Archive for the ‘Brooklyn Real Estate’ Category

It’s In Your Best Interest to Hire a Lawyer

Monday, 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

How Will the New Tax Law Affect You?

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

New tax law

The new tax law: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How will it affect you as a Brooklyn homeowner?

A New Year brings with it new possibilities and changes, even in the world of real estate. Have you heard about the new tax law: the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? Whether or not you have, you most likely won’t notice the changes that will affect you until you file your taxes in 2019. You may see changes made to next month’s paycheck because of this new tax law and its new tax rate deductions, however.

New Tax Law: How Its Policies Could Affect You as a Homeowner

  1. Capping Mortgage Interest Deduction

On December 15, 2017, the new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, reduced the amount of mortgage interest rate deduction for new loans from $1,000,000 to $750,000. If you took out a loan before December 15, 2017, you are grandfathered into the previous tax policy.

If you want to refinance your existing mortgage balance and still deduct the interest, you can do so up to $1,000,000, but your new loan cannot exceed the amount of your existing mortgage balance being refinanced.

The capping of the mortgage interest deduction poses a risk to large urban areas with high-priced homes such as those here in New York as well as in Washington, D.C., California, Hawaii, and Massachusetts.

The effect of these changes will not be noticed until you sell your home. But the newly purchased property would then come under the new regulations of the new tax law policies.

By limiting your buyer’s purchasing power and capping mortgage interest rate deduction, the growth of your home’s value could be slowed. This could then affect the profits you as a longtime homeowner would hope to gain when trying to sell.

  1. Introducing the New SALT Deduction Limit

Whether filing as an individual or married couple, taxpayers can itemize deductions up to $10,000 for their total state and local property taxes and income or sales taxes in the final bill. The cap is the same for both.

The new SALT limits will impact households that pay more than $10,000 in combined state and local taxes each year. Alexander Casey, Zillow Group Policy Advisor, says, “On one hand, taxpayers who still itemize deductions and whose total state and local tax liability exceeds $10,000 will get a smaller tax break; however, for other households, the continued availability of those deductions, even if they are capped, may be the deciding factor between whether or not they itemize deductions. This matters a lot in areas where SALT deductions were a relatively more significant reason for itemizing – areas with lower home prices, but higher taxes (e.g., upstate New York, Southern New Jersey, Inland California).”

In the law preceding this new tax law, the SALT deduction was unlimited.

Realtor.com® Senior Economist Joseph Kirchner, Ph.D. says, “The new SALT limit will have the greatest impact on states that provide a large number of services to their citizens by, first, reducing the benefit of tax cuts by disallowing the full value of this deduction, and, second, compounding the issue of the standard deduction vs. the mortgage interest rate deduction.”

  1. Preserving the Exclusion of Capital Gains

The previous law stated that homeowners must live in their home for two out of the past five years in order to qualify for the capital gains exclusion. This tax policy hasn’t changed.

Casey also says, “About 10 percent of home sellers last year sold their home after living in it between two and five years. Keeping the status quo means these sellers no longer need to make that difficult choice, and can instead feel more free to list their home on a more flexible schedule without fear of a potentially hefty tax hit.”

An increase to the residency requirement to five of the past eight years was proposed in the Senate bill, but it did not pass to the final version.

Kirchner stated, “Today, homeownership is imperative for middle-class wealth-building and financial stability. It allows people to invest in a long-term asset that pads their retirement savings, provides a safety net for unforeseen circumstances, and equity to back investment in education or small business. The survival of the capital gains exclusion means that the advantages of this type of investment will remain (except, of course, with regard to impact of changes to deductions).”

  1. Deducting on Home Equity Loans

According to the new law, taxpayers will no longer be able to deduct the interest paid on their home equity loans beginning in 2018, unless the funds are being used to improve their residence significantly. This provision expires in 2026 when it reverts back to the previous cap of $100,000 of home equity debt.

“Deductible interest on home equity loans used to provide homeowners another layer of financial security by giving them the ability to obtain low-cost financing,” Kirchner says. “Now, without the ability to deduct interest, owners effectively will have to pay more for their loans, which could put downward pressure on the homeownership rate.”

Casey believes removing this homeownership incentive will not dramatically impact the homeownership rate. But it will affect home renovations instead. About this, he says, “A lot of personal and economic factors matter more. This deduction is more important for financing major home renovations, so eliminating this deduction could contribute to underinvestment in the housing stock, making it more difficult for struggling communities to reinvent themselves.”

  1. Doubling of the Standard Deduction

Also in the previous law, $6,350 was the standard deduction for single taxpayers and married couples filing jointly. In the new law, this amount is nearly doubled to $12,000. The previous standard deduction for married couples filing jointly was $12,700. This has been increased to $24,000.

“A doubled standard deduction will have a big impact on how many homeowners ultimately decide to take advantage of the mortgage interest deduction,” says Casey. “When you combine a much larger standard deduction, with the fact that some itemized deductions have been capped or pared back, many filers may no longer find it financially advantageous to itemize deductions.”

According to Zillow’s calculations, Casey says that under the current tax code, itemizing and claiming the mortgage interest deduction is financially worthwhile on an estimated 44 percent of all U.S. homes. In addition, under the new law, itemizing and claiming the MID is worthwhile on only 14.4 percent of homes nationwide.

“The doubling of the standard deduction changes the equation for homeownership incentives and essentially renders the mortgage interest rate deduction ineffective for the majority of owners,” says Kirchner. “Until now, most households did not itemize their deductions until they bought a home, which added significant tax benefits to ownership. Based on the changes to the standard deduction, this benefit will disappear for all but those homeowners who have mortgages in excess of $550,000, depending on what other deductions they have.”

Location and Timing and the New Tax Law

How much you are impacted by the new tax law will be based largely on where you are located. If you are located in a high-cost state, you may see the biggest changes in how you file, especially with the new $10,000 SALT limit. According to Zillow Research, 51 percent of Americans surveyed last year said they agree with the statement that “the property tax rate in my community is unfair to me.” These sentiments may rise in response to residents of high-tax burdened markets receiving a higher tax bill because of the new limit.

For example, Zillow analysis conducted for the Wall Street Journal states that a top income earner in New York, who owns in the top-third price range of the metro, pays an estimated $23,000 in property and state income tax every year, which is double the amount now allowed for deductions. The analysis also reported $10,000 in similar circumstances for Raleigh, N.C., and $12,000 for a Chicagoan. These are just a few areas where high-earning taxpayers would be adversely impacted by the new SALT deduction cap. According to a Wall Street Journal article, Moody’s Analytics estimates that 80 percent of counties across the country will see a negative impact on home prices in the summer of 2019.

Low-tax states, however, may benefit from the new tax code. According to the WSJ, parts of North Carolina, Alabama, Nebraska, Indiana, and Tennessee may see boosts in their home prices and local economies. And the same Zillow analysis that surveyed high property and income taxes in other states says an individual in a similar financial situation would pay one-quarter of the amount in Nashville, Tennessee. For those that have been on the fence about moving, the tax overhaul may be their deciding factor. But those who live in high-tax states may not see the negative impact from taxes as reason enough to leave their homes.

According to NAR research, here are the five metro areas that will be most affected by the new tax law (based on homes with mortgages valued over $750,000):

  1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.
  3. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.
  4. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, Calif.
  5. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii

The top five metros based on share of owners that pay over $10,000 in real estate taxes:

  1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, N.Y., N.J., Pa.
  2. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Conn.
  3. Trenton, N.J. Metro Area
  4. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  5. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, Calif.

In response to the bill’s passing, NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall said, “Only 6 percent of homeowners have mortgages exceeding $750,000, and only 5 percent pay more than $10,000 in property taxes, but most homeowners won’t itemize under the new regime. While we’re pleased that important homeownership incentives such as the capital gains exclusion survived in conference, additional changes are required to truly incentivize homeownership in the tax code.”

But timing also plays a role. Many of the provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including individual tax cuts, expire in 2025 and therefore, may lead to tax hikes in the future, according to the Distributional Analysis of the Conference Agreement for the TCJA by the Tax Policy Center. The report states that taxes would be reduced by $1,600 on average in 2018, increasing after-tax incomes by 2.2 percent; however, in 2025, the average tax cut as a share of after-tax income would decrease by 1.7 percent for most income groups.

“The tax bill decreases homeownership incentives, but these benefits are not the only factors in the homeownership decision,” Kirchner says. “In the short run, homebuyers can look forward to more money in their pocket that can be used for a down payment or larger home.”

He adds that cuts in government services and economic development programs, along with the rescinding of tax cuts for individuals in a few years and the impact of tax reform-induced deficit on inflation, will weaken the impact of the after-tax income boost on homeownership.

“The change definitely removes some of the federal government’s preferential treatment towards homeownership,” Casey says. “Ultimately, with these new reforms, households will be more likely to maximize their tax breaks with a standard deduction. And when someone uses the standard deduction, it doesn’t matter if they spent an extra $5,000 on a house, a boat or a vacation—the spending is treated the same when tax season comes.

“It will be interesting to see how the temporary nature of some of these tax cuts shake out,” says Casey. “Will those households on the edge of homeownership make decisions based on what their new take-home income is in February, or will there be some apprehension if they think their taxes will rise down the road?”

According to an NAR statement, “As a result of the changes made throughout the legislative process, NAR is now projecting slower growth in home prices of 1-3 percent in 2018 as low inventories continue to spur price gains; however, some local markets, particularly in high-cost, higher-tax areas, will likely see price declines as a result of the legislation’s new restrictions on mortgage interest and state and local taxes.”

If you have any questions about how the new tax law will affect you, call Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 today.

This article was largely taken from RISmedia.com’s article “Tax Reform: Here’s What Could Impact Homeowners Most.”

Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Charles D’Alessandro: A Successful Real Estate Agent with Heart

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Real estate agent

A drive for excellence sets Charles D’Alessandro apart from the rest. He’s a real estate agent with heart.

“People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”

Charles D’Alessandro is not as different from the rest of us as you may think. He’s just a regular guy, born and raised in Brooklyn, who loves a great a slice of New York pizza. He loves football, New York Yankee baseball, and his job as a real estate agent at Fillmore Real Estate in Brooklyn, New York. But there is a difference. He has heart. He has passion. And he puts it into everything he does. This sets him apart from other real estate agents and people in general, for that matter.

A Passionate, Motivated, Excellent Real Estate Agent

Charles is a spirited individual. His passion for excellence and having fun with whatever he does motivates him to succeed. Whether it’s his family or his business, he exceeds expectations. And that desire for excellence has brought him success as a leading Brooklyn real estate professional.

For over 30 years, he’s been helping people achieve their dreams of owning Brooklyn homes, condos and co-ops. His credentials are numerous and varied:

Real estate agentReal Estate Agents Serving Brooklyn with Fillmore’s Best

Charles always has his finger on the pulse of Brooklyn, East Flatbush, and Marine Park real estate. He is Vice President Division Manager for Fillmore and is also the office manager of Fillmore’s 2926 Avenue J office. His sales staff consists of 35 Realtors all living in and serving the Brooklyn community the ‘Fillmore way.’ Charles considers them to be “Fillmore’s Best.”

From 1999 to today, our Brooklyn Fillmore real estate office has broken sales records and won awards. It remains one of Brooklyn’s top real estate agencies. “We’re proudest of the extraordinary level of personalized service we bring to our clients. Our goal is and always will be to amaze our clients and customers with the quality of our services. They have my personal guarantee that they will not find a more complete and satisfying real estate service anywhere,” Charles says.

Born and raised in the Gravesend neighborhood of Brooklyn, Charles is a Brooklynite through and through who speaks “Brooklynese”! He attended Our Lady of Grace Elementary School, Abraham Lincoln High School, and Kingsborough Community College. Today, he is married to the love of his life and lives in the Marine Park area where he raised his two sons.

Charles’ firsthand knowledge of the Brooklyn real estate market and its neighborhoods is valuable when you’re looking to buy or sell your Brooklyn home. His 30+ years of experience as a Brooklyn real estate agent allows him to offer indispensable knowledge, integrity, and ability to you as a buyer or seller. He speaks your language. He works for home buyers and sellers and tries to advise and consult them in the best way he knows how. At the end of every day, no matter how things may have turned out, he feels great, because he always does his best for his clients and customers.

What Others Have to Say

Find out what others who have worked with Charles have to say about him here on his Testimonial Tree and visit his About Page.

Brooklyn’s Best Real Estate Agent is on Your Side

If you’re buying or selling Brooklyn real estate, you want a real estate agent who is on your side. You want someone who cares about this important decision as much as you do. You won’t find anyone who cares more than Charles D’Alessandro. Call your Brooklyn real estate professional today at 718-253-9600 ext 206 or email him at [email protected]

Remember, you and your family deserve the best in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island!

Downsizing in Brooklyn – Thinking Big by Living Small

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

downsizing in Brooklyn

Downsizing in Brooklyn – thinking big by living small

by Charles D’Alessandro | Leave a Comment

What is downsizing? It is the concept of living simpler, utilizing space to its fullest. It is having fewer financial burdens, living in a home that requires minimal maintenance. It is getting rid of excess stuff that has been accumulated over time and paring down to basic essentials. After all, how much stuff do we really need to live a normal life? How much living space do we really need? There’s a trendy movement among us called micro-living. Fans of micro-living swear by it, and they are encouraging others in Brooklyn to start thinking big by living small.

Many people live beyond their means and accumulate stuff over time. Living beyond your means creates one or more of the following realities in day-to-day life that must be dealt with, sooner than later:

  • Excessive debt
  • Too much stuff
  • Debilitating stress

Enter the desire for change, the desire for simplicity, the desire for downsizing. Downsizing in Brooklyn can be stressful, but the benefits listed below far outweigh the negatives. Advocates of micro-living say downsizing will:

  • Increase cash flow
  • Provide more time
  • Lower utility bills
  • Reduce consumption
  • Minimize stress

Downsizing in Brooklyn requires:

  • Assessing your actual needs
  • Prioritizing needs versus wants
  • Getting rid of clutter. (If you don’t need or use an item within 6 months, give, sell or throw it away). (When you come across boxes of items that haven’t seen the light of day for years, get rid of them at once. You don’t need them).
  • Donating electronics and furniture
  • Moving to within walking distance of work, grocery shopping and downtown amenities

Once your downsizing in Brooklyn is complete, try to stay organized. Be ruthless about what enters your space. Then, relax and enjoy surrounding yourself with only those things that are truly most important to you. You’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing that a move to living a simpler life will be smoother, too.

And, of course, your Brooklyn area real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, knows where the smaller and good-quality houses are. I will find you just the right location to meet your needs for downsizing in Brooklyn. Contact me by email at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 today.

Spring Time Have the Best Garage Sale at Your Brooklyn Home

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Have a Garage Sale at your Brooklyn Home

Have a Garage Sale at your Brooklyn Home

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Consumer Red Flags When Hiring Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

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Consumer Tip – Real Estate Red Flags (1)

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

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

Consumer Tip – Real Estate Red Flags (2)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 17th, 2012

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

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

The Good News

Odds are that you will never pay this tax.

Why You Most Likely Won’t Pay the New Tax

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

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

The Bottom Line

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

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

 

 

Using Comparables to Sell Your Brooklyn Home Like an Olympic Athlete

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Buying or Selling Brooklyn Short Sales Can Be Tricky

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Call Charles for help with your Brooklyn Short Sale

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

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

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

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

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

 

U.S. and Brooklyn Real Estate Continue to Improve

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

 

Economists say and statistics show that there are true signs of improvement in the most recent housing figures for U.S. and Brooklyn real estate markets. Here are a few of those stats:

Investors bought 1.23 million homes in 2011, up 64.5 percent over 2010, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. 

  • The median investment-home price was $100,000 in 2011, up 6.4 percent from $94,000 in 2010.
  • Single-family home sales rose 3 percent in April.
  • New home sales increased 3.3 percent in April, according to new Commerce Department data.
  • Sales of existing homes rose in April, up 10 percent from April of 2011.
  • The median price of existing homes nationwide also moved up to $177,400 from $164,800. This is the biggest year-to-year gain since January, 2006.

In addition to good news in both nationwide and Brooklyn real estate, there’s also good news about the economy:

Economic growth is now projected to grow by 2.4 percent this year, up from a 2.2 percent forecast in February.

  • The new job creation forecast, which is the most watched economic indicator, has also improved. The data now shows that 188,000 new jobs will be created each month this year, which is up from the 170,000 new jobs per month forecasted earlier this year.

As you can tell from this data, if you want to buy Brooklyn real estate while prices are at their lowest, you shouldn’t wait a minute longer. Give me a call today at Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate a call at 718/253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected].. to get started!