Posts Tagged ‘Westchester Realtor’

I was quoted three times in an article on the 2010 real estate market discussing how sellers have adjusted to falling property values.

“Look at it like the stages of grief,” says J. Philip Faranda, the broker-owner of J. Phillip Real Estate in Westchester County, N.Y. “In 2006 and 2007, it was denial; in 2008 and 2009, it was mourning; in 2010, it’s acceptance.”

Sellers slow to change

It’s not surprising that it would take some time for sellers to come to terms with the market’s rapid and drastic changes. It’s a learning process — a “price-discovery process,” in economic terms.

Sellers frequently concede they’re harboring unrealistic expectations only after having tried and failed to sell their home. (See “Are you the reason your home won’t sell?“) Or they’ve watched other sellers reduce prices repeatedly to get buyers to even look at their homes, then seen those sellers relinquish additional ground when negotiating.

Pride often prevents sellers from seeing foreclosures as the new competition.

“If a guy with a half-million-dollar house still thinks it’s worth $600,000, I can show him two or three foreclosures that are listed for $400,000 and $450,000 and ask him how he thinks I’m going to hypnotize people into buying his house for $600,000,” Faranda says.

The Internet has helped change expectations. A seller traditionally blames his agent when his home isn’t selling. But today, Multiple Listing Service and syndication agreements let sellers list homes for sale on a dozen or more Web sites (take a look around your neighborhood), so “all the old excuses of ‘you’re not advertising my house’ have gone away,” Faranda says.

The reporter told me that she found me on Active Rain, which is nice to hear. I post quite a bit on that blog. The link is in the sidebar. I also got a nice hate email, from some anonymous guy who told me what a bad person I am because I helped cause the economy to fail. His presumptiveness is secondary; I acknowledge his frustration.

My main point in the interview with the reporter was that, once listed, a home becomes virtually ubiquitous, and, therefore, the main reason any home doesn’t sell is price.

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Generally, not up. There may be pockets of improvement, as all markets are local, but we aren’t on solid ground. We haven’t grown out of the recession yet, and there are questions as to whether the gigantic spending the administration is doing will sabotage or foster prosperity. Les Christie of CNN/Money rightly observes that rising rates, foreclosures and the eventual end of the tax credit will continue to suppress prices. I agree.

There are no arguments to the contrary. Money markets are still a shambles, the public is either unemployed or freaked out, and inventory is being pelted daily with cheap REOs. While New York is not as bad as Las Vegas or South Florida, we aren’t immune either- I see more short sales and distress now than 18 months ago. It has to cycle out before we’ll see sustainable, general improvement.

Buyers are in the driver’s seat.

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How good are the schools?

I can’t tell you. Brokers are forbidden from steering.

I can tell you where to go:

Use it in good health.

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I closed 2 deals this week. Both were first time home buyers. One bought a home in Patterson, NY and the other closed on a short sale in Monroe, NY.

Eve and Ryan bought in Patterson and were one of the fastest FHA deals I have ever witnessed. They have great plans for this home, as it sits on a beautiful private piece of property. I will remain in touch with them for sure. They were very motivated buyers from the first day we met. They were all about finding the right place, and once we found the place, they took my coaching on negotiation and we ended up getting a $399,000 listing (which had just been reduced from $450,000) for $350,000.

Michael and Stephanie were referrals from an old high school classmate who is Michael’s older brother. They had been out looking for a while, and a prior agent had written an offer for them which didn’t work out. They didn’t have a good experience with this agent, and it did help that Mike’s brother vouched for me. We found a short sale which took almost 4 months to get closed, as short sales do take a long while, and it almost looked for a while that the deal might die. Luckily, when the approval came through they had their act together, and were able to close a day ahead of the lender’s deadline. The closing itself was not without drama, as the seller’s attorney was never on point and our lawyer had to do some fast work that morning to make everything come together. The closing lasted 3 1/2 hours. But close it did.

I have at least 2 more pending transactions which should close this month.

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One of the great neighborhoods in Ossining is known as the Indian Village. All of the streets have tribal names, such as Mohawk and Seneca Roads. I happened to grow up on Osage Drive. Although most of the streets are pre war, the majority of the homes are baby-boom era housing. In that respect the place is a bit like Levittown on Long Island; the original homes are slowly giving way to larger, expanded structures.


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