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Fence sitting can be costly in an sellers market….

Lately I have been running into several buyer clients that came out of the starting gate raring to go.  Then, as the new reality of the sellers market started  to hit home, a few of them got a big case of cold feet.  From hemming and hawing to actually pulling a disappearing act, these potential buyers are making the decision to not make a decision. There are some situations where this inaction makes some kind of sense.  But in an appreciating market like the one we are in, those cases are few and far between.

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Why hasn’t disruptive technology changed the commission structure?

With all the “disruptive” technologies around, why have real estate brokerage commissions  remained so “sticky”?  Why hasn’t some disruptive technology come along to really shake up the commissions structure?

These questions come up fairly often and with good reason, selling a home has always been an expensive process and for all the new technology out there today, it is still expensive. Many people draw an analogy to travel and other industries where disruptive websites have literally crushed commissions and other forms of reimbursement.

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For Sale in Mount Vernon NY – 147 Lorraine Ave – 10553

 147 - Exterior5

Just the Facts:

Asking Price: $599,000 (subject to change)
Property Taxes: $17,000 (w/o STAR rebate)
Square Feet: 3528
Lot Size: 0.39 acres
Bedrooms: 6
Baths: 3

Combine the best of the old with all the modern convenience of the 21st century in this lovely Dutch Colonial home.  This is gracious living at its best.  This Mount Vernon home is beautifully updated with special attention to detail.  The eat-in kitchen has been modernized with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances to be a modern chef’s dream, while still taking into account the pre-war character of the house.

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The Ritz Carlton – White Plains NY – Sales Update 2015…


Both condominium complexes (1 & 5 Renaissance Square comprise two separate complexes)  at the Ritz Carlton have experienced a more uneven recovery than Trump Tower.  This is probably because the finances of both complexes caused some concern for a couple of years.  This was mostly due to the unfortunate timing of the openings and the financial travails of the original builder (Louis Cappelli).  As a result, the Ritz Carlton took a bit longer to recover from the housing recession.

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For Sale at Trump Tower in Downtown White Plains – #18D

18D - LA3Just the Facts:

Current Price: $849,000 (subject to change)
Bedrooms: 2
Baths: 2.5
Taxes: $9162/year
Monthly HOA: $1546
Additional Fees: $20 (storage unit)

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Trump Tower – White Plains NY – Update on sales stats – summer 2015


Trump Tower White Plains NYTrump Tower offers the epitome of luxury and amenities all in the walkers paradise of downtown White Plains.  You can leave the car and walk to almost anywhere. The train station is a little over half a mile away with a commute to Manhattan a mere 33 minutes by express train.

The latest sales stats show high demand and a strong rebound in the market starting in 2012.

For more information on Trump Tower generally Click here.

Trump Tower – White Plains – Sales History –  2011-2015

Like all real estate in the New York metropolitan area, Trump Tower was  impacted by the financial crisis of 2008.  The low point was in 2011 when prices were nearly 20% off their highs of 2006.  However, after 2011, the market started posting gains. And if the statistics hold for the remainder of 2015, Trump Tower will have completely recovered the losses posted since 2006.

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Understanding the MLS (Multiple Listing Service )

This podcast about the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)  has been a long time in the making.  It is a bit more “in the weeds” than I would like it to be.  But although its a complex topic, I feel it is also an area where misinformation and assumptions confusing to home buyers and sellers alike.

Listing your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)

Recently I have fielded several questions from potential sellers about MLS exposure for their listings.  These particular sellers were not interested in engaging an agent/broker to list their home.  A couple of them were also not willing to compensate a buyers agent, it was strictly the MLS exposure that they were after.

One thing I learned from these encounters is that there is a lot of misinformation about the MLS floating around.  Most sellers seem to think of the MLS as an almost public entity.  They really don’t understand what the MLS is, who maintains it, or even its primary purpose.

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For Sale in Ossining NY – 21 Browning Drive – 10562

21 Browning - Ossining NY 10562Just the Facts:

Current Price:  $750,000 (subject to change)
Bedrooms: 4
Baths: 4.5
SF: 3428
Lot size: 0.4425 acres

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When a listing agent wants too much “control” over showings…

In a couple of previous podcasts, I spent some time discussing the role of the listing agent in the real estate transaction both before and after the home is listed for sale and I hope that  I was able to convince you that listing a home is far more than just sticking a sign in the ground and collecting ginormous checks.

A good listing agent is worth their weight in gold and  more than earns their commission.  Unfortunately, finding that agent often takes a more hands-on knowledge of how the real estate industry works then most home sellers could ever be expected to have.  So over time, I will be posting podcasts that help home owners find the right agent. Hey, you may even decide that I’m the right agent for you, and that would be awesome.

relocate homeToday I will discuss something that can be a big red flag:

A listing agent who wants too much control over showings…

When you ask the listing agent how they plan to handle the showings, listen carefully.  If they discourage the traditional lock box and want the showing agent to pick up keys at the brokerage, its a potential red flag.  The same holds true for an agent that insists on being present at all the showings.

A typical seller might ask why this is a problem.  After all, it looks as though the agent is just doing his/her job and being industrious.  There is nothing wrong with being industrious, but it should be for valid  reasons. These days, we have electronic lock boxes with coded access.  These aren’t the flimsy boxes of yesteryear.  So Unless the home is in the $2 million+  range  and security is truly an issue, these conditions are only creating unnecessary roadblocks for buyers agents and their buyers.  You know, the people who want to see your home because they are in the market to buy a house! 

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Westchester homes with history and modern amenities

Historic Home - Tarrytown NY 10591When you live in Westchester NY, particularly in one of the river towns, you often find yourself bumping up against history. Sometimes, when you are in the market for a new home, you may find yourself living in history. Westchester has a rich history and a home buyer is quite likely to find themselves looking at homes built in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

Some home buyers have a fear of older homes,  while others embrace them.  The most common fears expressed by a minority of buyers are often misplaced.  Generally they have to do with soundness and maintenance.  Often the building materials are more solid than what we build today and theses homes, if maintained, generally have excellent “bones”.  Many of these homes have been fully modernized.  You may be living with history, but that doesn’t mean that you are living in a museum or a home that doesn’t conform to today’s needs.

Historic Home - Tarrytown NY 10591

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