11 Easy & Insightful Open House Tips Used by Seasoned Real Estate Pros

Realtors have a lot of ideas about how to stage an open house. Some agents suggest the basics, such as cleaning the house which is always a good idea, but there are additional ways to make your home stand out to potential buyers and make a great first impression.

Renovations and Repairs

Make a better first impression by doing any repairs or renovations before you host an open house. Rooms that need painting, fixtures that are outdated, or minor improvements that must be made may put off potential buyers; what they notice is how much needs to be done.


Get your home list with an MLS, on Craigslist, in local papers, and on social media. Email all your family and friends. Ask them to share. Put up signs around your neighborhood with directions to your home.

Thorough Cleaning

A sparkling clean home attracts more buyers than one that’s dingy. Some sellers use a professional cleaning service before hosting an open house to get windows and carpets cleaned. A professional cleaning service will make sure everything is in perfect condition.

Declutter Your Home

When people go to an open house, they want to see the home’s features. Before you schedule your open house, start packing. The house should appear sparse and not cluttered. It’s easier for buyers to have a good idea of how much space is available if it’s not cluttered.

Fill the House With Light

Make sure your home looks cheery and bright. Open drapes and blinds to let in as much light as possible. Most people want a lot of light in their home. You should turn all the lights on even if it’s a sunny day to transform the rooms into a warm and welcoming space.


After you clean your home, pack away all your items including family photos, awards, and get the children’s toys out of the way. Buyers want to picture themselves in your home and imagine where they’ll place their personal items and furniture. It’s difficult for them to do that with your personal belongings strewn around the house.

Accessories and Furniture

You want your home to have a simple, uncluttered appearance, but it should always be staged with some furniture and a few accessories. If you’re still living in the house, add a few touches like a vase of fresh flowers in the living room, new guest towels in the bathroom, or new kitchen or bathroom fixtures. You may consider giving the kitchen a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up.


Most people that attend an open house because they’re looking for a new home. However, you’re still letting strangers into your home, and you can’t keep an eye on everyone. Make sure to lock up all valuables including personal documents, jewelry, and checkbooks. Keep all expensive electronics out of sight.

Provide Handouts

Make sure that you provide a flyer or brochure with photos of your home, information about recent home sales in your price range, and community and school information.


Baking cookies and having freshly made coffee or soft drinks ready is a nice touch. Some sellers host a wine and cheese party or cookout and invite neighbors. The idea is to make the open house a fun, social event.

Pay Attention To Feedback

Listen to comments people make about your home. If several people make comments about repairs, features that put them off, or the price, you may want to make some changes.

7 Exceptional Real Estate Apps for Real Estate Professionals

The real estate trade long ago consummated the age-old technique of exchanging and selling apartments, buildings, and other real estate properties –and this hasn’t changed much over the last few decades.

However, the way in which the real estate market is addressed, managed and explored certainly has changed. Now, real estate services are streamlined, and long-winded processes have been condensed to effortless keystrokes and swipes. Real estate technology has stepped onto the scene, and it’s not likely to take a step back, as the new pieces of software and the clever applications have worked to transform access to the market for real estate professionals.

Read on to learn the name of seven exceptional real estate mobile apps:


Contactually is CRM software that offers users a platform designed for organizing important and priority individuals in your contact list. A master list is created, connected to email and business applications, and users are then able to create customized reminders alerting you if too much time has elapsed between communication. It streamlines customer relations.


RPR Mobile is a property research app that’s designed exclusively for realtors. The application facilitates quick property searches, the creation of branded reports, and it offers a bird’s eye view of the local market through dynamic mapping tools and advanced search functions. More than that, users can see local market statistics, weigh neighborhood conditions, and access valuable data.


Zillow is a top-rated real estate app that works for both realtors and hopeful homeowners. Searches can be filtered by bedrooms, price, bathrooms, keywords, and more. Real estate professionals can offer home seekers an uncompromised understanding of property, whether they’re searching for commercial or residential properties.


NeighborhoodScout is an online database or website for U.S. communities. The tool empowers professionals to invest wisely, mitigate risk, and uncover opportunity. The free site grants access to micro-neighborhood trends, exclusive analytics, and forecasts. The unique insights and data offer an intimate understanding of neighborhoods.


Vert is an all-in-converter that provides temperature and currency conversions; this is ideal for those working in high end and international sectors of real estate.


CityMaps is an incredible socialized mapping application that’s frequently used by travelers. Accessible online and offline, it can provide insight on where to eat, where to sleep, and what to see while in a particular area. The application is an ideal for those interested in providing insider tips.


Dotloop is powerful and intuitive. It’s real estate technology created to cooperate with lives that are busy. This simplifies paperwork, client interaction, and simple solutions to complicated issues.

If you know of any other incredible real estate applications, please feel free to share!

7 Attractive Commercial Real Estate Investment Tips

Kevin Brunnock | Real EstateOrchestrating a commercial real estate exchange is simply a matter of evaluating the best property deals, scouting the right help, and using informed insider knowledge to help you tap into success. 

Performing efficiently as commercial real estate professionals requires that you learn commercial real estate vocabulary, that you do the homework, find experts, figure out your financing, make an offer, and practice due diligence, but there are a few other rules you should live by:

  1. Don’t accumulate commercial properties, be an investor. Producing income or profit is the primary reason people become interested in purchasing new property. If you acquire property without turning a profit, you aren’t making an investment. Being an investor means being able to instigate accrual.
  2. Every property has a shelf life, a lifetime. Many investors make the mistake of forgetting that money must be spent on the property for upkeep. A building may require an updated electrical system, or a new furnace or roof. Every building must be maintained, and there have to be long-term plans in place to handle repairs.
  3. When starting out, you have to focus one particular type of investment. There are different types of investment, ranging from offices to retail to land to apartments. Every deal requires undivided attention. Otherwise, this could result in some average-performing.
  4. Environmental concerns can over be an issue for commercial property owners. Property owners are individually responsible for fixing problems, even if they aren’t the one who caused those problems. Ownership means shelling out the cost of cleanups, disposals, and environmental assessments.
  5. Mentors can offer guidance in the face of mistakes. They can pointedly connect you with valuable resources, correct errors regarding due diligence, and grant access to opportunities.
  6. Be sure to protect yourself and your assets. In the case there’s a lawsuit, be sure that you find a lawyer and ask yourself some questions. Figure out what’s at stake if you lose a lawsuit, how is your personal property protected, and how real estate investments may impact your other investments.
  7. Attempt to finance your real estate deal with a non-recourse loan. This means that you shouldn’t personally guarantee a loan, which offers two advantages. Them being that you’ll be taken off a loan if a partnership collapses, and if the property fails, then you won’t be personally tied to that failure.

Learn what insiders know, map out a plan of action, get familiar with the major commercial real estate metrics, look for motivated sellers, and discover the fine art of identifying vacancies.

Changes We Can Expect See In New York City’s Housing Market In 2017

Kevin Brunnock | NYC Real EstateNew York City’s luxury real estate market cooled down in 2016. The number of high-end sales went down 18 percent, according to realtors Olshan Realty Inc. This general trend was predicted by a site called StreetEasy, which predicts New York City’s real estate market trends every year. If they were able to get that right, there’s a good chance we should be trusting their prediction for 2017. Here are a few things we can expect to see happen to the New York City housing market according to StreetEasy:

  1. Manhattan’s Sales Market Will Experience Slow Growth

Out of the five boroughs, Manhattan is expected to have slowest sales market growth. Over the past few years, high demand and high-priced inventory lead to high resale prices in Manhattan. However, the market is now being dragged down by these luxuries. In November 2015, Manhattan’s luxury tier became the first segment of the market to see price declines and the trend has continued since. This trend will most likely spread to all segments of the market. 2017 is expected to be one of the slowest years for price growth for Manhattan sales in years.

2) Neighborhoods Will Change Due To Transportation Changes

The real estate conversation in 2017 will be largely affected by public transportation. There will be a number of major public transportation changes in New York City in the near future, including the opening of the Second Avenue Subway, the L-train shutdown, the M-train repairs and the 7-train extension to Hudson Yards. According to research, rent and sales prices increase when a home is close to convenient transportation.

3) People Will Turn To Homeownership

In 2017, we can expect rent to increase across all five boroughs. Rent is likely to far outpace income growth. This past November, Queens rents increased 4.1 percent year-over-year, outpacing both Brooklyn and Manhattan. Over the next year, Queens rents are expected to continue increasing by 2.4 percent, while Manhattan rents are expected to increase by 2 percent and Brooklyn rents by 1 percent. As sales price growth slows and rents increase, many renters who have saved for down payments will become homeowners in 2017. If we look at the tipping point, or the point in time at which the costs of buying will be less than renting, we see evidence of the shift to home buying occurring in the near future.  According to StreetEasy, more than 80 percent of all New York City neighborhoods that have recorded tipping points, have tipping points of less than five years as of November 2016.


4) Hottest Neighborhood Will Be Kingsbridge; The Rest Will Be In Brooklyn

Each year, StreetEasy comes out with a list of the city’s hottest neighborhoods, showing where New York apartment shoppers are expected to look in the coming year. At the top of the 2017 list is Kingsbridge in the Bronx. Six of the ten spots are occupied by Brooklyn neighborhoods. How present were Manhattan and Queens? The only two neighborhoods from these boroughs that make the cut for 2017 are Yorkville in Manhattan, and Astoria and Bayside in Queens.


Overall, we can expect a lot of changes in New York City’s real estate market in 2017. It will be exciting to see whether these predictions come true.

5 Historic Houses Converted into Museums in NYC

5 Historic Houses Converted into Museums in NYC | Kevin BrunnockHistoric homes that have become famous museums has been a prime use of real estate over many years. They have preserved our history and culture so are of tremendous value. There are many such places in New York City, and here are just a few examples that you would enjoy viewing and exploring.

Morris-Jumel Mansion

Constructed in 1765 by a British loyalist, Roger Morris, it was known as Mount Morris. Amazingly, in the Revolutionary War, George Washington as well as Hessian and British forces were occupants in the house. Washington returned on July 10, 1790, and dined there along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and others. The mansion and grounds were later purchased by Stephen and Eliza Jumel, by the City in 1903. In 1904 it was opened to the public as a museum.

Van Cortland House Museum

Located on the edge of the Van Cortland Park in what was then Yonkers, the Georgian fieldstone house was constructed in 1748. It is now the oldest building in the Bronx. This house is another used by George Washington during the Revolutionary War and was also used by the Marquis de Lafayette, Rochambeau. The house was converted into a museum in 1896 by the National Society of Colonial Dames in the State of New York and has been open to the public ever since that time.

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum

Constructed as a carriage house in 1799, in 1826, it was converted into a hotel. The Colonial Dames of America bought the building in 1924 and converted it into a museum, which was known until 2000 as the Abigail Adams Smith Museum. The name was changed as President John Adams’ daughter, Abigail, had no connection with the structure.

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage

Built in 1812 in the then village of Fordham, it was typical of the area’s working-class homes. After Poe‘s death, the house where he had written a number of his works was sold. The New York Shakespeare Society saved the home from destruction in 1913 by raising funds to move it across the street. It is a part of the Historic House Trust

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

This is the only presidential birthplace opened to the public in New York City. Roosevelt was born on this site in 1858, and the house was demolished in 1916 to become a retail building. However, within weeks of his 1919 death, the Women’s Roosevelt Memorial Association bought the lot and the adjoining one and reconstructed the home to look like what had been the interior design in the years of 1865-1872. In 1963, it was donated to the National Park Service.

Many historic homes and their real estate that became museums give us a unique look into other time periods and make us happy to be able to admire the delightfully preserved establishments, which still exists.

5 Nicest Celebrity Homes in New York City

Kevin BrunnockSociety’s elite, wealthy and famous are best positioned to afford luxurious New York City real estate.

For most middle-class Americans, purchasing a nice home in a big city such as San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Dallas, or Boston, is something that one can only dream of. Not only are homes in these bustling areas come at a steep price, but the square footage per unit is rather small. Perhaps this is the reason there are so many celebrity homes located in the Big Apple; only the most elite individuals in society can afford the luxurious New York City real estate.

Sold for a cool $4.9 million, Daniel Radcliffe purchased his three-bedroom apartment overlooking the New York Harbor back in 2008. After choosing a bottle of wine from the home’s 500-bottle wine cellar, Radcliffe and his guests can watch the sunset through the beautiful curved windows. Complete with granite and marble countertops, this house is now valued at $5.2 million.

While the views in Radcliffe’s apartment are phenomenal, other celebrities prefer a more secluded and quiet space to come home to after a hard day’s work. Located in Chelsea, Cameron Diaz purchased her apartment for $9 million. The home features soundproof floors and walls that are 18-inches thick, ensuring maximum privacy to its residents. This cozy and warm retreat is one of the best pieces of real estate in the city, which is why there was a bidding war among several stars within the entertainment industry.

Another celebrity home that makes the list is Leonardo DiCaprio’s luxury green apartment located just north of New York City’s Financial District. Amenities in this two-bedroom piece of paradise include a wellness concierge and vitamin C-infused showers. Valued at $10 million, Leo’s sanctuary is located in Greenwich Village.

Bought for a whopping $14 million, Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s mansion can be found in the Flatiron District. This three-bedroom condo is located on the 47th floor of a high-rise unit located in the heart of Manhattan. The marble countertops and floor-to-ceiling windows provide spectacular 360 views of the city all throughout the day.

Closing out the list of 5 nicest celebrity homes in New York City is Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos’ newly renovated SoHo penthouse. This piece of the lavish real estate includes a rooftop deck, top-of-the-line home gym, outdoor fireplace, and brand new white oak floors. Valued at $24.5 million, this five-bed, four-bath apartment is hands-down one of the best celebrity homes in the Big Apple.

To learn more about NYC celebrity homes, check out the articles published on the sites MyDomaine.com and Business Insider: http://www.mydomaine.com/celebrity-apartments-nyc and http://www.businessinsider.com/celebrity-homes-in-new-york-city-2014-6?op=1/#-peter-jacksons-duplex-duo-21

Dutch Startup Incubator Set to Open Location in Brooklyn Navy Yards

Kevin Brunnock, NYC, Brooklyn Navy Yards The Dutch startup incubator B. Amsterdam is set to open a location at Brooklyn Navy Yards. The Netherlands-based business incubator will introduce new jobs to the area as well as attract an increased number of global technology tenants. In addition to agreeing to occupy 100,000 square feet of the property’s space, they’ll create approximately 500 living-wage jobs.

The company, which provides business and real estate services, made the announcement on Wednesday, September 7th. At the new location, they will share their knowledge, with regards to tax planning, legal, real estate, and human resource, with about 300 early and growth-stage startups. According to a statement, Brooklyn Navy Yard Chief Executive Officer David Ehrenberg stated, “B. Amsterdam will connect the Brooklyn and greater New York business communities with dynamic product design and tech companies across Europe.”

“Cities like Amsterdam, Paris, and Stockholm are teeming with entrepreneurs looking to conquer the world with a new product or service. And they are all looking for ways to scale up,” said Kajsa Ollongren, the deputy mayor of Amsterdam, according to the Real Deal. “With the creation of B.NY, these startups will be able to enter the US market faster and easier.”

Once a shipbuilding site for the U.S. Navy, The Navy Yard later became a city-owned industrial park. During the peak of World War II, the Yards employed 70,000 people, and it currently houses 7,000 workers. That number is expected to double over the next five years as Navy Yard projects unfurl.

The commercial development plans grew from a partnership that began with Alicia Glen, New York’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, and Amsterdam Deputy Mayor Kajsa Ollongren. B. Amsterdam will dedicate about 15 percent of their space to businesses centered on technology, hardware, and product design companies. 

The development of the facility will begin during the early months of 2017. After it’s completion, it’ll be a homestead for European markets looking to expand into U.S. markets, and it will also enable local entrepreneurs to develop relationships  with European clients. The incubator will occupy Building 127 at the complex. They’ll be joining the ranks of companies, such as Brooklyn Brewery, which signed a lease to take 75,000 square feet at the Navy Yard’s Building 77. Also, 1776, a tech incubator and seed fund, signed a 30,000-square-foot lease.


Brexit Fears Drive Investors Toward New York’s Commercial Real Estate Market

Kevin Brunnock, NYC, Commercial Real Estate

New York City has taken the throne as the capital of commercial real estate.

London, which once took the position of the world’s premier city for foreign investment in commercial real estate, has been unseated due Brexit-bred fears. There seemed to be greater unease among investors leading up to the vote to leave the EU, which was approved by voters in late June.  

There was a 44 percent decrease when looking at cross-border capital flowing into London real estate when comparing post-referendum numbers to those during the same time frame in 2015. Erosion of London’s identity as a premier financial center has led many to forget that Britain has long been seen as a far more investor-friendly than the U.S., due greatly beneficial tax arrangements. Property investors have downsized the value of investments, particularly office buildings. One of Britain’s greatest foreign investors is Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, and they’ve chosen to reduce the value of their UK property portfolio by five percent.

During an interview, David Green-Morgan, director of global capital markets research for Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL). in Chicago, said, “It would be fair to say that London bore the brunt of Brexit fears. The big fear is that London will lose a lot of the financial service jobs that has made it such a global financial center.”

New York has seen gains of $10.3 billion in foreign investments. Compare that to the $6.9 billion that London took in during the same period. Just one year ago, London acquired $12.4 billion in foreign investment, surpassing New York by $1.1 billion, according to JLL.

Prices reached unsustainable levels just as concerns about the UK market began to circulate., which only partially demystifies decreases when investment to Britain are concerned. This year saw the largest decline since of financial crisis that took place during the years 2007 and 2008.

The U.S. has adopted underlying property fundamentals and strong demand in order to attract capital. Brexit has led cautious investors away from Britain, and, to some extent, away from Europe, and that investment is being driven toward the U.S. Capital is being routinely deployed through gateway cities such as Boston, New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Cornell University Leases Midtown Manhattan Space

cornell_2Cornell University has opted to lease midtown Manhattan space for the purpose of student and alumni networking. The institution will be taking three floors at 45 W. 57th St., totally 4,000 square feet.

The Ithaca-based Ivy League establishment will occupy the second, fourth, and fifth floors of the seven-story building for 22 months, with an option for renewal. Priced at $60 per square foot, Cornell’s graduate school of management, school of hotel administration, college of business, and school of applied economics and management, as well as other academic branches. The space will act as a bridge between campuses and a beacon for the engineering campus being built on Roosevelt Island. Next month, Cornell will begin its occupancy by using the space for events.

“We see a strong presence in New York City as essential for enhancing our relationships with our alumni, corporate partners, and other key stakeholders,” said Soumitra Dutta, dean of the Cornell College of Business, according to Crain’s New York. “The space will also provide an excellent platform venue for our faculty and students to take advantage of the unique resources of New York City.”

The property is owned by the U.S. subsidiary of a Turkish real estate development and investment company, Sedesco Inc.. The development firm’s general counsel, Derek Gilchrist said the relationship between Sedesco and Cornell was a close one, and it came about organically when following Cornell’s Roosevelt Island. As soon as space became available, the two entities hashed details about to establish an outpost in Manhattan.

Silicon Valley Bank Doubled Their Manhattan Office Space

svbThe West Coast established Silicon Valley Bank recognized for catering to tech firms has nearly doubled their Manhattan office space, taking over an entire floor at 387 Park Avenue South. This move is expected to bring New York City one step closer to the tech community.

Established in Santa Clara, California, the financial institution leased 20,000 square feet, relocating to the new space from the current 10,400 square feet space located at 303 Fifth Ave. After their move, Silicon Valley Bank will sublease their current space.

Matthew Leon, an associated with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, help to broker the deal, negotiating on behalf of the building’s landlord TF Cornerstone, as well as Chip Sealy, an executive at TF Cornerstone. According to Silicon Valley Bank representative Robert Tunis, the intention of the move is to grow and become closer to clients they finance in the tech sector. Park Avenue South  has easily matured into one of the most essential for office space in midtown south, nestled in a neighborhood that’s become a home for multiple tech companies within recent years.

“It’s where their constituency is,” said Tunis, who along with Ferriello will handle the sublease of the bank’s space at 505 Fifth Ave. “This new office puts them closer to that. You go where your business is.”

This latest deal is just one of many signed with TF Cornerstone since their multi-million dollar renovation of 387 Park Avenue South, which involved installing a private roof deck, a new façade for the three lowest floors of the building, new elevators, and HVAC. Criteo, a tech firm, leased the top three floors of the building last year, which granted them exclusive access to the private roof space. Criteo later leased another floor, taking on additional square feet.

Only the ninth and a portion of the eighth floors are presently available at the 13-story property. Also, the third  floor will soon become vacant when SUNY Stony Brook’s 10-year lease expires at the end of the month.