5 Ways to Make You and Your Home a Happier Place to Be

November 15th, 2019
Home a happier place
Start practicing gratefulness every day to make a happier you and your home a happier place to be.

What are you thankful for today? Gratefulness is the key that opens the door to happiness. Science tells us so. You see, simple acts of kindness practiced daily make you more optimistic and less negative. So in light of Thanksgiving Day next week and a new year next month, here are five ways to practice gratitude every day to make you and your home a happier place all year.

Ways to Practice Gratitude Daily to Make You and Your Home a Happier Place

Make time to think about all that you’re thankful for daily. When gratitude is a priority and you recognize what and who you appreciate most every single day, it becomes second nature.

1. Start writing

Purchase a notebook and keep it with you wherever you go, in your home and when you leave the house. Then take a few minutes each day to write in it. Write down one or two things that you are thankful for. They can be events, circumstances, acts of kindness others have shown to you, notes of appreciation you have received, and so forth. Just write down whatever you’re grateful for.

Journaling allows you to look back and reflect on how much you have to be thankful for. Because let’s face it, we are so prone to forgetting the “little” things. And when times get rough, reading through your abundance journal (or whatever you name it) is immensely encouraging.

2. Verbalize your appreciation

Whenever anyone does something above and beyond or goes the extra mile, let them know you noticed. Then show your appreciation. Express your gratitude to them. Treat them with lunch or a visit to their favorite coffee shop.

Make it a point to interact with others as much as possible. We make time for those who are important to us. Do you remember the impact it had on you when someone took time out of their day to do something with you or for you?

3. Practice the Golden Rule

Treat others better than the way you want to be treated. And give them the same level of courtesy you appreciate receiving. Respect others with a smile, kindness, patience, and a listening ear.

Here are a few examples:

  • Offer to bring back coffee for someone in the office when you make your daily coffee run
  • If you use the last paper towel on the roll, replace it
  • When you make yourself something to eat, clean up after yourself
  • If someone is running to the door to enter the same building or elevator you are, hold the door for them

4. Focus on the positive

Negative things happen, to us and others, often. That’s just the way it is when we are alive. Lines get long. Kids get sick. Clients are sometimes difficult to work with. And here in New York, you get cut off in traffic. But don’t complain or moan about your challenges. Instead, choose to focus on the positive. Complaining reinforces a negative state of mind, whether you complain out loud to someone else or to yourself in your thoughts.

Next time something gets on your nerves, breathe deeply and choose to be grateful for something positive.

5. Volunteer in your community

Volunteering gives you positive things to focus on. It’s a great way to give back to the community while making you and your home happier, too. Yes, showing kindness and doing things for others does more for you than it does for those on the receiving end. Why? Because “It is better to give than to receive.”

Daily Gratitude is Key to Make You and Your Home a Happier Place to Be All Year

Practicing gratitude daily is key to make you and your home a happier place to be every day and in the year to come. And a happier you and a happier home are definitely something to be grateful for!

You know how nice it feels when someone shows you kindness or expresses gratitude to you. Be that person to someone else. Practice gratitude daily.

Happy Thanksgiving from Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate with heart. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] when it’s time to buy or sell in Brooklyn.


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


11 Mistakes That Will Keep a Quick Sale From Happening

October 30th, 2019
Quick sale
There are reasons why a quick sale isn’t happening for you. Ask yourself these 11 questions and make it happen.

Were you hoping for a quick sale when you listed your home last spring? Did you invest a lot of time and money into your home in order to attract buyers right away? Are you left wondering where all those potential buyers are months later? Don’t panic if the months have flown by and that coveted SOLD sign isn’t in your yard yet. There are possible reasons why a quick sale isn’t happening for you.

What to Ask Yourself When a Quick Sale Isn’t Happening

If your home isn’t selling, ask yourself the following questions. Then make the necessary changes. The good news is it’s all fixable, so there’s no need to panic.

Is my house overpriced?

If your house is overpriced, it won’t sell. To properly price your home, compare your property to others similar to your own. Look at those in your area that have sold recently. This gives you a much better idea of what your home’s true value is.

Note: Don’t make the mistake of assuming that renovations add value. Renovations don’t always translate into added value.

Does my listing do a great job of attracting a buyer’s attention?

Buyers will skip over poorly written listings. And if yours has only a few images, add more to it. But don’t add just any image! High-quality photographs of the interior and exterior of your home are extremely necessary to attract buyer attention.

Note: Don’t forget to list your home’s unique features in the description as well.

Should I be present whenever my agent shows my home?

Buyers don’t want sellers lurking around while walking through a home – not ever, not even during an open house. Your unwanted presence at showings puts unwanted pressure on them. Having you there in the house makes them feel uncomfortable. Allow buyers the freedom to envision themselves and their belongings in the house. Let your agent handle your showings.

Note: Don’t forget to take your pets and their belongings with you before your agent arrives to show your house.

Do I really want to sell this house?

If a part of you really doesn’t want to sell your house, negotiating with or coming to an agreement with a potential buyer will be difficult.

Note: Come to terms with yourself. Move past the attachment you have to your home or any thoughts that your house is the best on the market.

Is my house clean?

A dirty house leaves a bad impression on buyers. You can scrub a lot of what needs to be cleaned before your agent starts showing your house, yes. But hire professionals to help you with carpets and drapes before the first walkthrough takes place.

Note: If you’ve walked on it or touched it, get it clean. You’d be amazed at how dirty your carpets, windows, doors, baseboards, handrails, cupboards, etc. really are.

Does my home need to be staged?

Stage your house. Furniture and decor give buyers a better idea of how big a room truly is and how it can be used. Staging a home well makes buyers feel at home as they tour through it. And isn’t that how you want them to feel?

Note: Even an empty house needs to be staged. Buyers find it difficult to imagine themselves living in an empty house.

Should I pack more of my personal décor? 

Take everything that is personal down and pack it all away. This includes all of your family portraits. Your personal décor makes buyers feel uncomfortable. It also makes imagining living there more difficult for them to do.

Note: Trophies, award-winning ribbons, your children’s artistic drawings, and even your prized collectibles need to be packed away from potential buyers’ views.

Is my home too personalized? 

This question sounds a bit redundant after that last one. Doesn’t it? But this has to do with bright, loud, bold colors throughout your home. Neutral colors also allow potential buyers to better imagine themselves and their belongings in your house.

Note: For example, don’t scare off buyers with an incredible mural on the wall in your child’s room. Take a picture of it, and then paint over it with an aesthetically pleasing neutral paint.

Do I have too much furniture displayed?

Your home may be immaculate, but it may still feel cluttered. How? Too much furniture in a room makes the house feel smaller than it is. While your home is being shown, live minimally.

Note: Imagine this – an 11’x10′ bedroom “stuffed” with a King-sized bed, two dressers, two nightstands, and a floor lamp feels cluttered! Pack everything but the smaller dresser and a nightstand over to your storage unit and find a twin or full bed to use until the house sells.

Are there too many repairs that still need to be done?

Most buyers do not want to deal with the cost or take the time needed to make repairs. And the more repairs needed, the more unappealing your home is to a buyer.

Note: Walk through your house. Tighten handrails, replace broken tiles, apply caulking wherever needed. Are there broken pull tabs on blinds or missing fan pulls in the house? You get the picture.

Did I choose the wrong real estate agent? 

Choosing a great real estate agent makes all the difference when it comes to a quick sale. It’s the most important decision you make when selling your home. 

Note: When you list your home, hiring the right real estate professional is the best way to avoid mistakes that prevent a quick sale.

While you shouldn’t panic if a quick sale doesn’t happen the moment you list it, ask yourself why the offers aren’t coming in. Then contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] 


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


How to Celebrate Halloween 2019 in Brooklyn, New York

October 18th, 2019
Choose to celebrate Halloween 2019 in Brooklyn, New York

From parades and petting zoos for the little ones to adult music, drinking, and “horrific” entertainment, you can celebrate Halloween 2019 in a variety of scary degrees. Brooklyn has already been celebrating Halloween since October 1st, but there are a few events that run into the first part of November. For a complete list of events to choose from, visit Halloween in Brooklyn.

Celebrate Halloween Tomorrow

10th Annual Children’s Halloween Parade – Sat, Oct 19, 11AM

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk, 37 Riegelmann Boardwalk, Brooklyn, NY

This free event is brought to you by The Alliance for Coney Island. The party starts at 11AM with games, bounce houses, face painting, live music and so much more!

Celebrate Halloween in Brooklyn Through October 22nd

$29 Tix: Dancing Of The Dead Rooftop Party with 2 Hour Open Bar ($54 Value) – Oct 12 – 22

Kimoto Rooftop Restaurant & Garden Lounge, 216 Duffield Street, Brooklyn, NY

If your life has been a Halloween filter since September, then it’s time to nail down those plans and get your fill of frights and bewitching splendor as you head to The Annual Dancing Of The Dead Open Bar Halloween Party at starting at 6:00pm on Thursday, October 31, 2019, at Kimoto Rooftop Garden Lounge.

Treat yourself to this $29 Open Bar Ticket (a $54 value), dress to impress (or distress) to gain access to this garden of ghoulish delights at Brooklyn’s most breathtaking indoor/outdoor rooftop, offering panoramic views, bloodthirsty energy, and deep, dark pleasures.

Surrender your inhibitions to the seductive natures of Hallows Eve with a free-flowing foray of endless cocktails, wines and beers, all ready and waiting to encourage you to misbehave as you dance the night away at one of the city’s most spirited, spooky parties.

Bask in eerie thrills and the epic views, waking the dead with the sounds of an incredible night spend amidst the stars…

Your $29 Open Bar Ticket (a $54 Value) Includes:

  • Admission to Dancing Of The Dead Halloween Party from 6:00PM until 1:00AM on Thursday, October 31, 2019
  • 2-Hour Open Bar Serving Cocktails, Wines, and Beers from 6:00PM until 8:00PM
  • A Selection of Foods available for purchase
  • Live DJ Entertainment
  • Halloween Favors & Surprises
  • Indoor & Outdoor Rooftop Venue With Breathtaking Views Overlooking Manhattan & Brooklyn
  • Costume Contest

Adult Halloween Event Through October 25th

$29 Premium Open Bar Halloween Booze Cruise Aboard The Timeless – Oct 14 – 25

Pier 36 New York, 299 South Street, New York, NY

New York City’s beauty will be on full display for you to enjoy at a thrilling affair teeming with horror thanks to the sea-faring-experts at Empire Cruises, whose accessible and majestic fleet has been gracing the New York harbor for almost 10 years.

Climb aboard if you dare, entering a ghoulish bacchanal on the Timeless yacht, which can hold upwards of 550 passengers and boasts three levels of spacious indoor decks as well as a massive outdoor deck perfect for fresh air selfies and shots of the many jaw-dropping views you’ll see on this epic cruise.

A bevy of full-sized bars will serve up delectable, thirst-quenching libations, so whether you crave beers, wines, or cocktails (just to name a few), your thirsty cries and howls at the moon will be answered.

Tasty fare for purchase is ready for when hunger strikes, plus glamorous amenities like a high-tech sound system so the jams played by a live DJ will flow throughout the vessel.

Beware, good times lie waiting on the water…

Your $29 Ticket (a $54 Value) Includes:

  • Admission To A Premium Open Bar Halloween Party Booze Cruise Around NYC on The Timeless on Saturday, October 26, 2019, from 8:00PM until 10:30PM.
  • 2 Hour Premium Open Bar from 8:30pm until 10:30pm.
  • Spectacular photo opportunities of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Brooklyn Bridge & more!
  • A Selection of Foods available for purchase.
  • Live DJ spinning throughout the evening.

Empire Cruises’ Website | Halloween Party Booze Cruise

Halloween Parties on Friday, October 25th

Halloween Massacre – A Brooklyn Halloween Party – Fri, Oct 25, 10PM – Sat, Oct 26, 4AM

Brooklyn Bazaar, 150 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

One Party…
Three Rooms of Music…

Halloween Costume Contest with Cash Prizes
Halloween Decorations, Candy, Giveaways & More

Very limited amount of early bird tickets available. Must be 18 or older. No refunds.

A Night to Dismember Halloween Party – Fri, Oct 25, 10PM – Sat, Oct 26, 4AM

Amarachi, 189 Bridge Street, Brooklyn, NY

Come for a dismantling Halloween party at Amarachi lounge under the bridge. On Friday, October 25th, the massive bar, and lounge beckon NYC partiers to a live DJ-led dance party in its Halloween den of vice. To celebrate Halloween with additional prestige, indulge in VIP packages for reserved seating and bottle service. Zombies, vampires, and ghouls alike will delight in the frightful festivities at this hair-raising Halloween party in NYC.

Celebrate Halloween in Brooklyn on October 26th

Beyond X Industry City: Kids’ Halloween Parade – Sat, Oct 26, 10AM-4PM

51 35th Street, Brooklyn, NY

Join Beyond and Industry City for the third annual Kids’ Halloween Parade + Trick-or-Treat Scavenger Hunt! Including fun activities like mural painting and a pumpkin patch, come in costume for an evening to remember.

The Cityfox Halloween Festival 2019 – Sat, Oct 26 (4:30-5:30PM)

Avant Gardner, 140 Stewart Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Green Meadows Farm Brooklyn Halloween Fun Weekends – Oct 26-27 & Nov 2-3 (11AM-5PM)

Come have a BOO-tastic day at Green Meadows Farm! Your little ghouls and goblins get to dress in their costumes and explore a kid-friendly haunted house! They’ll enjoy petting lots of furry farm pets — alpacas, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows. Plus, there is a new event on November 2 & 3 — Pumpkin Smashing! Come belly laugh the day away.

KIDS, WEAR YOUR COSTUMES TO THIS HALLOWEEN EVENT!

Cost: $9 per person

Additional Fees for:

  • Animal Feed
  • Pony Rides
  • Pumpkin Smashing!

For additional information, call 718-470-0278 or visit www.greenmeadowsfarmbrooklyn.com or their Facebook page.

Halloween Events Through October 27th

Halloween Harvest 2019 – Sep 28 – Oct 27

Hosted by Luna Park NYC, 1000 Surf Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Halloween Harvest returns, magic shows, stilt walkers, trick-or-treating and more! All activities are included in any day Luna Pass. Tickets available at lunaparknyc.com.

The Dodo’s Best Dog Day Ever: Halloween Edition – Oct 4 – 27

25 Kent Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

Mark your calendars for The Dodo’s Best Dog Day Ever: Halloween Edition! This dog-friendly event will be held from 10AM to 7:30PM on Oct 4, 2019, to Oct 27, 2019, at 25 Kent in Brooklyn, NY.

BringFido out to the most perfectly spooky fall day with unforgettable experiences, extreme photo ops, and of course, very special treats, and tailor-made activities for him/her.

Dress your pup in costume so he/she can make an appearance in the epic parade! Discover a pumpkin patch just for pups, Dyson’s Transformation Lab where you get hands-on with Dyson technology while your dogs enjoy complimentary, mess-free makeovers with Dyson engineered tools, the ultimate trick-or-treat shoppe (with dog-friendly ice cream!), a happy AND haunted house packed with adorable rescue pups, Target’s Costume Cam and so much more.

Best Dog Day Ever is designed to make your dogs as happy as they make you.

Sponsored by Dyson and Target. Admission is varied.

Green Meadows Farm Pumpkin Picking – Oct 5 – 27

Aviator Sports & Events Center, 3159 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

MOST VISITED PUMPKIN PATCH IN BROOKLYN, NY IS AT GREEN MEADOWS FARM!


Green Meadows Farm Pumpkin Picking on October 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19 & 20
Bring your family and friends and enjoy a crisp autumn day of fall fun. Visit with friendly alpacas, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows, giggle on a hayride, and pick your own perfect pumpkin. You’ll find your special Halloween pumpkin in the pumpkin patch with sizes large and little, tall, and small. (FREE PUMPKINS with paid admission)

Time: 11:00AM – 5:00 PM
Admission: $9 per person

Admission Includes:
– FREE PUMPKIN
– Kid-friendly Haunted House
– Visit with Friendly Animals
– Enjoy a Hayride
– Milk a Cow
– Play in our Corn Box
– Sit on a Real Bulldozer
– Try the Giant Hay-wagon Slide
– Bunny Barn
– Barnyard Playground

Additional Fees for:
– Animal Feed
– Pony Rides

For additional information, go to www.greenmeadowsfarmbrooklyn.com or call 718-470-0278.

Events Going on Now Through October 31st

Rageoween – Oct 3 – 31

Absurd Conclave, 360 Jefferson Street, Brooklyn, NY

Halloween will never be the same! Following the successes of events like HEATWAVE and Rage Against The Grades, this will be the biggest rager October 31st has ever seen. This event features sounds by the best DJs in the city, a costume contest, exclusive one-time-only merch, special guests, and all the spooky vibes and high energy you can handle. Don’t miss out! This night only comes once a year. See you there!

The Springs Presents a Walk of Fear Haunted House – Oct 4 – Oct 31

The Springs, 224 Franklin Street, Brooklyn, NY

Enter the Walk of Fear if you dare. This Haunted House pop up at The Springs (224 Franklin Street) in Greenpoint will be open from October 4th – October 31st from 6PM – 11PM on Sunday – Thursday and 6PM – 12AM Friday and Saturday.

  • Starting on Oct 27th – Every Tuesday night at 9PM, four terrifying rooms to wander and test how much horror you can take in addition to Trivia
  • Oct 25-26 – Costume Dance Party starting at 10PM as well as a new fall cocktail menu

Admission: Purchase of one drink for adults and $5 for children. For more information, visit thesprings-bk.com.

Brooklyn Plantology – Oct 6 – 31

Brooklyn Plantology by Lapide, 26 Brooklyn Terminal Market, Brooklyn, NY

From Newyorkhauntedhouses.com: It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween and Fall here at Brooklyn Plantology!! Come see Brooklyn Plantology for all your fall decorating needs.

Brooklyn Plantology by Lapide – The area’s largest selection of retail and wholesale garden supplies family operated for 65 years in the historic Brooklyn Terminal Market.

They offer seasonal classes, event space, workshops, garden design and drafting services as well as organic and conventional products and materials. They deliver too!

NYC Pumpkin Beer Kegs – Oct 7 – Oct 31

Loreley Beer Garden, 7 Rivington St, New York, NY

Seasonally Decorated Heated & Haunted Outdoor Beer Garden

FREE Admission, NO Cover! Pumpkin Kegs Tapped & Filled with Southern Tier Pumking Beer, served directly to your table! Pumpkin Beer, Pumpkin Spiced Cocktails, Pumpkin Spiced Coffee, Seasonal Craft Cider, Cider Cocktails & more!

Special items available every day of the week Starting October 1st.

Big groups welcome! Reserve tables at www.loreleynyc.com or email [email protected] for reservations.

Halloween Events on October 31st Only

Halloween Flash Mob – Oct 31

Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY

Come join our flash dance mob and have fun with Jojo Seven Entertainment and dance the night away on Halloween night, Thursday, October 31st in Brooklyn, NY (Secret Location – You must register to find out the location). Three rehearsals for our FLASH MOB PERFORMANCE ARE LEFT. These classes will be held at Spoke the Hub (upstairs) at 748 Union Street from 3PM to 4PM every Sunday this month.

All ages are welcome! The event will be televised!! Inbox for rates, discounts, and group prices.

Rare Halloween: Carnage, Getter, 12th Plant & More –  Oct 31 (9-10PM)

Great Hall – Avant Gardner, 140 Steward Avenue, Brooklyn, NY

How ever you choose to celebrate Halloween, be safe and mindful of others. And when you need to buy or sell real estate, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] 


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


It’s In Your Best Interest to Hire a Lawyer

September 30th, 2019
Hire a lawyer
Buying or selling, hire a lawyer A real estate attorney is worth every bit of the peace of mind they give!

Whether buying or selling real estate, it’s in your best interest to hire a lawyer to represent you through the transaction process. Because even the simplest real estate deals come with complicated legal language, terms, and conditions. Besides, New York is one of twenty-two states which requires the presence of a lawyer during real estate closings.

Why It’s Important to Hire a Lawyer

The buying or selling transaction process involves attorneys, title insurance companies, property surveys, real estate agents, buyers, sellers, and mortgage brokers or bankers. And all of these people have their own sets of paperwork and legal jargon that may overwhelm you. A real estate attorney understands and sorts through the jargon and ensures your legal rights are protected.

There are also times when residential real estate transactions begin well, but disputes pop up during the process. And every real estate transaction should be fair and impartial for both seller and buyer.

Real estate transactions are expensive. But if they’re mishandled, they can result in problems for the buyer for years after the purchase.

What Lawyers Do to Help You with the Transaction Process

1. Lawyers Draw Up and Negotiate the Terms of the Contract of Sale

The seller’s attorney draws up the contract of sale with the price and terms and conditions already agreed upon between the buyer and seller. Some items included in a contract of sale include:

  • Down payment (usually ten percent of the purchase price)
  • Mortgage contingency (the time the buyer has to obtain a mortgage commitment, usually 30 to 45 days)
  • Approximate closing date
  • List of repairs that need to be done by the seller and appliances, fixtures, and all items that stay after the sale is completed

2. They Protect Your Best Interest

As a buyer or seller, your lawyer is there to make sure all documents you sign are in your best interest.

Your real estate attorney is also the mediator between the bank, title company, and real estate agents. They are there to coordinate the closing and make sure the monies are distributed properly.

3. Real Estate Attorneys Attend Closing Time

Ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer at closing time, and their papers to be signed and checks to be passed around.

The closing is attended by both the buyer’s and the seller’s attorneys, the lender’s attorney, and a representative from the title company. And each represents their clients’ best interests.

Seller’s Attorney

The seller’s attorney is there to handle the payoff of the seller’s:

  • Mortgage
  • Back taxes, if any
  • Fees
  • Other payoffs due at this time

This is done through the title closer.

Buyer’s Attorney

The buyer’s attorney is there to:

  • Ensure the terms of the contract are followed
  • Make sure mortgage documents are all in proper order
  • Ensure that everything that was agreed upon by the seller to the borrower (buyer) is honored
  • Make sure a clean title is transferred to their client, the buyer

And Others Who Attend the Closing

Title Closers

Title closers are there to represent the title insurance company and their client, the buyer.

Title Company

The title company attends the closing to:

  • Ensure all liens, fees, and any existing bills are paid
  • Make sure a clean title of ownership is transferred to the new owner

Lender’s Attorney

The lender’s attorney is at the closing to represent the mortgage given to the buyer.

Bank Attorney

The bank attorney, as we call them, is there to:

  • Have all the documents signed by the borrower (buyer)
  • Collect any remaining fees due to the lender by the borrower

Hire a Lawyer – It’s a Small Price to Pay

As you can see, there is much to deal with in real estate transactions. And the price to pay to hire a lawyer for peace of mind is small.

If you’re buying a home in New York, you must hire a lawyer to negotiate the contract of sale and represent you at closing. So, do your research to find and hire a lawyer who will truly represent your best interest.

If you need to buy or sell your home, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] 


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


Does a Home Inspection Need to be Stressful?

September 15th, 2019

Home inspections

A home inspection is beneficial to the seller as well as the buyer. No need to stress about home inspections.

Your home is on the market. And things are progressing well. You’ve got a buyer! The offer, the terms, and the price are all agreed upon. What comes next? The home inspection. And most homeowners find a home inspection to be stressful. Why?

What is a Home Inspection?

Before you and the buyers actually go to contract (aka escrow), the buyers will pay for a home inspection. Home inspections afford them the peace of mind that the condition of your house is in good order.

A home inspection is a report on the overall condition of a home. They are done by home inspectors who are trained and certified to do so.

The home inspector prepares and delivers a written report of their findings to the buyers. The buyers then use this information to help them make more educated decisions concerning their pending real estate purchase.

What to Expect on Home Inspection Day

No home is perfect. But a home inspection alleviates stress for you as the seller. Because knowing what an inspector looks for, allows you to sort out minor issues in advance.

The home inspector looks at and provides a written report on:

  • HVAC system
  • interior plumbing
  • electrical systems
  • roof
  • attic
  • floors
  • windows
  • doors
  • basement
  • foundation

Home inspections usually take two to four hours, sometimes longer, depending on the size of the house.

While the inspection is underway, you may feel helpless or that at the mercy of the buyer and his home inspector. But just let the process run its course.

What to Expect Following the Home Inspection

Most inspectors are fair and realize that whatever is in disrepair can be fixed. And most buyers understand a house is always in need of some repair. They expect that some things will need their attention after they move in.

Upon completion of the home inspection, it may take a couple of days for the buyer to receive a copy of the report. Exercise patience. Now is not the time to negotiate or fly off the handle. Just wait for the results of the report. If the buyer comes back with a list of repairs, expect to negotiate a compromise that works for both parties.

But remember, the ultimate goal is closing on the house.

Ask for a copy of the report and schedule time with your Realtor to review the following:

  • Small repairs listed that are not necessarily urgent
  • Repairs that were known by both parties in the original negotiations

When it comes to making the repairs listed in the report, what are your options?

  • Agree to do some repairs
  • Give the  buyer a credit
  • Reduce the price of your home
  • Do nothing at all

Remember though when you choose not to fix what needs fixing, you choose to sell your home as is and for a lower price. But this isn’t always the best choice since your ultimate goal is closing on the house.

And if there are major repairs listed, be sure to shop for the lowest cost of repair before you make a decision.

Home Inspections Don’t Have to be Stressful

Remember, home inspections are a normal part of the process. So stay cool.

Michael Reinhardt, a local attorney and Brooklyn real estate lawyer for over 20 years, wrote ‘Selling A Home Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful.’ Ask for your free copy today. There is no obligation, and the book’s information helps alleviate stress you may be feeling about the home selling process.

If you need to sell your home or have specific questions about home inspections, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. Call (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] 


 

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


The Best Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

August 30th, 2019
Advice for first-time homebuyers
First-time homebuyer? Here’s some of the best advice for first-time homebuyers!

If you’ve entered the real estate market as a first-time homebuyer, you may be feeling a little overwhelmed. And that’s totally understandable. It is the biggest purchase you’ll ever make after all! But where do you start? What should you know before investing in homeownership? Here’s the best advice for first-time homebuyers. Read on and put your mind at ease.

Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

In a seller’s market, inventory is low. That means bidding wars are going to happen. And the seller ends up selling for a higher price than what the house was initially listed for. That’s great for the seller! But this means you as a buyer need to be prepared and available to act quickly. You should also be prepared to lose out on a few homes before purchasing the home you really want.

1. Find Out How Much Home You Can Afford

Speak with a mortgage broker (preferably several) and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home. And don’t forget to allow for the monthly costs of homeownership. There’s more to owning a home than paying the monthly mortgage. Owning a home means electricity, water, gas, sewer, and maintenance.

2. Know Your Credit Score

First-time homebuyers need to know their credit score before doing anything. Lenders set their own credit score requirements and may require a minimum score higher than 580.

3. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage Loan

While knowing how much you can afford is your very important first step, sellers will be much more receptive to potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You’ll also avoid being disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range.

With pre-approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way the seller knows immediately that you are a serious buyer for that property.

Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close on your loan.

4. Hire a Buyer’s Agent

Reach out to and hire a buyer’s estate agent, someone who is looking out for your interests, not the seller’s. It’s free.

5. Communicate Clearly Your Lists of Needs and Wants

Make two lists. And be as specific as you can be. The more specific you are, the more your real estate agent can help you in finding the home that’s perfect for you.

The first list should include items you must have (the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.).

The second list is your wish list, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but aren’t absolutely necessary. Realistically, you probably won’t get everything on your wish list as a first-time homebuyer. But the lists will keep you on track for what you are looking for.

6. Stay Focused and Be Organized

Keep the following items handy. They’ll help you maximize your home search efforts.

  • Maps – One or more detailed maps with the areas you’re interested in highlighted
  • File – A file of the properties your agent has shown to you and ads you have collected
  • Notebook and Pen – Take notes on each home you walk through
  • Camera – A camera or video camera will help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you’re visiting more than five homes

7. Look at a Property with the Eyes of a Seller

Look at a potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to positive and negative features of the area? Think access to shopping, parks, freeways or abandoned properties, garbage dumps, noise, heavy traffic.

8. Visualize the House Empty and with Your Décor

Will the home meet your needs now as well as three to five years from now? Are the rooms laid out in a way that the home will accommodate your family? Is there enough light? What about outlets and storage space?

9. Be Objective

Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Too often, first-time homebuyers succumb to their emotions and allow themselves to become attached to a less than desirable property.

Spend time researching the local market trends and make sure your finances are suitable for a home purchase.

Purchasing a property should never be a rushed process. There are many houses on the market. Don’t make a hurried decision that you may regret later.

10. Be Thorough

A few extra dollars well spent now will save you big expenses in the long run.

  • Include inspection and mortgage contingencies in your written offer
  • Have the property inspected by a professional inspector
  • Request a second walk-through to take place within 24 hours of closing (Check to see that no changes have been made that were not previously agreed upon. For example, a nice chandelier that you assumed came with the sale has been replaced with a cheap ceiling light).

11. Know the Home-Buying Process

 Review the home-buying process with your real estate agent

  • timing of a purchase
  • costs you need to be prepared for beyond closing costs
  • whether the market is a seller’s market or buyer’s market

The Most Important Advice for First-Time Homebuyers

Above all, the best piece of advice for first-time homebuyers is to choose a real estate agent with these three qualities:

  • Trustworthiness
  • Excellent communication
  • Quick responsiveness

Charles D’Alessandro is a real estate agent you will connect with personally and professionally. You feel comfortable confiding in and trusting him with the most expensive purchase of your life.

Need advice for first-time homebuyers? 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. He knows the Brooklyn area inside and out.


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


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]