Two home offices. Impressive indoor/outdoor space. A pool and spa. Proximity to walkable areas.
These are four of the most common requests from buyers in Westport, Connecticut, according to one of the region’s top Coldwell Banker Global Luxury real estate brokers, the gregarious Linda Skolnick, who has been working in real estate for almost 30 years in this picturesque suburb of New York City. (Think beaches, a charming downtown, views of Long Island Sound and you get the picture.)
With more people than ever before migrating to the suburbs for more space, privacy and a better quality of life, Skolnick is an expert at anticipating their needs and wants — and is alway available for guidance and support.
Making a point to answer every single call from clients (she even answered one from a potential client in Egypt even though she was concerned it may be spam; luckily it turned out it wasn’t!) and knowing every specific detail about her region, Skolnick has her finger to the pulse of the area. Her motto (and the title of her website) says it all: ”Go Ask Linda.”
A stunning Westport, Connecticut home and backyard, Linda Skolnick
Currently, these trends are dominating Skolnick’s market:
- “Younger buyers are moving to the suburbs,” she explains. “In the past it was not unusual to wait until your children were entering kindergarten before moving to the suburbs – seeking top public schools over paying expensive tuition for Manhattan private schools. But with many two-income households, people who do not need to go to the office daily anymore, they are choosing space, land and quality of life by moving to Westport earlier than buyers did 5 five years ago.”
- “Empty nesters are staying in the suburbs,” she says with a smile. “They are selling their traditional or larger homes and moving to the beach area or smaller homes with less property to care for. Prior to Covid, we lost many empty nesters to Manhattan, but it seems everyone wants to stay in Westport now. It’s a great lifestyle.
According to Skolnick, other top trends in her area include heated covered porches, a mix of ultra-modern with style and finishes from century-old homes, solids with texture, and counters, fabrics and finishes that are “forgivable”, “so you can actually live in your home,” she explains.
What’s so exciting about her local luxury market, Skolnick says, are the homes that offer a surprise that is not typically seen in a private home. A waterfront home with an electronic sunroof on the top floor, marble tile from a 200-year-old Paris bistro installed in a modern kitchen, privacy windows that fog with a touch of a button in unexpected places and even an indoor basketball court 20 feet below the lower level with observation windows to view games from above.
“For a buyer or seller to be in the luxury market, they need to have realized some success,” she explains. “They are often the best at what they do and they hold me to the same standard. They expect that I will steer them well, take excellent care of them and ultimately win them their dream home. They hire a professional and know that is what they are getting.”
Staying close to clients is smart for Skolnick’s repeat business, and also great for friendship and camaraderie in a tight knit town like Westport. One of her main secrets to success? She truly loves her clients.
“We are in a relationship, and once their home buying or selling process is complete, we sometimes feel like we ‘broke up,’” she explains. “So I speak to them often and keep in touch even if it’s not always in person, or just through social media. I love watching them grow and thrive in our community. I know who they are, I know who their children are. Once they move to my town, I want to be their local resource and they know they can always count on me, even if it’s not related to just real estate.”
To learn more about Skolnick, click here.