With real estate offers, who says that life is fair?

(flickr photo by maorix)

Sadly, homebuyers are finding that sellers are in the driver’s seat once again.

And they don’t always play fair.

As lawyer Adam Stone points out in a BrickUnderground.com column, not only do many sellers entertain multiple offers.  They also may work with multiple contracts.  Stone asks a pertinent question: Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Rent squeeze, U.S. price gains, rates reversal, stocks vs. housing, declining buyer regret, best inflation hedge, tomorrow’s market

‘Gatsby’ lends a whiff of luxury, glamor to buildings

With declining vacancy rate, rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn keep rising

Navigating school zones trickier as more families with young children put down roots

85-year-old man adopted 62-year-old woman of privilege for her to claim $100-a-month Queens rental

Brick Underground lists eight best site for finding a no-fee apartment

Blog on worst rentals would be funny if Continue reading

Do you pick your. . . feet in Syracuse

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

If memory serves, that headline is a reasonably accurate, if obscure, reference to the The French Connection, which starred Gene Hackman as the questioner.

What prompts the memory is a recent post by one of my favorite blogs, BrickUnderground.com. They asked the people behind Virtual Doorman – which provides remote monitoring and doorman services to more than a hundred co-op and condo buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn – what they’re spying in elevators.

“You’ve got a combination of exhibitionist types and people who don’t think,” says Ralph Stein, the director of business development for Virtual Services, which owns Virtual Doorman.

Elevators are no long a safe site for private dancing.

Elevators haven’t been a safe site for private dancing for some time.

He notes that men and women behave differently in front of the mirror.

Guys are more worried about the things they’re going to get called out on, like checking their fingernails, straightening their ties, checking their nose hairs—I’ve even seen guys check out their chest hair, like opening one button or two,” says Stein. Continue reading

Renting to own can be option if used cautiously

Buyers who are short of enough cash for a downpayment, closing costs, moving expenses and property improvements may find themselves gravitating toward a rent-to-own option.  It also is a route that consumers in the process of repairing their credit my want to try.

But such a concept — which I have found to be employed infrequently — must be pursued with great care. Continue reading

10 signs that an owner must be dying to sell

A friend of mine thinks I’m funny — not just in that way.

She is Teri Karush Rogers, the inspired editorial director and CEO of BrickUnderground.comHer site provides a wealth of information for apartment dwellers, and I read it every day.

A few weeks ago, she e-mailed me with the idea that I come up with ways that buyers can perceive that sellers are desperate to unload their homes.  Following is my list (published by Teri earlier this month) of 10 giveaways that owners are just dying to sell: Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New Yorkers see little change in 2012, a slugger scores, new-home sales slip

You may want to “like” Service You Can Trust on Facebook if you haven’t yet and find much information not in daily posts.

Bank moratorium leads to sharp drop in foreclosures citywide, swooning to lowest number in last seven years

Apartment values increase 3.6 percent in five boroughs, including rental buildings

Map shows younger singles looking for a mate or date where to live

With growing pessimism, surveyed New Yorkers expect real estate market to remain virtually unchanged over the year

Plethora of studios and one-bedrooms forces price cutting from Murray Hill to the Upper East Side

Report shows that things are not quite so sunny in paradise

Millionaire hoopster takes 58 percent loss on sale of North Bergen condo

Slugger scores with Rushmore flip

She seems drawn to sex Continue reading

The High Road: With disclosure doubts, don’t ask

(Flickr photo by Auntie P)

Have you heard this observation before?

If you have to ask, you already know the answer.

Naive sellers may ask their listing brokers whether a certain defect needs to be disclosed.  The most sophisticated sellers know better than to ask their agent: They appreciate that the law obligates brokers to disclose defects of which they are aware.

At the same time, New York State is among the most permissive in the nation when it comes to seller disclosures. Continue reading