Archive for the ‘Selling in Brooklyn’ 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].

Does a Home Inspection Need to be Stressful?

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Home inspections

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

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

What is a Home Inspection?

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

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

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

What to Expect on Home Inspection Day

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

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

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

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

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

What to Expect Following the Home Inspection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Home Inspections Don’t Have to be Stressful

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

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

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


 

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

Top Improvements that will Help Your Home Sell Quickly

Thursday, November 30th, 2017

Home sell quickly

Want to know what improvements and upgrades will help your home sell quickly?

It never fails. Those selling their homes always ask, “What improvements or upgrades will increase the value of our home and help our home sell quickly, Charles?” To which I answer, “Improvements or upgrades that increase storage and maintain your home’s unique features.”

And according to the pros, there are eight.

8 Improvements or Upgrades that will Help Your Home Sell Quickly

  1. Kitchen Updates

An updated kitchen can sell a home quickly, and today’s buyers favor simple in the kitchen. Simple backsplashes like subway tile and subdued colors will help a home sell quickly. Consider painting your cabinets with a subdued color. The installation of inexpensive stainless steel appliances will update your kitchen like new in a snap. Buyers appreciate a modernized kitchen.

  1. Bathroom Upgrades

Replace your vanity. Change your shower/tub insert into a free-standing claw-foot tub. Consider a trendy frameless shower door and free-standing sink. Even a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and re-glazing and re-caulking the tub will upgrade your bathroom to help your home sell quickly.

  1. Lots of Storage

Built-in bookshelves used to be home decorating no-nos. But today’s buyers are looking for practicality and charm. Built-in bookshelves, window seats with storage, closets with extra shelves, hooks, and rods are hot items and will help your home sell quickly. Buyers are looking for a place for everything so they can put everything in its place.

  1. Paint

A fresh coat of paint works wonders and “covers a multitude of sins.” Besides, the average person isn’t well-versed in the latest color trends anyway. All you need is a fresh coat of neutral, light, and bright paint throughout your home.

  1. Flooring Upgrades

Hardwood flooring (or flooring that looks like hardwood such as ceramic wood planks) transforms a home as well as a fresh coat of paint. It’s so much easier to clean and is extremely aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

  1. Improvements to Your Home’s Curb Appeal

Manicuring your landscape is a simple upgrade that comes with a big return on investment. Depending on the time of year, make sure your lawn is in great shape. Trim bushes and low-hanging branches, plant flowers or native plants, or place potted flowers around the front door. Add new mulch. Improving your home’s curb appeal works as many wonders as a fresh coat of paint throughout your home.

  1. Room Conversions or New Additions

Buyers are looking for heated and cooled square footage in a home. If you want to boost your sale price and score major brownie points, consider converting your garage, attic, or screened-in porch into heated and cooled square footage. You might even want to build a new addition. Buyers are looking for the most house for their money.

  1. Your Home’s Uniqueness

If your home has historical value, maintain its authenticity and integrity. Upgrade or improve your home with projects such as restoring original window casements and hardware.

These improvements and upgrades are guaranteed to pay off when your home is sold. And they will certainly help your home sell quickly.

Call Charles D’Alessandro for more information on improvements and upgrades that will help your home sell quickly. He has 30+ years of real estate experience, and he knows what it takes to sell your Brooklyn home quickly. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 today or click here now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

5 Steps to Ease the Stress of the Sale of Your Home

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Ease the stressSince you’re convinced that the fall is a good time sell, here are some often overlooked steps to take to ease the stress of the sale of your home. Staging is one of them. Here are another five that will help you sail through the sale.

Ease the Stress of the Sale of Your Home

  1. Make a list of improvements you’ve made and any issues you’ve experienced while living in your home

Highlight and disclose improvements you’ve made in addition to any issues you may have experienced while living in your home, especially if you’ve owned your home for a while. For example, chimney fires, water damage, a flooded basement, or the addition of a French drain system, too.

  1. Be aware of how your listing appears online

Get online and Google your address. Why? Because almost all buyers search online for homes these days. And you need to be aware of how your listing looks on the Internet. For example, not all of your recent home improvements show up on Google Maps’ street view. You need to flag each one of those updates that aren’t showing up.

And what does the site give as an estimated value for your home? It may be very different from the asking price you’ve put on your home. Sometimes tax records have the wrong information about the number of bedrooms or bathrooms in your home. Not to worry. Just be aware and get it fixed. It’s easy to do.

  1. Take a look at your home from the curb

What do you see? Cosmetic repairs, even minor ones, can cost you the sale if they’re not taken care of. First impressions are that important and can make all the difference when it comes to a sale. When your home is well-kept, it gives a good first impression. It shows you take great pride in your home. The buyer sees the care you have taken and translates that into less energy and cost for themselves as they prepare to move in.

  1. Clean every nook and cranny

Potential buyers look everywhere! They look inside drawers, cabinets, closets, even the dishwasher and washing machine. Potential buyers judge how clean everything is as part of that first impression mentioned in step three. Spending the time and money needed to deep-clean your home will come back to you ten-fold.

  1. Let your agent know which items aren’t to be included in the sale

From custom window treatments to appliances, if they’re not included in the sale, tell your agent. Unless specifically excluded in the contract, the law says that anything bolted to the wall or ceiling goes to the buyer. If you want to take your flat-screen TV, chandelier, or custom pot rack, play it safe. Pack it, replace it, or label it as soon as you list your home on the market. Don’t let buyers bank on owning the items and be disappointed when they move in. Read Fixture Feuds for a little insight on potentially bad situations.

As I like to say, look at your house through the eyes of a buyer. Would you want to buy your house? What needs to be repaired or updated? Fix clean, update, and get the clutter you see outta there before you list your home. Selling a home is stressful, but you can ease the stress with these five simple steps.

Charles D’Alessandro is a great agent who will help ease the stress of selling your home. With over 30 years of real estate experience in the Brooklyn area, he knows just what to do to prepare your home for sale. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or click here for suggestions and tips on how to prepare your Brooklyn home for sale now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

Is Now a Good Time to be Selling Your Home?

Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Good time to be selling your home

Many homeowners believe that the fall and winter are not a good time to be selling your home. This simply isn’t true. Find out why now is a good time!

Are you trying to determine whether or not now is a good time to be selling your home? Maybe you’re wondering if it would be wise to wait until spring? After all, a lot of folks claim spring is when the real estate season is at its peak, right? Many of the reasons listed in 10 Reasons Why House Hunting in the Fall is a Wise Move carry over into why selling your home in the fall is wise, too. Here are six that will encourage you not to wait and go for it now.

6 Reasons Why Now is a Good Time to be Selling Your Home

1. Homes are Bought and Sold Year-round

Most homes are listed and sold when the real estate season is at its peak in the spring and summer. For this reason, many homeowners believe that the fall and winter are not a good time to be selling your home. This simply isn’t true. Because life constantly brings major changes that require downsizing or relocating, homes are bought and sold year-round.

2. There is Less Competition for Buyers

Less competition is a good thing! And it’s a great reason to sell your home now instead of waiting to sell it in the spring. When there are fewer buyers, the competition for properties lowers. When there are fewer homes for sale, there are fewer for buyers to look through. Less competition increases the likelihood of buyers walking through your home, you receiving an offer, and you getting the maximum amount of money for your home, too.

3. Mortgage Rates Are Low

When mortgage rates are low, buyers are able to purchase homes that cost more. Even a slight increase in mortgage rates can push a monthly mortgage payment beyond what a buyer can afford. Also, when mortgage rates increase, sellers are usually faced with lowering their asking price in order to sell their home. Waiting to list your home in the spring runs the risk of mortgage rate increases during the fall and winter. This means less demand for your home which means less money for you. Don’t wait until spring. Take advantage of lower mortgage rates by selling your home now.

4. There are Fewer Real Estate Transactions

When the real estate season is at its peak in the spring, there will be more real estate transactions taking place. During the fall and winter season, when there are fewer real estate transactions, mortgage lenders have fewer loans, attorneys have fewer closings, and home inspectors have fewer inspections. Fewer real estate transactions mean quicker loan transactions and closings for everyone and less stress for you!

5. You get to Stage your Home for the Holiday Season

This may not seem like a great reason for selling your home now, but for some buyers, it really could be. Many know that staging a home sells a home. It certainly helps more than it ever hinders! The reason for staging a home is to help potential buyers envision themselves living in the home. Some buyers can’t envision themselves in any place staged or not. But others can be sold on a home because it smells warm, inviting, and homey. Staging a home with just a little seasonal décor can go a long way with some potential buyers, and you get to enjoy the seasonal festivities a little as well.

6. Real Estate Agents are Even More Willing to Go the Extra Mile

Since real estate agents are busiest in the spring and summer, it makes sense that they are not as busy in the fall and winter. And because they have more time on their hands, they have more time to devote to helping you list, sell, and close your home quickly.

Charles D’Alessandro knows now is a good time to be selling your home. He is always up for the challenge of adapting to the slower real estate season and marketing his listings to reflect this for you. Contact Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9700 ext. 206 or click here for suggestions and tips on selling your Brooklyn home now.


Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]

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

Monday, May 15th, 2017

Real estate agent

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

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

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

A Passionate, Motivated, Excellent Real Estate Agent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Others Have to Say

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

Brooklyn’s Best Real Estate Agent is on Your Side

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

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

How to Navigate the Home Inspection Process

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Home inspection

Charles D’Alessandro can help you navigate the home inspection process calmly and with focus. He’s the best Brooklyn Real Estate has to offer!

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Selling our home has been a stressful experience. Not because our agent hasn’t done an excellent job keeping us calm and focused though. Selling our home for top dollar and closing on the appointed day have been the goal and what we have been working toward. We’ve kept our home cleaned, staged, and ready for showing at a moment’s notice, well, almost. Our bags (and dog) have been packed and on-the-ready by the front door since we listed this place last month. And each time we left home, we made sure there was no trace of us (or our dog) living here. Thankfully, our home sold quickly, in less than two weeks. And although a lot of the stress was relieved when it went under contract, it continued to be somewhat stressful. From the agent walk through to the buyer home inspection, many strangers walked through our home. Three inspectors/repair men came in one day! The selling process has been fairly smooth and most of the inspectors and repairmen have been easy to “work” with.

How do you look at the home inspection process? Do you look at this process with dread? Most do. They see inspectors as bad news investigators. If you view home inspections in such a way, I challenge you to look at them from a positive perspective instead. We worked hard to prepare our home for sale, but the buyer home inspections provided us with the opportunity to see what still needed to be repaired. We then used the money set aside for repairs on the original net sheet prepared by our agent. The buyer home inspection went well and required us to use only half of what we set aside! It wasn’t a bad experience at all!

What a Home Inspection Does for the Seller

The American Society of Home Inspectors states, “a home inspection can give [sellers] the opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.” Home inspections also encourage smooth transactions and help sellers receive their asking price. But what if the home inspector finds major issues? Here are three tips to help you navigate the home inspection process.

3 Tips to Help Navigate the Home Inspection Process Positively

1. Work with your agent to be ready for inspection ahead of time.

Make sure your home and you are as ready for inspection as you can possibly be. As early in the selling process as you can, do a walk-through with your agent. Let them point out potential issues. Remember, they want your house to sell quickly and for top dollar, too! Ask, “Do you think I should fix that?” and be prepared to hear, “I would.” And when the home inspector walks through your home and reveals a few more flaws, don’t take it personally. Just appreciate that another pair of eyes are helping you sell your home.

2. Help your agent know everything there is to know about any issues your home may have before inspection day.

Ask your agent to let you know the date and time of the home inspection. It’s best if you aren’t present for the buyer home inspection. If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to answer questions to explain any issues your home may have during the inspection, have your agent call you with questions they don’t already have the answers to.

3. Keep reminding yourself that the inspector is just doing their job.

When the time comes for the actual inspection to take place, remember, the home inspector is simply doing their job. A number of real estate deals fall through when buyers and sellers get tangled up in negative emotions about repairs. Your home is important to you, but taking the emotion out of the situation will benefit both you and the buyer. Stay focused on the bigger picture and your end goal: getting the best return on your investment and moving into a new home.

Finally …

Know this: the best laid plans can go awry. You can prepare for the home inspection in every possible way and still watch the deal fail. Thoroughly inform your agent and prepare yourself well. Let the inspector do their job. Be a model seller. Stay calm and focused on your end goal.

Hire Charles D’Alessandro. Contact him at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or send him an email at [email protected]. With over 30 years of real estate experience in Brooklyn, you can trust Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn real estate agent with Fillmore Real Estate to help you stay calm and focused through the sale of your home.

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.

Does Your Agent Have Expert Marketing Skills?

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

Marketing skills

Hire a real estate agent who stands out from the competition. Hire someone who has expert marketing skills.

Remember the old days of marketing a home when a real estate agent could put up a sign in your front yard and buy an ad in your local newspaper? Marketing that way doesn’t work very well these days. Online activities have taken the world by storm, and to market well in today’s world your real estate agent must have expert online and offline marketing skills.

Since the housing financial crisis, competition among real estate agents has been heating up. Because the competition is fierce, real estate agents must set themselves apart from the crowd with expert online and offline marketing skills.

 Real estate agents must have online and offline marketing skills today

Working with a real estate agent is still key when buying or selling a home, but buyers are doing more work online before choosing an agent to work with. The National Association of Realtors conducted a study. Results from the study showed that 92% of buyers use the internet to begin their home search.

Is your real estate agent active online and offline? Are they social media savvy? If they are not active, engaging and networking online, YOU are missing out.

Investigate the online and offline marketing skills of your real estate agent. The following list marketing questions is extensive, but it will help you determine how well your real estate agent sets himself or herself apart from the crowd in today’s competitive market:

  • Do they have social media accounts on all the big networks – Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram? Do they interact with users, share great status updates and promote their clients’ properties on social media? Are they active on social media?
  • Are they reaching out to potential clients through ads on social media?
  • Visit their Pinterest boards. Do you see boards created for each one of their clients’ properties?
  • Are they easy to find in Google Search, Google Maps and Google+ because they set up a Google My Business account?
  • Are social sharing buttons added to their property pages? Is it easy for their home buyers to email and share properties online?
  • Are there testimonials from real, live people who endorse their services on their website and social networks?
  • Is their website attractive and user-friendly? Is the information on their website easy to access? Is the site easy to navigate?
  • Do they offer irresistible free content, like ebooks for example, to reach out to potential clients and to grow their real estate business?
  • Is their website mobile-friendly?
  • Is their contact information on every page of their website so that they are easy to contact? Is it eye-catching? Does it grab your attention?
  • Is there a shared scheduling app for you to schedule home tours and meetings with them?
  • Do they showcase the best that our Brooklyn area has to offer with high-quality, professional photos of Brooklyn, our landmarks, familiar sites in addition to their clients’ homes for sale?
  • Have they hired a professional photographer to take gorgeous photos of their clients’ properties?
  • Are comprehensive, enjoyable (not out dated) virtual tours of their clients’ properties available on their website?
  • Is there a short, cute, high-quality cartoon video that establishes their brand and showcases their personality? Or is there a video that features local Brooklyn landmarks or sites unique to Brooklyn? Maybe a video all about a small business owner in Brooklyn?
  • Have they partnered with local businesses?
  • Do they host webinars and create YouTube videos to share with potential clients on their website?
  • Do they host free seminars for home buyers?
  • Do they nurture their clients by interacting with clients based on their previous actions, such as attending an open house or a first-time homebuyer’s seminar, for example?
  • Do they have an awesome looking business card? Do they hand them out freely like coupons to a favorite New York pizza joint?
  • Do they sponsor local Brooklyn festivals, sports teams or school events? Getting their real estate business on t-shirts, pamphlets and flyers tells you they are working to stand out from the competition.
  • Have they got swag? (pens, pencils, bookmarkers, letter openers, t-shirts, keychains and other freebies that are branded with their real estate business)
  • Are they building client relationships with relevant email marketing? Do they send information about upcoming open houses, houses that recently listed, updates and such to subscribers via enewsletters?
  • Do they have a specific niche or target audience that they focus on taking care of? Charles’ niche is Baby Boomers, 50 years old and older.
  • Do they utilize postcards to reach out to potential buyers in addition to online marketing?
  • Do they showcase their knowledge about the current real estate market or how well Brooklyn is doing in local magazines or newspapers, for example?
  • Do they give a local care package or gifts to clients after home closings?
  • Are they building relationships with past buyers by staying in touch with anniversary cards, holiday cards and birthday cards?
  • Do they give incentives to clients for referrals to future homebuyers?

As you can see, to win the real estate marketing game you must hire a real estate agent who is working to stand out in today’s competitive market. They must have expert marketing skills both online and offline.

With over 30 years of experience marketing Brooklyn homes, I have the expert marketing skills needed to sell your home or help you find the home of your dreams. 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.