When the Covid pandemic hit last March, Susan Watson decided to quarantine with her life partner to avoid traveling back and forth from her own home amid the uncertainty of the novel coronavirus. As she learned that more and more families were looking for space outside of New York City, she knew it was a good time to rent her vacant home on Central Avenue in Rye. But she’d have to clean it out first. Susan had moved into the house seven years earlier, consolidating the effects of a large home and a smaller city apartment into one space. Despite several New Year's resolutions, the attic and the basement were still full and the thought of getting her home ready for the market was overwhelming.
“I’ve bought and sold homes nine times, so I knew there was a lot to do to prepare,” she explains. “I talked to Fiona, who is so knowledgeable and confident in her approach. I’m smart enough to know when I am getting expert advice, so I followed hers to a ‘T’,” Susan said.
Fiona provided her with a guide to decluttering her home and a roster of contacts for painting, window washing, landscaping, and more. With Fiona’s to-do list in hand, Susan secured a dumpster and emptied the house of older, heavy furniture and clutter, made minor repairs, changed light fixtures, and improved the landscaping. “Fiona has experience in building and construction, so she really understands the ‘bones’ of a house and what improvements needed to be made. She also had all the contacts I needed to get everything done.”
‘An expert by my side’
As Susan was looking for a long-term tenant and wanted to better understand who the potential renters might be, she turned to Fiona to educate her about the rental market, as well as landlord and tenant obligations. Fiona also advised her on the appropriate price, and, after the offers came in, guided her through the review of each potential renter’s financials. When renters made demands, Fiona gave her confidence to be able to say “no” to the ones that wouldn’t work for her.
“Being a businesswoman myself, I could have figured all of this out. But I knew I had an expert at my side. Things went a lot faster with Fiona at the helm.”
Three weeks after the home went on the market, there were three competing offers.
“That put us in a great position, because we were able to negotiate,” noted Susan.
Susan said she had a lot of choice when it came to realtors she could work with in Rye. She selected Fiona because of her expertise and professionalism. “Fiona approaches real estate with real business acumen. It is not a hobby for her. It’s business. It’s her profession.”