What is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

July 14th, 2014

Just what is a Real Estate Buyer’s Agent?

Brooklyn Real Estate Buyer's Agent

Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Buyer’s Agent

Wikipedia explains it something like this:

A Real Estate Buyer’s Agent -

  • is a professional real estate agent (also known as a property search agent).
  • acts solely on your behalf as the property buyer.
  • helps you through the entire purchasing process from finding the properties that match your wants to negotiating the best possible price and conditions with the seller of a property.
  • helps you through the entire legal process to complete the purchase.
  • previews properties on your behalf and chooses those most suitable to your wants.
  • accompanies you to all property showings.
  • connects you with people who have the needed skills which are vital at each stage of the buying process such as lawyers, surveyors and other professionals.
  • has access to off-market properties through their network of contacts.
  • will advise you without self-interest for their own success fee. They offer professionalism and honorable expertise.

Subscribe to the Brooklyn Real Estate Blog to get your questions about buyer’s agents and and seller’s agents answered.

I am the Brooklyn Expert! I have been connecting clients with Brooklyn homes for over 27 years. I know the Brooklyn area inside and out. I am honest, and I know the right way to connect you with the Brooklyn home you’re looking for. Give me, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, a call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

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Your Kitchen – the Focal Point of Your Brooklyn Home

June 26th, 2014
Your kitchen - the focal point of your Brooklyn home

Your kitchen – the focal point of your Brooklyn home

By Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

Take a look at your kitchen. Is it dated? Are you looking to sell your Brooklyn home? If your kitchen is “way out there”, you may have a hard time selling.

Your kitchen is the focal point of your Brooklyn home. Buyers today are looking for a home with a kitchen that is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to look at. If your kitchen is dated, you many need to invest in a kitchen remodel. Even a minor remodel can recoup most of the cost when you sell. Just remember, consider what will appeal to a future homebuyer. Ultimately, the work you put into a remodel is work you are doing for yourself, but at some point, somebody else will live in the house. Don’t remodel in a way you may regret later. Don’t do something so edgy that you  end up asking yourself, “What on earth was I thinking?”

Here are the top 10 kitchen trends:

1. Chef’s stoves – Even if the buyer doesn’t cook, they want the stove look cool.

2. Eco-friendly features – Appliances and materials in the kitchen are important to a buyer.

3. Granite and quartz countertops – Granite tops the list.

4. Tile backsplashes – Most buyers prefer tile over marble, stone slab or other materials.

5. Floors – Hardwood flooring is hands-down the top choice for flooring.

6. Stainless steel – Well over half of homebuyers today want stainless steel appliances in their kitchens.

7. Islands – Islands aren’t really a must, but they are popular with homebuyers.

8. Transitional style – This is a style combination of traditional and contemporary styles.

9. White cabinets – Almost 75 percent of homebuyers want white or off white cabinets.

10. Gray color schemes – Shades of gray in the kitchen go well with white cabinets.

Kitchen updates are number one for adding value to your Brooklyn home.  Need more ideas for adding value to your home? Subscribe to Brooklyn Real Estate Blog today.

Look no further for a real estate agent with your best interest at heart. Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext. 206 or email  [email protected] when you need to sell your home.

Resource: http://rismedia.com/2013-11-16/10-top-kitchen-remodeling-trends/2/

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Bathroom Updates Add Value to Your Brooklyn Home

June 11th, 2014

By Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

When buying or selling a home, a kitchen is the number one place a potential buyer will focus their attention, and you as the seller should, too. Since bathrooms come in at a close second, let’s take a look at how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home.  Learn what your bathroom’s key measurements are along with the sizes of common fixtures and begin discovering the many advantages compact spaces offer. Your bathrooms will turn into inspired occasions to fashion beautiful and useful rooms that will increase the value of your home.

Steven Corley Randel, ArchitectClick the link or image above to view photos of the following bathroom update ideas.

Add pedestal, floating or braced sinks to make your small space feel larger.

Extend the vanity countertop over the toilet tank. Will the fixtures fit comfortably under an extended countertop? The tank needs to be low enough, and you must be able to remove the lid without difficulty.

Store bathroom items efficiently and comfortably in a custom-designed medicine cabinet that stretches over the vanity and over the toilet. A tall, narrow strip of lighting could be built into the cabinet. A light fixture placed on each side of mirror would be ideal to provide even lighting while getting ready for the day.

Line up all bathroom fixtures on a single wall. This cost-effective layout saves on the cost of plumbing installation and allows hot water to be distributed efficiently, especially when the wall with the fixtures is near or directly above the water heater in the basement.

Install a clear glass shower door to create a larger feel to the compact space of a bathroom.

If you prefer a shower only, install a glass wall with a curb that is 3 to 4 inches high, 4 to 6 inches wide. Or define the shower area by a glass wall and shower floor that is flush with the bathroom floor for a sleek and very updated look.

Install a ready-made medicine cabinet and build trim around it. Add small shelves to store personal items in baskets that will fit in or on the small shelves to maintain a clean and organized look.

Mount towel bars or hooks between 36 and 42 inches above the floor, 48 or 50 inches if you are taller or use extra-large bath towels/sheets. The top of the mirror should align with the top of the tile in the shower which should align with top of the window if your bathroom space has a window.

A clear space of 24 inches in front of a toilet is required by current U.S. codes. Be sure to allow for this dimension – more than the minimum if possible is even better. In older homes it is not uncommon to come across arrangements that don’t meet minimum standards. But if you are renovating, make sure you have ample space provided for the measurements of the toilet. If you choose an elongated toilet over a standard-size toilet, another 2 to 3 inches will need to be allowed for the extra length of this choice.

In extremely tight spaces, place the sink at the end of the tub with the toilet next to the tub. Nooks added above the toilet will provide storage. Everything will need to be waterproofed in this compact layout. The use of mosaic tile outside of the shower to keep everything waterproof is a good idea in tight baths and will add subtle contrast, too.

For your compact space you may need to consider installing an oval-shaped sink and cabinet tucked into a hollowed niche in a wall. The toilet could be placed next to the shower, still providing enough space to get in and out of the glass doors of the shower.

As you can see, the beautiful possibilities to make the most of your bathroom spaces and add value to your Brooklyn home are almost limitless.

Want more ideas on how bathroom updates add value to your Brooklyn home?  Subscribe to Brooklyn Real Estate Blog for more home improvement tips.

Give Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext. 206 or email  [email protected].

Resource: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/26567086?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u517&utm_medium=email&utm_c

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Spring Time Have the Best Garage Sale at Your Brooklyn Home

April 21st, 2013

Have a Garage Sale at your Brooklyn Home

Have a Garage Sale at your Brooklyn Home

Spring time is here. It’s that time of year again… time for spring cleaning, and to have a garage sale at your Brooklyn home!  This year, you can have your most successful garage sale ever.  Here are a few tips to help:

·        Advertise your sale in local newspapers and online.  Many of the habitual Saturday morning garage patrons use the paper to plan their morning.  They do this to make sure they hit all of the sales in certain neighborhoods.  In the ad, mention your  Brooklyn home address, date and time of your garage sale and big or hot items you have for sale. 

·        Open early.  It’s best to open early, around seven in the morning.  Sales tend to taper off in the afternoon.  Don’t disappoint early shoppers who are typically your best buyers.  They have a busy schedule and a lot of sales to hit.  Open on time, or even a few minutes before the time you advertised.

·        Make plenty of signs pointing the way to your Brooklyn home.  If your yard is difficult to see, or is not on a main road, post signs pointing the way.  If allowed, post the signs near a main road and attach a few balloons to it.  This will catch the attention of the passing motorists.

·        Have everything clearly labeled with reasonable prices.  Keep in mind that these shoppers are looking for a bargain and price accordingly.  You can individually label each item, or use an easily readable color-coded chart.  For instance, a blue sticker means 25 cents, red stickers mean 50 cents, yellow stickers mean $1, etc.

·        Offer specials at different points during the sale.  You can offer a “two-for-the-price-of-one sale” hour or a “twenty percent off during the next hour” special.  Make sure to list your planned specials and their times at the bottom of your signs and newspaper ads.  At the end of the day, you may want to have an unadvertised special such as “fill a bag for $1″ to get rid of as much as possible.

·        Donate leftovers.  Make your life easier and do something good for others by donating any items that don’t sell.  If you plan carefully, you can schedule a pick up by your local charitable organization at the end of your garage sale.

With these tips, you’re well on your way to having your best garage sale ever.

Want more money saving ideas like this one?  Subscribe Brooklyn Real Estate Blog get home improvement tips ?

Give me a calll Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

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How Brooklyn Homes are Changing to Accommodate Multi-Generational Living

March 22nd, 2013

 

How Brooklyn Homes are Changing to Accommodate Multi-Generational Living ?

How Brooklyn Homes are Changing to Accommodate Multi-Generational Living ?

How Brooklyn Homes are Changing to Accommodate Multi-Generational Living ? More and more Brooklyn homes have several generations living under one roof. Bloomberg News reported that, in 2010, 5.1 million households contained three generations, compared with 3.9 million a decade earlier. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of multi-generational families living together grew by 30 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Whether you have an in-law moving in to save money or an adult child returning after losing a job, you’ll appreciate a growing line of new homes marketed to multi-generational families. Here are some of the features you can find in this new generation of Brooklyn homes:

  • An attached one-bedroom suite with a private living area, bathroom and kitchenette. The suite has a separate entrance, its own garage and a locking door between it and the main house.
  • A separate guest house.
  • Two master bedrooms, so adults can share the Brooklyn homes.

Multi-generational configurations that work best focus on privacy and accessibility. Look for a builder that uses universal design products, which provide accessibility for people of all ages and abilities. KB Home, Toll Brothers Inc., Lennar Corporation and Pulte Group Inc. are among the builders offering multi-generational homes with second master bedrooms, kitchenettes and separate entrances.

If you’re housing your extended family, or feel you soon may be, consider purchasing a multi-generational home. Give me a calll Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected],

 

 

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Consumer Red Flags When Hiring Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

February 10th, 2013

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Consumer Tip – Real Estate Red Flags (1)

The majority of Brooklyn licensed real estate agents and brokers are well-trained professionals who can help make the process of buying or selling your home a successful venture rather than a stressful adventure. Occasionally, however, you may run into an unlicensed person posing as an agent, or a licensed agent who is not following the rules of the profession. In either case, your real estate experience can quickly turn sour. Here are a few Consumer Red Flags When Hiring Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent I hope you find them helpful for your next real estate transaction.

Following are some “red flags” that may assist you in determining if you are NOT working with a legitimate or honest real estate agent. These tips are not intended to provide legal advice in drafting real estate related documents or provide detailed descriptions of the nature of relationships that may be created between agents and buyers and sellers.

Consumer Tip – Real Estate Red Flags (2)

Some “red flags” that may assist you in determining if you are NOT working with a legitimate or honest real estate agent. These tips are not intended to provide legal advice in drafting real estate related documents or provide detailed descriptions of the nature of relationships that may be created between agents and buyers and sellers.

  • RED FLAG – Agents using high-pressure tactics, especially in an attempt to have you sign a purchase or listing agreement
    Tips-

    • Do not be pressured into entering into a purchase agreement based solely on the agent telling you there are multiple offers so you need to make your purchase agreement offer immediately. Multiple offers may exist but don’t be pressured into making a decision you are not comfortable with or if you do not understand the terms of the purchase agreement. If the sellers accept your purchase offer it becomes a legally binding contract. You may have to forfeit your earnest money deposit if you get “cold feet” and later decide that you just don’t want or like the property.
    • Do not be pressured into signing a listing agreement unless you are comfortable with the agent and understand and agree with the terms of the listing agreement including any marketing strategy.
  • RED FLAG – Agents asking for earnest money or a down payment check made out to the agent…or asking for cash
    Tips-

    • Earnest money should be paid with a check or money order and made payable to the real estate company and not to the individual agent.
    • By law, earnest money must be placed in the listing company “trust account” and cannot be mixed with personal funds of the agent. Once the listing company receives the earnest money, it must be deposited within three business days. However, the buyer and seller may agree, in writing, to handle the funds differently.
  • RED FLAG - Agents who do not provide answers to your questions about the property or fail to return your calls or maintain communication with you
    Tips-

    • By law agents are required to disclose all material facts they are aware of that may adversely and significantly affect your use or enjoyment of the property, such as existing structural or mechanical problems, water infiltration problems, easements or encroachments, or faulty septic systems.
    • Do not enter into a purchase agreement until your questions are answered. You also have the option of including “conditions” or “contingencies” in your purchase agreement. If your conditions or contingencies were not met, you would not be obligated to go through with the purchase. Some common contingencies are a buyer requiring a satisfactory home inspection report by a certain date and at the buyer’s expense. If the home inspection is unsatisfactory, the buyer can cancel the purchase agreement and obtain a refund of the earnest money.
  • -RED FLAG Agents who don’t disclose who they represent
    Tips-

    • Whether you are buying or selling, it is important to understand the different types of relationships that can be created between you and an agent. Expect agents to act in the best interests of whomever they represent.
    • Agents must provide a consumer with an “agency disclosure” form at the first substantive contact with the consumer. The agency disclosure is intended to provide a description of available options for agency and nonagency relationships and a description of the role of a licensee under each option. The agency disclosure form is not a contract. If a buyer or seller wants an agent to represent them, a written contract must be entered into such as a listing agreement or a buyer representation contract. Following are the different types of agency relationships in real estate transactions:

    Seller’s Broker: A broker who lists a property of a salesperson who is licensed to the listing broker who represents the seller and acts on behalf of the seller.
    Subagent: A broker or salesperson who is working with a buyer but represents the seller. In this case the buyer is only the agent’s customer and is not represented by that agent.
    Buyer’s Broker: A buyer may enter into an agreement for the broker or salesperson to represent and act on behalf of the buyer. In this case, the agent represents the buyer only and not the seller.
    Dual Agency: Dual agency occurs when one broker or salesperson represents both buyer and seller, or when two salespersons licensed to the same broker each represent a party to the transaction. Dual agency requires the informed consent of all parties.
    Facilitator: A broker or salesperson who performs services for a buyer, a seller, or both but does not represent either in a fiduciary capacity – meaning the facilitator is not obligated to represent the best interest of either party.

  • RED FLAG – Agents who will only show you properties they have listed
    Tips-

    • A Brooklyn real estate agent who you have entered into an agreement with should be acting in your best interest, not his or her own best interests. Agents should be willing to show you properties that they have listed as well as other company listed property and property that is For Sale By Owner (FSBO’s).
  • RED FLAGAgents who ask you to sign blank or incomplete documents
    Tips-

    • Do not sign any real estate related documents that are blank or incomplete. Most of these documents are legally binding.
    • Be wary if you are told, “Don’t worry about that section, we’ll fill it in later.”
  • RED FLAG - Agents who require a listing agreement for extended periods of time
    Tips-

    • Do not be pressured into signing a listing agreement for lengthy periods of time. A typical listing period is six months but you can negotiate a shorter or longer listing period.
  • RED FLAGAgents who are difficult to contact or do not regularly communicate with the consumer
    Tips-

    • An agent who has your best interests in mind should be easy to reach.
  • RED FLAGAgents who do not provide a basis for a listing price
    Tips-

    • The agent should provide a market analysis with documentation to support the listing price.
  • RED FLAG - Agents who attempt to talk you out of a home inspection or hiring a real estate attorney
    Tips-

    • Agents are prohibited from discouraging the use of an attorney. Hiring an attorney, while not required, may be desired and it’s your right to do so.
    • If an inspection is discouraged, it might be because there is a defect in the property.
  • Make sure your agent is licensed
    Tips-

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Considering Selling Your Brooklyn Home? Get the Scoop on the 3.8 Percent Real Estate Tax in the Healthcare Bill

September 17th, 2012

If you’re considering selling your Brooklyn home, you may have heard rumors that there is a new tax going into effect in January, 2013. Here’s the rundown on what the tax really is – and isn’t.

The new tax is called the ‘‘Unearned Income Medicare Contribution.” It is a 3.8 percent tax on the net investment income of high-income taxpayers. The tax will apply to those with an adjusted gross income of more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers), with no indexing for inflation.

The Good News

Odds are that you will never pay this tax.

Why You Most Likely Won’t Pay the New Tax

The tax will apply to capital gains, not sale proceeds. Because of the current exclusion of gains on home sales — up to $500,000 (joint) or $250,000 (single) on a primary residence — the vast majority of home sellers will not be required to pay this tax.

 Here’s an example: A couple with an adjusted gross income of more than $250,000 (which qualifies them for the tax — more than 90% of households make less than that) decide to sell their house. They purchased their Brooklyn home long, long ago for $50,000. They sell the house, miraculously, for $549,000. Because that profit of $499,000 is under the $500,000 profit exclusion amount allowed for couples, they owe no tax.

The Bottom Line

There are plenty of other taxes that are worth getting upset about; this isn’t one of them.

If you’re looking for more information on selling a Brooklyn home, I can help. Give me a call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].

 

 

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S’more End-of-Summer Insights to Get Your Brooklyn Real Estate Sold

September 7th, 2012

 

Summer is quickly drawing to a close. That means you need do some serious evaluating in order to take advantage of the rest of the season’s long daylight hours and get your Brooklyn real estate sold.

So before you spend the evening catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows, buckle down and get s’more work done on your Brooklyn real estate. Below are five ways you can prepare your home and yourself for the big sale!

Host a block-party barbecue. People in the neighborhood are a great resource to tap into to market your home. Host a party to tell them your plans and allow them to see your home. If they have a friend they want to have nearby, they might just sell your house for you.

  1. Make your yard memorable. Summer is the ideal time to spruce up your curb appeal so that your home makes a good first impression on potential buyers.
  2. Repair the roof. This can be a big expense, but it is also one of the first things that home inspectors note. If it needs repairs, do it now. If you don’t, it could cost you more money when it comes time for closing negotiations.
  3. Eliminate odors. Buyers want to imagine themselves living in the home, not be distracted by how they’re going to get the summer-intensified smell of your pet out of the carpet.
  4. Know your minimum price. You need to prepare yourself for the numbers game. Do your research using comparables to determine what your house will most likely go for and what you’re willing to accept.

 Use what’s left of summer to make your Brooklyn home stand out from the rest! You’ll sell quickly and can start looking forward to next summer in a new home — maybe one with a pool.

If you’re thinking about selling your Brooklyn real estate and would like more tips on how to get it ready, please call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected], for more information and aFree Market Price Evaluation without obligation!

 

 

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Using Comparables to Sell Your Brooklyn Home Like an Olympic Athlete

July 5th, 2012

With the London Olympics kicking off this month, athletes from all over the world are putting their competitive strategies into place to be one step ahead of the competition and go for gold. Channel the world’s champions this summer to establish a game plan, analyze what’s worked in the past and beat out the competition by presenting your Brooklyn home at its best!

Athletes constantly stay informed on the statistics of their biggest competitors, and so should you when it comes to selling your Brooklyn home. Below are the basic components to consider when using comparables to price your real estate:

Make sure the comparable house has sold. Before using a property as a comparable, it needs to have sold so that you know the selling price. Consider the original listing price as compared to the selling price of the home, when developing your winning strategy. Pay close attention to price reductions and how many months the house was on the market. These are essential indicators to pricing your property right the first time.

  • Look to see if it is the same type of home as yours. Find comparable sales that are similar to your home in square footage, style, construction material, number of bathrooms and bedrooms and other amenities.
  • See if it’s in the same location. Real estate pricing is largely based on location, so make sure any houses you consider as comparables are close to your own house or in proximity to the same conveniences.
  • Double-check the research. Just because someone hands you papers that they claim to be comparables doesn’t mean they actually are. You know your house best, so do your own research and read the fine print to make sure that the comparables you’re using to determine your property’s resale value are a good match.

Starting off on the right foot might help you sell your house faster than an Olympic track star. Dedicate yourself to researching comparables so that you can contribute educated facts when discussing the list price of your Brooklyn home.

If you need help pricing your property or need a real estate agent to help you beat out the competition, please call Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].for more information.

 

 

 

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Buying or Selling Brooklyn Short Sales Can Be Tricky

June 24th, 2012

Call Charles for help with your Brooklyn Short Sale

Whether you own a property in distress or you’re looking to make a good investment. Buying or selling Brooklyn short sales can be tricky ,and a frustrating process. The best-case scenario is that sellers reduce their debt and buyers get a great deal, but that outcome is ultimately up to the bank.

Below are some standard short sale trials that both sellers and buyers should be aware of before getting their hopes up:

Sellers need to prove hardship. As a seller, you should talk with your bank and then gather all of the documents they require to put together a hardship portfolio to apply for a short sale. These usually include tax returns, employment status and other personal and financial information. Be quick about it, because the bank has the final say, and you don’t want to leave them hanging.

  • Everyone needs to get used to the waiting game. This is probably the most frustrating part, so don’t plan your life around a bank’s approval. They could take anywhere from a couple days to a couple years to make a decision.
  • Banks are waiting on banks. Not only are you waiting on the bank that has the mortgage, but there could also be other liens taken out against the short sale. Those third parties also have to sign off on the debt.
  • Buyers should get a thorough home inspection. If you’re considering buying a short sale property, make sure you hire a professional home inspector.
  • The home could go into foreclosure. Sometimes [city] short sales take so long that the owners cannot keep paying their mortgage and the home goes into foreclosure. Then the bank takes it over and starts a new waiting game.

If you’re considering buying or selling short sales, you’ll want to enlist professional help to navigate the tricky waters. As an expert on Brooklyn short sales, I can help. Please call me  Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected]. for more information.

 

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