Jefferson Place of White Plains NY – Sales Update:

Its been past time for an update on Jefferson Place in White Plains.  As the housing recovery has moved from a buyers market into sellers market territory, we are seeing prices make a comeback in the White Plains condo and coop market.

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Beyond the sign in the ground – What listing agents actually do…(Part 2 of 2)

This is a continuation of a previous podcast about what listing agents actually do.  If you missed the first podcast,  on what an agent does before they list your home, you can click here.  I may end up adding a PS to this series, so stay tuned for more posts on this topic.

This podcast is focussing on what a listing agent does once your home is on the market and what their role is after the contracts ares signed  but before the actual closing.

Setting up appointments and following up:

Once on the market, it can appear as if your agent has disappeared.  Apart from  open houses, where an agent’s presence is quite obvious,  much of the real work is being done behind the scenes.  Listing agents work hand in hand with buyers agents to coordinate showings. We also follow up and try to collect feedback.  I personally use a showing service which helps keep my sellers appraised as to how the showings are going.  We keep in touch with the agents of potential buyers who gave positive feedback, notifying them with respect to any change of status.  Sometimes, these initial prospects will make an offer down the road.   But  that generally only happens if they are kept up to speed on the status of the listing.

Making sure the buyer is qualified:

Both the buyers agent and the listing agent have an obligation to qualify the buyer.  We make sure they have the appropriate pre-approval for a loan.  If they don’t, we help them find an appropriate lender to confirm their qualifications.  If the transaction is in cash, we make sure that they have the funds to act.  There is no point in coming to an agreement with someone who does not have the means to buy.

Arms-length negotiation:

Once a solid offer from a qualified buyer is made on a home, there is a negotiation period where the buyer and seller try to come to  what we call “the meeting of the minds” on pricing and conditions.  The third party/arms-length negotiation process is perhaps THE most valuable asset that a listing agent brings to the table.

Selling a home, as well as buying a home is a very emotional experience.  Mix in the tiny little fact that it is the largest single transaction most people ever make and you have the potential for melt-downs even among the most calm and restrained of  clients.   When everything is on the line emotionally and financially, it is almost always for the best that the face-to-face negotiating is done via third parties who are not so emotionally and financially involved.  Rather than going 10 rounds over mini-blinds or that light fixture the homeowner wants to take with them, the third party negotiator can help put these issues into perspective before they wig out of control.   (And yes, I actually did have a transaction where the sellers and buyers were fighting over metal mini-blinds.)

This is one of the problems I see with FSBO negotiations.  When negotiating on your own, small issues tend to mushroom needlessly into big deals and transactions that should have been smooth sailing can hit a brick wall. Real estate agents may not eliminate these conflicts, but they help to minimize them and put certain issues in their proper perspective.

Getting from contract to closing:Wearing Many Hats!

A real estate transaction is seldom a completely smooth ride. This has been particularly true since the financial crisis of 2008.   From appraisal issues, to title issues, to unexpected glitches in the lending process, there can be  quite a few obstacles  between the signing of a contract and a closing.  Any one of these can derail the transaction taking the seller back to square-one.  Agents handle many transactions.  We’ve been down this road before and can anticipate the problems preventing  many of them from asserting themselves.  We also provide solutions for the ones which do come up unexpectedly, smoothing the path to a successful closing.

So, I hope this gives you a better perspective on what a listing agent actually does.  In future podcasts I will help you wade through the minefield of choosing an agent to help sell your home.

© 2015 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – http://thewestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.

Please feel free to contact me any time to set up an appointment to explore your listing or purchasing needs or to request additional information. You call/email is very important to me, and if you have to leave a message, I will get back to you as soon as possible.  I am easy to reach…

by phone or text:  914-374-5529

by email: [email protected] 

 

Beyond the sign in the ground – What listing agents actually do….(Part I of 2)

With the coming of spring, home sellers start putting their homes on the market.  A goodly percentage of sellers have a very dim view of an agent’s value and a some do try to sell their homes on their own.

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Bridges in Parallel – The New Tappan Zee Bridge….

The old TZ lies just south of the new TZ

The old TZ lies just south of the new TZ

Since 1955 the Tappan Zee bridge running from Tarrytown in Westchester County to Nyack in Rockland County has provided  a vital connection for the flow of traffic across the Hudson River.  An average of 140,000 vehicles cross the Tappan Zee daily.   Unfortunately, the original bridge was built to last a mere 50 years and so the Tappan Zee is well past its prime.  Realizing that the bridge was on borrowed time, the project to build a new bridge has been on the drawing boards for about a decade.  There were several models, tons of local issues, but the construction finally began in the summer of 2013.

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Is housing inventory in a deep freeze? Why are so few homes on the market?

It may be spring – but brrrrrr….its cold out there.  At least when it comes to the tight  housing inventory that is currently on the Westchester NY market.

Throughout this very long winter, Westchester real estate agents and their buyers have been eagerly anticipating the gush of properties that comes onto the market each spring.  All through the winter, the housing inventory has been terribly tight with only the tiniest trickle of new listings.

The sad irony is that buyers have been out and about and are readier than ever to pull the trigger.  More so now than I’ve seen since before the crash.  The glitch is that there is precious little to show them.

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Fotos on the fly: Silent Snow….the winter of 2015

God knows we had many a storm along the east coast this winter.  Some were blizzards with fairly high winds, some were storms mixed with ice and snow  where the snow came down in heavy clumps.  Sometimes the snow was as light as a feather due to the cold…

As we say goodbye to one of the coldest and stormiest winters I can remember in Westchester NY, here are some photos from the “silent snow” of early March where the air was so still that the snow clung to ever branch and leaf – creating a fairyland of sorts.  These were taking from my front and side-yard.


© 2015 – Ruthmarie G. Hicks – http://thewestchesterview.com – All rights reserved.

Please feel free to contact me any time to set up an appointment to explore your listing or purchasing needs or to request additional information. You call/email is very important to me, and if you have to leave a message, I will get back to you as soon as possible.  I am easy to reach…

by phone or text:  914-374-5529

by email: [email protected] 

Home buying & selling – the steal vs the deal…

In my last podcast I addressed some of the issues facing home buyers – and more particularly, first time home buyers in our current sellers market.  I also promised to get back to you with some do’s and don’ts for managing this market.  So let’s start with one of the bigger don’ts!  And this don’t – though geared to buyers, applies just as much to sellers.

Don’t try to beat the market!  This is one of the biggest mistakes I see. Instead of dealing realistically with the market that they are given, some buyers dig in their heels and try to hunt down the last bargain in Westchester.

The trouble with that is simple:  with everything out in the open on the internet, there is no way anyone could hide a  secret stash of bargain houses – even if they wanted to, which in itself is highly unlikely.

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Buying your Westchester home in 2015 – sticker shock in a sellers market

Its that time of year again.  Home buyers with young families are venturing into the Westchester NY housing market, hoping to secure new digs in time for the next school year.  I know, I know, September seems a long way away, but if a family is truly in the market to purchase a home before the end of summer,  now is the time to start the search.

Westchester is one of the most expensive communities in the United States.  So it comes as no small surprise that many home buyers are blown off their feet by sticker shock.

The great buyers market is soooooo 2011…

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That condo is on the market for how much?!!! Westchester’s elusive empty-nester downsize…

Welcome to the Westchester View’s first  podcast.  This is hopefully the first of many podcasts on the state of the Westchester real estate market.  I hope you enjoy the content and find it helpful and informative.

The great boomer “downsizing” has begun in earnest!  Over the past couple of months I have been working with several empty-nesters as they tackle the good, the bad and the ugly of downsizing.

Sticker Shock isn’t just for first-time home buyers…

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Dream Home – Penthouse Edition 2014 – The Ritz Carlton of White Plains…

DreamHouse30 -SmallWestchester has many fall traditions.  It is famous for them.  Like the historic Hudson Valley Jack O’Lantern blaze, and Horseman’s Hollow, Westchester Magazine has created its own unique fall tradition: the Westchester Magazine’s Dream Home.  This year we have the “Penthouse Edition” at none other than the ultimate luxury complex – the Ritz Carlton in downtown White Plains NY.

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