Archive for the 'For Sellers' Category

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 – – 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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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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Another housing bubble or simply supply and demand….

Real Estate IssuesNAR just  released its housing report for Q4 2013 and I found some great information from the KCM blog regarding national and regional numbers.  If you ever watch talking heads on CNBC or any of the other presumed experts, your head is probably spinning  because everyone has a different take and every new report adds to the general chaos of data an numbers. But when I saw the numbers, the picture became a good deal clearer.

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Fotos On The Fly – real Estate Photography – slide shows & video – less is more…

I’m sure that every agent worth their license has been hearing that good photography helps to sell a home.  This, I know to be true as someone who was a real estate agent before morphing into a photographer.   Buyers pour over photographs and will reject a perfectly suited home sight unseen if the photography is not up to snuff.  I have had to drag people kicking and screaming  to listings that I knew were perfect for them because they were turned off by poor photography.

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Fotos On The Fly – Making A Grand Entrance – Part 2

19 Tyler - Entry3 - SmallOne of the best ways to photograph an entry way is portrait style through the front door. Of course this will only work if the entry is in the proper configuration to stand out from in its best light from the entry. But it is generally one of the first shots that I try.

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Real Estate Photography – Making A Grand Entrance – Part 1

Home Entry - SmallSome homes have amazing entry areas while others have spectacular architectural features in spite of a rather uninspiring entry. This is a case of “when you’ve got it, flaunt it!” An impressive entry should always be photographed with care. As a general rule, I take a large formal entry from several angles because sometimes I find that something I didn’t think would work so well surprises me into being a winning shot.

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Real Estate Photography – Photographing Condos & Coop Common Areas…

1 Franklin - Lobby1-SmallWhen buyers look at a condo or cooperative complex, they are buying more than the unit, they are buying the lifestyle.  How the common areas are presented online and in brochures can really have an impact on overall interest.   Naturally, if your buyer craves a sleek modern look, the ornate detail of an Art Nouveau is going to attract them.  But on the other hand it may win over a buyer who loves pre-war architecture and moldings.  Buyers do tend to purchase a house or condo that feels “right” for them.  Certainly something like the entry, even though it is a common area plays a role in those overall feelings regarding the complex.

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Update on the Gedney Farms neighborhood of White Plains – Pricing & Trends

Gedney Farms White Plains NYGedney Farms is a beautiful neighborhood with large rolling lawns and ample lot size. It’s a very quiet and private community similar to some of the finer neighborhoods of Scarsdale and Larchmont but without the steep price point.

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Market Update – Scarsdale Manor Cooperative of Garth Road – The Bull Market Returns….

Scarsdale ManorAfter years of bad news in the housing market, a corner has been turned.  The cooperative complex of Scarsdale Manor  on Garth Road in the Scarsdale PO is an example of such a turn around.   This popular pre-war cooperative complex suffered from the malaise with slow sales and decreasing prices.  Things are now leveling and we appear to be well on our way to healthy price increases.

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