Showing posts with label buyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buyer. Show all posts

Mar 11, 2017

NYC Buyers and Sellers Beware!

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I started this blog in 2006 and have been publishing it for more than 10 years. While the industry has undergone changes the "more it changes the more it stays the same" only different names and players.

In an early blog post back in July of 2006, (July 2006- creating-my-blog.htmlI told readers my blog's mission. I wanted to create a transparent blog about buying and selling Real Estate in Manhattan because the New York City housing market is so unique. Buying and selling a home in NYC is very different and more complex than any place else in the country. Generic real estate information was proliferating online that was not relevant to NYC housing.

Cooperative apartment ownership is the primary form of home ownership in New York City.
Co-op ownership requires submitting a comprehensive Board application (called a Board Package), being interviewed by the Board, and being approved. Helping a buyer pass a coop board is an important skill needed by the agent. A skill developed from training, experience and knowledge of a particular building.

At the time I started this blog in 2006 there was a cottage industry emerging of companies called "lead generatorsthird party lead generator sites and traffic aggregators from out of state. Some had actual broker's licenses and received referral fees but many were masquerading as Manhattan real estate brokers on the Internet through paid search and keywords sending consumers to their anonymous landing pages that captured their information that they forwarded to agents that paid for the leads. 

Consumers eventually caught on to the "Lead Capture" scheme and most decided they preferred to search listings anonymously without having to give up their personal contact information knowing they would be solicited by all those that paid to capture their information. 

After the lead generators, came the portals such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and the independent NYC website StreetEasy that provided transparent NYC property listings.

Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com were not able to penetrate the complex NYC real estate market as they so easily did in markets in the rest of the country. So Zillow paid $50 million for StreetEasy after it bought Trulia in order to break into the unique NYC real estate market, the largest and peculiarly complex often puzzling to outsiders.

Zillow Group, a Seattle Washington based publicly traded company made many changes to the transparent NYC StreetEasy particularly aggressive monetization. As a media company rather than a licensed broker involved in a real estate transaction their revenue is generated by advertising. 

They don't sell "leads" they sell "impressions" Their business model is their business and should not concern you the consumer unless you are seeking transparency rather than confusion

Consumers beware! You are their commodity. Broker's listings are their content. They want your information so they can give your contact information to brokers and agents that bought zip codes that capture buyers looking for listings in a given zip code. 

Beware when searching for a listing. The so-called "agent expert" "for information" may not be an expert at all. They purchased the right to your contact information buy purchasing "impressions" for a particular zip code.

New media companies blur the distinction between advertising and editorial content. Newspapers must run a disclaimer "Advertising" when the distinction is blurred and may confuse. It's called an advertorial. The editorial content on these websites is not provided by journalists such as the articles written in the New York Times real estate section but rather by the brokers who are hired by sellers to exclusively list and market their property. The broker's listings have been "monetized" by these "aggregator" websites. The listing agent information is either eliminated or very difficult to find so they can send traffic for that listing to their paid "premier agent" instead. 

If you are a buyer looking for a property in a particular zip code you may be sent to either the agent who purchased that zip code "impression" or someone at the website. You may get an agent in Ohio even though you're looking for a coop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The agent in Ohio that purchased a NYC zip code will try to sell or receive a referral fee for your contact info to another more local agent. The local agent may or may not have ever sold anything on the Upper West Side. 

The property you're interested in may already have an accepted offer, it may be gone by the time all the third party payees get back to you. Don't worry they will try to sell you something else since they have no particular knowledge, interest or relation with the seller of the property you may be interested in. 

"Too many cooks spoil the broth"

Before you click for information make sure you know who you want to contact. If you want to go directly to the source contact Listing Agent or Seller's Agent or just visit the scheduled open house. Unless the building prohibits open houses Sunday open houses are still the best way to go in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you want buyer representation you should find a good buyer's agent to represent you. In NY state you are entitled to your own representation. The NY state disclosure form will help you make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and it's agents. 

You should do some research in order to find and work with a good buyer's agent. An experienced knowledgeable agent with specific neighborhood and building experience. There are many good agents in NYC that are REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) members that can represent you that don't advertise or purchase "impressions" on other broker's listings in order to find buyers. *

"The more things change...the more they stay the same. Just different players.
 Here is an article I wrote back in 2006 about rental listings on Craigslist.

 Craiglist - No broker fee and bait and switch Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist left a comment: 

Hey, please help me out and quote me right.
 I've pointed out that I've been working on this for a few years, and have handled thousands of cases.
 I've kicked off many unethical agents, have handled a few such cases already.
Okay?
Craig 
Since all real estate is local, I started this blog to give a local perspective of the Manhattan real estate market. If you would like to discuss this post, the market in general or anything about New York City real estate please reach out to meI'm always happy to talk to people at any stage of the Real Estate process and can discuss the opportunities in each neighborhood, price point, room count and type of ownership.


6. Advertisements referencing property not listed with broker. Any advertisement that references or includes information about a property that is not listed with the advertising broker or was not sold by the advertising broker shall prominently display the following disclaimer: “This advertisement does not suggest that the broker has a listing or has done a transaction in this property or properties.” Such advertisement: (i) shall not, absent consent provided pursuant to subdivision (b)(2)(b) of this section, suggest, directly or indirectly that the advertising broker was involved in the transaction and (ii) shall not refer to property currently listed with another broker. 

Legal Disclaimer: Mitchell Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York is author of this article. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group


Nov 2, 2009

Loan Limit and Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended

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The House and Senate approved a continuing resolution including a provision to extend current FHA loan limits through next year.

The Senate announced they have agreed to an extension of the $8000 first-time home buyer tax credit through April 30, 2010. The tax credit was set to expire November 30, 2010.

The provision would keep in place current conforming loan limits of $625,000 ($729,750 in Manhattan and designated high-cost areas). Without approval from the Senate, those limits will expire December 31.

Jan 8, 2009

Sellers' Beware! It's A Buyer's Market

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For the past decade sellers had the power in the NYC real estate market. No longer can sellers dictate every aspect of the transaction. No financing contingencies, shopping around offers, listing brokers double ending deals are no longer the norm.

Currently buyers have the upper hand. Buyers are putting in low offers and they are getting countered. Developers are offering incentives and are marketing value rather than luxury.

Buyers are putting in multiple bids on several properties just as sellers were accustomed to receiving multiple bids and playing buyers against each other.

It won't last for ever as real estate goes in cycles. It is however the best buying opportunity since the early 90's. I remember the last buyer's market well since I bought a new apartment in 1989 right before the market turned.

For buyers that have been looking for a long time but have been trigger shy now is the opportunity to finally get that lower price with favorable terms - but please be realistic. Pay attention to comps. Know what you're asking for and what you're getting.

For sellers motivation is key. Your apartment has a lot of competition. Make it stand out from the crowd. Be flexible and consider all reasonable offers.

Buyers: Click here to receive current Manhattan listings.

Sellers: Click here to find out how much your apartment is worth in today's market.

Aug 18, 2008

It is Best to Buy and Sell in the Same Market

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This is a repost from August, 18, 2006. I wrote it exactly two years ago from today and I think it is just as appropriate in today's market.
The best time to buy and sell real estate is when you need to!'BULL'
In real estate it is very difficult to time the market. Markets go in cycles there are tops and bottoms. Bottoms are usually created by pessimism and negativity. Tops are created by “irrational exuberance"
To quote Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money “Bears make money – Bulls make money but Pigs get slaughtered." The Fed created the boom in housing by lowering interest rates then they ended it by raising interest rates to take “the froth” out of the housing market. Maybe they will change their mind again.
When everyone is bearish based on sentiment rather than the facts, that is an indication not to listen to everyone and a great strategy would be to BUY! When everyone is bullish and buying in a frenzy that is an indication to SELL! However, the only real reason to Buy or Sell real estate is when you need to or want to not because of the market.
Real estate is local. The local economy effects the market. No matter what the market condition it still makes sense to Buy and Sell in the same market.
If you Buy and Sell in a sellers market, you sold high and bought high it equals out. If you Buy and Sell in a buyers market, you might get less for your home than your neighbor who sold a year ago but you will get your new home for less than If you bought it last year.
If you are selling a $700,000 home and the market is down 10% you will lose $70,000. If you are upgrading to a $1,000,000 home you will save $100,000.
It all equals out. Over the long haul real estate is not only a great investment but a wonderful place to live and enjoy.

May 9, 2007

1997 Tax Reform - Great for Real Estate!

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The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 - signed into law by President Bill Clinton together with the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 is probably the most significant change in recent times affecting real estate. This law made some major improvements for Home Sellers, Property Owners and First Time Home Buyers. It simplified taxes for 99% of Homes sold in the U.S.

Since 1997 Home sellers are eligible to exclude up to $250,000 if single or up to $500,000 if married, of the capital gain on the sale of the residence. In order to be able to claim the entire exclusion, the home seller must have owned and resided in his home for at least two years of the last five years prior to the sale of the residence. If eligible for the inclusion, it may be claimed once every two years.
If the home was sold because of a change in employment, health, or other unforeseen circumstance, the home seller may be eligible to claim a partial exclusion of capital gains even if he or she didn't live in the home for a total of two years of the last five before the sale. The portion of the partial exclusion is calculated based on how long the seller lived in and owned the home. The exclusion relates to the gain only, not the gross sale price. Broker's commission is deducted from the gross sale price as is capital improvements and closing costs.
Prior to the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 the tax law allowed rollover that required reinvestment in a home of greater or equal value. The previous law also allowed a one-time capital gain exclusion of $125,000 for taxpayers over age 55 who sold their homes.
This tax reform enabled many to keep much of their wealth that they accumulated from the sale of their homes.
The 1997 tax reform law also allows early withdrawals from Ira's without penalties of up to $10,000 for First Time Home buyers. The law defines first time home buyers as any one who has not owned a home for the past two years. The cap gain tax was also lowered from maximum 28% to maximum 20%.
The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 has helped many sellers. Many who did not have to wait until age 55 to get an exclusion and helped fuel the hot real estate market these past 10 years.
This same 1997 Tax Reform law also helped to revitalize distressed urban areas by creating empowerment zones. The creation of urban empowerment zones to promote business development.
All one has to do is walk through Harlem today and it is quite evident that this once distressed part of Manhattan is revitalized. New condos are everywhere. Shells of Brownstones have been converted to new condo Townhouses. Major banks, retail chains, real estate brokerages and hotels have opened and are opening on 125th Street and throughout Harlem. Bill Clinton currently has his office in Harlem.
The City of New York offers many programs to encourage home ownership several of the programs are for first time buyers. Many New Yorkers want to buy a home but don't have enough money saved for their down payment and closing costs.
As part of Mayor Bloomberg's "New Housing Marketplace Plan," the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) created the HomeFirst Down Payment Assistance program. It provides qualified homebuyers with the greater of 6% of a home's purchase price or $10,000 toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs of New York City.

May 1, 2007

10 Tips To Help a Buyer Pass The Board Interview.

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Being invited to the interview is a good sign. The interview is the board's opportunity to meet you and ask specific questions about your application. The style of the interview can range from an informal gathering of board members in an apartment to a formal interview with board members lined up at a table with you in the hot seat.
  1. Dress-up and be prompt. In terms of dress and promptness, see tip 6 below, a board interview should be treated no differently than a professional job interview. Dress conservatively. A building in Greenwich Village will be more casual than the Upper East side.
  2. Prepare for a lack of privacy. The board has great latitude in the kinds of questions it can ask, be prepared for this and do not avoid answers to personal questions, or be angered by this intrusion.
  3. Know your Application. You should be able to quickly and concisely answer any questions asked regarding your application, preferably without having to look at your application. However, if necessary, bring a copy along.
  4. Couples should decide in advance who would answer what types of questions. For example, you may agree to answer all financial questions and your spouse will answer all other questions. Avoid discussing answers to questions with your spouse in front of the board.
  5. Unlike a job interview, do not try to sell yourself. Only answer questions asked and let the board run the show. Boards rarely turn down applicants for being too boring.
  6. Never volunteer information or engage in unsolicited conversations except for basic cordial remarks and greetings.
  7. Do Not ask Questions! Questions can often unintentionnally convey negative information to the board. For Example: "Do you have any plans to renovate the lobby?" This kind of seemingly innocent question likely to offend the board member who was in charge of the last lobby renovation. If you have additional questions you can direct them to your real estate broker.
  8. Minimize discussion of renovation. Most boards will cooperate with a shareholder but may be reluctant to approve a prospective purchaser if they think their renovations will be too disruptive, noisy or too costly.
  9. A short interview is better than a long one. While there are no hard and fast rules a short cordial interview with a few board questions and remarks is often the best co-op board interview. Do not expect an answer at the end of the meeting. Most boards do not give their decision until a day or two after the meeting.

Feb 12, 2007

New York State Disclosure Law: Raising the Bar

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It's been over a month since the new New York State agency disclosure law. The new law clearly defines the relationship between broker buyer and seller. The new disclosure form is required for 1-4 family houses.

The form is not required for coop and condo apartments, but the relationship between the broker and consumer must be disclosed. While it is not required, I have been using it. Savvy buyers are asking who I represent.

While I've been working with buyers since I started my real estate career, technically I wasn't a buyer's agent unless the buyer signed a buyer's agreement. Now I am a buyer's agent by simply disclosing my fiduciary duty to the buyer. I am all for transparency and this is another positive step in educating the consumer about the real estate purchase process.

I have always worked hard for buyers, developed relationships, negotiated on their behalf, furnished them with comps, strategized bidding, prepared board packages, helped secure financing and many of the responsibilities of a buyer's broker but under state law I represented the seller.

REBNY the real estate board of New York has rules that many brokers follow. If REBNY members bring a buyer to another broker's listing they therefore represent the buyer. This rule contradicted the prior state law, now the REBNY rule is acknowledged by the state as long as the broker discusses their relationship with the buyer.

Many agents in Manhattan seem confused by the new disclosure. Manhattan real estate has always been an anomaly. Practices were accepted because that's how they've always been done. Many agents think a buyer's agent has to be an exclusive buyer's agent or the buyer has to pay the commission or there needs to be a contract in order to be a buyer's agent

When working with buyers I am a buyer's broker with my fiduciary to the buyer unless it is my own exclusive listing or my broker's exclusive listing then my fiduciary is to the seller or a dual agency.

Below is description from Department of State and links for forms:

New Agency Disclosure Requirements for New York State:
Prior to the revisions to Section 443 of the Real Property Law, only one agency relationship disclosure form was required for buyer/seller and landlord/tenant transactions. The combined form used the terms "seller/landlord" and"buyer/tenant" interchangeably. On and after January 1, 2007, the combined form will no longer be permitted and, rather, two separate disclosure forms will be required; one for seller/buyer transactions and another for landlord/tenant transactions. The two forms provide expanded, clearer definitions of the different agency relationships and explain the fiduciary duties owed by brokers and salespeople under each type of agency relationship.

The revised statute also defines dual agency. While the concept of dual agency is not new, Real Property Law, Section 443 now provides a clear definition of this type of agency relationship. A dual agent is defined by the revised statute as, "an agent who is acting as a buyer's agent and a seller's agent in the same transaction."

The revised statute also adds a definition for "designated sales associate." A designated sales associate is defined by the statute as: " a licensed real estate salesman or associate broker, working under the supervision of a real estate broker, who has been assigned to represent a client when a different client is also represented by such real estate broker in the same transaction."

Essentially, a broker who is acting as a dual agent will be permitted to appoint two different real estate salespersons and/or associate brokers to represent each party to the transaction. The representative broker is still required to provide supervision to the designated sales associates. For this reason, and as in a pure dual agency situation, when designated sales associates are appointed, the consumers are not afforded all of the fiduciary duties inherent in a single agency arrangement. Specifically, the designated sales associate and representative broker cannot provide the fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty. The new agency disclosure form contains a disclaimer to this fact.

The link to these two disclosure forms is at http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/realest.html#disclosure. In accordance with statute, each is required to be printed on a one page, two-sided form.

Aug 18, 2006

It is Best to Buy and Sell in the Same Market

0 comments
The best time to buy and sell real estate is when you need to!'BULL'
In real estate it is very difficult to time the market. Markets go in cycles there are tops and bottoms. Bottoms are usually created by pessimism and negativity. Tops are created by “irrational exuberance"
To quote Jim Cramer on CNBC's Mad Money “Bears make money – Bulls make money but Pigs get slaughtered." The Fed created the boom in housing by lowering interest rates then they ended it by raising interest rates to take “the froth” out of the housing market. Maybe they will change their mind again.
When everyone is bearish based on sentiment rather than the facts, that is an indication not to listen to everyone and a great strategy would be to BUY! When everyone is bullish and buying in a frenzy that is an indication to SELL! However, the only real reason to Buy or Sell real estate is when you need to or want to not because of the market.
Real estate is local. The local economy effects the market. No matter what the market condition it still makes sense to Buy and Sell in the same market.
If you Buy and Sell in a sellers market, you sold high and bought high it equals out. If you Buy and Sell in a buyers market, you might get less for your home than your neighbor who sold a year ago but you will get your new home for less than If you bought it last year.
If you are selling a $400,000 home and the market is down 10% you will lose $40,000. If you are upgrading to a $600,000 home you will save $60,000.
It all equals out. Over the long haul real estate is not only a great investment but a wonderful place to live and enjoy.
 
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This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Legal Disclaimer - The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group. This site is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/or services in any state other than New York.

Legal Disclaimer - Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. - All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been complied from sources deemed reliable. Though information is believed to be correct, it is presented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. I operate a business that supports Fair Housing.“We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program which there are no barriers to obtain housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin.”

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