Posts Tagged ‘brooklyn realtor’

Artificial Intelligence is Improving the Real Estate Industry in Many Ways

Monday, January 30th, 2023

AI robot writing a contract

The real estate industry, like the technology industry, is constantly evolving. New uses of technology and trends are reshaping how we buy, sell, and manage the property. Artificial intelligence, or AI, is one of the most talked about technologies to impact what we do. It can automate processes, gain insight through data analysis, and improve customer engagement.

You have probably heard a lot of chatter about AI, but what impact will it have on the real estate industry? Of course, AI is already in use in real estate and other sectors like healthcare and finance, so it is only natural to expect the use of AI to increase.

By understanding how AI will affect the real estate industry in the future, we can better prepare ourselves for the changes that may be coming.

Overview of AI in Real Estate

The real estate industry has already implemented many types of AI programs:

Predictive analytics

Using algorithms to analyze large data sets available in public records can help make predictions. For example, algorithms can be used to identify current trends and make predictions about future prices.

An example of predictive analytics you may be familiar with is the Zestimate. Zillow uses available public data and computer algorithms to analyze sales prices of similar homes in a particular area. Unfortunately, the Zestimate is not always an accurate depiction of the sales price. As AI becomes more refined, it will become easier to analyze public data more accurately.

Automated Document Processing

Before fax machines, a real estate agent, after meeting with their clients to prepare an offer, would have to hand deliver the paperwork to the seller’s agent or personally present it to the home seller and their agent. 

Once fax machines became widely used, a real estate agent could send the buyer signed offer directly to the seller’s agent. This was an innovative step that helped to make the offer process faster.

Now with automated document processing, a contract can be written, signed by the buyer, sent to the agent, shared with the seller, signed by the seller, and returned to both agents without ever printing a document. Utilizing a secure online document processing system has made the negotiation process much easier and quicker than the pre-fax days.

Real estate professionals can manage signed documents easily and quickly share them with lenders, closing companies, and their office personnel, meeting compliance with deadlines and legal issues.

Chatbots

You may have come across a website or two that has a chatbot. They will answer questions and provide customer service for the website.

A chatbot can address inquiries about buying, selling or renting homes in the real estate industry. They can also route you to a real estate agent who can answer your questions, book property tours and appointments, help you to search listings, provide property information, and answer frequently asked questions about the home buyer or selling process. 

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality tools have been in the real estate industry for some time. 3-D tours have been widespread, allowing viewers a better feel for the home’s layout. Virtually touring homes has been a technology used for years in the industry.

Virtual home staging is now available. Virtual staging allows the viewer to get a feel for the size and use of a room by placing furniture on a digital photo. This is a lower-cost way to stage a home without renting furniture and physically taking it to the house.

Architects also use virtual reality to show a building that has yet to be built. Unfortunately, it is hard for most buyers to visualize a property that still needs to be completed. However, you can see a realistic visualization of the exterior and interior of a building through VR.

Drone Mapping

Drone mapping is a newer technology used by new construction developers. A computerized view of the work site can be created through drone imagery instead of more detailed surveys. 

Drone mapping provides multiple purposes throughout the construction development.

AI is an integral part of the real estate industry and helps all parties in a real estate transaction.

How do current and future AI technologies impact the individual parties of a real estate transaction?

Artificial Intelligence creates solutions that simplify and expedite all aspects of real estate transactions. AI technology streamlines the buying or selling experience by leveraging predictive analytics to make faster decisions.

Impact on the parties in a real estate transaction

Real Estate Agents

AI is significant in the emergence of automation in customer service and marketing. This automation will allow real estate agents to provide faster, more efficient services while reducing costs and improving customer satisfaction.

Improved access to customers, better marketing insights, and increased efficiencies in managing their workloads will be available as AI-generated tools evolve. AI can revolutionize the real estate industry providing agents with tools to help them better serve their clients. 

Home Buyers

AI technology has allowed consumers to shop for homes online, view properties remotely, and receive personalized recommendations tailored to their preferences. Soon, home buyers can access virtual reality simulations of potential homes. It will allow them to visualize the property in real life and walk around it as if they are physically there. 

As chatbot technology improves, buyers can get better and faster answers to questions about a particular home.  

Technology will make it possible for home buyers to find their dream home in less time.

Home Sellers

Home sellers will also benefit from improving AI technologies. For example, the same algorithms that help buyers find homes will help sellers find the perfect buyer quicker and easier. In addition, access to pricing information and virtual reality can assist in getting a home sold more quickly and for the best possible price.

Mortgage Lenders

Improvements in AI technology will also impact mortgage lenders. It will improve and streamline the accuracy of loan processing. Because AI can quickly analyze large amounts of data, it will help lenders make informed decisions. In addition, Chatbots will interface with borrowers to provide a better customer service experience.

Title Companies

Title companies will be able to save time and money by utilizing AI to review documents and contracts accurately. Fraud and risk protection associated with real estate transactions is another way that title companies can take advantage of AI. Through artificial intelligence, title companies can improve communication with their clients and streamline their operations.

Home Appraisers

In 2022, the Federal Housing Financing Agency approved using remote appraisals for purchase loans. This decision allows for using automated valuation models (AVMs) and other desktop appraisals drawn from public records and digital property intelligence.

AI technology is helping appraisers assess the condition of properties. As AI technology continues to evolve, so will its usefulness in assisting appraisers in making accurate assessments quickly and efficiently. You can learn more about the appraisal process in this previous blog post.

As a real estate professional, I have witnessed significant changes in the industry over the years. I expect the future use of AI only to enhance the experience for all parties involved. I believe the one thing that won’t change is the need to create positive relationships with all parties in a real estate transaction.

If you are considering buying or selling a home, contact me, Charles D’Alessandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Fillmore Real Estate. As a Brooklyn real estate agent with over 35 years of experience, I help Brooklyn Homebuyers and Sellers with advice and resources. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected].

Charles D'Allesandro

Why You Should Declutter Your Brooklyn Home Before You Organize It

Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

Declutter your Brooklyn home before you organize it

You need to begin to declutter your Brooklyn home before you start to organize it. We have been spending more time at home due to the pandemic. Living and working from home may take a toll on the organization you once had. Often when you are working from home, cleaning and organizing have taken a back seat to get out of the house.

If you find it is time to organize, the first step you need to take is to declutter your Brooklyn home.

Organizing and decluttering serve different purposes. If you begin to organize before you declutter, you merely move your clutter from one spot to another. 

Many clients get serious about decluttering before they are ready to sell their homes. However, once they have gone through the process, many remark that it was freeing, enjoyable, or something they wish they had done sooner!

An organizational system will not help you manage clutter. You accumulate clutter when you hold on to things you don’t need, love, or use. So the simple first step is to go through your belongings and determine what you want to keep. 

Organizers like Marie Kondo and The Home Edit have become so popular they now have highly viewed Netflix shows featuring these organizers in action.

You must decide how to tackle the decluttering process throughout your home. Room by room may make the most sense for you. Here are some thought provokers to declutter your Brooklyn home by room:

Living Room

  • Unused decor
  • Used candles
  • Old games
  • Unidentified cords for electronics
  • Broken furniture
  • Magazines and books

Kitchen

  • Expired food and spices
  • Old dish towels, sponges, etc.
  • Unused utensils
  • Broken glass or crockery
  • Plastic food storage without lids
  • Broken or infrequently used small appliances

Bedrooms

  • Unworn clothing and shoes
  • Old bedding, pillows, etc.
  • Unwanted accessories
  • Unused gifts
  • Outdated jewelry

Bathrooms

  • Old toiletries
  • Expired medicine
  • Unused makeup
  • Tattered/stained towels
  • Excess hair products
  • Out-of-date sunscreen
  • Unused personal appliances

Office

  • Old pens/stationery supplies
  • Unnecessary paperwork and receipts 
  • Unused books/CDs/DVDs
  • Unfunctional equipment
  • Old electronics
  • Unused inks/batteries/cords

Garage

  • Unused tools
  • Old paints and chemicals
  • Unnecessary bikes and sports equipment
  • Unused pet items
  • Miscellaneous stored items

Outdoors

  • Broken or unused yard tools
  • Old toys
  • Unused planters and pots
  • Broken furniture

When you organize without thorough decluttering, you are only temporarily solving your issues. Moving the clutter out of sight is not eliminating it. You are just moving the chaos around and temporarily creating the appearance of organization. In the end, this short-term solution does not fix the problem.

When you don’t declutter first, you waste your time, energy, space, and money. 

After you spend the initial time and energy organizing the clutter, you will inevitably need to spend more time reorganizing when the first system fails to provide the desired results.

When items that need decluttering take up space, where do you put the things you actually use? Freeing storage space will allow better storage options for the items you use in your home.

You can save money when you declutter your Brooklyn home by not repurchasing things you already own because you couldn’t find them. You will also save money on purchasing organizing materials such as baskets, bins, and other organizing staples because you have less to store.

Get Started

Start with one small step if it seems overwhelming. Then, when you feel the pleasure of tackling one drawer or one closet, you will be more likely to keep going.

Tips to declutter your Brooklyn home:

  • Start with a small time increment per day to build your momentum.
  • Create three categories: Keep, Donate, Sell
  • Donate items as soon as possible after each decluttering session.
  • If you haven’t worn a clothing item in the past six months, you probably can declutter it.
  • Create a checklist of areas to declutter
  • Before and after photos will help you see the potential for your entire home.
  • A friend may be able to help you discard items if you are struggling.
  • Determine if you should relocate an item to another area of your home.
  • Follow the one-in-one-out rule by removing one item for every new thing you bring into your home.
  • Use clear storage bins to keep you organized.
  • If an item needs repair, schedule it. If you don’t have it fixed in 30 days, you can let it go.
  • Do not multitask during a decluttering session.
  • Look at your home through the eyes of a visitor.
  • Understand that you will make a mess before you get organized.

Do yourself a favor and don’t strive for perfection. Judging yourself and your space against others or, heaven forbid, a television show will create unnecessary pressure. Instead, create a space and systems that work for you.

Mental Health Benefits of DeCluttering

When you declutter, the benefits to your mental health include feeling calmer, happier, and more in control. In addition, the absence of clutter and a tidier space can help you feel more mentally relaxed.

Believe it or not, cluttered environments can increase your stress levels. However, most people find they are more productive and improve their mental and physical health by decluttering. 

Benefits of decluttering include:

Lower the risk of asthma and allergies.

Keeping clutter to a minimum reduces the dust, mold, and mildew that triggers asthma and allergies.

Focus is improved.

Clutter can be distracting and make things difficult to find. It is easier to focus on your tasks when you know where to find needed items.

Self-esteem is affected.

Surprisingly, self-esteem can be improved when your living space is organized by restoring feelings of being in control and pride.

Relationships improve.

Conflicts seem to lessen when clutter is under control in your home.

Find the lost treasures.

You may find items on your shopping list or something you haven’t been able to locate for some time in your clutter.

Studies have shown some characteristics of people who find decluttering challenging:

  • Time management and follow-through are difficult for them.
  • Procrastination tendencies make it hard to get started on a project.
  • Easily sidetracked from their task.
  • Wanting everything to be perfect deters them from tackling the job.
  • Helping others first is more important to them.

Don’t despair; having a clutter issue in your home does not mean you are a hoarder. Only 2.5% of Americans suffer from a hoarding disorder, a diagnosed psychiatric disorder. Hoarders can’t organize or manage their current possessions, yet they collect more.

If you are considering selling your home, this past blog post discusses three tips to get top dollar for your home. Cleaning and decluttering is one of those tips!

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 help sellers declutter and prepare their homes for sale. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

Important Real Estate Terms Brooklyn Home Buyers Or Sellers Need To Know

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022

dictionary of real estate terms for brooklyn home buyers or sellers

Real estate terminology can get confusing for Brooklyn Home Buyers or Sellers. After all, there is a lot of information you receive in the home buying or selling process. It may feel like you have to ask a hundred questions to understand the process clearly. 

Real estate professionals often forget that some of our terms are not common to clients. For this reason, I am sharing a simple explanation of some of the words you may need to know.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgage:

type of home loan with a variable interest rate set for a period of time and then the rate adjusts at predetermined intervals.

Amortization:

the schedule of your monthly payments showing how much of your mortgage payment goes to interest and principal until your mortgage is paid in full with the last payment.

Appraisal:

an independent evaluation initiated by the lender to determine a property’s value. An appraiser evaluates the home’s condition and comparable sales in the neighborhood. This report validates the purchase price.

Assessed Value:

a public assessor determines the property’s value for tax purposes.

Cash Reserves:

remaining funds after paying the down payment and closing costs. Lenders generally require some reserves to ensure you have the financial ability to make payments.

Closing Costs:

these are fees required to cover mortgage and title expenses for a property transfer. Both buyer and seller are responsible for a portion of the costs. 

Downpayment:

the amount of money paid upfront in a home purchase. Most lenders require a certain percentage based on the mortgage loan program you are obtaining.

Escrow:

a financial account set up by the lender and funded by the homeowner’s mortgage payments to cover property taxes and homeowner’s insurance when due.

Equity:

the difference between the property value and any outstanding mortgage amount owed on the property.

Interest Rate:

the percentage of interest charged for financing a mortgage. The lender determines interest rates.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage:

the interest rate remains the same for the life of the loan.

Loan-to-Value:

this is a ratio used by lenders to measure the loan amount to the value of the property. A larger down payment will lower the ratio and appeal to the lender.

Mortgage Broker:

an individual who acts as an intermediary between borrowers and lenders. Usually works with several different lenders to provide options.

Preapproval Letter:

the letter provided by a mortgage lender verifying the buyer’s financial ability to purchase a property. Sellers generally require this letter as part of the offer process.

Private Money Loan:  

is money borrowed from an individual investor, usually used by real estate investors to finance deals that may not qualify for a traditional loan.

Private Mortgage Insurance:

this fee is a percentage of the mortgage loan when a buyer puts down less than 20% and can be satisfied once the homeowner reaches a certain equity level. It is also known as PMI.

Proof of Funds:

a statement from a financial institution that verifies the buyer has enough funds available to complete a cash purchase offer.

Refinancing:

a homeowner will usually restructure their loan later after closing to either reduce the interest rate or pull out equity.

The first step for a home buyer is to work with a lender to determine the price range of the house they qualify for and the monthly payment that comfortably fits their budget. Understanding the above terms will help you when meeting with the lender. Nerdwallet discusses how to obtain a pre-approval in this article

The real estate purchase agreement or contract offers its terms for Brooklyn home buyers or sellers.

As-Is:

a property offered in “as-is” condition means the seller is unwilling to repair the home. It does not necessarily mean there is anything wrong with the property. The property frequently offers a lower to sell in “as-is” condition. A buyer can still elect to have a home inspection for informational purposes.

Addendum:

a separate form or addendum is used to add any additional terms and conditions included in the sale but not covered in the real estate purchase contract.

Buyer’s Agent:

is a real estate agent who represents the sole interest of the buyer in the home buying process.

Contingencies:

conditions the buyer or seller needs to meet before purchasing a property can close. Typical contingencies are inspections, mortgage approvals, and appraisals.

Disclosures:

sellers are required to complete property disclosures that may reveal various defects or improvements that may affect the home’s condition. Required disclosure varies by market. Typically, the areas covered in a disclosure include general information about the house, known environmental issues, known structural issues, and mechanical systems.

Due Diligence:

This is a time-specific opportunity for a buyer to examine the property thoroughly. Generally, this timeframe is for inspections or performing tests. 

Earnest Money Deposit:

a deposit made by the home buyer typically when they enter into a contract with the seller demonstrating their earnestness in purchasing the home. The amount is held in an escrow account until closing and deducted from the buyer’s cash needed for closing.

Inspections:

a buyer may choose to inspect the property before deciding to move forward with purchasing a home. Typical inspections are general home inspections, wood-boring insect or pest inspections, and radon inspections.

Listing Agent:

is a real estate agent who represents the sole interest of the seller in the home selling process.

Mortgage Contingency:

a condition in the purchase contract that the buyer must receive a mortgage commitment from the lender by an agreed-upon date.

Seller’s Contribution/Seller’s Assist:

the seller agrees to pay a percentage or defined dollar amount towards the buyer’s closing costs if negotiated.

Title Insurance:

usually required as part of the closing process, title insurance protects the buyer from the responsibility of an undiscovered lien after closing on their new home.

an examination of public records to confirm the property’s rightful legal owner and determine if any claims or liens on the property would affect the purchase.

Transfer Tax:

when property transfers from one owner to another in the state of New York, transfer tax is collected and typically paid by the seller.

That is a lot to remember, but your real estate agent can refresh your memory as you review the sales agreement together. This previous blog post will help you to learn more about how a real estate agent can help Brooklyn home buyers or sellers.

There is some miscellaneous terminology you may hear that may need some clarification:

Comparables:

are comparable, similar homes sold in a defined radius of the subject home used to establish a fair market value.

Distressed Property:

property can be in disrepair; an owner may have defaulted on their mortgage payments or property taxes are delinquent.

Fee Simple:

this term describes the most common type of homeownership. A property owner can transfer, or an heir can inherit the property rights at the owner’s discretion.

Flipping:

an investment strategy of purchasing a home, making improvements, and then reselling the property for a profit.

Foreclosure:

a bank repossesses a property due to the owner’s inability to make mortgage payments.

MLS:

the Multiple Listing Service is a database available to licensed real estate agents to view property listings.

Motivated Seller:

a homeowner may be pressed for time, nearing foreclosure, or own property out of state and are open to negotiating a favorable price for a property.

Probate Sale:

If the death of a homeowner occurs and they do not have a written will, the probate court authorizes an estate attorney or representative to hire a real estate agent to sell the home.

Real Estate Auction:

usually, a financial institution will sell repossessed homes through an auction to the public. Privately homeowners may also choose an auction to sell.

Short Sale:  

a homeowner can not sell their property for more than what they owe on the home. The lender must approve a short sale.

Real estate has specific acronyms and terms that can confuse those not working in the field like any other industry. However, when you hire a real estate professional to work on your behalf, they can answer your questions on anything you do not understand.

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 help many home buyers and sellers with their real estate needs. Reach me by phone at (718) 253-9500 ext. 1901 or by email at [email protected]

Charles D'Allesandro

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]atesales.com

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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