was accepted in four weeks.

Our listing at 280 Park Avenue South, a one bedroom, needed lots of TLC. Garr and Rubin added lighting fixtures in the bathroom, living room and kitchen. We chose high-gloss black tile for the kitchen to contrast the brand-new appliances, which gave a more contemporary look. The bathroom floors were switched out with a light coffee Italian tile with a rectangle shape to make the area feel larger. Also, a white pedestal sink was installed and new lighting fixture from the Bowery lighting district replaced a row of light bulbs. The walls were plastered and painted. All within a very reasonable budget. As we believed would happen, in three weeks we had an accepted offer. Limited hassle. Better price than the previous company was able to obtain. Less time on the market. The owner’s goals were achieved. As were ours.

Original Article: The New York Times