Active Rain

Active Rain Dear Home Seller: A Letter From Your Prospective Buyers ¬†[Note: This is a draft from 2015 but I thought it worth publishing. Some think a buyer’s letter to a seller is a smart move, others don’t. I think it has everything to do with what’s in that letter. This is an example of perhaps what not to write, borrowed slightly from one that was […]
Active Rain Father’s Day 2013: The Notebook While I am known as a guy who is never seen without a gizmo in my hand, I actually think better sketching my thoughts on a yellow legal pad. Typically, when meeting with people they’ll see my iPad, smart phone, and computer closely followed by that very old school pad and pen, and only then […]
Active Rain Why Your Market Report Stinks After a discussion of market reports in a real estate discussion group geared at forwarding the industry, I am prompted to revisit what makes a market report good or bad in terms of consumer response.  First, if what you produce gets no consumer response, you need to change what you write. If what you do […]
Active Rain The Day When When REO Agents Have To Work With The Rest of Us Again Those of you who know Paul Slaybaugh know what I am talking about. Those of you who don’t can thank me later. Paul is a writer of uncommon talent with a wit that I adore. He quasi graduated from Active Rain and now self hosts his own platform at Scottdale Property Shop, and his latest […]
Active Rain A Response to Glen Kelman of Redfin on “Dual Agent” Transactions If you read Inman News, it is likely that you have seen the story on Redfin’s blog entitled “Sellers Lose in Dual Agency.” Glen Kelman, CEO of Redfin, had his firm look at the data covering 230,000 closed deals and concluded that homes sold in what REDFIN deems to be dual agent transactions sold for […]
Active Rain Is the Apartment REALLY a 2 Bedroom? There is a sinking feeling real estate agents get when we look up the history of a co-op or condo apartment we are listing for sale and see that our new client bought it as a 2 bedroom unit and prior transactions have it as a one bedroom. Obviously, two bedroom apartments are higher in value […]
Active Rain 2012 Westchester Real Estate Market off to Slow Start in January Sometimes there is no pretty way to say it, so I’ll just say it: January 2012 was not a very good month in Westchester real estate. According to the Empire Access MLS, both the transaction total and median sale price of single family homes in the county were down from the same time in 2011. […]
Active Rain Jeremy Lin is Going to Need a New York Real Estate Agent For those of you not living in New York or who don’t follow NBA basketball, the toast of Gotham is Jeremy Lin, an unheralded, undrafted, and un-scholarshipped (is that a word?) point guard who just led the Knicks to their 4th straight win over the Lakers. He scored 38 points to pace the Knickerbockers, playing […]
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Active Rain How Much Will You Cut Your Commission If I Find a Buyer? Every so often I get a call from a home seller asking me a variation of this question: What will the commission be if I find my own buyer? It could be a seller client or someone considering listing their home with my company. Typically, the discussion that follows reveals that the questioner either wants […]
Active Rain Pigs Only Understand Slop This past December I established a zero tolerance policy for uncooperative mortgage loan officers. In the past 24 hours I have faced the same issue. One of my agents is representing buyers in a particularly difficult purchase. The buyer clients were telling her things that she need clarity on, and over a week ago she […]
Active Rain Pleasantville, NY Voted 2nd Best Smelling City in the Galaxy I have often said that nearby Pleasantville is aptly named. It borders Briarcliff Manor to the east and is idyllic: a picturesque, charming little village on the Harlem line of Metro North with shops, eateries, and culture. The latest feather in the village’s cap is that GQ magazine voted it the second best smelling city […]
Active Rain Wordless Wednesday: Victorian Home, Peekskill, NY    
Active Rain How the Chappaqua Condo Market Demonstrates That All Real Estate is Local For the third time in the past 4 weeks, I have been contacted by a buyer who chose to call me directly instead of having their agent call me because their offer was not accepted. In each case, I have told the agent-and the buyer when they called- that I’d be happy to know what […]
Active Rain Yuck it Up, Foreclosure Lawyers. Yuck it Up. New York State has something known as settlement conferences for homeowners facing foreclosure. It is a good law. Distressed borrowers can go to the courthouse and meet with lawyers of their lender face to face in front of a judge or court appointed referee. The referee is there to make sure that the bank is […]
Active Rain On ARG’s Announcement to Pull Their Listings from Syndication Inman news is reporting a Youtube announcement from ARG (Abbott Realty Group) that they are not  permitting their listings to be viewed on 3rd party syndicators such as Zillow, Trulia and even The link is already behind Inman‘s paywall so I have embedded the video below. This comes in the wake of a similar […]
Active Rain How the “Buyer’s Market” Mentality is Hurting Buyers I have written before on what a buyer’s market is and what a buyer’s market isn’t. Westchester County and our surroundings are a sought after destination; even if a home has been on the market for a year, once the price is right it will sell. I wish I could impress this upon a few […]
Active Rain Obama Housing Fix: Live in Your Car I’m seldom political-I’m a capitalist, not a ideologue- and while I like President Obama, I have to say that I am incredibly disappointed by the State of the Union speech this evening for one good reason: he barely touched on housing or what he’d do to fix the industry. It is among our biggest problems […]
Active Rain Why We Remain an Independent Brokerage Let me preface my words clearly that I have no beef with franchises and treasure my many colleagues at other firms, large, small, independent and corporate. Everyone should hitch their trailer to the train that they feel best about.  My choice is that of an independent broker with no franchise or corporate affiliations because that […]
Active Rain What the Meaning of “As Is” Is in Real Estate With apologies to Bill Clinton.  My firm sells a wide range of properties: upscale 7 figure estates right over to a $7500 trailer. Among our niches is the area broadly described as the distressed property market. This could vary from short sales to bank owned foreclosures to property that is owned free and clear but […]
Active Rain I Hope I Blow it 100 Times More This Year! Tonight was the installation party for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. Executives and directors of both HGAR and the Empire Access MLS (EAMLS) were sworn in for 2012, along with drinks, dinner and dancing. This will be my 3rd term as MLS Vice president, and it doubled as date night for me and Ann.  […]