Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn realtor’

Is It True? Answering Myths About Real Estate Agents!

Monday, August 30th, 2021

real estate agent writing myths or facts

There are many myths about real estate agents floating about; many have been hanging around for years. Since 1900 real estate has been a profession, and many myths about real estate agents still exist.

Having over 30 years of experience in the Brooklyn real estate market, I can address these misunderstandings. In addition, I think I may have answered questions from family, friends, and clients over the years related to all 15 of these myths.

Real estate agents earn a 6% commission.

It is important to remember that commission is always negotiable. But, an average commission would be around 6%. That is a contractual agreement between the seller and the listing agent and brokerage they choose to sell their home. After a home sells, the 6% commission is split between the brokerage representing the seller and the brokerage representing the buyer. Assuming that is a 50/50 split, each brokerage receives a 3% commission.

The commission is split even further between the brokerage and their agent, depending on their agreed-upon split. For example, if that split were 50/50, the brokerage received 1.5%, and the agent received 1.5%. From the agent’s 1.5%, the fees the agent pays the brokerage are deducted. An individual agent in this scenario may only receive 1 – 1.5% of the sales price in commission depending on the brokerage fees they are required to pay. Although it sounds like a high commission, after splitting the commission several ways and paying for fees, you can see the agent only receives a small percentage of the total.

Real estate agents receive a salary.

Real estate agents receive compensation on a commission basis. Agents do not receive payment until the property closes. They work for 2-3 months or more before ever receiving any compensation for their time. If the sale falls through, an agent will not receive payment for their time and effort invested in the transaction.

Lenders, title companies, and inspectors pay real estate agents a kickback.

Kickbacks are defined as “an illegal payment intended as compensation for preferential treatment or any other type of improper services received.” An agent may have a legal arrangement with preferred service providers but must disclose their interest in any partnership to their clients. The U.S. Housing and Urban Development oversees the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), which includes disclosure laws and prohibits kickbacks, referral fees, and unearned fees. RESPA is a highly regulated act. 

Real estate agents get reimbursement for their expenses.

Agents are not reimbursed for expenses from their brokerages. This is because they are running their own small independent business under the umbrella of their brokerage. Therefore, they are responsible for their expenses, including gas, car expenses, insurance, office supplies, office copies, renting a desk within the broker’s office, E&O insurance, MLS fees, etc. 

The real estate agent’s brokerage pays for marketing and advertising expenses.

Many brokerages advertise as a group. It appears that the brokerage is adverting properties, but in actuality, the agent is paying to participate in the ad. Like other general business expenses mentioned above, the real estate agent is responsible for all marketing and advertising expenses. These include professional photos, staging, brochures, advertising online and in print, etc.

Real estate agents get rich quickly.

Real estate sales is not a get-rich-quick career. Having 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses is a good rule of thumb for new real estate agents as they begin their careers. An agent can work with a buyer or seller for months before a property goes under contract. Once under contract, it can take 45-60 days for a home to close and the agent to receive their first commission check. Maintaining a consistent income takes discipline and a ton of effort for real estate agents. There is constant lead generation, contract preparation, listing appointments, showing homes, negotiating contracts, and facilitation of the closing that keep a real estate professional working long hours. Reaching a high percentage of referrals from past clients, friends and family is the goal of all career real estate agents. It takes time to build those relationships.

Real estate agents make too much money.

The National Association of Realtors tracks the average income of real estate agents annually. In 2019, the nationwide average was $49,700. Their study shows that agents with 16 years or more of experience average $86,500. Many find these statistics surprising. The confusion comes from agents advertising they are multi-million dollar producers. Multi-million dollar refers to the total sales price of the homes they sell. If an agent sold $2,000,000 in homes that averaged $250,000 each, they only sold 8 houses and may have only earned around $30,000, but they technically qualify as a multi-million dollar producer. That is a far cry from actually earning a million dollars.

Real Estate Agents are expensive to hire.

Hiring a real estate agent may cost you, but not hiring a real estate agent can cost you more. For example, did you know that sellers who choose to sell for sale by owner usually end up selling their home for less than they could with a real estate agent representing them? Not knowing the legalities of a real estate transaction can also cost you money. A real estate professional understands the local market and stays current on trends and issues that may affect a real estate transaction. If you are not a real estate agent yourself, do you have time to learn all the intricacies of the market?

Signing a contract with a real estate agent means you are stuck with them.

You should understand the terms of any contract before you sign. Most listing contracts and Buyer agency contracts have a defined period that will be effective. Ask the agent questions to understand how you can remedy any issues in your working relationship. For example, many brokerages will allow you to cancel or switch to a different agent within the brokerage to fulfill the contract period if you are dissatisfied with the agent you first contracted.

Working directly with a listing agent will save me money.

As a buyer, working with a listing agent can be a costly move. The listing agent’s fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. They may not have your best interests at heart. Representing both parties in a home sale is a tricky situation. This type of representation is Dual Agency. Some states permit dual agency, and others prohibit it. The states that prohibit dual agency are Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming. Here is a link to a previous blog post that discusses additional mistakes buyers may make.

A real estate agent can’t sell you a For Sale By Owner.

Most sellers who choose to sell their homes For Sale By Owner will pay a commission to the agent who brings a buyer. They are happy only to pay part of the commission. Because buyer agency is so common now, For Sale by Owners know that most buyers want to work with an agent. If they are not willing to pay the commission, they could lose many potential buyers. If you see a For Sale By Owner, it is best to have your real estate agent contact them first. Your agent can discuss the commission issue and set an appointment for you to see the home.

Real estate agents want you to pay higher prices because they earn more.

When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you and your best interest. An agent will indeed make a higher amount based on the sales price. But the additional amount they would make would not be an incentive to disregard their duties to you as their buyer’s agent. A $10,000 difference in sales price would only net the agent approximately $150 more based on a 3% commission and a 50/50 split with their broker. A code of ethics governs a real estate professional. They take their responsibilities seriously. Not doing so could end up with a fine or suspension of their license.

Real estate agents can only show you their company’s listings.

An agent who is a member of the local Multi-List Board can show you any property listed in the MLS regardless of which company holds the listing. It is rare to find an agent who is not a member of the Multi-List these days. Therefore, the brokerage that offers the home for sale is statistically not the same brokerage that sells the home.

Real estate agents can work whenever they want.

Real estate agents are independent contractors. They do not have to punch a time clock every day. However, they do need to be available when their clients are available. So what may look for the outside as a flexible schedule may not indeed be. You may see your local real estate agent at the gym in the afternoon, but what you may not see is your local real estate agent working in the evening showing homes to their clients or missing an event because their client needs them.

National website portals are better than real estate agents.

National website portals have changed the way real estate agents do business. But it has not replaced an excellent local real estate agent. Real estate portals are fed through the local MLS. It takes time for a property to upload from the MLS to the website portals. Some days it seems to happen quickly, and other days it takes longer for that to occur. Your real estate agent can set up a search in the MLS to notify you when a new home is listed that meets your criteria. Getting that information quickly has been a definite advantage in the local sales market we have been seeing. Relying on your local real estate expert is the better route to take. Your local expert knows the market and has information that the national website portal may not provide.

I hope this gives you a better glimpse of what it is like to be a real estate agent. Most real estate professionals do what they do because they love helping people. They are great problem solvers and lifelong learners. Every real estate sale is different, and agents are continually honing their skills. 

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 answer your real estate questions. You can reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro

Answers to Questions When Buying A Brooklyn Home ! Page 3

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

37. WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF 15- AND 30-YEAR LOAN TERMS?

30-Year:

 - In the first 23 years of the loan, more interest is paid off than principal, meaning larger tax deductions.
 - As inflation and costs of living increase, mortgage payments become a smaller part of overall expenses.

15-year:

 - Loan is usually made at a lower interest rate.
 - Equity is built faster because early payments pay more principal.

38. CAN I PAY OFF MY LOAN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE?

Yes. By sending in extra money each month or making an extra payment at the end of the year, you can accelerate the process of paying off the loan. When you send extra money, be sure to indicate that the excess payment is to be applied to the principal. Most lenders allow loan prepayment, though you may have to pay a prepayment penalty to do so. Ask your lender for details.

39. ARE THERE SPECIAL MORTGAGES FOR FIRST-TIME BROOKLYN HOME BUYERS?

Yes. Lenders now offer several affordable mortgage options which can help Brooklyn  first-time home buyers overcome obstacles that made purchasing a home difficult in the past. Lenders may now be able to help borrowers who don’t have a lot of money saved for the down payment and closing costs, have no or a poor credit history, have quite a bit of long-term debt, or have experienced income irregularities.

40. HOW LARGE OF A DOWN PAYMENT DO I NEED?

There are mortgage options now available that only require a down payment of 5% or less of the purchase price. But the larger the down payment, the less you have to borrow, and the more equity you’ll have. Mortgages with less than a 20% down payment generally require a mortgage insurance policy to secure the loan. When considering the size of your down payment, consider that you’ll also need money for closing costs, moving expenses, and – possibly -repairs and decorating.

41. WHAT IS INCLUDED IN A MONTHLY MORTGAGE PAYMENT?

The monthly mortgage payment mainly pays off principal and interest. But most lenders also include local real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and mortgage insurance (if applicable).

42. WHAT FACTORS AFFECT MORTGAGE PAYMENTS?

The amount of the down payment, the size of the mortgage loan, the interest rate, the length of the repayment term and payment schedule will all affect the size of your mortgage payment.

43. HOW DOES THE INTEREST RATE FACTOR IN SECURING A MORTGAGE LOAN?

A lower interest rate allows you to borrow more money than a high rate with the some monthly payment. Interest rates can fluctuate as you shop for a loan, so ask-lenders if they offer a rate “lock-in”which guarantees a specific interest rate for a certain period of time. Remember that a lender must disclose the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) of a loan to you. The APR shows the cost of a mortgage loan by expressing it in terms of a yearly interest rate. It is generally higher than the interest rate because it also includes the cost of points, mortgage insurance, and other fees included in the loan.

44. WHAT HAPPENS IF INTEREST RATES DECREASE AND I HAVE A FIXED RATE LOAN?

If interest rates drop significantly, you may want to investigate refinancing. Most experts agree that if you plan to be in your house for at least 18 months and you can get a rate 2% less than your current one, refinancing is smart. Refinancing may, however, involve paying many of the same fees paid at the original closing, plus origination and application fees.

45. WHAT ARE DISCOUNT POINTS?

Discount points allow you to lower your interest rate. They are essentially prepaid interest, With each point equaling 1% of the total loan amount. Generally, for each point paid on a 30-year mortgage, the interest rate is reduced by 1/8 (or.125) of a percentage point. When shopping for loans, ask lenders for an interest rate with 0 points and then see how much the rate decreases With each point paid. Discount points are smart if you plan to stay in a home for some time since they can lower the monthly loan payment. Points are tax deductible when you purchase a home and you may be able to negotiate for the seller to pay for some of them.

46. WHAT IS AN ESCROW ACCOUNT? DO I NEED ONE?

Established by your lender, an escrow account is a place to set aside a portion of your monthly mortgage payment to cover annual charges for homeowner’s insurance, mortgage insurance (if applicable), and property taxes. Escrow accounts are a good idea because they assure money will always be available for these payments. If you use an escrow account to pay property tax or homeowner’s insurance, make sure you are not penalized for late payments since it is the lender’s responsibility to make those payments.

FIRST STEPS

47. WHAT STEPS NEED TO BE TAKEN TO SECURE A LOAN?

The first step in securing a loan is to complete a loan application. To do so, you’ll need the following information.

 - Pay stubs for the past 2-3 months
 - W-2 forms for the past 2 years
 - Information on long-term debts
 - Recent bank statements
 - tax returns for the past 2 years
 - Proof of any other income
 - Address and description of the property you wish to buy
 - Sales contract

During the application process, the lender will order a report on your credit history and a professional appraisal of the property you want to purchase. The application process typically takes between 1-6 weeks.

48. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE RIGHT LENDER FOR ME?

Choose your lender carefully. Look for financial stability and a reputation for customer satisfaction. Be sure to choose a company that gives helpful advice and that makes you feel comfortable. A lender that has the authority to approve and process your loan locally is preferable, since it will be easier for you to monitor the status of your application and ask questions. Plus, it’s beneficial when the lender knows home values and conditions in the local area. Do research and ask family, friends, and your real estate agent for recommendations.

49. HOW ARE PRE-QUALIFYING AND PRE-APPROVAL DIFFERENT?

Pre-qualification is an informal way to see how much you maybe able to borrow. You can be ‘pre-qualified’ over the phone with no paperwork by telling a lender your income, your long-term debts, and how large a down payment you can afford. Without any obligation, this helps you arrive at a ballpark figure of the amount you may have available to spend on a house.

Pre-approval is a lender’s actual commitment to lend to you. It involves assembling the financial records mentioned in Question 47 (Without the property description and sales contract) and going through a preliminary approval process. Pre-approval gives you a definite idea of what you can afford and shows sellers that you are serious about buying.

50. HOW CAN I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT MY CREDIT HISTORY?

There are three major credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Obtaining your credit report is as easy as calling and requesting one. Once you receive the report, it’s important to verify its accuracy. Double check the “high credit limit,”‘total loan,” and ‘past due” columns. It’s a good idea to get copies from all three companies to assure there are no mistakes since any of the three could be providing a report to your lender. Fees, ranging from $5-$20, are usually charged to issue credit reports but some states permit citizens to acquire a free one. Contact the reporting companies at the numbers listed for more information.

CREDIT REPORTING COMPANIES

Company Name Phone Number
Experian 1-888-397-3742
Equifax 1-800-685-1111
Trans Union 1-800-916-8800

51. WHAT IF I FIND A MISTAKE IN MY CREDIT HISTORY?

Simple mistakes are easily corrected by writing to the reporting company, pointing out the error, and providing proof of the mistake. You can also request to have your own comments added to explain problems. For example, if you made a payment late due to illness, explain that for the record. Lenders are usually understanding about legitimate problems.

52. WHAT IS A CREDIT BUREAU SCORE AND HOW DO LENDERS USE THEM?

A credit bureau score is a number, based upon your credit history, that represents the possibility that you will be unable to repay a loan. Lenders use it to determine your ability to qualify for a mortgage loan. The better the score, the better your chances are of getting a loan. Ask your lender for details.

53. HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY SCORE?

There are no easy ways to improve your credit score, but you can work to keep it acceptable by maintaining a good credit history. This means paying your bills on time and not overextending yourself by buying more than you can afford.

FINDING the RIGHT LOAN for YOU

54. HOW DO I CHOOSE THE BEST LOAN – PROGRAM FOR ME?

Your personal situation will determine the best kind of loan for you. By asking yourself a few questions, you can help narrow your search among the many options available and discover which loan suits you best.

 - Do you expect your finances to changeover the next few years?
 - Are you planning to live in this home for a long period of time?
 - Are you comfortable with the idea of a changing mortgage payment amount?
 - Do you wish to be free of mortgage debt as your children approach college age or as you prepare for retirement?

Your lender can help you use your answers to questions such as these to decide which loan best fits your needs.

55. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO COMPARE LOAN TERMS BETWEEN LENDERS?

First, devise a checklist for the information from each lending institution. You should include the company’s name and basic information, the type of mortgage, minimum down payment required, interest rate and points, closing costs, loan processing time, and whether prepayment is allowed.

Speak with companies by phone or in person. Be sure to call every lender on the list the same day, as interest rates can fluctuate daily. In addition to doing your own research, your real estate agent may have access to a database of lender and mortgage options. Though your agent may primarily be affiliated with a particular lending institution, he or she may also be able to suggest a variety of different lender options to you.

If you would like to follow this series of questions and answers about buying your New Brooklyn Home Check it out here

If you’re looking for an experienced, energetic, resourceful  Brooklyn real estate agent or just have a few questions, give me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate a call at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected]

Charles Your Brooklyn Realtor® Talks with Real Estate Lawyer

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Reverse Mortgage on Your Brooklyn NY Real Estate: Pros and Cons

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Reverse Mortgage ! Is it Right for you?

Reverse mortgages are a popular option for homeowners who are 62 years of age and older and need additional income.  Credit scores and income are not part of the qualification process for a reverse mortgage, so they’re fairly easy to get.

But is a reverse mortgage right for you, your parents or grandparents?  Here are some pros and cons to consider before making your decision:

Pros of getting a reverse mortgage on your Brooklyn New York real estate

When you get a reverse mortgage, you can:

  • Use the money to supplement social security, pay for home improvements or meet unexpected medical bills.
  • Choose the payment method you prefer:  monthly payment, line of credit or lump sum.
  • Make no payments on the loan (monthly or otherwise) unless you die, move or sell the home.  If any of those events occur, the loan is due in full, plus interest and fees.

Cons of getting a reverse mortgage on your Brooklyn New York real estate

Unfortunately, there are several disadvantages to taking out a reverse mortgage:

  • You pay origination fees that are almost twice as much as origination fees on conventional mortgages.
  • There are a wide variety of reverse mortgages available from a lot of different sources.  This makes an already complex loan even more confusing.   Shop around, compare and attend an information session with an approved HUD counselor before deciding on a reverse mortgage.
  • It may impact your eligibility for Medicaid and other state or federal programs.  For example, if you currently receive any “need based” benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI), reverse mortgage payments will have to be structured so that monthly payments will be spent within the month they are received. If not, such payments will be considered income, and may make you ineligible for public benefits. Contact your benefits provider to ask about how a reverse mortgage may affect your eligibility.

If getting a reverse mortgage on your Brooklyn New York real estate, or the home of your parents or grandparents, is the right thing to do, you might want to consider FHA’s reverse mortgage program called The Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). According to HUD, the HECM is a safe plan that can give older Americans greater financial security.

You can receive additional free information about reverse mortgages by contacting the National Council on Aging at (800) 510-0301.  I’m also available to help you with this difficult decision.  Give me a call today Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext.206 or email [email protected].

Explore Marine Park Brooklyn with Charles The Realtor of Fillmore Real Estate!

Sunday, January 16th, 2011

As a Life time Brooklyn Resident and a Realtor© for over

over 24 Years I have enjoyed the many benefits of being a Brooklynite!

This Video is just a short View of why Marine Park is a great place to Live and raise your family!

If you are interested in searching for

Homes for sale in Marine Park follow me to My website Brooklyn Real Estate Sales

How to Interview Brooklyn Real Estate Agents

Monday, December 13th, 2010


Interview Brooklyn Real Estate Agents

Choosing a professional real estate agent or a Realtor, ( National Association of Realtors )can be a very imposing task.  This person is responsible for finding your new home or selling your Brooklyn home, guiding you through the home inspection process and negotiating a good price and terms.  These are important tasks that should be taken seriously.  That’s why finding a skilled real estate agent is key to a successful real estate transaction.

Here are several tips for interviewing Brooklyn real estate agents:

·        Interview at least three agents.  Even if you love the first or second agent you interview, promise yourself you’ll interview all three.  You learn more from each interview, and you never know when that third agent is going to be the perfect match for you.

·        Ask all three agents the same questions so you can compare their answers and ability to communicate.  Write out your questions so you don’t forget any, and take notes during the interviews.  You think you’ll remember what they say, but the specifics will begin to blur as you interview the second and third agent.

·        Ask the Brooklyn real estate agents how long they’ve been in business and how many homes they’ve helped people buy and sell during the last year.  An agent with experience is a very valuable asset, but with the current fluctuations in real estate, an agent with recent experience is even more valuable.   Also ask how long they’ve been helping people buy and sell homes in the area in which you want to live.  You want a real estate agent who is an expert on that neighborhood.

·        Get at least three references of past clients from each of the Brooklyn real estate agents. Then follow up with those references.  Ask a variety of questions such as:

o       What was it like to work with the agent?

o       Would you work with him or her again?

o       What was your least favorite thing about working with the agent?

o       What was the best thing about working with the agent?

If you’re looking for and professional real estate agent and a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE), I’d be honored to be interviewed for the job.  Call Charles D’Alessandro of Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] to schedule an interview.

6 Reasons to List Your Brooklyn Home for Sale

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

You don’t list your Brooklyn home for sale on a whim; you don’t just decide you don’t like the one you have. Selling a home carries significant financial, emotional and family repercussions. Selling your home is one of those life decisions, the ones you discuss with your spouse, look over with professionals and use experts to move forward.

While you might have been able to list your Brooklyn home for sale and have it sold quickly at the beginning of the decade, that’s no longer the case. Now, you have to be truly motivated in order to get your home sold.   Unmotivated sellers, those without concrete reasons, are not serious sellers.

If you’re a motivated seller, on the other hand, you have several new marketing weapons at your disposal. These include government incentive programs, short sale practices, state-of-the-art technology and creative marketing plans to help consummate the transaction.

Are You A Motivated Seller?

So, think about it. Are you a motivated seller? There are a number of reasons people are motivated to sell. These reasons include:

  1. Lifestyle Change – The time for a quieter way of life has arrived. The nest may be too empty. You may want more freedom and less household commitment. In any case, a change of lifestyle is a very strong motivation to sell.
  2. Relationship Changes – Partners get together and partners divide. Marriage, divorce and newborns all set the stage for household change.
  3. House Too Small – As families expand, it can be more cost effective to move rather than over-improve. For example, it can cost over $10,000 for a room extension on your home.
  4. Time to Upgrade – Prior to the recession, American families moved an average of seven times per marriage. Although those numbers have dropped some, we do still seem to seek the greenest pastures.
  5. Changes in Neighborhood – Many homeowners move because of local community issues. A school system may trim budgets or the homes may not be increasing in value. A desire for neighborhood change could be your motivation.
  6. Health Issues – People with health issues who cannot continue or afford household upkeep are moving to smaller, more protected and service oriented communities. If this is you, you can definitely consider yourself a motivated seller.

If you’re motivated and have a Brooklyn home for sale, you already know the market is competitive. However, professional representation, an astute marketing plan and expanded reach can help you locate the perfect buyer.

Are you a motivated seller? Are You Just Curious? What’s You Brooklyn Home is Worth? This professional real estate agent would be honored to offer you a Free Market Price Evaluation, and or help you get your home sold. Call me at (718)253-9600 ext.206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.


Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573
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10 Ideas to Save Money and Make Your Brooklyn Home Greener

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Saving money and going green are both hot topics right now.  So, I’m sure you’ve already heard the tips to turn off water while brushing your teeth, turn off TVs and computers and swap out old light bulbs for the new energy-saving versions.

Here are 10 new ideas to help you save money and make your Brooklyn home greener.

Swap stuff.  There are hundreds of online sites where you can get furniture, books, CDs, DVDs and even a place to stay for free by swapping stuff with other people.  And, I’m not just talking about Craigslist.  Two of the most popular and easy to use swap sites are  Paperbackswap.com and SwapaDVD.com.

Recycle your cell phone.  According to the EPA, if the 100 million cell phones no longer being used by Americans were recycled, enough energy would be saved to power more than 18,500 homes for a year.  Give your cell phone back to its manufacturer or donate your cell phone to charity.

Recycle other electronics.  Keep old TVs out of landfills by taking them to a safe e-cycling facility.  Return iPods to Apple for recycling or sell them for parts.  Take e-waste to stores like Best Buy and Staples that have recycling programs.  You’ll save money by not having to pay to dispose of the electronics.

Wait until May to buy a new TV. New government standards take effect May 1, 2010. Energy Star-labeled televisions will be at least 40% more efficient than comparable models — a significant savings.

Eat foods that are in season. It’s healthier, less expensive and better for the environment.  Oh, and one more big plus:  the food tastes so much better!

Install a water filter. Bottled water isn’t any healthier than tap water, and all that plastic waste is terrible for the environment. It’s also expensive!  If you use a water filter in your Brooklyn home, you can get great-tasting, clean water while reducing your waste and saving money.

Turn down your water heater. You won’t notice the temperature change, but your water heater won’t work as hard and won’t use as much energy.

Plant a vegetable garden. If you don’t have the space to plant a garden, plant a tree or put some plants outside. Find vegetables and plants that grow well in your area for the best results.  Ask your local garden center for that information.

Use green cleaners. There’s no reason to use harsh chemicals to clean your home. Use biodegradable cleaners that are safe for the environment or make your own green cleaners.  Use old towels and T-shirts instead of disposable wipes and paper towels to cut down on waste and save you money.

Check your insulation. Adding insulation to your home will cost money initially, but you’ll quickly earn it back plus more by saving long term on your heating and cooling bills. Skeptical? Start out by insulating your attic and keeping track of your energy savings.  It averages out to about $116 a year in savings.

Want more tips to save money and make your Brooklyn home greener? I can help you turn your house green and cash in on your pot of gold.  Call me Charles D’Alessandro your Brooklyn Realtor® with Fillmore Real Estate at (718) 253-9600 ext 206 or email me at [email protected] for more information.

Ground Hog Day For This Brooklyn Realtor!

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

What is the meaning of Ground Hog day?

What is the meaning of Ground Hog day? Well the answer is well known as,  Groundhog Day, celebrated across the  Canada and the United States on February 2, is purely a North American tradition. It is based on a belief that on this day (February 2) the groundhog, or woodchuck, comes out of it’s hole after winter hibernation to look for its shadow. If the shadow is seen, the groundhog foretells ’six more weeks of bad weather and thus a lingering winter. But if no shadow is seen the ground hog stays above ground and spring is near.

In the National Lampoon movie “Ground Hog day” Bill Murray’s character wakes up every morning only to find he is repeating the same day, every day Ground Hog day. He goes on to change one thing each day, to break the cycle, and create change and make the next day turn out differently.

Have you ever answered the question, How are you doing, or in Brooklyneze (How you doin) with the answer SOS JUST A DIFFERENT DAY! This to me is a choice, every day to repeat the day before. Most of us make our New Years resolution only to be  quickly forgotten. February 2nd is Ground Hog Day and it is a time for this Brooklyn Realtor to make a small change, a change that will impact me in a big way going forward.This change could be as dramatic as changing your career, or as simple as committing to wearing a smile on your face, saying good day, please and thank you to the people in your life. Today is the day to take that first step!

Anything to  make the day just a little different than the day before. So, “Ground Hog Day”, February 2nd, just one small change. NO MORE SOS. It is a different day! Make one change, big or small, just one little change. I promise it will grow on you, and make your life a better place to be.

If you want to join this movement, I would love to hear what changes are being made,  Start today, share the changes you will make this Ground Hog Day! Leave you comments on this page  or email Charles D’Alessandro  your Brooklyn Realtor® of Fillmore Real Estate at [email protected] I look forward to your changes.


Charles D’Alessandro

[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573
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Navigating Short Sales: What to Do When the Sale Price Leaves You Short

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009


If you’re thinking of selling your Brooklyn home, and you expect that the total amount you owe on your mortgage will be greater than the selling price of your home, you may be facing a short sale. A short sale is one where the net proceeds from the sale won’t cover your total mortgage obligation and closing costs, and you don’t have other sources of money to cover the deficiency. A short sale is different from a foreclosure, which is when your lender takes title of your home through a lengthy legal process and then sells it.

1. Consider loan modification first. If you are thinking of selling your home because of financial difficulties and you anticipate a short sale, first contact your lender to see if it has any programs to help you stay in your home. Your lender may agree to a modification such as:

· Refinancing your loan at a lower interest rate

· Providing a different payment plan to help you get caught up

· Providing a forbearance period if your situation is temporary

When a loan modification still isn’t enough to relieve your financial problems, a short sale could be your best option if

· Your property is worth less than the total mortgage you owe on it.

· You have a financial hardship, such as a job loss or major medical bills.

· You have contacted your lender and it is willing to entertain a short sale.

2. Hire a qualified team. The first step to a short sale is to hire a qualified real estate professional* and a real estate attorney who specialize in short sales. Interview at least three candidates for each and look for prior short-sale experience. Short sales have proliferated only in the last few years, so it may be hard to find practitioners who have closed a lot of short sales. You want to work with those who demonstrate a thorough working knowledge of the short-sale process and who won’t try to take advantage of your situation or pressure you to do something that isn’t in your best interest.

A qualified real estate professional can:

· Provide you with a comparative market analysis (CMA) or broker price opinion (BPO).

· Help you set an appropriate listing price for your home, market the home, and get it sold.

· Put special language in the MLS that indicates your home is a short sale and that lender approval is needed (all MLSs permit, and some now require, that the short-sale status be disclosed to potential buyers).

· Ease the process of working with your lender or lenders.

· Negotiate the contract with the buyers.

· Help you put together the short-sale package to send to your lender (or lenders, if you have more than one mortgage) for approval. You can’t sell your home without your lender and any other lien holders agreeing to the sale and releasing the lien so that the buyers can get clear title.

3. Begin gathering documentation before any offers come in. Your lender will give you a list of documents it requires to consider a short sale. The short-sale “package” that accompanies any offer typically must include

· A hardship letter detailing your financial situation and why you need the short sale

· A copy of the purchase contract and listing agreement

· Proof of your income and assets

· Copies of your federal income tax returns for the past two years

4. Prepare buyers for a lengthy waiting period. Even if you’re well organized and have all the documents in place, be prepared for a long process. Waiting for your lender’s review of the short-sale package can take several weeks to months. Some experts say:

· If you have only one mortgage, the review can take about two months.

· With a first and second mortgage with the same lender, the review can take about three months.

· With two or more mortgages with different lenders, it can take four months or longer.

When the bank does respond, it can approve the short sale, make a counteroffer, or deny the short sale. The last two actions can lengthen the process or put you back at square one. (Your real estate attorney and real estate professional, with your authorization, can work your lender’s loss mitigation department on your behalf to prepare the proper documentation and speed the process along.)

5. Don’t expect a short sale to solve your financial problems. Even if your lender does approve the short sale, it may not be the end of all your financial woes. Here are some things to keep in mind:

· You may be asked by your lender to sign a promissory note agreeing to pay back the amount of your loan not paid off by the short sale. If your financial hardship is permanent and you can’t pay back the balance, talk with your real estate attorney about your options.

· Any amount of your mortgage that is forgiven by your lender is typically considered income, and you may have to pay taxes on that amount. Under a temporary measure passed in 2007, the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act and Debt Cancellation Act, homeowners can exclude debt forgiveness on their federal tax returns from income for loans discharged in calendar years 2007 through 2012. Be sure to consult your real estate attorney and your accountant to see whether you qualify.

· Having a portion of your debt forgiven may have an adverse effect on your credit score. However, a short sale will impact your credit score less than foreclosure and bankruptcy.

Note: This article provides general information only. Information is not provided as advice for a specific matter. Laws vary from state to state. For advice on a specific matter, consult your attorney or CPA.


Charles D’Alessandro
Fillmore Real Estate
[email protected]
tel 718 253-9600
fax 718 253-9573
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