Disclosure forms not always needed for buyers

disclosureIt has taken a while, but most listing brokers now have agency disclosure forms available for homebuyers at open houses.

The forms spell out who is representing whom — namely that the listing broker has only the seller’s best interests in mind.  However, rare is the listing broker who complies with a statutory requirement to explain the form in more than a few words before buyers sign the thing.

What some brokers working for sellers apparently don’t understand is Continue reading

Getting out of the way is essential for sellers

Sellers need to think of themselves as toreadors and buyers as bulls. (Flickr photo by Matt Juriado)

Listing agents hate it when sellers stick around during open houses or other showings.

Most owners can’t keep their mouths shut, pointing out improvement and perceived advantages of their home.  They tend to shadow prospective purchasers, who usually make the rational decision to escape swiftly.

Their presence intimidates buyers, who become reluctant to confide in each other and their agents.  They also shrink from opening closets doors, cabinets and appliances.

However many times sellers hear that they are not wanted, I keep running into those whose presence interferes with the very objective they are trying to reach.

The advice to clear out is one of several mistakes listed by RealtyTimes columnist Julie Wyss, an associate broker in Silicon Valley, and a few others are worth repeating Continue reading

Choosing real estate agent means asking quesions

Articles about picking the right real estate agent/broker appear regularly in newspapers, magazines and blogs, including a piece in the Washington Post that highlights the desirability of obtaining references.

Another one that I recently came across is from a publication at which I once worked, Money magazine, which headlined the piece “7 question for your next real estate agent.”  (Using a number is supposed to increase readership.)

The first question either buyers or sellers are supposed to ask is this: Continue reading

Say good-bye to real estate VPs, SVPs and EVPs?

The New York Department of State says in a stunning opinion letter distributed Monday by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) that many of us real estate salespersons and associate real estate brokers, including me, are violating the law.

Associate Attorney Whitney A. Clark states in the letter that those of us who adopt or receive corporate titles such as vice president on upward are in violation of the real property law if we are not actually officers of the corporation — for example, any incorporated brokerage.

In the one-and-a-half-page missive, which amounts to a bombshell, Clark declared: Continue reading

Boy Scouts have right idea for showing property

Larry Agranoff was bitten by a dog when showing a house one day, and he had to have emergency surgery.

According to a post published by the Larry and Sheila real estate team, who cover Long Island’s North Shore, there were 11 other mishaps involving showings by them alone.  In their words, verbatim, they included the following:

Continue reading

Using same agent for selling, buying can work


A columnist I follow sometimes provokes me to comment.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s column in answer to a consumer’s question is one that motivates me to respond here.

She considered whether someone should ask a broker to be her/his representative for both the sale of a current home and purchase of a new one.  With caveats, she said, doing so can be a good approach.

For one thing, it’s demonstrably efficient when it comes to Continue reading

Agents reveal the qualities to seek in your broker

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), a membership organization of brokers and agents that has little presence here, wants you to know how to select the right person to sell your home or represent you as a buyer.

On its Web site, the NAR headlines its advice with the hardly surprising admonition to “Hire a Real Estate Agent with the Power to Succeed.”  Undermining its credibility, the organization then predictably continues:

It’s the best time to buy a home in years, but the worst time to move without a professional on the payroll.

Despite its unsurprising beginning, which I suspect rarely changes, the site does, in fact, go on to provide some useful counsel from agents themselves, to wit: Continue reading

Add good looks to reasons for picking broker

If Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie change careers and walk into your home to pitch their skills at selling real estate, sign ’em up immediately.

It turns out that looks matter.

Even after controlling for the quality of the house, research published in Applied Financial Economics finds that the personal characteristics of real estate agents affect house prices but don’t shorten the length of time a property is on the market. Continue reading

Who is the best broker for buyers or sellers?

Making the right choice is not always easy whether in chess or real estate. (Flickr photo by metrognome0)

As soon as I saw the headline. . .

How to Choose an Agent as a Buyer and As a Seller

. . . I was all but certain that I’d quibble with at least some of what followed.

I was right.

Although the post at Curbed.com gives basically sound advice, especially for buyers, the thing that I most questioned was the following: Continue reading

Five things brokers do that turn off buyers

(Flickr photo by Paul G)

The list of things that buyers hate when looking for a property online and then in person is a long one.

Fortunately for us, Inman News columnist Tara-Nicholle Nelson has distilled the list to five notable turn-offs.  With my embellishment, they are: Continue reading