Should merely curious buyers seek appointments?

Flickr photo by Michael Simmons

When buyers call brokers to say they are thinking about a home purchase, those brokers respond almost literally like Pavlov’s celebrated dogs.  They may even actually drool.

I don’t plead guilty to drooling, at least not in such instances, but I admit to having made appointments for buyers who are unfamiliar with the housing market to see various properties.

Is such a practice fair to the sellers, who may spend a couple of hours stashing toys and scrubbing tubs, or to their brokers, for whom time is supposed to equal money? Continue reading

What buyers don’t understand can hurt them

There are buyers who know what they are doing and those who only think they know how to proceed as they search for a new home.

I happen to favor those who get what works best.

You won’t be surprised to learn that their key understanding is their appreciation for the help a real estate broker can provide.

Even though buyers these days are about as good as any agent or broker in finding online properties that have been put on the market, those buyers Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Broker titles, celebs on the move, growing supply, reverse mortgages, the American Dream, boarding houses, and more

Next week’s Weekly Roundup will be the last until Sept. 6

Offering plans afford glimpse into pluses, minuses of lavish lifestyle in luxe buildings

Buyers snapping up Manhattan apartments 38 percent faster than last year, with UWS tightest market

Brokers still wrestling with new state rules on titles

Prices of Williamsburg condos plummeted in spring

First-half volume of investment properties leaps 41.3 percent over same time last year

One Picasso forsaking his walls

Lord of the Rings actor drops $1.075 million for gingerbread Victorian in Texas

Former NBA player lists California home for $2.795 million

Onetime TV detective, also actor who originated role of Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: March of rents in May, skyscraper wars, all-cash offers, inventory, continued rate increases, £2 million trailer

Manhattan rents gain substantially over year ago, two reports show, but Brooklyn’s median drops

Another report details continued upward march of rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Columbia think tank cites need for small city of new housing to accommodate population growth by 2040

Mayor outlines $20 billion storm protection plan one day after FEMA releases new flood maps

Then Bloomberg proposes major change in building code to enforce additional safeguards

Skyscraper wars dominate new developments

O’, the heartbreak of broken relationships among leaseholding couples

Borrowers rarely can utilize VA loan program in NYC

Outdoor flea, food market begins in Long Island City

He aces sale of of beachfront Malibu home for Continue reading

Brokers can offer rebates legally to their buyers

Eric Schneiderman

There has for some time been confusion about the permissibility of brokers giving part of their commissions to their buyers.

The money obviously can be perceived as an incentive for the buyer to ask for representation by a broker.

One reason that brokers may demur, however, is the New York Real Property Law, which declares the following: Continue reading

State admits to limited policing of us brokers

(Flickr photo by Metropolitan Police)

Real estate brokers in the state number 52,855, nearly half them in New York City.

Number of complaints filed with New York’s Department of State last year: 952.

Those figures were reported by the Real Deal in a piece about how hard will be enforcement of new advertising rules.  (I reported on the changes previously.)

Given what most consumers think of real estate agents and the number of times that I alone have observed violations of state law, those numbers just don’t square with reality.

There’s a simple explanation. Continue reading

Got scalpel? Would you operate on yourself?

The questions in the headline are something of an exaggeration and wholly a cliché that I was too weak to resist, but a new online service made me do it.

You can check BuyerCurious.com yourself, then wonder how well the process would work for you in New York.  In a nutshell, the site describes its benefits this way:

Buyers can search homes for sale, request showings, and make an offer on a home online, while sellers can list a home for free, get information on low cost and discount ways to advertise their properties tapping the best of web 2.0, get professional yard signs, receive and negotiate offers, and finalize a purchase agreement in a private, online Deal Room.

From my biased point of view, I can’t imagine that even the site’s cafeteria of services would help buyers anywhere; as for sellers trying to unload a home themselves, that debate continues.

Although Robert Hahn, a consultant focusing on the real estate industry, sees the site as the beginning of the end of buyer representation, Continue reading