What is the Role of a Seller’s Agent in the Real Estate Process?

August 15th, 2019
Seller's Agent
If you’re selling, you don’t want to be without a seller’s agent.

In a previous blog post, I explained what the benefits of hiring a buyer’s agent are. So let’s talk about what a seller’s agent is and what they do for their clients in this blog post.

What is a Seller’s Agent?

Bankrate.com defines a seller’s agent, or seller’s real estate agent, as “a professional who helps list property for sale. The seller’s agent represents the person selling the property and holds allegiance to that party.” They are also known as the listing agent.

“Holds allegiance to” means they act solely on your behalf. And they represent your best interest as the seller in the real estate transaction.

Their loyalties lie with you. It is their duty to share all information about potential buyers with you to help you make decisions regarding the transaction.

They are legally obligated to represent you and your financial interests as the seller.

So, if you’re selling, you really want a seller’s agent in your corner!

What Do Seller’s Agents Do?

From the moment you sign a listing contract, your seller’s agent:

  • Advises you on the best ways to present and prepare your home to sell it and may even help arrange a home inspection. They know how to highlight your home’s amenities from its curb appeal to its emptied closets, and what buyers want
  • Researches the market for recent sales of comparable homes to determine the best asking price
  • Prepares a marketing plan: schedule for listing, showing and advertising your property
  • Provides you with a real property condition disclosure and other necessary forms
  • Places a “For Sale” sign with information flyers describing your home on-site. They market your home to buyers on the internet, in classified ads, in real estate magazines, pamphlets, direct-mail flyers and newspaper ads
  • Lists your property for sale to the public on the Multiple Listing Service (the MLS, a searchable list of homes for sale)

And More Your Seller’s Agent Does for You

  • Takes other real estate agents on a walkthrough of your home, so they know what to tell their clients about your home
  • Serves as a contact to answer any questions about your home and schedule showings
  • Holds an open house to show your property
  • Makes sure buyers are pre-screened and that they are financially suitable to buy your home
  • Acts as a trustee for you. This could include preparing a standard real estate purchase contract for you
  • Finds a buyer for your property for the highest possible price on the best terms for you as the seller
  • Presents buyers’ offers to you
  • Shares all information about potential buyers that will help you make decisions regarding the sale
  • Negotiates the price of your home on your behalf as the sellers as well as the terms of the sale. They are your representative in all negotiations
  • Is your messenger, manager, counteroffer and contingency issues handler once an offer is made. They follow the paper trail from the initial offer from the buyer through to the final closing. And they process all the paperwork necessary to complete the transaction

How Much Do Seller’s Agents Cost?

You pay for your seller’s agent’s services with a percentage commission of 4 to 6 percent or a flat fee. This is stated in your listing contract. The buyer’s agent can be paid from that fee.

Selling? Hire a Seller’s Agent

Again, if you’re selling, you really want to hire a seller’s agent!

Do you have questions? Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] and get your questions answered. He is the Brooklyn Expert connecting clients with Brooklyn homes for over 30 years. So he knows the Brooklyn area inside and out.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]


What are the Benefits of Hiring the Best Buyer’s Agent?

July 30th, 2019
Buyer's agent
A buyer’s agent works on behalf of the buyer in the transaction process.

Buyer’s Agent. Seller’s Agent. Listing Agent. If you’ve listed your home or been shopping for a new one, you’ve heard these terms. But what are the differences? And does it really matter?

The home buying process can be complex and stressful. So why would you buy a home without the best buyer’s agent to help you? The best buyer’s agents make a positive difference in the transaction process from beginning to end.

What is a Buyer’s Agent?

A buyer’s agent represents the buyer. It is their responsibility or fiduciary obligation to get the best price and terms for the buyer.

Buyer’s agents assist you every step of the way in finding and then buying the perfect place. And the best ones:

  • Get you the best deals
  • Value relationships over money
  • Know your home’s role in your budget
  • Share your values
  • Desire to inspire and serve you as their client

What Do Buyer’s Agents Do?

What a great buyer’s agent does for you as a homebuyer is what makes them so valuable to work with.

  • First, they determine what you are looking for and what you can afford. They schedule appointments for you to tour available homes that fit these two criteria. They’ll also point out the pros and cons of properties and neighborhoods to help you decide on a home.
  • Buyer’s agents advise you on an appropriate price to offer for a home you’re seriously interested in. And they present the price you decide on to the seller’s agent. Then they negotiate on your behalf and write the contracts for you. All agents are trained to negotiate. But the best buyer’s agents are experienced negotiators who save you money and help you avoid getting into a home that requires more repairs than it’s worth.
  • Knowing who to refer you to expedites each step of the home buying process and moves you into a quicker and successful sale. A buyer’s agent, a good one, should be able to refer you to other reliable professionals such as mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, movers, and more.
  • Setbacks happen. For example, sometimes a home inspector’s report or appraisal brings new issues to light. But your buyer’s agent will advise you on how to proceed, and then act as a buffer between you and the seller’s or their agent. And if negotiations become heated or hostile, and they sometimes do, experienced buyer’s agents keep thing calm and offer productive solutions. This alone makes a buyer’s agent worth every dollar they earn!

What to Ask a Buyer’s Agent

Charles D’Alessandro is a great buyer’s agent. But don’t take our word for it. Ask him these questions before deciding.

  • “What Brooklyn neighborhoods do you specialize in?” Real estate requires local expertise. Charles is extremely familiar with the Brooklyn neighborhoods you’re interested in.
  • “Are you readily available and reachable?” Charles is readily available and reachable. If your dream home is suddenly available or a last-minute issue with closing happens suddenly, Charles is on it.
  • “How long have you been a Brooklyn real estate agent?” Charles has over 35 years of experience and a proven track record for selling Brooklyn homes.

How Much Do Buyer’s Agents Cost?

Since the seller pays the commission for both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent, you don’t need to pay to hire a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent’s commission equals about 6% of the home’s sales price. The commission is split evenly between both the buyer’s and seller’s agents. For example, commission on a $200,000 home would be $6,000 for each agent.

Homeowner, Hire a Buyer’s Agent

If you’re in the market to buy, hire a buyer’s agent. You’ll be happy you did. Choosing the best real estate agent is a lot like choosing a doctor or lawyer. And choosing the best real estate agent can make all the difference in the world when buying or selling a home.

Charles D’Alessandro looks out for your best interest. Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn and a heart for his clients, he’s the best in Brooklyn!


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]


The Most Important Things to Do Before You Sell Your Home

July 15th, 2019
Before you sell
Before you sell your home, there are a few important things to do before you list it.

If selling your home is in your future, you’ve got some important work to do ahead of you. There’s so much more to selling your home than just planting a for sale sign in your front yard. It means more than taking a few pictures of the place to post online, too. Here’s a checklist of nine important things to do before you sell your home.

Before You Sell Your Home

Invest in some curb appeal

The first thing prospective buyers see of your home should entice them to want to see more.

Stand on the front walk and examine your home closely. Look at it through a prospective buyer’s eyes. How does it look? Does it need paint? Are the gutters rusting? If you have a garden, is it overgrown with weeds and grass? These are relatively easy fixes.

Do a clean sweep

You know the saying, “Less is more”? This is so true when it comes to getting your house ready to show.

Declutter all visible areas first. Then move to behind closed doors: closets, drawers, and cupboards. Yes, even behind closed doors. No space is off-limits to curious buyers. Note: Hide or lock up your valuables before your home is shown.

Donate, pack up, give, or throw away excess belongings and stuff. Potential buyers may worry the house won’t have enough space for their belongings and stuff.

Plus, you’ll have less to deal with when it’s actually time to move.

Remove potential buyer distractions

This step goes hand-in-hand with the clean sweep. Buyers need to be able to visualize themselves and their family living in your house. So pack up your personal items, family photos, artwork, and furniture. Anything that could distract potential buyers from visualizing themselves living this space needs to go.

Paint walls with a neutral color

It’s rare that anyone will hate a neutral color. Light, neutral colors allow potential buyers to envision what the walls will look like with the paint color they like.

And while you’re at it, pay attention to the baseboards. Scuff marks and chipping make a home look neglected.

Fix what’s broke

Well, fix loose handles, missing lightbulbs, dripping faucets, and so forth. Buyers tend to wonder what else may be broken if these small things aren’t taken care of.

Clean, clean, clean

And then clean some more. Bathrooms, tile, counters, showers, tubs, windows, and floors should shine.

Invigorate your home with staging

Home stagers evaluate your home’s condition and the belongings inside. Their goal is to make your home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers and selling your home quickly and for more money.

Scope out our neighborhood

Look for houses for sale in your area and search the internet. Visit open houses that are comparable to your home, also. This will help you choose the best selling price for your home.

Choose a great real estate agent

A great real estate agent makes all the difference in the selling process.

Many people think they can sell their home themselves versus paying an agent. But resist the urge to save money and pocket the cash. For Sale by Owners (FSBO’s) almost always turn into disasters, sacrificing both your time and money.

A great real estate agent knows the current market and can suggest the price to list your home for. They have a great marketing plan for the sale of your home.

Charles D’Alessandro, your great Brooklyn real estate agent

Before you sell your home, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email me at [email protected] today. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, I can guide you through each step of the selling process, from listing to closing.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]


Want to Celebrate the American Dream This Year?

June 30th, 2019
American dream
Owning a home is part of the American dream. Start living your American dream this year!

What does the American Dream mean to you? How would you define it? Investopedia defines it as “the belief that anyone, regardless of where they were born or what class they were born into, can attain their own version of success in a society where upward mobility is possible for everyone.” James Truslow Adams described it as “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.”

The American Dream, A Home to Call Their Own

When my dad, Charles D’Alessandro Sr. and my mom, Rose, looked for a house in 1954, they were looking for a home. Above all, they were looking for a home to raise their family in an area they could afford to live in. They were looking for a home in an area that was close to friends and family too, The Neighborhood. In their minds, it was not an investment. It was a home they could call their own, their American Dream, their version of success.

They lived through the ups and downs of the real estate and financial markets paying the mortgage, raising their three children. They did as best they could, made sacrifices, and in the end paid that mortgage off.

The Opportunity to Achieve the American Dream

Again, Investopedia states, “The American Dream promises freedom and equality. It offers the freedom to make both the large and small decisions that affect one’s life, the freedom to aspire to bigger and better things and the possibility of achieving them, the freedom to accumulate wealth, the opportunity to lead a dignified life, and the freedom to live in accordance with one’s values – even if those values are not widely held or accepted.”

Ask anybody to define it in their own terms and somewhere in their answer the words “home ownership” will probably pop up. This is because for many of us, owning a home is an essential part of the American Dream.

Benefits of Achieving It

Homeownership conveys a number of economic benefits:

  • the ability to accumulate wealth
  • access credit by building home equity
  • reduce housing costs through the mortgage interest deduction
  • gain long-term savings over the cost of renting

Achieving Your Version of Success

Today interest rates are as low as 3.25 (4.856 APR). View the 10 Best Mortgage Rates of 2019 here. With a good credit score, you can achieve your version of success as a homeowner.

Celebrate the American Dream!

June is National Homeownership Month. And with the 4th of July “popping” up next week, I want to encourage everyone to pursue your version of success, your version of the American Dream.

Is homeownership is part of the American Dream for you? Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. There is a ton of information out there. But don’t get frustrated or confused by it all. I can help you sort through any confusion you may have. Let me guide you to make an informed and confident decision about your American Dream.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]


Do You Know How to Qualify for a Mortgage?

June 15th, 2019
Qualify for a mortgage
Home ownership is more of a possibility than most people realize. Find out how you can qualify for a mortgage and start shopping.

If you don’t know what it takes to qualify for a mortgage, you’re not alone. This lack of knowledge prevents people from even trying to purchase their first home. Is this you? If so, understanding the whole process better will clear up a lot of confusion. Read on to find out how to qualify for a mortgage and which type of loan is best for you.

Down Payment Requirements

Are you wondering how much of a down payment you need to qualify for a mortgage? Most people are. In spite of all the mortgage information available online, a lot of it is insufficient. So many still overestimate the down payment needed to qualify for a mortgage. The answer used to be 20 percent. But nowadays you can qualify for a home loan with a low down payment. Some types of mortgages even require no down payment! And no, this isn’t some special offer for first-time home buyers only.

Here are some down payment guidelines for different types of home loans:

  • VA loans and USDA loans require no down payment
  • FHA loans are one of the most popular types of home loans. They require 3.5 percent down with a 580 credit score. If your credit score ranks 500-579, your FHA loan will require 10 percent down
  • 203k loans also require 3.5 percent down
  • A Conventional 97 loan requires only 3 percent down
  • Conventional loans require anywhere between 5 percent and 20 percent down.

Credit Score Requirements

How’s your credit score? Do you know the credit score you need to qualify for a mortgage? Again, most people don’t. And many can’t recall what their current credit score is even after checking it recently. Your credit score is one of the biggest factors in determining whether or not you qualify for a mortgage. And of course, an excellent credit score gives you lots of worry-free wiggle room in qualifying for a home loan.

A credit score of 680 or higher is ideal when you’re in need of getting approved for a home loan. Some lenders require a credit score of 640 while others will accept lower credit scores.

Each of the loan programs listed above have a set minimum qualifying credit score requirements.

  • VA loans and USDA loans require a credit score of 620. For VA loans, some lenders may  be able to approve a credit score of 580+
  • FHA loans require a 580 credit score
  • 203k and Conventional loans require a credit score of 640
  • Conventional 97 loans require a 620 credit score

But what if you have bad credit? If you need to improve your credit score to qualify for a mortgage, click here. Learn how to improve your credit score by 100 points in 30 days.

Mortgage Document Requirements

In order for your lender to process your loan, you must produce several documents. So be prepared ahead of time and get the following ready now:

  • W2’s from the past 2 years. You should have at least 2 years of income from the same company or industry documented
  • Pay-stubs for the last 3 months
  • Bank statements for the past 3 months
  • Tax returns for the previous 2 years
  • A list of your debts and assets
  • Divorce decree if you have gone through a divorce
  • Additional income documentation

Basic Guidelines for How to Qualify for a Mortgage

If you want to qualify for a home loan, follow these basic guidelines:

  • Prove your income is sufficient and consistent
  • Have at least 2 years of documented income from the same company or in the same industry
  • If you earn commissions, average your income from the last 2 years of tax returns

What income is considered “qualifying income”?

  • W-2 income/salary income from part-time jobs
  • Income from a second job
  • Overtime and bonuses
  • Seasonal jobs
  • Self-employed income
  • Alimony and child support (Documentation for this is required)
  • Non-qualifying VA income
  • Income from the lottery gambling
  • Unemployment pay
  • Single bonuses non-occupying co-signer income
  • Unverifiable income
  • Income from Rental Properties

Homeownership is a Possibility!

So if you are one of the 20 percent of consumers who believe a down payment of 10 percent or less is not enough to purchase a home, think again! There are mortgage financing options available that don’t require a 20 percent down payment. Providing you are a creditworthy prospective buyer, lenders now offer safe, sustainable loans with as little as 3 percent down. Obtaining a mortgage isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Homeownership is truly a possibility!

Contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected] With 30-plus years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, he can answer your questions about how to qualify for a mortgage.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]


Taxes You Need to Pay When Selling Your Rental

May 30th, 2019

Taxes – UGH! Unless you’re an accountant with a love for numbers, the word probably brings with it a feeling of dread when you hear it. Some folks pay them annually to the IRS. Others must pay them quarterly. And we all get to pay them daily when we purchase stuff. Like death, they cannot be avoided! And if you’re selling your rental, there are a couple tax basics you should know. First, your rental is a business asset. So the taxes you need to pay on it are due only when it sells at a profit. But if your rental sells at a loss, you can write off the loss to offset taxable income. The key to knowing the taxes you need to pay is found in correctly calculating the amount of gain or loss on the rental you sold.

How a Profit or Loss is Determined

Your profit or loss is determined by subtracting your property’s adjusted basis on the date of sale from the sales price you receive (plus expenses, such as real estate commissions).

To understand your property’s adjusted basis, you must first know what “basis in property” and “adjusted basis” mean. Basis in property is the amount of your total investment in a property. And it is not fixed. It changes over time to reflect the true amount of your investment. Each change or new basis is called the adjusted basis.

Taxes You Need to Pay When Selling Your Rental Property at a Profit

When you sell a rental property at a profit, you pay taxes on the gain (profit) you realize (earn). These taxes are called Capital Gains Tax.

Reductions in basis increase the gain or profit you realize and therefore increase your tax liability when you sell your rental.

Taxes You Need to Pay When Selling Your Rental Property at a Loss

If you sell at a loss or lose money, you’ll be able to deduct the loss, but not without being subject to important limitations.

Increases in basis are lower your tax liability because they lower your profits.

Here’s an example from Nolo.com:

Viola bought a small apartment building and sold it six years later for $300,000. Her starting basis was $200,000. During the time she owned the property she took $43,000 in depreciation deductions and paid $13,000 for a new roof (an improvement). Her depreciation deductions reduced the property’s basis, but the roof improvement increased it. Her basis at the time of the sale is $170,000. Viola calculates her taxable gain on the property by subtracting her adjusted basis from the sales price: $300,000 – $170,000 = $130,000.

As you can see, when you sell your property, you effectively give back the depreciation deductions you took on it. Since they reduce your adjusted basis, they increase your taxable gain. Thus, Viola’s taxable gain was increased by the $43,000 in depreciation deductions she took. The amount of your gain attributable to the depreciation deductions you took in prior years is taxed at a single 25% rate. Viola, for example, would have to pay a 25% tax on the $43,000 in depreciation deductions she received. The remaining gain on the sale is taxed at capital gains rates (usually 15%, 20% for taxpayers in the top tax bracket).

How to Avoid Taxes You Need to Pay When Selling a Rental Property

Rental properties generate a respectable profit each month, provided you choose the right rental properties. But they can cost you when you sell. Here are three strategies that help ease the burden of a significant tax bite when you sell a profitable rental.

  1. Offset gains with losses
  2. Take advantage of Section 1031 of the Tax Code
  3. Turn your rental property into your primary residence

Offsetting gains with losses through tax-loss harvesting is for those with capital losses in a given tax year. This strategy allows a landlord to subtract those losses from the capital gains from the sale of their rental.

Taking advantage of the IRS Section 1031 “Like-kind” exchange is for those who are able to reinvest the proceeds of selling their rental property in new real estate. This strategy allows them the ability to defer some or all of the taxes on the capital gain.

Converting your rental property into your primary residence is for people who want to do so for better tax treatment when they sell. Landlords who convert a rental into their home to live in are able to exclude as much as $500,000 in capital gains from taxes.

Hire the Right Financial Advisor

When it comes to investments and knowing what taxes you need to pay on the sale of a rental, it’s always best to find and hire the right financial advisor. And it doesn’t have to be hard to find one who fits your needs. SmartAsset offers a free tool to match you with fiduciary financial advisors in your area in five minutes.

Hire the Right Real Estate Agent

If you’re selling a rental property, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected] With 30-plus years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, he can help you with all your real estate needs.


Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]

What Do You Need to Know About Rent Back Agreements?

May 15th, 2019
Rent Back Agreements can be advantageous to both buyers and sellers providing they are utilized judiciously.

Ever hear of rent back agreements? So what are they, and what are the advantages and disadvantages associated with this kind of real estate transaction?

Rent Back Agreements Defined

Wikpedia defines rent back agreements as “a form of property transaction involving the expeditious sale of an owner occupier’s residence to a landlord or property company and renting it back from the new owner.” They are also known as post-settlement occupancy agreements.

This kind of transaction allows a home seller to buy himself extra time to stay in the home after closing.

And why would a home seller need extra time beyond the closing date to stay in the home?

Rent Back Agreements Explained

Here are a couple of home sale stories to help explain what rent back agreements are.

The Story of the Brownstone

My wife and I paid a builder to build a getaway home outside of New York City limits. And now our builder is nearing completion.

We put our brownstone up for sale as soon as the builder broke ground, assuming that it could be on the market for a little while. But guess what? Our custom home isn’t quite finished, and we already have a buyer for our brownstone.

The buyer has come to an agreement on a reasonable closing date with us since our new home is almost built. But again, guess what? As our closing date approaches, the builder has informed us of a major delay. This snag is going to keep us out of our new home for another 30 days past the closing date.

So what can we do? We know the buyer wants to move into their brownstone on closing day. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would!

The Story of the Offer Too Good to Refuse

My friend was selling her condo. And it wasn’t long before she received a very attractive cash offer that was just too good to refuse. The cash offer, however, came with a very short time until closing. She expected and planned on having more time to find a new place to live. But she knew she couldn’t turn down the buyer’s cash offer.

So there she was, cash in hand and no home to move into at closing time. What could she do?

Benefits of Rent Back Agreements

In both of the stories, the sellers ended up with no place to go on closing day. And in both cases, their real estate agents proposed rent back agreements.

In the case of the condo seller, her buyer was an investor who was planning to rent the condo out anyway. And he readily accepted. For 40 days past the closing date, she paid a daily rate that was equivalent to her mortgage payment plus the condo fee.

Benefits for the Seller

  • Allowed to stay in the home until a specified date past closing
  • Able to put things together to close the deal (if used properly with the appropriate language inserted in the addendum to the contract)

Benefits for the Buyer

  • Extra income can offset mortgage payments and some closing costs, such as broker commissions, appraisal fees, and attorney fees
  • Agreeing to a rent back gets your offer accepted in multiple offer situations in most cases

Benefits for Both the Buyer and the Seller

  • Minimizes stress for everybody involved by wrapping the rent into the closing and delivering it as a single payment
  • Used judiciously, it’s a win-win for all parties

Before Agreeing to Rent Back Agreements

Before agreeing to rent-back agreements, think carefully about the terms. Spell out the details for the record to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Understand why the seller wants a rent-back agreement
  • Charge a fair price
  • Don’t sign a lease that lasts longer than 60 days
  • Charge a holdover fee if the seller stays longer than agreed
  • Collect a security deposit
  • Require renters insurance

Most people do their best to plan ahead. But life happens. When a seller gets an offer with a proposed settlement date, they might ask, “Now, how am I going to coordinate getting out of this house and into another without having movers lined up in the driveway?”

Take note: Rent back agreements should be treated the same as you would treat any other business relationship. Buyers, never let the sellers retain possession of the home without drawing up a formal occupancy agreement, never. Because with terms and conditions of the seller’s stay in the buyer’s new home, both parties are protected.

Have you ever needed rent back agreements? Did a real estate agent you were working with suggest using a rent back agreement? There’s a lot that goes into a good rent back agreement. And in order for it to do its best work for both parties, it must be used properly. I recommend consulting with a real estate lawyer for more information.


 Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]

Should You Sell Your Home First?

April 30th, 2019
Sell your home

Should you sell your home first or wait until it sells to buy a new one?

If you’re moving soon, you might be questioning whether or not you should sell your home before buying a new one. There are a lot of factors involved in answering this question and making a decision. But hashed out below are the pros and cons of each. Now you can decide whether or not you should sell your home first before buying a one. And you can decide with confidence.

 

Yes, Sell Your Home First If You …

Want to get the most money for your home

If you’re not in any hurry, you won’t be tempted to take a low offer. It’s hard for you as a seller to hold firm on a price when you’re carrying two mortgages. And if you’re not in any hurry, you’ll also have negotiating power.

Can include a contingency clause in your contract of sale

You certainly don’t want to lose a buyer just to be able to stay in your home longer. But you can add a contingency clause to your contract that allows you to remain in your house for a short time after closing. A contingency of 30 to 60 days will give you enough time to close on a new property. It may be difficult to get the buyer to agree to this. But if they do, you’ll have plenty of time to find the perfect new house.

Can handle moving twice

If you sell your home first, you can always live in a short-term rental until you find a new place. This means moving twice, yes. But if you can handle it and are okay with that, it gives you an option.

Don’t want to be stressed about selling

No doubt about it. Selling a home is stressful, no matter how organized, prepared, or easy-going you may be. And carrying a second mortgage is stressful enough to elevate your blood pressure.

 

Yes, Buy a New Home First If …

It’s the Brooklyn home you’ve always wanted

 If you’re absolutely sure you’ve found your dream house, you should buy it now, even if your current house hasn’t sold. You might be full of regret later if you let your dream house pass you by.  Just make sure the house is truly worth it.

You’ve found a deal that’s too good to pass up

If you’ve researched the comps and you know the home you’ve found is too good a deal to pass up,  buy it. Waiting to sell your home might cost you more in the long run if you lose out on a good bargain.

The real estate market is a seller’s market

If it’s seller’s market, there are more buyers than there are houses selling, you won’t have any difficulty selling your Brooklyn property.

You have the money

Talk with Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent. Find out how long homes that are comparable to yours are taking to sell these days. Then, do the math. Determine whether or not you have enough in savings to make the down payment and both monthly mortgage payments while you’re waiting to sell.

Do you need to sell your home? Should you buy a new home now or wait until the home you’re selling sells? Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate and ask him. Call (718) 253-9600 ext.206 email [email protected] With 30-plus years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, he’s got the answers.

 


 

Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro
Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent
718-253-9600 ext. 206
[email protected]

When You Need to Sell Your House Now But It Isn’t Selling

April 15th, 2019
Sell your house
Renting your home is a great option when you’ve been relocated and can’t sell your house.

Are you relocating? If you took a new job in a new place, and you just can’t get your house sold, you’re probably feeling like you’re in a bit of a pickle. Whenever a home sells, it’s always our hope to close the sale within a certain amount of time. This is especially true when you’re relocating or need to sell your house before buying another one. But sometimes it takes a lot longer than planned. Don’t fret. You can rent your home.

When You Need to Sell Your House but It Isn’t Selling, Rent It

The people who first came to mind when I started this blog post are those in military service.

Some friends of mine who serve in the Air Force relocated from South Dakota to Wyoming. Since they couldn’t live on base in the military housing provided to Air Force Officers, they bought a home. Then, two years later, the Air Force gave them orders to serve in Wyoming. But they couldn’t sell their house in South Dakota.

So what could they do?

Renting Until You Sell Your House

Renting your home is one way to generate cash flow while you wait for your home to sell. The monthly rent pays all or part of your mortgage costs and therefore, helps you avoid foreclosure. And if the market is slow like it was in 2008, renting allows you to:

  • Sell your home for a profit when the market recovers
  • Keep the mortgage paid until you find a qualified buyer

But you’ve got to weigh your pros and cons with renting.

What to Know Before Renting Your Home

There are important things to consider about renting before you’re a landlord.

  • Costs
  • Rates
  • Tenants
  • Benefits

 

Costs

The costs of becoming a landlord involve Homeowner’s Insurance, Property Management, and Capital Gains.

  1. Your Homeowner’s Insurance needs to change to a policy that covers landlords and rental properties specifically. And landlord policies cost more than a standard homeowners policy since landlords need more protection than the typical homeowner.
  1. Property management could cost you a lot of the monthly rent payment your tenants pay you, especially if you are a remote landlord. Unless you live near the rental, and you are skilled to take care of clogged drains, routine maintenance, or even deadbeat tenants, you will have to hire a property manager. And the cost to pay a property manager is generally around 10 percent of the monthly rent.
  1. Simply, you must live in your home for two of the five years prior to the sale of your home in order to avoid paying Capital Gains Taxes on:
  • up to $250,000 of profit if you are single
  • $500,000 of profit if you are married

However, if you rent your home for longer than three years after you relocate and then sell your house for a profit, taxes on that profit gained are due to the federal government.

Rates

What will you charge your renters to rent your home? What’s appropriate? This alone can be difficult to determine due to all the factors that need to be considered.

  • In general, it is suggested that you charge at least one percent of the mortgage. This should generate enough positive cash flow.
  • Charging one percent of the mortgage must also be reasonable for your neighborhood. Find out what the rental properties near your home are renting for to help you determine what is reasonable. To learn about rates, talk to property management agencies, search for similar rentals online, and check Craigslist, Rentometer, and Rent.com.
  • To get an idea about how much money you can expect to receive from a year of renting, you have to factor in your vacancy rates. It is suggested that investment property owners plan for only ten and a half months of occupancy per year.

What if you find that the rent you should charge, minus the costs and vacancy rate, won’t actually be enough to cover your monthly mortgage? It may still make sense to rent out your home until you sell your house instead of attempting to carry the mortgage all by yourself.

Tenants

After researching the costs involved as a landlord and the rates you should charge to rent your home, you still have to find reliable tenants. How?

  • Advertise – Advertise online, on rental sites like Rent.com and Craigslist, and on social media. And advertise on local relocation firms, HR departments, and local universities, too. Always advertise the good old-fashioned way, too. Put a sign in your yard.
  • Ask questions – Put every applicant through a screening process. Boilerplate applications and lease agreements can be found online, but you must ask your potential tenants about their: income, employment history, rental history.
  • Call all of their references.

Note: You can request Social Security numbers for background and credit checks through a website like E-Renter. Background and credit checks cost around $25, but that’s nothing compared to the number of headaches you could be spared.

Benefits

The benefits of renting your home until you sell your house shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Capital Loss. Renting your home and then selling it at a loss allows you to claim the capital loss against your income. That can be a huge tax break!
  • Tax Breaks. There are other tax breaks available to you as a homeowner who rents your home. Landlords can deduct almost any expense related to the maintenance and marketing of their rental property. Insurance premiums, repairs, advertising costs, landscaping services, property management services, mortgage interest, and travel expenses related to the rental can be deducted.

 

More Notes Worth Considering Before You Rent Your Home

Renting your home until you sell your home is a great way to generate cash flow, cover your mortgage costs, and avoid foreclosure. But if you choose to rent your home:

  • Plan to rent it for at least one year.
  • Draw up a lease. Most renters prefer the security of a lease. But include a clause in the lease about the home being for sale. And see a real estate attorney for help with making your lease agreement clear, making sure it protects you.
  • Know the rental laws in New York.
  • Save money for repairs. You will have to make repairs before your renters move in and again after they move out. You are responsible for repairing anything major that breaks, such as the air conditioner or refrigerator.

Do you need to sell your home? Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or email him at [email protected] Charles can help you sell your home or protect your home as a rental property.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]


How to Overcome the Overwhelm of Buying a Home

March 30th, 2019
Overcome the overwhelm
Overcome the overwhelm of buying a new home. Find out the answers to these 7 important questions before you make an offer on that house.

Have you found THE home? How exciting! Are you feeling overwhelmed with a flood of questions that are coming to mind? If you are, it’s totally understandable since purchasing a home is probably the biggest decision you’ll make in your lifetime. But buying a home doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can actually be a lot of fun. And obtaining the right information before buying THE home is just what you need to overcome the overwhelm.

Ask Questions to Overcome the Overwhelm

Take your time. Spend a lot of time planning and researching as much as you can. Here are seven great questions to ask to help you overcome the overwhelm you may be experiencing.

“How much money do I need for the down payment?”

You may have been saving money for quite a while, but is it enough? Should you wait another six months till you’ve saved more for a down payment?

In New York, the minimum for a down payment is almost always 20 percent of the selling price. If you secure a mortgage with a down payment of less than 20 percent, you’ll have to get mortgage insurance. But mortgage insurance doesn’t have to be a major stumbling block.

“How much house can I truly afford?”

There are almost always other costs beyond the purchase price of a new home. And first-time home-buyers are often surprised when they see how costs can add up.

  • Fees for other payments beyond the price of the home
  • Renovations
  • Repairs
  • Appliances
  • Blinds
  • Flooring
  • Lawn maintenance supplies
  • Maintenance fees

It’s wise to estimate your monthly mortgage payment first. Then make sure the other costs of items you’ll need beyond the monthly payments. You don’t want to go into more debt than you can pay for.

“Are my finances in good order?”

You need to show that you can close on the home you want to buy. Check your credit score and look for any discrepancies. If you find an error, get it corrected. If your credit history is blemished, you could be disqualified for the lowest mortgage rates. And it doesn’t matter if you show enough income.

Then, before you make an offer, get preapproved for a mortgage.

“What about the loan?”

Terms and differences in mortgages can be overwhelming. There are 15-year loans and 30-year loans, fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. And there is no one-size-fits-all home loan. So find a good lender who is very knowledgeable. They should know about every option that is available to you. And they should be able to show you how to get the most out of the loan process to get you as much house as you want.

“Were any claims filed on this property in the last seven years?”

This question may not have popped into your head, but it’s one you need to ask before you make an offer. What if the house had a termite problem in the past? Or was there damage of any kind to the house in the past? Request a copy of the C.L.U.E. report from the seller. C.L.U.E. is a database that maintains all insurance claims for homes and vehicles for up to the previous seven years.

“How much should I offer on this home?”

This is a good question to know the answer to if you want to overcome the overwhelm of buying a home. If you offer too little, you risk losing the home to someone else who offers more. Yet if you offer too much, you could wind up overpaying.

“Will there be more costs to prepare for at closing?”

Yes. There are closing costs in addition to the down payment. And depending on how you’re financing the home, there are more costs in addition to the one-time closing costs, such as:

  • Commissions fees
  • Appraisals
  • Surveying
  • Inspections and certifications
  • Tax and title services
  • Government record changes
  • Transfer taxes
  • Origination fee
  • Charge for specific interest rates
  • Real estate agent commissions
  • Home inspection charges
  • Title insurance

 And they are due at the time of signing.

Hire a Great Real Estate Agent to Overcome the Overwhelm

To overcome the overwhelm you need to hire a great real estate agent as soon as the house shopping begins. Charles D’Alessandro will tell you what comparable homes in the area have sold for. And he’ll help you make a solid offer the first time. If a counteroffer needs to be made, Charles will help you make one that fits your budget. And if multiple offers need to be made, he’ll guide you through them all. He’s here to help you, answer your questions, and guide you through the whole process from beginning to end.

Want to overcome the overwhelm that comes with buying a new home? Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206. Or email him at [email protected] right away.


Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

 Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]