Archive for the ‘Selling Brooklyn Real Estate’ Category

Is Your Brooklyn Home Not Selling?

Sunday, November 15th, 2020
Price reduced For Sale Sign

Selling your Brooklyn home can be a stressful time in the best of circumstances. But what happens if your home doesn’t sell as quickly as you had hoped? 

My highest recommendation is to maintain an open line of communication with your real estate agent. Ask questions if you have them. Don’t make assumptions and blame without verification. Your real estate agent is on your team.

Many factors affect the sale of a home. Some factors are in your control, some are in the control of others, and some are not in control of anyone involved in the transaction. 

Your responsibilities to consummate a successful sale of your Brooklyn home are items that you most likely can do something about.

Here are some factors in your control:

Price

The pricing of your home is one of the most important steps in the home selling process. It is a common misconception that you can ask for a higher price for your Brooklyn home and negotiate lower. This strategy frequently backfires, and the final sales price will be less than if the home were listed at the appropriate price.  A savvy real estate agent will find the most recent sales in your area for homes that compare to yours and guide you to a price that is substantiated by those comparable homes. A real estate appraiser will be looking at this information when it comes time for the appraisal. If there are negative factors about your home that you can not change, adjusting your price may be the only option.

Condition

As a seller, you will want to be sure that your home is in the best condition you can afford to present it in. If your home is equipped with the best the 70s had to offer, it may take more time to find the right buyer. If you have deferred maintenance that should be completed, do everything you can to get it ready for the market.

Preparation

Any repairs and preparation should occur before entering the home into the MLS. Preparing your Brooklyn home to sparkle and shine during the showings is always important even in a hot market. You may be wondering why. The buyer will form impressions from the moment they walk in the door. If they feel there are too many repairs or the home has not been well maintained, they will move on to the next home. Here is a link to a previous post that will help you prepare your home.

Limited Showing Availability

Preparing a home for showings can become monotonous if your Brooklyn home is on the market for a period of time. It takes a lot of effort to make sure everything is clean and show worthy. Getting the family and pets out the door can also become a chore. I’m sure there are days you just don’t feel like doing it. But, you never know when THE buyer is going to walk through the door. Understandably, there may be a time when it is not possible to allow for showings. You need to be as flexible as you can to allow the buyers access to your home. If they can’t see it, they won’t buy it. If necessary, ask your agent if it would be possible to request a few hours notice to show. That will give you time to prepare but won’t give the buyer too much time to find another house before they look at yours.

Odors

As the commercial says, we often become nose blind to the smells in our own home. There are many causes of odors that can turn off potential buyers. Pets, cooking, dampness, and mildew can all be factors that affect the smells in your Brooklyn home. Bring in a friend or relative who has a more sensitive nose than yours to do a walk through and point out any potential issues. It is important to eliminate the source of the odor and not just mask it with air fresheners.

Cluttered home office

Clutter

Clutter is a big problem and should be addressed in your preparation process. Yes, you still have to live in your home, but you have to give the buyer a feeling that there is enough space in the home. Closets are an area where clutter can turn a buyer off. When your closet is jam-packed full of clothing and accessories, you should remove the excess. Removing your clutter has a psychological effect, allowing the buyer to envision their belongings in the space.

Motivation

Your motivation as the seller will determine the trajectory of the sale. If you are listing your home for sale to “test” the market, you may not be open to any negotiation. This type of seller has a tendency to overprice their home. An unwillingness to cooperate with the buyer will make the completion of the sale very difficult.

Your responsibilities have a great contribution to the timing of your sale. Rely on your real estate agent to guide you through these steps. We sometimes put greater value on our own possessions than a potential buyer will. That is why it is so important to get the opinion of a professional who studies and understands the Brooklyn real estate market.

Let’s take a look at factors that someone other than you can control:

Marketing

Your real estate agent will be responsible for the marketing of your Brooklyn home. When interviewing real estate agents, you want to ask about their marketing plan. One of the least successful marketing plans is the three Ps:

  • Put a sign in the yard
  • Put it in the multi-list
  • Pray it sells

A good marketing plan will cover pricing, promotion, analysis of the competition, tracking, and timing adjustments if needed. Ask your real estate agent for their marketing plan before signing the listing agreement. Check out this blog post on marketing a Brooklyn home.

Photographing a room

Photos

Photos should be part of the marketing plan, but it is so important I wanted to mention it separately. First impressions of your home will come from the photos that potential buyers look at online. Most buyers start their Brooklyn home search online before they ever contact a real estate agent. Good quality photos make all the difference. These photos do not have to be done by a professional photographer, but they should be done with good equipment to provide clear, wide-angle shots of the rooms. Not having enough pictures is also a problem. There is a limit of photos an agent can add to the multi-list, but the agent should use all available. Some websites outside the MLS will also allow additional photos to be added. 

Unrealistic Buyers

There are always buyers who want to purchase a home in mint condition at bargain prices. Some buyers do not want to move into the home and make repairs, whether large or small. They will make a low-ball offer based on their feeling of what will need to be done in the home to meet their needs. Sometimes after the home inspections, they will ask for unreasonable amounts of repairs or a large credit.

Inspections

Many buyers are not educated that the home inspection aims to uncover any major ticket items or safety issues. These items are not always known by the seller. If the buyer has cold feet, they may decide to terminate their offer at this stage. Having a pre-inspection by a licensed home inspector is a good way to eliminate any surprises.

Appraisal

As mentioned in the Pricing obstacle, the appraiser uses information on homes that have recently sold in the area compared to your home to determine value. It is often hard to counter a low appraisal. If the buyer is financing through an FHA or VA mortgage, that low appraisal could remain with the property for several months.

 Lender

The lender’s approval of the mortgage can also become an obstacle. A pre-approval letter from a reputable lender is usually a confirmation that the buyer will not have any issues. On rare occasions, the buyer may go out and purchase a large ticket item before the approval of their loan that may change the amount they can borrow. A job loss, relocation, or other buyer’s employment changes have occurred, disqualifying the buyer for their mortgage.

Some factors are not within the control of the seller. Hiring an experienced, professional real estate agent can help you work through issues that may arise with the sale of your Brooklyn home. Coming up with innovative ideas to overcome an obstacle comes with experience.

The last category of factors is not within the control of anyone involved in the transaction. They include:

Location

The location of your home is a big factor in getting a home sold. However, short of picking up the house and moving it, you can not change the property’s location. Whether the location is good, bad, or indifferent is usually defined by each buyer based on their ideal. If your location is an issue, you will need to price accordingly.

Timing

Most markets experience busy seasons and less busy seasons of the sale cycle. If you happen to put your home on the market during a slow season, it may take longer to get your Brooklyn home under contract. That isn’t to say it will be impossible to sell. If fewer homes are coming on the market at that time, your competition will be lower. Buyers enter the market at many different times of the year for many different reasons. Selling during a slower sales season may work out well for you.

Market

The economy, the available inventory, and the interest rates all play a part in the local market. If we learned anything in 2020, things can change quickly. Keeping up on trends and predictions is an important part of a real estate agent’s business practice. But even then, the agent may not be able to predict what is going to happen with the market.

There are so many factors that can affect the sale of your Brooklyn home. A top-notch agent will be able to keep all the moving parts working to the same conclusion, a closing. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to interview the real estate agents you work with before signing the listing agreement.

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can manage the moving parts for both buyers and sellers.

In the event, our office is shut down, we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

It Takes a Village To Buy or Sell in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market!

Friday, October 30th, 2020
Couple Holding keys to their new home

Buying or Selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market can be a complicated process. Truly it takes a village of people for the purpose of completing just one home sale.

Wikipedia explains the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” as an African proverb. It means an entire community of people must interact with children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.

The phrase “It Takes a Village” has been adapted over the years for other references. In fact, it is a great explanation of what the home buying and selling experience is like in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market.

How many different parties do you think are involved in one real estate transaction? You may find it surprising. Let’s take a look.

SELLER

First, you need to find someone ready to sell their home. We often hear the term “Motivated Seller.” What would make a homeowner a “motivated seller?” Motivation to sell a home can come for many reasons.

When a buyer hears the seller is motivated, it may trigger many thoughts.
  • There is room to negotiate the price.
  • The owner may be open to making concessions to consummate the sale.
  • There are material defects to the home or property that the seller doesn’t want to address.
  • The home is near foreclosure.
  • The seller is ready to take the home off the market and wants to see any offer.
  • The seller is in a financial bind.
  • The owner MUST sell now.

Determination, not desperation, may be what motivates a seller.

There are many reasons a seller would want to sell a property that is not related to the desperation thinking above.
  • Job relocation
  • Downsizing
  • Upsizing
  • Retiring to a new location
  • Divorce
  • Settle an estate

Knowing the seller’s motivation would be an advantage in negotiations. However, you may or may not understand the seller’s reason for selling when you place your offer. 

BUYER

Next, you need someone qualified and ready to purchase a new home. Obtaining a pre-approval from a reputable lending institution makes you a qualified buyer. They also have proven they have the necessary funds and qualifications to buy a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate Market. The reasons someone may be interested in purchasing a home vary as much as the reasons a seller would want to sell.

Some reasons to purchase may be:
  • Achievement of “The American Dream”
  • Sound investment
  • Build equity
  • Potential tax benefits

The buyer’s motivation is as important as the seller’s motivation. An apathetic buyer can take a home off the market for some time and then decide to terminate the sale. Your real estate agent can help you vet the buyer’s motivation. Unfortunately, you would need to have a crystal ball to definitely know what will happen.

LENDER

In hopes of financing the home, the buyer will choose a financial institution for their mortgage. Surprisingly, the lowest interest rate is not always the best option. You may want to compare several lenders.

Obtaining an estimate of the lender’s fees can be eye-opening. Some things you will want to compare are:

  • Interest rates
  • Lender fees
  • Cash required to bring to closing

By all means, it is essential to find a reputable lender who is knowledgeable in lending in your area. Out of state or internet mortgage companies may not know the intricacies of a home purchase in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The lender should do a thorough analysis of the buyer’s financial situation to determine if they qualify for a mortgage. The buyer should offer evidence of their qualifications when they make an offer on the property.

There is a difference between a pre-qualification and a pre-approval. A pre-qualification provides the buyer with a general estimate of what they can afford. A pre-approval is more valuable because the buyer’s credit has been checked, and documentation has been verified to approve the buyer for a specific loan amount. A pre-approval can be valid for 60-90 days and should be re-verified to confirm no buyer’s status changes.

REAL ESTATE AGENTS

Typically you will find two real estate agents involved in any Brooklyn Real Estate sale. The first agent works on behalf of the seller, helping them prepare their home and price it competitively. The second agent represents the buyer and helps evaluate an offering price and terms once the right home has been found.

The real estate agents work together, bringing the buyer and seller to an agreement on the best terms possible.

You will want to find a trustworthy agent to represent you in either a sale or purchase.

What are the qualities of a trustworthy agent?
  • Local Market Expert
  • Proactive
  • Knowledgeable
  • Good Communicator
  • Educated

Your real estate agent should hold the designation of Realtor®, which means they belong to the National Association of Realtors® and their local Board of Realtors®. Notably, a member of these associations must follow guidelines to ensure they are fair and ethical in their business practices.

Home Inspection Checkmark

HOME INSPECTORS

A critical component of the buying process is the home inspection. The purpose of the home inspection is to determine if there are any major ticket items or safety issues affecting the home. In reality, these are items that the seller may not have been aware of. Nitpicking the seller for trivial issues or updates that were visible upon your visit to the home is not the purpose of a home inspection.

The home inspector will usually look at the following areas of the home:
  • Exterior structure
  • Roof
  • HVAC System
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Electric Panel
  • Outlets
  • Windows
  • Plumbing in kitchen and baths
  • Attic

Be sure to check the credentials of the home inspector you choose. There are certifications required for home inspectors in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

The home inspector will highlight areas of concern. You will also learn from the inspector the home components that may need to be replaced in the future. With this information in hand, you can make an informed decision about whether this is the right investment for you.

LAWYER

You will most likely need to hire an attorney to represent you either as a buyer or a seller when purchasing in the Brooklyn Real Estate market.

What is the lawyer’s role in a real estate transaction?
  • Write and negotiate the sales agreement.
  • Represent their client’s best interest.
  • Review closing documents.
  • Attend the closing to ensure a smooth transition.

For more information on the importance of real estate lawyers, see this previous blog post that explains it all in detail.

TITLE COMPANY

The title company researches the history of homeownership to determine the buyer receives a clean title to the property when they take possession of the home. In the event that they find any issues on the chain of title, they will resolve them before closing.

They will also research any judgments, liens, outstanding mortgages, or unpaid taxes on the property.

The title company will then prepare a report (abstract of title), revealing all the research findings. This document will validate the title of the property.

Title insurance is issued to protect the lender and new owner against any lawsuits or claims undetected on the original title search. The lender will require a title insurance policy.

If you are a cash buyer, it would be your decision to purchase title insurance. Although, if you are purchasing a home with cash it is highly recommended that you purchase the title insurance policy.

APPRAISER

An appraiser will visit the home to prepare an opinion of value for the lender. Do not confuse the appraisal with a home inspection but, the appraiser may note any safety issues that are apparent to them. Requirements for an appraiser and a home inspector are different. An appraisal is not a substitute for a home inspection.

An appraiser will prepare a report called an appraisal that will provide their opinion of value based on several factors.
  • Location
  • Structural Construction
  • Age
  • Bedrooms
  • Bathrooms
  • Condition
  • Square Footage
  • Recent Neighborhood Home Sales

Providing a fair and unbiased assessment of the property can be accomplished by randomly assigning appraiser through a third party.

The cost of the appraisal is an expense the buyer will pay. This is a requirement of the buyer’s lender.

In the event that the home does not appraise for the amount of the sales price, it can trigger a negotiation between the buyer and the seller. If both parties come to an agreement acceptable to the lender, the sale will be completed.

UNDERWRITER

The underwriter works for the lender. Their role is to review the buyer’s information and the appraiser’s opinion of value to determine if the mortgage can be issued for the purchase price agreed upon. The underwriter will evaluate that granting the mortgage to the buyer is a sound investment for the lender.

An underwriter will look at several different areas to determine any risk of the buyer defaulting.
  • Credit and payment history
  • Income and assets of the buyer
  • Downpayment
  • Appraised home value

The underwriter may need to request additional information to clarify any uncertainties that arise to be sure lending the money to the buyer is a solid investment for the bank/lender.

The last hurdle in the process of buying or selling a home is clearing underwriting. The type of loan, buyer’s financial situation, title issues, survey issues, and missing paperwork will all affect the time the underwriter will need to complete the process.

Once they have completed their review, the Underwriter will issue the loan a “Clear to Close” status!

TEAMWORK

Real Estate Team

Buying or selling a home in the Brooklyn Real Estate market involves many parties and this doesn’t include assistants and others within these companies who help. It really does take a village to pull all the pieces of buying or selling a home together.

That is why it is so important to hire the right Realtor® to work for you, whether you are buying or selling a home. Coordinating all these parties takes a thorough understanding of the sale process and experience in the local market.

Charles D'Alessandro

Contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 30 years of experience, I can help both buyers and sellers coordinate all the details.

In the event our office is shut down we are always committed to your safety during the COVID-19 health crisis in compliance with the State of New York public health policies. I can be reached by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

What are Your Responsibilities for Closing the Sale?

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Closing

What are your responsibilities for closing the sale of your house?

Congratulations! You’ve sold your house and have agreed with your buyer on a closing date. And everything that happens from the time escrow is opened until the final paperwork is recorded at the county courthouse is known as the closing.

Escrow will order the preliminary title report, the payoff balances from your lenders, the property tax balance due either to you or the county and other essential paperwork needed to complete the sale. But as the seller, what are your responsibilities for closing the sale?

Your Responsibilities as the Seller

During this period known as the closing, your responsibilities as the seller are to:

  • Maintain the house
  • Negotiate and repair issues the buyer’s inspector finds. Make sure repairs agreed upon are completed for the buyer’s final walkthrough.
  • If your buyer’s lender requires a survey of the property, review the document. If you think something is wrong, question the boundaries.
  • Notify your utility companies of your last day of service
  • Finish packing, loading up and moving out by the closing date

But don’t cancel your homeowner’s insurance policy yet. Wait to cancel it until the transfer of ownership has been recorded.

Your Responsibilities on Closing Day

On the day your home transaction closes, your deed is sent to be filed at the county courthouse. You and the buyer will sign a stack of closing documents at the title agency at separate times. You as the seller usually sign your stack of documents before the buyer signs their stack.

Agent commissions, mortgage payoffs, and down payments will all be paid on closing day. And if there are proceeds coming to you, you will receive a proceeds check.

At the time the buyer signs their stack of documents, they will receive the keys, remotes for the garage doors, and possibly receipts from any work that was agreed on to be done.

Bring the following with you on closing day:

  • The deed to your home, if the home is paid off and has no mortgage or liens
  • Your driver’s license or passport for a photo ID
  • If required, bring a certified check for the amount told to you by escrow
  • The keys, garage door openers, and security codes for the house

If you have been keeping warranties and instructions for heating, cooling, and plumbing systems, as well as for the appliances that will stay with the house, leave them for the buyer when you move out.

Your Responsibilities for Expenses as the Seller

  • The outstanding mortgage
  • Real estate commissions
  • Property taxes, utility bills, homeowner’s insurance, and condominium dues, if any are due (most of this is prorated at closing)
  • Escrow, title and/or attorney fees

Warranties are a kind of insurance policy that guarantees the mechanical systems and appliances for the year. If you live where home warranties are popular, this could mean another expense for you.

If your sales price doesn’t cover the total cost of paying off your loan and the other costs of sale, whatever you agreed to pay at closing will be deducted from your selling price or proceeds.

You can determine your closing costs will be here.

For more information on what your responsibilities as seller on closing day are, contact Charles D’Alessandroyour Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected]. With over 30 years of experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, Charles is a Brooklyn Real Estate Agent you can trust to sell your home from the beginning of the home selling process to closing day.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Resource: zillow.com

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 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. 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 last year 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. 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. Ask these important tax questions to help avoid any confusion on tax day.

Knowledge is power. And learning about capital gains on a positive home sale saves you money. So 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. Homeowners who use their homes as their primary residence for two out of five years before selling, receive better tax treatment on their profit. Flippers don’t usually use homes as primary residences for two out of five years before selling. So profit on those sales 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 is taxed as income. For most people, long-term capital gains tax is 15 percent. But if you happen to be in the top tax brackets, it’s 20 percent. And if the profits earned are taxable income, tax rates range between 10 percent and 39.6 percent depending on the rest of your income. Homeowners can avoid the tax by rolling profits over into the next home they purchase. House flippers 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 gets a bit sticky for newly married couples though.

Let’s say one person owned a house for two years before selling. And his or her spouse 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 sells even if the one partner was only on the title for two months before they married. And, if either party sells a home within the last two years and claims an exemption, the newlyweds will have to wait until that two-year window closes before claiming profits from the home they now share.

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

What if you aren’t flipping homes? And 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 pro-rated 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: If you used your vacation home for 15 years before 2010 when you began using it as your primary residence, 10 percent 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 percent 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 wouldn’t owe any in taxes.

Get the Most from the Sale of Your Brooklyn Home

Selling your Brooklyn home can be complicated. There’s 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.


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

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