Behind The Scenes: Selling a home isn’t just about the facts

Ever wondered what goes on behind the sale of that luxury penthouse? Or how that dated, lived-in apartment turned into a glam version ready for its close-up magazine shot? And how does a beautiful, new set of loft-like condos hit the market with fervor? To find out, we will follow Gabriele Sewtz behind the scenes of her every day as a top Compass real estate broker in New York City.


“As a seller, understanding purchasing behavior becomes more and more important in this fast-paced real estate environment” notes Gabriele. First impressions a potential buyer has of a property tend to be the last impressions and over 90% of buyers view a property first online. Often the non-quantifiables impact a potential buyer’s perception of the home more than the mere facts. Buying a home, like a lot of the biggest decisions in life, is more emotional than rational. Buyers generally don’t select a property; they fall in love with it.


Just because your neighbor sold his property for $2M does not mean your home is worth that or more. “We have first-hand insight into what the story is behind a comparable property lingering on the market for gazillion days yet the “same” apartment next door flew off the shelf above asking price a few months ago” comments Gabriele who shares her valuable market knowledge via Compass’s Collections tool with her sellers, adding color to the traditional Comparable Market Analysis by visually walking her sellers through comparable listings online, in real-time with crucial information a data spreadsheet cannot convey.


Setting the stage for love at first sight is crucial. City dwellers don’t always have that much say over the layout of a home, and although buyers might choose their new home for its great flow, the first part of the falling-in-love process is aesthetic: The sense buyers get within 15 seconds of walking into a place that it just feels happy and right to them.

The goal is to showcase a property in a way that lets buyers envision themselves living their lives in the space because the second part of the falling-in-love process is aspirational: When buyers fall in love with a home, they are falling in love with a beautiful vision of their future lives and not with the walls or the roof of a Brownstone. It takes buyers typically 3–6 minutes to view a property and make a decision. “It must be a seamless promotion of property and lifestyle,” says Sewtz.


Especially first-time homebuyers sometimes have trouble seeing the bones of a home and don’t know which features can be changed easily at minimal cost. They often base their judgement only on what they see. That’s an area where Gabriele’s buyers and sellers value her guidance alike. “Gabriele has an incredible ability to spot and evaluate both strengths and unnoticeable weaknesses of each unit (almost as if she has x-ray vision)” note former clients of Gabriele.


Selling one’s property often feels to homeowners like taking on a second job and getting ready to list a home can be a daunting task, but Sewtz knows from personal experience that it doesn’t have to be painful.

Over the last 20 years, Gabriele went from first time homebuyer, to investor, to multi property seller and one of her biggest take aways from her personal and professional life: How a buyer feels in a space, leads to the purchasing decision!

Up next, find out out how Gabriele, a real estate broker at Compass and a certified home stager, creates the look that will get a Brooklyn luxury penthouse sold.



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