Monday, October 18, 2010

Going over things with a new coop buyer

It still amazes me that often buyers, even those who have worked with other brokers, come to me, with so little knowledge of buying a coop. It is not that complicated but buyers need to know certain things in order to go forward, for example that most coops want to see liquid assets after closing. I recently have had potential buyers with no knowledge of this information, that did not figure this into their costs for buying.

I have written a number of times before how I like working with new buyers. It is usually very fulfilling as a broker and I am glad to be able to explain the process thoroughly so the buyer knows how it works each step of the way. Again, buying in New York City is different than most other places and a buyer of a property, in particular a coop apartment needs to know the process so there is not much confusion as the deal progresses. There are enough stops and starts that it is helpful for the buyer to be as aware as possible of the usual steps in the process, so it is as easy experience as possible for the buyer.

Enjoy the fall weather-I love it!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Working with new first time buyers

After renting and selling real estate for about 10 years, I still enjoy working with first time buyers. The wife of a couple walked into my office with a moderate price range and I took she and her husband out this morning. We saw five apartments, three at the edge of Sunset Park, one in the South Slope in a high numbered street, and one on the border between Kensington, Ditmas and Prospect Lefferts. As usual, the apartments closer to Prospect Park, and Park Slope were less spacious. There are always trade-offs, space vs. location, subway travel time vs. space.

This very nice couple were working with a non-REBNY broker who had access to fewer listings. I am hopeful I can find them a good place to call home.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Not always knowing

I closed on a house this week in Bay Ridge, a beautiful property with a lovely front porch and deep back yard. I think the buyers will really enjoy living in this house as did the seller's family for about 55 years.

In the buying process, a number of buyers bid up to a certain amount, saying the house would never appraise for more that amount. These buyers insisted they knew this for sure. When I said I had comparable sales to support a higher price, they were dismissive.

I sold the house for over $70,000 above the price point the buyers insisted it would not appraise. And the house appraised. I am not always right but I knew the house had more value than these buyers insisted.

Realtors are not always correct. But those of us who have been in the business for a while, do have a great deal of expertise. And our opinions should be considered seriously. Sure, I am in the business of selling property. But we all live in an age of lots of information, thanks mostly to the internet. The information is there to consider when buying or selling.

In the end the right buyers bought the house. But I wanted to note this difference in opinion, and outcome of the sale.

Have a great weekend and stay cool!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Treating a buyer with respect

Yesterday I had a significant conversation with a buyer about a previous transaction he was part of. The bottom line was, the listing agent did not treat him with respect. Phone calls and e-mails went unanswered. He was forced to contact the sales manager of the office to get a response.

As a broker who is lucky to have a variety of listings, and whose job it is to represent the seller, it is good business to treat buyers with courtesy and openness and respect. Even if we represent the seller, we still have legal responsibilities toward the buyer.

I was disturbed to hear this story yesterday and no one is perfect. But even if a broker represents the seller, he or she still has legal and ethical responsibilities to the buyer. Each transaction involves a buyer and a seller, and both parties are crucial to that transaction. Again, it is good business and our responsibility to be responsive to both parties in the transaction.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Why it's a great time to buy

The market is New York City is much stronger and Brooklyn remains a great place to buy and live. Interest rates are very low and as the weather has gotten warmer, there are more properties to choose from. Of course, I am happy to help buyers find the apartment or house of their dreams.

Feel free to browse through my listings and of course as a REBNY broker, I can show you a wide variety of possibilites. E-mail me or call me when have a moment. And let's start looking!

Friday, May 7, 2010


My colleague Joshua Liles and I closed on an apartment on Monday in the South Slope. I sold it to the owners as new construction and they had enjoyed living there. It was a beautiful two bedroom, two bath apartment, with very high ceilings and lots of nice touches-recessed lighting, handsome molding, a well-designed kitchen and I could go on. As their son was getting older, it was time for more space, nearer to parental child care.

I put in on the market in 2008 when I first joined Elliman. I had two offers which disappeared somewhat quickly and then had problems selling it. The sellers took it off the market and gave it to another broker. He could not sell it either.

Luckily the sellers came back to me when they wanted to sell. Josh and I worked on this together, priced the apartment competitively, and found excellent buyers through a co-broke situation and closed at a price which worked well for the buyers and the sellers.

There is a buyer for every property. Proper marketing and pricing does the trick. As the Brooklyn and New York market recovers, more deals are being made every day. Work with a seasoned and reliable broker with a REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) firm who co-brokes with other brokers. Have a great weekend!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Buying and Anxiety

A rather accomplished gym friend of mine and I were on the elliptical machines at the same time when he told me of his nervousness about buying an investment property near his current residence. I am not representing him as a buyer as he started this process before we really got to know each other better. He is a smart, capable guy, who has lived with a chronic disease most of his life very successfully. He also is very successful at his work.

However he confessed how anxious his is about his purchase, even though he bought it for an excellent price and the property will generate enough income to pay his expenses.

I remember when I worked at my old firm, I answered the phone one morning when I was the only one is the office. A distressed gentleman called and asked if anything was wrong was him as he was having sleepless nights. He told me he was purchasing an apartment closer to work in Upper Manhattan and selling his apartment through our firm. I responded that buying (and selling) real estate in New York City, can be very anxiety producing. I have written about this before, but I want to emphasize that it is a more complicated process here and cause for much anxiety. I calmed the buyer-seller somewhat and ended up selling his apartment to one of my buyers.

I think it is important to work with a good team of professionals: broker, mortgage broker or banker and lawyer-all these people can ease some of your fears. The other important thing to remember is that you are dealing with property. Though your home is an important part of your life, and important to your well-being, anxiety is never helpful and none of the issues that surface are life-threatening. It is important to keep a perspective about the process and your life. It is all part of the journey.

For first-time buyers, the process can be particularly daunting. Again, it is important that a first time buyer, in particular work with professionals he or she can communicate well with, feel confident about. As always, feel free to contact me for any advice or counsel, or to suggest professionals to work with.