Real Estate Tips

Home Improvement  Why Homeowners Should Keep Their Agent on Speed Dial I get an apologetic phone call from clients now and then, and I think its kind of sweet. They don’t want to transact but have a question they know I can answer, and feel like they are imposing. Post sale service is a legitimate thing to me, and I always tell them that their call […]
Buying Square Footage Decades ago when I was tending bar, we always knew to avoid any discussion of politics or religion because it was a powder keg. In real estate, that would also include any discussion involving Zillow, dual agency, and square footage. Ah…square footage. Where do I start? Broadly stated, residential square footage typically includes finished living […]
Buying Smart Agents Will Excel at Assumable Mortgages If I were asked by a seller what separates me from other agents to get them the best price for their home, I’d answer their question with a question of my own. What type of mortgage do you have on the house now? If the answer were an FHA, VA, or USDA mortgage, I’d then […]
Buying What Buyers Must Know About Buying a Foreclosure in Westchester County Ever since I got in to real estate in the 90s, the public has had a bit of a preoccupation with buying foreclosures. The perception that a bank owned property is a bargain is hard to argue with, but it’s not always a simple or straightforward process. Having specialized in distressed properties for decades, I’ll […]
Real Estate Tips Price Changes Are No Longer Guesswork When I was first licensed in the 1990s, if a house didn’t sell for a period of time like 30 or 60 days, we would often reduce the price. Sometimes it was because we had too few showings, or because the showings we had didn’t yield any offers. On occasion, some home sellers would voice […]
Commentary The Pre Approval Shell Game Years ago, I was the listing agent on a property where an offer came in significantly below asking price. The pre approval accompanying the offer was for the exact amount offered, tens of thousands of dollars below asking. My client asked why, if they were only approved for $450,000, that they’d even look at a […]
Buying The Millionth Article Advising You to Get Pre-approved Before Visiting Homes for Sale You’ve read it before, unless you just learned to read (in which case house hunting is a long way off for you), on financial platforms, blogs, real estate websites, magazines, newspapers, and maybe even ancient hieroglyphs: get pre approved before you start looking at homes. This is what you’ve never read from any credible source: […]
Commentary People Don’t Just Walk Into Real Estate Offices Anymore We have three offices that are storefront-type locations: sidewalks, ground level, pedestrian-friendly, coffee brewing, friendly staff on hand, and everything you might expect of a retail setup. If someone were to walk in off the street to engage us, we’d be ready. There is a reception area, a board table, Internet access, and, sometimes, doughnuts. Doughnuts […]
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For Agents What Does a “For Sale by Owner” Want? This past Tuesday I was wrapping up a team meeting with 5 agents. The question came up on how to list “For Sale by Owner” properties. Before I continue, let me state that it’s fairly established that most “FSBOs” eventually list with a broker. There is a learning curve to the process, and these home […]
Real Estate Tips Preparing a Home to Sell: 2014 Westchester Spring Real Estate Market “De-cluttering” is so 2008.  As I advise new clients listing their homes on the market to sell this spring, I am surprised to see how their jaws drop when I start the pre-sale preparations not with tidying up, curb appeal or repairs, but with fighting the battle online.  Here’s what I mean: Before the 2014 consumer visits […]
Real Estate Tips Ditch the Creepy Stuff When Selling Your Home True story: about 2 years ago, while looking at homes in Lower Westchester, my clients and I entered a place that must have had a collection of 200 vases on the shelves of the living room. While over the top, we considered it benign until we walked into the home office upstairs and a coffee […]
Real Estate Tips Get Your Westchester Home Inspected Before Listing it For Sale One of the more stressful parts of the home sale process is the part where the seller and their agent “sweat it out” while the buyer completes their home inspection prior to contract signing. Often, this yields to a the buyer’s revisiting their “meeting of the minds” price and ask for a reduction in price […]
Commentary Regarding Agents Returning From Hibernation We recieved two voicemails from an agent who had called to show one of our listings. They were so over the top nasty that my Queens-native wife and I looked at each other stunned that a licensee would leave a permanent record of such hostility. I recorded the messages and sent them as an attachment […]
Real Estate Tips Offering a Credit is Inferior to a Price Reduction The market in Westchester County is very price sensitive; with a median price above $500,000, that is understandable. The stakes are high, and goofs cost dearly. In some markets, a cash poor buyer may be attracted by a seller incentive of sorts, such as a small credit for closing costs or repairs. However, there is […]