Archive for the ‘Selling Brooklyn Real Estate’ Category

Home Staging: This is How to Sell Your Home Faster and for More Money

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
Home staging

Home staging increases the value of your home to buyers and helps your home sell faster and for more money.

Once you list your home for sale, keeping it clean, bright and clutter-free is a given. But did you know that staging your home increases the value in the buyers’ eyes? It also helps you get a higher price for your home. It’s a proven fact. Sell your home faster and for more money with home staging.

What is Home Staging?

Home staging is more than thoroughly cleaning, hauling out clutter, fixing aesthetic issues and making your home bright with lots of light. Staging a home:

  • helps prospective buyers visualize themselves in the home
  • has an effect on the buyer’s view of the home
  • makes an impact in several ways for the buyer
  • helps buyers visualize the property as a future home
  • makes prospective buyers more willing to walk through a home they saw online

How Much Does It Cost?

Home staging costs an average of $675. Some real estate agents include home staging as part of their services.

If you choose not to have the whole home staged, stage the living room. It’s the number one room to stage. Second is the kitchen. Ranking third, fourth and fifth are the master bedroom, dining room, and bathroom.

Is it Worth the Effort and Investment?

Buyers typically offer a 6 to 10 percent increase in the value of a staged home. The impact and the value home staging bring to both home buyers and sellers make it worth the effort and investment most definitely!

Home Staging is About Your Home, not You

A professional home stager is hired to bring out the best in your home. Don’t take her recommendations personally. Commit to marketing your home for sale and be prepared to detach emotionally from your home and belongings. How we live is not how we sell a home, and therein lies a great challenge! Following staging recommendations to a tee and keeping your home in show-ready condition will sell your home faster and for more money. Trust your agent, your home stager, and the process!

Working with Charles D’Alessandro gives buyers, sellers, and investors the advantage they need to succeed in today’s challenging market. Charles knows what buyers want and how to best market and stage a home for sale.

Home staging is an excellent tool to give your home a little extra push to sell faster and for more money. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.

Why Should you Hire the Best Real Estate Team Possible?

Sunday, October 30th, 2016
Real estate team

Do your research and pick your real estate team wisely.

Buying a house is a huge investment and selling is just as big an undertaking. Whether you live nearby or miles away from Brooklyn, it’s important to hire the best real estate team possible. Each member of your team should be on your side to advise you through the buying or selling process, step by step, from start to finish. So, do your research and pick your team wisely.

Who should be on your real estate team?

Hiring the right real estate agent and mortgage broker is of number 1 importance, but you must first understand that you yourself have a role on your real estate team. You are your team’s leader. It is your job to assemble a team who will help you achieve your home buying or selling goals.

Your real estate team should include the following professionals:

  • Real estate agent or broker
  • Mortgage broker or loan officer
  • Home appraiser
  • Home inspector
  • Real estate attorney or settlement company
  • Insurance agent for required insurance, like flood insurance, for example
  • Home stager
  • Moving company and/or people to help with packing

First things first …

Before listing your house on the market, you need to hire:

  • A real estate agent – Your real estate agent should offer a market analysis of your home, help you determine your home’s listing price and give you a prioritized list of repairs and updates to get your home sold for the best price. In the Brooklyn market, the seller does not pay the buyer and the seller does not pick the title company, so the agent that you hire has to help with providing referrals to these services.
  • A home inspector – A home inspector finds what needs to be repaired before your home is listed. When these repairs are made, your home will look well-maintained and your home show better. These repairs also help to avoid delays leading up to the closing. Your home will appeal to prospective buyers as “move in ready.”
  • A home stager – A home stager knows how to present your home in the best way to attract buyers, from picking colors to removing personal photographs and more. They’ll choose new colors and suggest how to arrange furniture to make your home look as spacious as possible. This is the time you’ll want to declutter your home, by the way.
  • Don’t get so caught up on the inside of your home, though, that you neglect the outside. How your home looks to those who drive by or to those prospective buyers as they arrive for a tour is very important. Read Curb Appeal, A Quick Checklist for great insights on how to make a great first impression.

Your team needs to communicate well and on a very personal level

Buying and selling a home can be stressful and very personal. Make sure your team communicates with you well. If they’re not communicating with you or if they act like they don’t honestly care for your best, hire someone who does. You can’t do business with people who don’t respect you.

You want to work with a real estate agent like Charles D’Alessandro is a real estate agent with a heart for his clients.

  • Has experience and expertise with many of the problems his clients might run into
  • Provides his clients with advice and the best resources to get through the entire process efficiently
  • Knows there are emotions involved in buying or selling a home
  • Wants to get to know his clients and their families personally

Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate has a heart for his clients. Put his very best to work for you today. Call (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or email [email protected].

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Say No To FSBOing

Sunday, May 15th, 2016
FSBOing

Get the most you can possibly get from the sale of your home. Don’t take FSBOing risks.

In today’s buyers market homes are selling quickly and prices keep going up. This could encourage homeowners to try their hand at selling their home themselves without the experience of a great real estate agent. This is called FSBOing (For Sale by Owner) in the real estate industry. As tempting as FSBOing may sound, there are several good reasons why you should say no to FSBOing. Here are the top 5:

  1. You must have negotiating skills

Negotiating is part of the home buying/selling process, and you must negotiate with lots of people. Are you good at it? Do you enjoy negotiating? Do you know how to negotiate? If you decide to FSBO, you must be prepared to negotiate with the people mentioned in this list:

  • The buyer
  • The buyer’s agent
  • The buyer’s attorney
  • The home inspector
  • The appraiser
  1. FSBOing inhibits your home from being seen by prospective buyers

A whopping 89% of buyers search the internet when looking for a home. Only 20% look at print advertising. Most real estate agents have experience using the internet to promote the sale of your home and they do it well. Do you know how to market your home for sale online?

  1. Statistics show how crucial a strong internet strategy is

Buyers find their homes online. Look at these numbers:

  • 44% of buyers found their home on the internet
  • 33% worked with a real estate agent to help them find their home
  • 9% bought their home from a yard sign
  • 1% bought their home from the newspaper

It’s pretty clear that buyers find the home they actually purchased online. The days of putting a sign up and putting it in the paper are over.

  1. FSBOing is more difficult than it used to be

There’s a lot more paperwork involved in selling and buying a home than there used to be. Industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This increase in paperwork is one of the reasons that people don’t choose FSBOing. The statistics have gone from 19% down to 8% since 1981.

  1. You’ll end up with more money from the sale of your home if you use a real estate agent

Homeowners choose to FSBO because they believe they will save the real estate agent’s commission. Guess what? The main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they believe they will save the real estate agent’s commission. But the seller and buyer cannot both save the 6% commission.

Studies have shown that the typical FSBO sells for $210,000. They also show the typical house sold by a real estate agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that a real estate agent gets $39,000 more when your home sells. Studies do show that FSBO’ing might not make the best sense.

You may be determined to go it alone and think FSBO’ing is still your best choice. Before skipping to work with a real estate agent, think hard about the time and effort you really want to spend trying to sell your home. It’s possible the process could drag on.

A real estate agent’s job is to help you set the right price and get buyers in the door. They have access to and stay abreast of up-to-date and current information about recent sales of comparable homes and the competing listings in your neighborhood.

Sit down with your Brooklyn real estate professional, Charles D’Alessandro and see what he has to offer. He will market your home aggressively, recommend what it will take to make your home look great and maximize your listing with quality photographs. He will “weed out” the serious prospects from the not-so-serious- prospects so you deal only with those who are serious, too.

And once you’ve found a buyer, he will negotiate, take care of paperwork and walk you through every step of the extensive home processes.

Just say no to the time-consuming drama and headaches of FSBOing. Contact Charles D’Alessandro. With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, Charles has the expert marketing skills needed to sell your home. Call Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today.

4 Misconceptions About Capital Gains And Your Brooklyn Home Sale

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016
Capital gains

It’s tax time. Don’t let the dreaded capital gains tax cause you dread. Learn more about it right here!

Your taxes are due. April 15th is just two weeks away. Are you ready? If you sold your Brooklyn home last year, there are a few things you should know about capital gains and your home sale.

High-fives to you! You made a positive financial move in 2015 and walked away with a profit on your Brooklyn home sale. Now it’s tax time and the dreaded capital gains tax threatens to burst your bubble of excitement. Maybe this will help.

What are capital gains?

According to nystax.net, capital gains are the profits that occur as a result of the difference between selling and purchasing price, on which sellers of a primary residence are taxed.

First, know this. The rules aren’t as rigid as they used to be, and there are plenty of exceptions and loopholes you should be aware of. Second, talk with your accountant in Brooklyn, and ask these important tax questions to help avoid any confusion on April 15.  See 10 Money-Saving Tax Questions Sellers Need to Ask.

Knowledge is power. Learning about capital gains on a positive home sale in Brooklyn will save you money. On that note, let’s break down 4 misconceptions you may have about capital gains and your Brooklyn home sale.

  1. All Brooklyn home sales are not treated equally

Flipper and homeowner sales are taxed differently. A homeowner who has uses their home as their primary residence for two out of the five years before it is sold will receive better tax treatment on their home sale profit. A flipper doesn’t usually use a home as a primary residence for two out of the five years before it is sold, so profit on the sale is taxed as capital gains. If you happen to flip houses regularly, your home purchases are inventory, not capital assets. The profit from these home sales are taxed as income. For most people, long-term capital gains tax is 15%, but if you happen to be in the top tax brackets, it is 20%. But, if the profits earned are considered taxable income, tax rates could range between 10% and 39.6% depending on the rest of your income. Homeowners can avoid the tax by rolling profits over into the next home they purchase. Those who flip houses can’t.

  1. What matters if you’re married or single

Thankfully, the once-in-a-lifetime tax exemption of $125,000, was done away with by the Taxpayer Relief Act, but limits still exist for claiming tax exemptions. If you’re married, you can claim a tax-free exemption up to $500,000 from the sale of each home. If you’re single, you can claim a tax-free exemption up to $250,000 from the sale of each home. Claiming this tax-free exemption can get a bit sticky for newly married couples though. Let’s say one person owned a house for two years before it sold, and his or her partner was added to the title for two months prior to the sale. That works. But, both the bride and groom must have lived in that home for two years before it was sold even if the one partner was only on the title for two months before they married. And, if either party sold a home within the last two years and claimed an exemption, the newlyweds will have to wait until that two-year window closes before claiming any profits from the home they now share.

  1. Is your home a primary residence, vacation home or a rental property?

What if you aren’t flipping homes? What if you have a second home or a rental property you’ve lived in for two years that you’d like to sell? For tax purposes, it won’t be treated as a primary residence. Before the 2008 shift in the tax code, second homes and rental properties received the same tax benefits even if the home became the primary residence for a time. Now a prorated amount is determined on the number of years the home or rental property was used as a second home or rented out after 2008.

Here’s a “story problem” to help me explain this scenario: If you used your vacation home for 15 years before 2010 when you began using it as your primary residence, 10% of the profit earned on the sale would be taxed. Here’s why: The 2 years following 2008 when your home was used as a vacation home equals 10% of the total 20 years you owned the home. As long as the rest of the profit from the sale of the home falls within the tax exemption limits, it won’t be taxed.

  1. The more my Brooklyn home sells for, the greater the capital gains tax will be

This isn’t true. For tax purposes, the capital gains tax you owe doesn’t depend on the price you sell your home for. It depends on the amount you profit from the sale. As long as you don’t profit more than the exemption amount allowed on the sale, your home could sell for $1 million and you would not owe any in taxes.

Selling your Brooklyn home can be complicated. There is a lot to know when it comes to taxes and capital gains in New York. For instance, you could be reaching your cap on tax exemptions but still qualify for a partial exemption and not know it. Be sure you talk with your tax accountant before you make a major financial real estate move. Ask important questions and avoid confusion. It’s your accountant’s job to know the details about capital gains taxes on the sale of your home and the tax exemptions available to you. Let them help you get the most from the sale of your Brooklyn home.

If you’re selling your Brooklyn home, contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected] today. He can help you sell your home and get your questions about capital gains answered.

Now Is The Best Time To Buy or Sell In Brooklyn, Or Is It?

Friday, June 19th, 2015
buy or sell

Now is the best time to buy or sell in Brooklyn!

“I’d like to buy a new home, but is now the best time to buy?” “I’d like to sell my home, but is now the best time to sell?” Is there an urgency to buy or sell in 2015? The answer to each of these questions is, “YES!” Here’s why …

Now is the best time to buy in Brooklyn because:

  1. Waiting could cost you thousands. “With interest rates and home prices expected to climb in the next year, the financial penalties of delaying or forgoing a home purchase in today’s market have become very steep, said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for realtor.com®. View the realtor.com® Opportunity Cost Report market list here:  Opportunity Cost Report
  2. Interest rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months. Your ability to build substantial long-term wealth is decreasing. Each time interest rates increase, monthly mortgage payment amounts increase decreasing your ability to build long-term wealth. A little increase in interest rates can make a huge impact on your monthly budget.
  3. Home prices are expected to continue to rise in the next year.
  4. Homeownership has financial benefits. Buying a home delivers a financial benefit well over$100,000 over a 30-year period. Get the projected wealth increase for almost 100 cities here.

The cost of living is increasing. The costs of gas, taxes, insurance, etc., everything is going up.  You only make so much. You can only qualify for so much. Find out how much house you can actually afford. Can you really afford to live in the neighborhood you want to live in? Find out. Also, find out how rising interest rates will affect your ability to build wealth long-term. Take time to do the math. Reach out to a mortgage specialist. You can calculate your monthly mortgage payments using this online calculator.

Buyers, don’t get boxed out because you are waiting. You’ll miss out on significant, long-term financial gains if you choose to stand on the sidelines waiting. The longer you wait, the farther those financial benefits will distance themselves from you. Get started on the road to homeownership now!

Now is the best time to sell in Brooklyn because:

  1. Job growth is increasing. More than 3 million jobs have been created in the past year. As job growth increases, demand follows.
  2. Homes are selling more quickly.
  3. The supply of houses is down making it predominantly a seller’s market. A tight inventory puts the ball in the sellers’ court driving home prices upward helping you build additional equity in your home.
  4. There are fewer cash buyers. The increase in home prices has slowed from its recent growth. Moderate increases are still expected this year, but with fewer cash buyers.
  5. Interest rates are heading upwards. Since mortgage rates are still low, more buyers are expected to move into the market in the not-too-distant future because of the projected increase in interest rates.
  6. Rents are rising, too. Rising rental costs are encouraging renters to take the plunge into home ownership.

It’s a great market for sellers! Here are a few more reasons to consider listing your home in today’s sellers’ market:

If you’ve built up equity in your home, now is a good time to sell. Find out how much equity you’ve built up in your home. Ask your Brooklyn real estate agent, Charles D’Alessandro, to run a free comparative market analysis (CMA) to find out what the approximate value of your home is.

It’s worth selling your home if you’ve built up enough equity to provide 20% equity to purchase a new home. A down payment of 20% or more will keep private mortgage insurance (PMI) down.

If you’ve paid off all your non-mortgage debt and have saved 3-6 months of monthly expenses in an emergency fun, now is a good time to sell. It’s a good time to look for a new home that may be more accommodating to your current lifestyle. Read more about reasons for considering selling right here.

Now is a great time to buy or sell in Brooklyn. Take a good hard look at your finances. Then, partner with your Brooklyn real estate agent,  Charles D’Alessandro with Fillmore Real Estate. He puts service before a sale. He knows how to get things done when it’s time to sell your home or buy a new home that is better suited to your current needs. Call at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected].

Sources:

http://rismedia.com

https://www.dailyworth.com

http://realtormag.realtor.org

http://money.cnn.com

http://www.daveramsey.com

http://money.usnews.com

Homebuyers Are Different in Brooklyn

Thursday, April 30th, 2015
Homebuyers are different

Homebuyers are different. To sell your home, you must understand the different types and their specific needs.

 Homebuyers are different in Brooklyn . There are basically two categories of homebuyers: Baby Boomers and those mysterious Millenials.

Millenials are today’s first-time homebuyers. They dominate today’s housing market. Baby Boomers are your trade-up homebuyers, down-sizers and empty nesters. Gaining an understanding of these two groups and the different types of buyers represented, will help you market the unique and special features of your home to appeal to buyer’s needs and help you sell your Brooklyn home.

Millenials know how to turn a profit on everything they touch. They are known for their research, assessments and decisions during the homebuying process. In the next 10-15 years we will see more for-sale-by-owner properties (FSBOs). Millenials will be selling their own homes, and they’ll be good at it. Millenials will be better at listing a property than most real estate agents will be. And because there will be such a great demand to accommodate FSBO sales, we will see technologies surface, helping Millenials do what real estate agents do for their clients.

So, what value does a real estate agent bring to the table now or in the future?

  1. A valuable real estate agent will not sell Brooklyn, just a specific neighborhood in Brooklyn. He won’t be a one-size-fits-all real estate professional. He’ll go deep into the neighborhood you’re interested in, not broadly into Brooklyn.
  2. A valuable real estate agent is completely transparent, all the time. What you see is what you get, no surprises. He draws no lines between himself personally or as a real estate professional. His values, work ethic and interests don’t change with the crowd. His honesty and transparency make him refined and successful.
  3. A valuable real estate agent hustles on your behalf, and then hustles some more. His skills as a buyer’s agent are sharp. This means he puts in the smart work for custom, automated property searches. He’ll find coming soon listings before they hit the market or before they even become coming soon listings (think neighborhood FB pages, etc).

It is for these valuable reasons more and more of today’s homebuyers choose to work with professional real estate agents. Selling a home without a real estate agent puts you at a great disadvantage.

As with all types of buyers, earning your trust is important. Everyone wants to work with  someone they trust, someone who will match them with the perfect home or sell their home. Charles D’Alessandro provides his clients with outstanding care by crunching the data, running reports, walking you through a contract, negotiating inspection repairs, etc. He hustles on your behalf exceeding your expectations. If you’re ready to list your home or buy the perfect home for the type of buyer you are, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, is your agent. Contact Charles D’Alessandro at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected]. You can trust him for your home buying and selling needs.

Resource:

http://www.inman.com/2015/04/13/why-for-sale-by-millennial-is-the-future-of-the-industry/

 

The Popular VA Loan in Brooklyn

Saturday, January 31st, 2015
VA Loan

What is a VA Loan? Sellers, find out! You don’t want to miss out on this huge consumer market.

In the previous blog post, Don’t Overlook Buyers With a VA Loan in Brooklyn, we looked at misconceptions home sellers may have about a VA loan and how they could be missing out on this huge consumer market. But what is a VA Loan? A VA Loan is a flexible, government-backed mortgage loan supplied by an approved lender (Veterans United Home Loans, for example). The military loan guaranty program was created by the U.S. government in 1944 to help military service members purchase homes after returning from the field. Since then the VA Loan program has helped more than 20 million veterans and their families purchase homes by providing home financing options that are within their means. The VA Loan program is the most powerful home loan program on the market for veterans and their families. Because of the significant benefits a VA Loan offers to veterans who might otherwise struggle to obtain financing, home ownership is a reality.

Because of the loan program’s definite advantages over traditional mortgage, the VA Loan is increasing in popularity. Those advantages are:

  1. No Down Payment – This is the number one advantage! Service members who are constantly on the move may have difficulty saving money and building credit. But with VA-guaranteed financing, borrowers don’t have to put any money down.

The limit is sometimes much higher in some places, but in most, veterans can borrow up to $144,000 without putting up any cash of their own. Buyers can go above the limit, of course, but for every $4 borrowed after that limit, lenders typically require a down payment of $1.00. For example, if a veteran is trying to borrow $200,000, they would need $14,000 as a down payment. ($200,000 less $144,000 equals $56,000. $56,000 divided by 4 is $14,000).

  1. No Private Mortgage Insurance – Private mortgage insurance (PMI) is insurance that protects lenders in case of a borrower default. If a borrower is not able to put down at least 20%, many conventional lenders will require them to pay private monthly mortgage insurance. This is difficult for many veterans. With a VA Loan, however, there is no PMI. The federal government backs all VA Loans and shoulders the risk on behalf of the borrower typically covered by PMI. This VA Loan advantage allows a veteran to build more and more equity in their home, actually saving them thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage.
  1. Competitive Interest Rates – Home loan interest rates are based on risk assumed by a financial institution to finance a loan. Because the VA backs each VA Loan with a guaranty, financial institutions carry less risk and can, therefore, offer interest rates of 0.5 to 1 percent lower than conventional interest rates. The savings add up significantly when a veteran is able to combine the advantages of no money down, a very low interest rate when purchasing a home, and no PMI.

Two additional benefits which add to the popularity of a VA Loan are:

  1. Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) – Lenders can count BAH as effective income, which means a veteran can use BAH to pay some or all of their monthly mortgage costs. Pay grade, geographic location and number of dependents determines BAH. Learn more about Basic Allowance for Housing here: http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/basic-housing-allowance-bah/
  1. No Pre-Payment Penalty– Paying off a home loan before it matures results in a pre-payment penalty with many different types of loans. When a homeowner pays off a home loan early, lenders miss out significant amounts of interest. Pre-payment penalties are a financial institution’s way of recouping some of that interest money. An added benefit of a VA Loan allows for a home loan to be paid off at any time without a pre-payment penalty. Without pre-payment penalties, borrowers have the freedom to consider future home purchases and refinancing options.

Many states and many localities offer additional benefits over and above what the government provides. The types of programs vary from place to place, too. To find out what New York state offers for veterans, visit http://www.military.com/benefits.

Look into government programs and the benefits Brooklyn or the county you live in offers. It’s to your advantage. Failing to do so could mean leaving money on the table when you purchase a home.

Since there is no central repository for local information, you’ll have to do some digging. I suggest you start with New York’s VA department.

As your Brooklyn real estate agent, I take my responsibility of service to you as a veteran with a VA Loan very seriously. If you are looking to purchase a Brooklyn home with a VA Loan, please call me, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today.

 

Resources:

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/va-home-loan-advantages/

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20141228-story.html?track=rss

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/12/29/are-vets-missing-out-home-ownership#sf6627801

Don’t Overlook Buyers With a VA Loan in Brooklyn

Thursday, January 15th, 2015
VA loan

Nearly 12% of the 16.4 million active-duty service members and military veterans with a mortgage have a VA loan.

Home Sellers, are you overlooking buyers with a VA loan in Brooklyn? If so, you could be missing out on a huge, fast-growing consumer market. Wanda Petty, president of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals, says, “Most home sellers have major misconceptions about veterans and active military, so they don’t even try to market their homes to this large population. As a result, they are missing out on a huge consumer market.”

Here are 7 misconceptions home sellers may have about VA loans (VA-guaranteed financing):

  1. There’s too much paperwork involved with a VA loan. Those buying a home with a VA loan need to go through the same steps as someone applying for a conventional loan: 1) prequalification, 2) pre-approval, 3) search for a home in Brooklyn, 4) make offer and 5) process and close on your dream home in Brooklyn.
  2. VA loan appraisals are a nightmare. On average, VA loan appraisals are coming back in a little less than 10 days nationwide. The VA wants service members to purchase solid, move-in ready homes. VA loans are not designed to fund fixer-uppers. A home in good condition makes the VA loan appraisal a breeze.
  3. VA loans are slow to close.  According to AVREP, VA loans close as much as two days faster than conventional mortgages. Most VA loans close in 30-45 days.
  4. VA loans are difficult to qualify for. Qualifying for VA loans is easy for veterans, and when both buyers and sellers know the loans’ limits, the qualifying process flows more efficiently, according to Wanda Petty.
  5. VA loans require a perfect credit score (850 being a “perfect” score). The minimum credit score required by the VA varies by lender. Most VA lenders are looking for a 620 credit score. The average credit score is 525 which compares favorably with the 600 needed for most conventional loans.
  6. Our home may be out of their reach with a VA loan. Few neighborhoods are too expensive for VA loans.
  7. VA buyers are few and far between. Military families are everywhere. They are in your community.  According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 12% of the 16.4 million active-duty service members and military veterans with a mortgage have a VA loan.

According to Inside Mortgage Finance, a trade publication, the increasingly important VA loan program is among the fastest-growing areas in the mortgage market. At last count, the VA owned nearly 25% of the primary insured-loan market, easily outperforming the Federal Housing Administration (the FHA). Sellers, don’t miss out on this opportunity to sell your home. Don’t overlook buyers with a VA loan!

As your Brooklyn real estate agent, I take my responsibility of service to you as a seller very seriously. If you are looking to sell your Brooklyn home, call me, Charles D’Alessandro Your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email [email protected] today.

Resources:

http://www.latimes.com/business/realestate/la-fi-lew-20141228-story.html?track=rss

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/12/29/are-vets-missing-out-home-ownership#sf6627801

http://www.veteransunited.com/valoans/note-to-home-sellers-leaving-out-va-borrowers-is-your-loss/

http://www.military.com/money/va-loans/5-va-loan-myths-dispelled.html

http://www.veteransunited.com/realestate/5-most-common-va-loan-myths-busted/

http://www.veteransunited.com/va-loans/

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.

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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-