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Open House Season Unofficially Begins In Westchester

There might be plenty of snow on the ground in Westchester County, but that won't stop the spring homebuying season from beginning.
There might be plenty of snow on the ground in Westchester County, but that won't stop the spring homebuying season from beginning. Photo Credit: Flickr user GeorgieD

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Football might be over, but the Westchester real estate spring house-hunting season has officially begun.

But as a potential home seller, are you ready to run with the ball if you’re on the receiving end of an open house?

“Traditionally there is a spike in open houses after the Super Bowl, as diehard fans are finally unglued from their TVs,” said Eric T. Lebenson, of William Raveis in Briarcliff Manor.

“It’s an undocumented pact between spouses that once the Super Bowl is over, it's time to start or continue searching for a new home,” added Brad Kimmelman of William Pitt Sotheby's in Fairfield County.

A barometer of home-selling season is the profusion of open houses available to prospective buyers on any given weekend. While Kimmelman said that number depends on a lot of factors -- including a home’s desirability, location, price and length of time on the market -- brokers frequently notice a “substantial increase” in attendance at real estate open houses in the aftermath of Super Bowl Sunday.

But before you decide to put your home on the market and hold an open house, Birgit Anich, an interior designer and home-stager who prepares many Westchester County homes for sale, suggests a moment of reflection: “Ask yourself: ‘Are there any repairs I’ve put off for a while?’” Now, she said, after the Super Bowl, is a good time to address of them.

Taking care of at least a few of them, said Anich, can be easier than you might think.

Anich said: “One of the easy fixes I see in so many houses in our area is something as simple as replacing dated lighting fixtures. These changes don’t have to be expensive, but updating them, say, from all brass to oil-brushed bronze or brushed nickel, will make a big impact in the value perception of your house.”

Anich also suggests adding frame-less mirrors in the bathrooms. “They are not difficult to install and will immediately update the look of your bathroom.” And, she adds, having carpets professionally cleaned and refinishing floors can also help the sales appeal of your home.

Regardless of sports-related distractions, Sharon Bodnar Briskman, with Briarcliff’s Houlihan Lawrence, said she is already seeing an uptick in activity. “While post-Super Bowl normally means more activity, we have already experienced a strong spring market.”

Bodnar Briskman added she has been involved in multiple bidding wars on different properties. “We haven't experienced this kind of activity in years,” she added.

And with only a few days before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, that could be a home run for home sales this season.

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