“A perfect day on Long Island,” says Lisa Miglino, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with Signature Premier Properties, “would be waking up early, having my coffee outside, then taking a ride out East, maybe to the wineries, having lunch somewhere on the water, going for a walk on the beach, then maybe some shopping—I can shop anywhere. Then, when the sun starts to set, finding another place on the way home on the water for cocktails and dinner, preferably with a band…nice!
Along with the magic of Montauk (more on that later), Miglino discusses dream listings and the power of natural light, shares tips for home buyers and sellers, reveals the craziest real estate question she’s ever been asked and more.
How do you define the concept of home?
I define the concept of a “home” as warm, comfortable, but a place you’re proud to call your own!
Describe your dream listing.
My dream listing is a place I’d love to live. Every listing is special in their own way, there’s a perfect home for everyone, but my true dream listing, the place I’d love for myself but couldn’t buy myself…sigh…. A house on the beach, with windows from the ceiling to the floor, with the best sunsets, open floor plan to entertain, high ceilings, a gorgeous master with a walkiin closet and a master bath. The kitchen would have a huge island facing the windows, there would be a fireplace that’s gas—no mess—in the living room and master, too! This would, of course, sell so fast, with multiple offers, that I wouldn’t even get to enjoy that view as much as I’d like!
What do you love most about your career in real estate?
There’s so many things, really. I sincerely love helping people get top $ for their homes and finding families their dream homes. To see someone so happy at the closing, the final walk-through…telling them their offer was accepted—it still makes me so happy and proud. ˆt’s definitely not as easy as it looks. The money is nice, but truly, that is what makes it the best job! I love the flexibility I have, I love working 24/7! Ha! Sometimes it does feel that way!
What aspect of home decor do you feel people overlook or don’t take advantage of?
Natural light! I go to so many homes, and I have to tell most people that when someone comes to look at the house, open the blinds! No one wants to see a dark house. It’s such an easy fix and no one thinks to do it. Makes me crazy. Turn on all the lights, open the curtains. Light and bright!
What is one thing your oldest friend would be surprised to learn about you?
That after all this time, I haven’t grown thick skin. I take every single listing, buyer, other agent’s feelings and words to heart.
What’s the craziest question you’ve ever been asked about real estate?
The craziest question I’ve ever been asked about real estate…hmmm, I wish I could remember more, but this happened recently. A person who’s losing their home to foreclosure, hasn’t paid their mortgage in years, asked me to find them a buyer but to continue to let them rent from the buyer—then in a year or two, they want to buy it back. Ummmm, why would anyone do that?
What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
The most spontaneous thing I’ve ever done is agreed to move to a place in Florida that I’ve never even visited!
What is one skill or talent you wish you had?
I wish I didn’t have to write every single thing down. My brain is everywhere. So I wish my memory was better, for sure! I also wish I played an instrument or could sing or something, too! I keep threatening to take drum lessons!
What is the biggest mistake most first-time home buyers make along the way toward finding a first home?
The biggest mistake most first-time home buyers make along the way toward finding a first home is not calling a lender first and getting a pre-approval, finding out what they can afford before looking for houses. You need to know what realistic price range to look at first. Then, don’t be swayed by paint and carpet—those things are easy fixes!
With so much information available online, what are some of the dangers/mistakes people make when using the internet in their home-buying or home-selling journey, and what are the advantages of working with a professional that the internet cannot provide?
Thinking they don’t need an agent, that it’s easy. An agent will get professional pictures, price it correctly, not just use the Zestimates that are so rarely accurate, and really market the property to get the highest net in the seller’s pocket. Buyers need someone who know how to negotiate, what to look for, someone to represent them and refer them to other professionals on their “team” to help the process run smoothly after the accepted offer. That’s really only the beginning—inspectors, attorneys all matter too.
What three words best describe your personal self?
Diligent, responsive, determined.
Where do you find inspiration, personally and professionally?
Professionally is my co-workers, some of the big-shot guru’s out there. I love watching Brad Lea, I love looking at Pinterest for design ideas for my clients and myself. If I see something I like in one house that I notice everyone loves, I am sure to share it with someone else who can benefit.
What are the three most important questions you can ask a prospective client who is looking to buy a home? How about selling a home?
The three most important questions to ask a prospective client who is looking to buy is: 1. Do you have a pre-approval? 2. Where would you like to go and do you have to sell a property first? 3. How many bedrooms/baths do you need?
Questions to ask a seller: 1. Where are you going? 2. What’s your timeframe? 3. Are you okay if I look around and tell you what to do to make the home look the best it can be?
What is your favorite room in your home and why?
My favorite room in my home is my living room. I recently painted my fireplace black, got new floors, and my contractor surprised me with gorgeous moldings I hadn’t seen. My house isn’t big but it’s sooo very different from when I bought it—slowly but surely making it beautiful and mine.
What is your favorite Long Island getaway?
Montauk. The hotels are right on the beach, hearing the waves when you to go to sleep, and have my coffee in the morning on the deck right on the beach—well, nothing beats that! There’s also great restaurants, some really cute shops, plenty of night life, too!
What is the motto you try to live by?
To keep doing the right thing, even if nobody else is. I just keep plugging, I’m not trying to hurt anyone with huge commission splits, I want my buyers/sellers to be so happy with my service that they refer me to everyone they know who’s buying or selling.