Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty Welcomes Seta Tunell

Seta TunellEllis Sotheby’s International Realty today announced that Seta Tunell has joined the firm as a licensed real estate salesperson.

Tunell previously served NBC for 20 years in various roles, most recently as coordinating producer for the award-winning program Dateline NBC. She began her career at French automobile manufacturer, Renault, working in both its New York and Paris headquarters.  She also has worked in the import and export industry with clients in both the United States and Europe, and oversaw the coordination and establishment of a multi-national start up venture in the West Indies.

“Seta brings a strong sense of priority, discipline, patience and tenacity to her real estate career,” said Richard Ellis, owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty. “These qualities- which were developed over years working with top level executives and on air talent in network news- are an advantage to both buyers and sellers in the often stressful world of real estate transactions. Her background and experience as an entrepreneur and business owner, as well as her international work in sales, real estate development and building, are valuable assets to her clients.”

Tunell brings her clientele a diverse, global background. Born in Cairo to Armenian parents, her family moved to Lebanon when she was two years old and then immigrated to the United States.

“I also bring to the table an in-depth knowledge of the local market area, a keen eye for design and an ability to recognize potential and value,” she said.  “I am so proud to be affiliated with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand and the opportunities it affords my clients regardless of their price point.  I am a firm believer that the luxury market is a level of service and not a particular price.”

Tunell is past vice president of the PTA Council in South Orangetown, New York. She also was a member of their Nutritional Subcommittee and served on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Shakespeare Theatre.  She earned the Ecobroker®, Short Sale Specialist® and Accredited Buyer’s Representative® designations from the National Association of REALTORS®.  She is fluent in English and Armenian.


Giving Back to Our Local and International Communities

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

At Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty, we believe it is so important to give back to our beautiful communities and to serve those who need it the most. While there are numerous worthy causes to support, below are just a few wonderful organizations that are near-and-dear to our hearts. 

Center for Safety and Change (formerly Rockland Family Shelter)


Photo: Center For Safety & Change via Facebook

Center for Safety and Change is a nonprofit community organization that serves victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other violent crimes in Rockland County. The organization works to end violence against women and their children through a variety of community programs and services.

Learn more and donate>>

Edward Hopper House


The Edward Hopper House is a non-profit organization located in Nyack. The home is the birthplace of the renowned American artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967). The mission is to celebrate Edward Hopper’s legacy by preserving his birthplace, while serving as a resource for scholars and artists and nurturing community engagement with the arts.​

In October 2016, Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and Edward Hopper House raised $21,300 for local arts education during a fundraising event. The monies raised went to the creation of Museum School Partnership programs for five local Hudson Valley public schools

Learn more and donate >>

New Story Charity

new story initials -51 (1)

Photo: New Story Charity

Having a safe place to call home should be a basic human right. That’s why the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand has partnered with New Story Charity to provide safe, life-changing homes for those in need. One of the best parts is 100 percent of donations will go to hiring local craftsmen, buying local materials and building a home in a new community that we’re helping create.

We are currently running our own company-sponsored campaign to raise funds to build homes for families in need. Will you join us?

Learn more and donate >>

Orange County NY Arts Council              


Photo: Orange County NY Arts Council

The Orange County Arts Council is a private, not-profit organization dedicated to meeting the growing need for local arts advocacy and serving as a countywide arts resource. The programs and services focus on creating, connecting and inspiring the local art community and the public.

Learn more and donate>>


Top Cultural Attractions in the Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley has long been a favorite for lovers of culture. If they are not drawing inspiration from it then they are celebrating it. If you’d like to join in, here are some of our suggestions for the top cultural activities to do this Spring and Summer.

Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center in Garnerville

Garnersville art center

A landmark, pre-Civil War factory complex, the Garnerville Arts & Industrial Center is a former textile mill that now houses light industry, wholesale distributors and artists and artisans. According to the site: “This mix of tenants has led to the development of a flourishing and vital industrial and arts community. The company has supported the influx of artists and artisans through the creation of artist studio spaces and the designation of two spaces as galleries for annual open studio/art expo weekends and other arts-related exhibits and events.”

Storm King Art Center in New Windsor

Storm King
Widely celebrated as one of the world’s leading sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center says it has “welcomed visitors from across the globe for more than fifty years.… its 500-acre landscape of fields, hills, and woodlands provides the setting for a collection of more than 100 carefully sited sculptures created by some of the most acclaimed artists of our time.” So make plans to enjoy a guided tour and lunch in the café.

Gillinder Glass in Port Jervis
Gillinder Glass

According to the Gillinder Glass Store, they are not just a store with unique, colorful and beautiful glass products, but also “the host of Monday to Friday guided factory tours of industrial and commercial glass lenses and domes, as well as special events featuring acclaimed guest artists using centuries-old techniques to blow one-of-a-kind glass creations; and it is the launching point to take the tour of the adjacent Gillinder Glass Factory-where a combination of historic procedures and modern technology blend to produce glass lenses and domes used throughout the world.”

Edward Hopper House in Nyack


We highly encourage a visit to Nyack’s very own Edward Hopper House, which is located right next door to our office. Since 1971, the Edward Hopper House has been a not-for-profit art center and museum, preserving the legacy and home of America’s most iconic artist.  If you stop in to visit and tour his birthplace, then be sure to pay us a visit, too!



Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty Helps New Story Create Safe, Sustainable Homes



Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty today announced it will partner with New Story, a non-profit organization that works to transform dangerous living environments into communities of safe, sustainable homes.

The firm will encourage its agent network to participate through donations on closings and provide exposure to New Story through its marketing efforts.

“New Story puts 100 percent of donations toward the creation of safe communities, building homes for $6,000 each and giving them to families in need to impact their lives for generations to come,” said Richard Ellis, owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty. “We are proud to do our part to assist them in their goal of changing lives.”

San Francisco-based New Story, a 501c3 non-profit, has been building safe homes and transforming slums into thriving communities since their start two years ago. In that time they have funded more than 750 homes in seven communities around the developing world.

“New Story has created an innovative and more transparent model than the traditional charitable giving experience,” said Brett Hagler, chief executive officer of New Story. “Every dollar given goes directly to building homes, and every donor receives a digital profile of the exact family they helped support. When the home is completed, they are delivered a move-in video to share in the excitement of this incredible effort. We hire local labor and buy domestic materials to boost the country’s economy, providing jobs and economic stability for the community.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand in March announced a partnership with New Story, helping the Guillaume family from Haiti with their donation. Anyone can make a donation to New Story by visiting the Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty dedicated donation page.



Pre-Sale Gardening and Landscaping Tips

Building off our recent blog on curb appeal, where we provided some basic tips for getting a home ready for sale, we’d like to offer some landscaping and gardening tips that can help enhance the outdoor beauty of your home, because gardens as they say are the stars of heaven.

According to HGTV, “Potential home buyers form their first impression of a home from its curb appeal. Yet often a home’s outdoor landscaping is overlooked, or underdone, in the preparation for the sales process. An attractive and well-maintained landscape can add as much as 10 percent to the value of your home. Ideally the time to get started cleaning up your yard is about a month before you plan on showing your house.” 

Add a splash of color.

You want your home to look perfectly composed and appealing so it presents well in person and in pictures. Colorful flowers can go a long way to achieving that goal.

HGTV recommends using seasonal colors, which make “the landscape pop as well, and flats of annuals are also relatively inexpensive. Go for a splash of several colors or a more monochromatic scheme, whatever fits in with the look of your home.”

While planting a flower garden in the Northeast United States can be challenging, there are many perennials that can thrive in our environment. Check out some recommendations here.

Seven Oaks

Seven Oaks is a great example of how to use colorful flowers to enhance a property.

Mulch matters.

A little mulch can go a long way. “Nothing spruces up a place like a new application of mulch, so apply a fresh layer in all your garden beds. The color enhances the contrast of the surrounding plants and makes everything pop. What’s more, mulch is relatively cheap and easy to apply,” HGTV suggests.

River Hill

Applying mulch offsets the rest of the lawn, as at River Hill.

Set the spotlight.

How your home presents at night can be a key selling point. Even if potential buyers don’t visit while it is dark, photos can give them a sense of the lifestyle offered so they can picture family gatherings in the summer or outdoor barbeques in the moonlight. Proper outdoor lighting is essential for this.

Houselogic says that outdoor lighting regularly tops the National Association of Home Builders’ “list of most wanted outdoor features in its annual ‘What Home Buyers Really Want’ survey: 41% rate it ‘essential;’ 49% say it’s ‘desirable.’”

n broadway

Have a great outdoor entertainment area like 617 North Broadway? Then make sure your outdoor lighting shines a light on it in the evening.

Keep it clean.

A home needs to be as neat outside as it is inside. After all, you need to pass through the front door before you can ever see the interiors. We recommend keeping gardens and shrubbery tidy and giving the home a good powerwashing, at a minimum.

“Regardless of the season, it’s a good idea to tackle any overlooked pruning chores because nothing says neglect like a bunch of dead branches….Consider buying or renting a power washer to clean paved surfaces. With very little time or effort, you can make grungy, grimy surfaces look brand-spanking new. Power washers also do a great job of cleaning fences, as well as brick and vinyl siding,” HGTV recommends.


6 Legends Boulevard showcases the power of neat and tidy landscaping.


Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and Edward Hopper House Create Museum School Partnership Programs

Nyack Arts Programs

Photo: Nyack Middle School | ms.nyackschools.org

Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and Edward Hopper House announced the creation of Museum School Partnership programs for five local Hudson Valley public schools with monies raised during a fundraiser held last year.

The $21,300 raised at the October 15, 2016 benefit ultimately created Partnership programs at five local schools: Lime Kiln Elementary in Suffern (Grade 5), Strawtown Elementary in Bardonia (Grade 5), Sleepy Hollow High School in Sleepy Hollow (Grades 9 to 12), Nyack Middle School in Nyack (Grade 8) and MacArthur Barr Middle School in Nanuet (Grade 7).

The program curriculum, which was delivered to nearly 500 students, included a pre-visit in the classroom, a trip to the Edward Hopper House with hands on workshops at Rockland Center for the Arts, a post-visit back in the classroom and instruction from a selected artist in residence. “Each lesson was derived from Edward Hopper, his home, his collection and the many aspects of his work that relate to the various subjects and units of study across the Kindergarten through Grade12 curriculum,” said Richard Ellis, owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty. “We are so happy to foster arts education in the Hudson Valley, which has long been a haven for artists.”

Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty and Edward Hopper House will host a 2017 fundraiser this fall. The program received rave reviews from the participating schools, “What an exciting opportunity to work with the Edward Hopper House and learn more about the painter in this creative, curriculum based partnership,” said Martha Ryan, principal of Strawtown Elementary.



8 Things to Know About the Lower Hudson Valley

…Only 45 minutes from TriBeCa


_DSC8220-300x1981  Extraordinary Lifestyle Properties



jolie 2  Hudson Valley – A Haven for Celebrity Real Estate



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Sean Scully

3  Life & Style in Rockland County



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Pierre Lorillard Estate

4  Three Extraordinary Communities


5  Haunted House: The Legend of 1 La Veta Place, Nyack


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6  Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty & Edward Hopper House

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7  Lower Hudson Valley Market Update



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StoneHouse8  History and the Hudson Valley



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…About Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty


Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty is located in the charming Hudson River village of Nyack approximately 22 miles from New York City. Our agents are passionate about listing and selling extraordinary properties in Rockland and Orange Counties, New York. Our presence is throughout the lower Hudson Valley.

76 North Broadway, Nyack, NY





Curb Appeal: Creating the Best First Impression


694 Oak Tree Road Palisades, New York

Today there is a great deal of focus on home staging to prepare for potential buyers. However, before those buyers can see a beautifully set home, they need to get past the front door.

If a home is not welcoming from the moment of arrival, sellers are at an automatic disadvantage. According to HGTV’s “10 Curb Appeal Tips From the Pros,” curb appeal can make or break a sale: “First impressions are everything – at least when it comes to selling your home. According to the National Association of Realtors, 63 percent of homebuyers will drop by after viewing a home they like online.”

Sellers should focus on a checklist of items to ensure they are creating a great first impression. “Give the front door and trim a fresh coat of paint,” said Richard Ellis owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty in Nyack, New York. “Then look at the walkway and consider planting hearty and in-season flowers to add color.”

Ellis also suggests investing in a powerwash of the exterior, cleaning both sides of the widows and painting the shutters. The gutters and garage should be cleaned and driveways in disrepair should be replaced or re-sealed.

For those considering repainting their home either for their own enjoyment or in advance of putting it on the market, choice of color is important. According to Homedit.com’s “The Best 10 Colors To Paint The Outside of Your House With,” brown is timeless while blue is known for its calming effect and a creamy white is better than a bright one.





Hickory Hill: A Special Place to Live

hickory-hill-coopNestled in the historic hamlet of Tappan, New York is a unique enclave called, Hickory Hill Cooperative. Built in 1950 by a group of 32 families, this development is steeped with American history.

Built on the philosophies of friendship and community, the founding residents were pioneers of the “cooperative” lifestyle. Innovative for their time, they created one of America’s earliest car pools as well as a babysitting exchange, shared garden equipment and a chain call system to communicate important announcements.

In 1956, American writer and feminist, Betty Friedan solidified Hickory Hill’s place in history when she wrote an article for the February issue of Redbook titled The Happy Families of Hickory Hill, which chronicled the lifestyle of the residents.


35 Hickory Hill Road, Tappan, New York



Today, the founding members’ cooperative values endure. Community amenities include a swimming pool, a kiddie pool, a tennis court, picnic grounds and playing fields, community garden and bocce court. Social events, which were core to the founders, continue today with potluck dinners, bonfires, barbeques and holiday caroling.

When residents purchase a home in Hickory Hill, they buy more than a piece of property—they are welcomed into a neighborhood that fosters friendship, community and the cooperative tradition. Hickory Hill is truly a special place to live.

Ready to move to Hickory Hill? Here’s a rare opportunity to join the community—35 Hickory Hill Road, Tappan, New York is currently on the market for $650,000.


2017: Setting the Stage for a Full Market Recovery

61 Woods Rd., Palisades, New York

61 Woods Rd. Palisades, New York

If 2016 is any indication, a bright future is in store for the lower Hudson Valley’s real estate market, particularly in Rockland and Orange Counties, where some see the beginnings of a full market recovery.

“2016 was another recent record-breaking year for unit sales, the financial market hit new highs and unemployment levels continue to recede,” said Richard Ellis, owner of Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty in Nyack, New York.  “We may finally be turning a corner, with a recovery market ahead of us.  And with that we may see home values start to appreciate.”

Ellis notes that real market appreciation has not been seen since 2008, and that various economic variables present in a fully recovered market are on the horizon now, including a strong dollar, low inventory of homes for sale, low interest rates, pent up buyer demand and growing financial markets.

“Like life itself, real estate goes in cycles,” he said.  “While these factors are part of our everyday life, buyer mindset is also important and may influence consumer confidence to purchase a home. Political division and international tensions may dampen enthusiasm to purchase. So there are no guarantees. However, last year we predicted 2016 would be much busier than 2015, and we were right. This year we predict much the same for Orange and Rockland Counties.”

122 Circuit Road, Tuxedo Park, New York

122 Circuit Road Tuxedo Park, New York

Ellis cautions that what happens in one local market doesn’t always happen in another.  He is observing that activity on the west bank of the Hudson River in Rockland and Orange Counties is stronger than on the east bank in Westchester and Putnam.

“Sellers and buyers need the professional advice of realtors who know the marketplace well, those that have the ability to market properties successfully and have the backing of a respectable and strong brand,” he explained. “It is good news for sellers that the financial market has responded favorably to the new political environment, regardless of which side of the fence you may be on. Buyers will still have opportunities and should consider purchasing now because of low inventory and possible price appreciation.”

Ellis explained that Lower Hudson Valley real estate sales are following a national trend, with more dollar volume sold in the United States in 2016 since 2006, in Rockland and Westchester since 2005 and in Orange since 2007.

The completion of the new Tappan Zee Bridge in 2018 is expected to drive more sales activity to the west bank of the Hudson River and stimulate new construction as well, particularly in Orange County. “More buyers will come searching for homes in Rockland who began their search in Westchester, particularly in the luxury segment of the market” said Ellis. “The new bridge will stimulate Rockland and Westchester rivertowns, as residents move more freely between counties. Quicker transportation options to New York City make the Hudson’s west side more appealing.”


Key Points for Today’s Sellers

When selling a property, a Realtor should work with the owner to consider the following key points to get the most accurate picture of where a property stands in today’s market, which will help determine market value.  Before hiring a Realtor, sellers should take the time to review the value of different real estate companies and brands.  “All real estate agents and brands are not alike” Ellis said. “Consider the follow checklist before putting your home on the market.”

  • Is the market increasing for units and dollar volume in the property’s location and for the county?
  • Ask if inventory and units for sale are increasing. Low inventory levels can put the spotlight on the smaller inventory for sale and sometimes drive prices up, resulting in bidding wars
  • What price points sell quicker? Are homes appreciating?
  • What is the expected days on market?  Ask for examples.
  • What time of year generally sells the fastest?
  • Who is your target market? Would international buyers be interested?
  • What happens if no one is looking at my home once it goes on the market?

For more, download our full market update here.