Why NYC Homebuyers Should Always Work With an NYC Lender

So you’re buying some real estate, but you don’t want to pay cash for it. Guess what? That makes you smart. Why not borrow money at 4.5% or 5% instead of paying cash? Most people don’t have enough money to pay all-cash for a home. And if they do, this probably wouldn’t be the best choice for them, anyway. Buying with a mortgage is always a better financial decision. 

What if your income isn’t necessarily what they call “W-2” though? 

This is the case for many New Yorkers, including myself. As a real estate agent, I use a 1099 form because my income can fluctuate from year to year. If you’re in a similar situation and you work in an industry where your income can fluctuate, do lenders know how to deal with that? Most of them do, but not all of them.


"When buying a home in New York City, always work with a New York City lender."


This is why we always insist that you use a lender whose office is located here in New York City. When I worked in other states, it wasn’t uncommon for me to see a buyer go onto or and end up working with a loan processor that was in a different state. If a loan processor gives you a good rate, it’s no big deal if they’re out of state, but it doesn’t work that way in New York City. The buildings are all unique, and they each need to be individually underwritten. 

The underwriters at Chase Bank in New York City will treat bonus income much differently than the underwriters at Chase Bank somewhere in Ohio. They’ll tell you that the process is the same, but I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and I can tell you that it’s not the same. 

That’s the secret—when buying a home in New York City, always work with a New York City lender. All banks have New York City offices, and a local lender will be able to account for factors like your bonus income or any exceptions that may be needed for the building. They’ll also be able to work with you on the financial disclosure if you have a high net worth and you want to structure things in a way that protects you. 

If you have any more questions about the mortgage process or you have any other real estate needs I can help you with, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I’d be happy to assist you.



What’s Going on in the New York Real Estate Market?

Today I want to take some time to answer a few questions about the New York real estate market. My guest for this is discussion is Sean, who had a bunch of great questions for me to address. I answered these questions in detail on Facebook Live and in the video above, so for convenience’s sake, I’ll be providing timestamps below so you can skip around to the sections that most interest you:

0:40- The hottest type of property in the city and the forces that are driving them.

2:30- The segments of the market that aren’t selling as quickly as the others.


"Watch the full interview in the video above."


4:35- Pricing data for some of the hottest areas of the New York market.

5:50- Where to start if you’re looking to break into the market as a first-time homebuyer.

9:15- The best place to get the most accurate value of your home in today’s market.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our discussion. If you have any questions about the market, buying or selling a home, or how find out your home’s value in today’s market, you can always give me a call or send me an email. I’d be glad to help you out.



Renting a Home in a Buyer's Market

I am here today to tell you three signs that you are ready to be one of the 50% of national homeowners who are under the age of 36.
1 ) You've got around 20% of the down payment plus six months to 12 months of monthly living costs saved. You probably can’t afford a home if you don’t have the encouraged down payment and some reserves.
2) You are tired of spending money on rent. Maybe you don’t have the money to put down right now, but you are tired of spending your money on rent. This can be an excellent motivator to make a financial plan to save that money. Rent will continue to rise, but the majority of your monthly housing costs will be fixed so you can save money in the long run.


"Rent will continue to rise, but the majority of your monthly housing costs will be fixed so you can save money in the long run."


3) Major life decisions are happening. Maybe you're thinking about getting married, having a child, or growing your family. All of these decisions usually go hand-in-hand with buying a home. Prepare yourself when making these decisions by saving as often as possible.
Downsizing can also encourage home purchasing. People buy a home oftentimes when their families get smaller—children leave or couples divorce.
No matter what your motivation may be, buying a home is a major decision. If you can plan the next three to five years and you have the assets at hand, you should consider investing in a home. If you do, you can become one of the many millionaires whose wealth is made through home equity. In America, more millionaires are made this way than any other way.
If you have any specific questions about planning for buying a home, please feel free to call or email me. I look forward to speaking with you.



How to Tell if an Apartment Is Priced Correctly

Today Jsun Laliberte and I are here to answer this common question: Is the apartment I want to buy priced above, below, or at market value?

This is the No. 1 question that people are worried about when buying an apartment. A lot of people don’t realize that 15% of properties that sold last year sold for over asking price. In those particular cases, those homes were priced below market value.

In Jsun’s experience, you have to treat each property as its own specific case study. You need to take all of the market data into account, as well as experience and a little bit of intuition, to guide you in making the best offer possible without overpaying.


"This is the No. 1 question apartment buyers are worried about."


There are a few tricks of the trade that you should know. We know that when we buy homes in December, they cost a little less than they do in May or June. Everything besides light, location, and square footage can be changed in a home.

Jsun and his team understand all the strategies behind pricing. They can advise you on where these properties are situated so you can create the best strategy for your offer and win the best price.

It's also a good idea to consider potential changes in interest rates. The New York Times recently put out this article about rising interest rates.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of us. We look forward to hearing from you soon.



A Success Story in the Upper East Side

Today I am sharing a success story one of my buyers had purchasing a two-bedroom home on the Upper East Side.
These buyers had a six-figure budget, which with Manhattan’s inventory, is not a lot of money for a two-bedroom home on the Upper East Side. Luckily, they were able to do a little bit of work and I was able to find them a fixer-upper in a luxury building toward East End Avenue.


"I was able to find them a fixer-upper in a luxury building toward East End Avenue."


Understandably, the seller had already attracted multiple offers, but I had done a deal with this listing broker previously. She outright told me where her other offers were positioned. This helped my buyers come in as the highest bid and be confident that they weren't overpaying.
Why would she do that?
Since we had worked together before, she knew that I was someone that could take my buyers from start to finish, quickly and seamlessly, without any surprises arriving during the co-op board application process. She also knew from the way I structured the offer that the buyers were well qualified and great people. This matters a lot when you're going to be working together to get a deal closed.
In the end, my buyers were able to purchase a two-bedroom home, win a bidding war by a fraction of a percent, and be confident that they weren't overpaying.
I would love to share that same success story with you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call, email, or visit my office. I would be happy to speak with you.



What Do You Do if a Listing Agent Goes MIA?

What happens if you find a house you really like and you try calling or emailing that house’s listing agent but they don’t answer? 

This situation sounds like something that never happens, but let me tell you something—it happens all the time. Roughly 90% of all people who get their real estate license are only in the business for less than five years, which means that potentially 90% of the people you interact with in the real estate business are unqualified. 

A listing agent might become unresponsive for a number of reasons, such as:

1. They’re greedy. They already have an offer and they don’t want to waste their time with another. It might not be a good offer, but they don’t care. 

2. They’re not efficient with technology. In this case, you have to call them or double-check that their contact information is correct.

3. They’re protecting a direct deal. This means they have a buyer they don’t have to “co-broke” with and they don’t want to bring any other buyers or their agents into the fold because they don’t want to submit any other offers. Even if they signed a contract that says they won’t do this, they still might.


"Roughly 90% of the people you potentially interact with in the real estate business are unqualified."


To clarify, this 90% also comprises the 80% of agents who do less than 20% of the overall business, meaning that 80% of the overall business is done by the 20% of all agents who are experienced, work on teams, and play fair. 

When we encounter a situation where a listing agent goes MIA, we try and follow up with them by calling, texting, and/or emailing. If they’re still unresponsive after about four or five attempts within a certain time frame, we call their manager. Whenever you hire a real estate brokerage to sell a property, you’re not hiring an individual agent—you’re hiring a company. If a corporate agent doesn’t return my call, I call their corporate manager and tell them what’s going on. 

This practice is commonly discouraged in the brokerage community, and as your broker, I would never let that happen to you. Finding the home you love is an emotional process, and you have to fight to win it. We will always fight for you. 

If you have any other questions about unresponsive listing agents or you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in our market, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to speak with you!



I’ve Seen It All in NYC

Today we’re going to talk about something a little bit different. Instead of giving you an update on the real estate market, I want to talk about growing up in New York City and how I’ve seen the market change over all these years. 

When somebody asks me where I’m from and I say “New York,” I usually have to qualify it by telling my whole story. To save you some time in the future, here it is. 

I was born in New York in 1980 and my mother and I moved around a lot. We lived in places like Ditmas Park, Midwood, Park Slope, and even downtown Brooklyn. I moved away for college, then I came back and lived in Brooklyn. I live in Manhattan today and I love it.


"I remember when New York wasn’t the same kind of place that it is today."


It’s been amazing to see how the city has transformed over the years. For example, my father bought a townhouse in Chelsea in 1982 for $240,000 and sold it three years later for $500,000. Today, that thing is probably worth $10 million.

I remember NYC when things weren’t so expensive or sought after as they are today. There was more crime, more dilapidation, and less to do. Now, a different kind of dilemma is starting to emerge. With rising property values, so many mom and pop businesses have gone away. When that happens, like it already has in Times Square, you don’t see the same kind of growth as you do in other areas.

If you’re curious about values in your specific neighborhood or you have any other questions about New York real estate, don’t hesitate to reach out and give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



How Much Will You Actually Make From Your Home Sale?

Today, I want to talk to you about the difference between gross proceeds and net proceeds.

Many times, estates hire me to sell a home. When that happens, the amount it sells for is a lot different than the amount received. How much money do you really end up with if, say, I sell the home for a million dollars? 

There are some key benchmarks that you should be mindful of here. The good news is that for a long time now, the estate tax limit has been very high—over $5 million. Now, that’s subject to change, but, generally speaking, there’s no tax on money transferred for an estate under $5 million dollars.


"Net proceeds refer to how much the seller makes after all expenses are deducted from the gross proceeds."


Net proceeds refer to how much the seller makes after all expenses are deducted from the gross proceeds. These fees are the ultimate difference between net and gross proceeds, and they include:

  • Long-term capital gains tax. This is a tax on the profit gained from the sold property. It fluctuates depending on Congress, but it has typically been around 15%, sometimes as low as 8%. You might also have a city and state long-term capital gains tax. As of 2016, depending on your tax bracket, that was roughly a 28% total between city, state, and federal long-term capital gain taxes.
  • Your real estate broker. Brokers often take a 6% commission.
  • Additional taxes. Some buildings and areas have additional taxes such as a flip tax, which could be anywhere between 2% and 25% of the profit.

There are many ways to minimize your outflow and maximize your inflow. When I work with sellers, I do a net closing sheet, which will help spell out your net proceeds for you. Each situation is different, so we can discuss that together when we sit down and talk about selling your home.

If you have any other questions about this topic or any other real estate subject, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. I can refer you to the top financial planners, accountants, and attorneys who can give qualified advice on this question. In the meantime, I can give you a general idea of how much you’ll make when you sell your home. I look forward to hearing from you.



The Key to Adding Value Is Making Buyers Fall in Love

So, you’ve been thinking of selling your home. Before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to boost its value as much as possible. Today, I’ll be sharing some tried-and-true tips for increasing the value of your listing. 

1. Get rid of the clutter. Before you list, make your home as spacious as possible. When buyers walk into your house, it should either appear like a museum or a hotel—exquisite and depersonalized.

2. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint. In many cases, a fresh, neutral coat of paint will bring you incredible returns.


"The key to increasing the value of your home isn’t making the property “good enough,” it’s finding ways to make the buyer fall in love."


3. Update a few appliances. You don’t need to remodel your entire kitchen. A few appliance updates will go a long way. Here’s the truth: When a buyer looks at a property, they fall in love with the little things, like the washing machine or hardwood floors. If a buyer finds something they love about your home, they’ll ignore the things they don’t. 

The key to increasing the value of your home isn’t making the property “good enough,” it’s finding ways to make the buyer fall in love. As a helpful hint, these features tend to be found in the kitchen or bathrooms. When you can focus on making the buyer fall in love, you will create a lot of value in your property. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



Don't Choose Just Anyone to Be Your Real Estate Attorney

Should you have a friend or family member who is an attorney handle your real estate transaction?

Before you can decide the answer to that question, you’ll need to consider this: Real estate attorneys in New York City perform a job which is generally performed by a title company in other states. In addition, they are tasked with the supplementary role of preparing a contract. In other states, the real estate agent will use a pre-printed form which has been drafted by their state’s association of Realtors. 

When choosing an attorney, it’s important to select a professional whose sole focus is real estate. If the attorney you’re thinking of hiring does anything that involves the word “court,” run for the hills! That is not the attorney that you want.


"Bad attorneys kill deals."


The second thing to consider when selecting an attorney is the level of experience and support they can offer you. You should expect your contract to be sent out within six hours of them receiving the deal sheet. You should never work with an agent or lawyer who doesn’t have a well-established practice. 

In fact, buyers who offer less for a property but are working with a more established, more well-known professional may still have the upper hand in competitive situations. Bad attorneys kill deals. 

That being said, there are a number of great attorneys here in New York City that we work with. When you work with us, we will recommend six choices to you. The attorneys we can recommend to you will vary in what they charge. However, most quality attorneys will fall within a similar range. 

One kind of attorney you must absolutely avoid is one who charges an unreasonably low rate. An extremely cheap attorney will not provide you with the level of service you need and deserve. 

Ultimately, who you work with matters. Be careful not to hire someone to assist you in your transaction before considering these points.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



How to Buy and Sell at the Same Time

I get asked this question all the time: “Is it possible to buy and sell a home at the same time?”

This situation happens all the time. You want to buy a new home, but you can’t until you’ve sold your current home. You’re not alone. Pretty much everyone is in this situation. Most people can’t afford two mortgages at once, nor do they want to have to find temporary housing while they look for a home. You won’t be able to borrow against the equity of a home you’re trying to sell and you won’t get credit for the equity from a seller until your home is under contract.


"This situation happens all the time."


What I suggest is that you make a checklist of what you’re looking for in a new home. Once you have that list, make note of how many homes come on the market each quarter that match that criteria. Having sold over 1,000 homes, I can tell you that similar properties sell multiple times throughout the year. For example, over 1,000 large one-bedrooms sell in Downtown Manhattan every year, so if that’s what you’re looking for, of course you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs.

The first step in this process is reaching out to a professional real estate agent. We can help you come up with a game plan, get the home on the market, get it sold, and make sure you find the home of your dreams. 

If you have any questions for me or want to know how I can help you handle a situation like this, give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.



How to Win a Multiple Offer Situation

What do you do if you’re trying to buy a home in a multiple offer situation?

First, it’s important to remember that roughly two years ago, about 40% of all deals involving multiple offers would turn into bidding wars. Now, that number is closer to 15%. The only case where you would find yourself in a multiple offer situation is when the seller has deliberately priced their home below market value in an effort to generate those multiple bids. So don’t let yourself get hamstrung by the asking price. 

We have a bifurcated market right now. Above the $3 million mark, you’ll have a lot of negotiability. Below $2.5 million (and especially in the six-figure range), the market is red hot. There, the average days on market for homes that are priced well is 30 or less, and odds are you’ll encounter multiple bids for your favorite properties. 

The most important factor in making an offer in a multiple offer scenario is being confident in the comps and having a conversation with your broker about what direction your submarket is moving. That way, if the home is underpriced, you know it and you can be confident in bidding aggressively while also feel comfortable you’re not overpaying.


"Don’t let yourself get hamstrung by the asking price."


Two years ago, being in a multiple offer situation meant you would have paid above the asking price 100% of the time. Now, you can still get a home that has four or five offers on it for its original asking price. 

There are other things you can do besides offering more money to win in a multiple offer situation. An introduction letter to the seller, for instance, can be priceless. It should include your picture (preferably one of you outside in the neighborhood with your spouse and/or family) and a short biography of yourself. That can go a whole lot farther than an extra 1% on your offer. Also, let’s be honest—sellers love babies, so if you can mention a baby in your intro letter, that matters. 

If I’m selling a home in a multiple offer situation, what I’m most afraid of is that someone will come at me with a non-binding, high number, hijack the process, and then want to renegotiate or even back out once we’re in the due diligence period but before anyone has signed the contract. 

All of these things will send signals that you’re trustworthy and you’ll follow through with the sale. Not only that, but you’ll also give the seller peace of mind with your offer.  

If you have any other questions about how to win a multiple offer situation as a buyer or you have any other real estate needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d be happy to help you.



Our Team Is a Top-Tier Team You Can Depend On

I feel very lucky to talk to you today. I’ve been a real estate agent since 2005 when I was 24. I’m now 37, going on 38, and this year was the best year of my career.

As a real estate broker and a small business owner, I’m really heartened to have sold almost $60 million worth of real estate in 2017, with a few weeks still to go.

This year, we’ve already established ourselves as one of the top five teams in our office and one of the top 20 teams in our company, Douglas Elliman, on a monthly basis three separate times. We’ve gotten over 50 five-star reviews and we helped sellers set 13 building records in their buildings. We helped multiple buyers buy homes for big discounts, where they’ll create memories that last a lifetime.

Most of all, personally, I’ve been able to grow in a way that I’ve never thought possible. As a team leader, I’ve worked with other people and companies. Having my own team since 2016, I never imagined that just by working harder than anyone anyone else I know, I’d be in be in this top-10 range.


"I’ve been able to grow in a way that I’ve never thought possible."


It’s not maybe really important to someone who I’m helping sell or find a home because when I’m working with a client, I’m not the biggest broker in the world. There are plenty of people at other companies and out in the world who are bigger, badder, and better than me, but my success—my team’s success—comes from commitment, honesty, compassion, focus, and education.

Education isn’t something you’re born with, education is something you seek out. It’s not just mental, it’s also physical. I work with a business coach, a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, and more. I participate in think tanks in my office, attend national seminars, and read business books. 

All of these successes are never by accident. They’re all the product of empathy—empathy for my client in that you’re doing the best job possible for them. When you do that, you feel great, make money, and people refer you their friends and family too. That’s how I’ve built my career.

I want to be someone you can depend on for all your real estate needs, so if you have any questions, I hope you feel comfortable reaching out to me.



Should You Consider Buying in a Co-op?

So you’ve been thinking about buying a home and you’ve been talking to some friends, and they’ve told you, “Get a condo—don’t get a co-op.” 

Everywhere you look, though—especially in Manhattan—there’s a co-op. And when you dig a little deeper, it seems like condos are way more expensive than co-ops, too. 

At that point, you might be asking yourself, “Why shouldn’t I buy a co-op? What is a co-op?”

These are the two questions I want to answer today. First, the term “co-op” stands for cooperative apartment. That means the land the apartment building sits on is owned by one company, and that company is a corporation. 

For example, if you bought a house, it would be on a piece of land. Let’s say you bought that house with a roommate and instead of splitting up the rent, you split up the property tax, and in order to make that legal, you made a company and made two shares of stock in the house. Your roommate would have one share and you would have the other. Let’s say your roommate then wanted to move and wanted to sell their share, but you didn’t want to sell yours. A co-op allows you to make that decision. It doesn’t matter if it’s two roommates or 500 roommates.


"Many people have done very well investing in and living in a co-op."


It’s possible you’ve heard stories about some co-ops being very strict, and some of those stories can be true. For the most part, though, the original “roommates” of a co-op only care that the new roommates pay enough money to justify the sale so their equity isn’t eroded and the new roommate will be able to pay for things like a roof replacement. To verify this, they’ll check things like your bank statements. 

Condos do the same thing, though, and co-ops have other rules too. For instance, they don’t let you rent it out without limitation. For example, if your roommate sold their place to some stranger but the stranger wanted to start some hotel, a co-op allows you to limit that if you don’t want that. 

As a homeowner, you might be thinking that you don’t want to be limited to who you can sell or rent to and wondering why co-ops are so expensive, but co-ops do have some great attributes. 

For one thing, their closing costs are considerably lower than condos. You also collectively pay a lower tax rate and have lower utility costs. Most importantly, if you want to be in certain neighborhoods or certain buildings, you have no choice than to go with a co-op. Let’s face it—no one is building any new ones. If you want to buy a property that was built in New York City before 1990, there is a strong likelihood you’ll have to buy in a co-op, and you shouldn’t be afraid to do so. Many people have done very well investing in and living in a co-op. 

If you have any more questions about owning a co-op, please feel free to reach out to me any way you can. I’d be happy to speak with you.



I Went to War for One of My Clients, and We Won—Here’s How

If you’re lucky as a real estate agent, you work in the business for a few years and have clients that work with you again and again. Such was the case with the client success story I want to share with you today. 

I sold a property for this client in her small co-op building, and she knew about me and conducted interviews with the other agents who had done business in the building. The first time I met this client, I came to her house on a Saturday morning wearing a suit and tie—which I felt pretty silly about—and she had me up against other agents she had dealt with before. 

She had a 1-bedroom, first-floor apartment. It’s always a challenge to sell first-floor apartments, and she had huge furniture too. Even though I was stressed and really wanted her business, I had to be honest with her, tell her a price that was lower than what she wanted, and tell her she had to do something about her furniture. 

I recommended a stager who staged the home, and we sold it for $745,000, which was $5,000 less than the asking price. We then located a 2-bedroom apartment—which was what she wanted to move into—that was close by. The asking price for this next apartment was $1.2 million, and we offered $1,210,000.

Am I crazy? No, I’m not crazy! It was Thanksgiving and the market was slow. Anyway, she put a little bit of work into this apartment and called me again four months later. She wanted to sell again and move back into the area she originally moved from in the West Village. She was only five blocks away, but she didn’t care.


"You can’t be perfect for every person, but I go to war with and for the people I work with."


Real estate agents don’t mind getting those calls, but now we had a real challenge on our hands. She improved the property quite a bit, and I had to get her every dollar she spent on it and more. The way to do that was to sell it for $1.5 million, but she wanted to sell it for $1.7 million. There were no comparable properties for $1.7 million, but I didn’t argue with her. We listed the apartment at $1.7 million, then dropped it down to $1.6 million. By the time we dropped it again to $1.5 million, she was a bit stressed, but I never wavered. While we were priced at $1.6 million, we got an offer for $1.4 million. Once we lowered it to $1.5 million, we generated more interest but no real action. 

The people who offered $1.4 million were pretty standoffish, but long story short, we got another offer and those people raised their offer to $1.45 million because they were scared they were going to lose out on the property. We made a counteroffer of $1.475, and they agreed to it. But in New York, as you know, it takes another seven to 14 days to sign a contract. During this time, nothing happened, but then my client made up her mind that she wasn’t selling for less than $1.5 million. 

I waited until the buyers signed the contract and put up their money to tell them that they had to meet the $1.5 million mark. The agent representing them was world famous—the kind who walked on air (or water, depending on her mood) and breathed fire. Needless to say, she wasn’t happy. But you know what? They agreed to $1.5 million. They also agreed to close according to our schedule. They yelled at me and complained to my manager, but I absorbed all that pressure they would’ve put on my seller had I not been there. 

Now that this client had moved into another great home and is looking to buy again, we have a great relationship that’s built on trust and being in the trenches together. You can’t be perfect for every person, but I go to war with and for the people I work with. 

If you need a real estate agent you can trust and depend on, I want to talk to you. If you have any questions or are thinking of buying a home, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you.



Questions You Should Ask Potential Brokers

Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, possibly the most important decision in the process is choosing an individual or agency to help you. I’ve put together this series of questions to ask potential brokers in order to help find the right one for you.

1. How many verified online reviews does this broker have? Anyone who has been in the real estate business for some time will have many reviews online. Of course, some may be bad reviews, and there may be a story there worth further investigation, but even that’s better than a broker with no reviews at all. Ultimately, a successful broker is one who can move homes; and in our social, online society, this is demonstrable in the number of reviews a broker generates.


"Whether you’re planning on buying or selling a home, possibly the most important decision in the process is choosing an individual or agency to help you."


2. How many homes has this broker sold in the last year? As you know, the real estate market is a growing, changing environment. A broker who was successful three to four years ago may not be the right choice in today’s market. So much of what your broker has to offer is their relationships in the current market and up-to-the-minute knowhow. That’s why it’s so important to find a broker who has sold a home recently.

3. What kind of support team does this broker have? Do they work alone or with a large team of agents under them? Do they have an office they work out of, or perhaps an assistant? If they have a large team, maybe you feel you’ll be frustrated trying to contact this broker again after your initial consultation, having been handed off to their support staff. On the other hand, if a broker works alone, you may appreciate their personal touch but have concerns that they are overextended.

If you have any other questions about buying or selling a home, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at (212) 965-6051 or online at I would be happy to help you.




How I Helped Jim Sell His Home for a Record Price

If you are thinking about interviewing a real estate agent to sell your home, I want to talk to you about a guy named Jim. 

Jim found me on the internet, read my reviews, and trusted me to sell his home after he had a lot of experience with a top-rated market expert and company in New York City. 

I was selling a property similar to Jim’s in the West Village. It had been on the market for some time. We took some excellent pictures and were seeking a record price. 

Jim called me up and said, “I’ve done a lot of work on this home and no property in this co-op has ever sold for more than $1.3 million, and I think my place is worth much more than that.” 

I told him that I knew this market really well and that it would be difficult to get $1.5 million in this co-op. He then clarified that he needed to get at least $1.44 million or $1.45 million, otherwise he wouldn’t sell.


"We got Jim $1,496,000 in cash."


I said, “Okay, here’s what we have to do: We have to look at the presentation of the property, create an effective strategy, and get the cooperation from the tenants that currently live there.” 

He told me it would be no problem, that the place looked great, and the tenants were wonderful. I went over there and he was right. The place was immaculately staged and the tenants were going out of town at a key time. 

We held eight open houses in two weeks and brought 200 people through the property. We priced the home below what he wanted and fielded multiple offers. 

Ultimately, we got Jim a sales price of $1,496,000 in cash. 

You might think that any agent with the right property can get that kind of price, but you’re wrong. We were able to get 10 offers. People say they don’t want to be in a bidding war, but if you really want a home and you can afford it, then you will do what it takes to get it. That is what I have learned in my 12 years of experience. 

We put massive energy, positive and consistent messaging, skill, and know-how into this sale, and our power team was able to get Jim a record price. 

Jim gave me a five-star review that I would be happy to send to you. 

If you have any questions about how we can help sell your home or you would like to learn more about our current market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!



Property Tax Problems Explained

Today we’re going to be going over everyone’s least favorite subject: property taxes. 

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you’re probably wondering how property taxes are going to affect your homeownership. 

If a property has a tax abatement in place, this will have an artificially low monthly payment. This is going to be especially prevalent if you’re buying in a building built within the last 10 to 25 years in Manhattan or Brooklyn. 

Here in New York, we get some of the best services there are. This includes our police, schools, fire stations, and more. But as an accountant friend of mine once told me, we pay dearly for these great services. 


"New York collects $30 billion each year in property taxes alone."


Did you know that the city of New York collects $30 billion each year in property taxes alone? If you buy within a new development three years into a tax abatement with plans of selling in five years, you should consider that your property tax bill will dramatically increase.

If someone is borrowing money to buy your home, they can borrow less of it in situations like these. Low interest rates are alleviating this fact slightly for the time being, but if interest rates climb even by 0.5% and your property tax triples, this is going to affect your equity. 

So, how do you know what your tax bill will be in the future? To determine this information, consult with your real estate agent. They can help. If you make any improvements or expansions, or let time lapse between a tax abatement, your property taxes are going to be affected by value. 

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



What Are the Most Important Elements in a Property?

Whenever you evaluate a property, make sure that you focus on these three things:

1. Location. Where a property is affects what it is worth. If you’re close to transportation, a job, or a school, the value of the property will go up.

2. Natural light. A property on the top floor is always more desirable than one on the bottom floor that doesn’t get natural light. Even if you don’t care about natural light, guess what? Other people do. Even though natural light is often underrated, it’s really important and should always be considered when looking at a property.


"Where a property is has a huge impact on the value of the property. "


3. The interior square footage. Unless you have a large lot and you want to add a room, for the most part, you cannot change the square footage of a home.

These three elements of a property are mostly out of your control. If something negatively impacts the location, the home’s value will be negatively impacted as well.

You can change just about anything else about a home, but these three elements are the most important to pay attention to.

If you have any other questions about what to look for in a property or you would like to learn more about our local real estate market, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!



What Zillow Can (And Cannot) Do For You

Suppose you’re talking to your friends or significant other, and you wonder, “What’s my home worth?” If you have a great real estate agent, they’ve been sending you an equity update at least every year.

But who doesn’t want to know what Zillow has to say?

Maybe at some point you’ve gotten on Zillow only to feel as if your insides might come right out of your body because your home is valued at so much less than you thought.

Or the opposite could happen, as it did with Spencer Rascoff, the CEO of Zillow. Zillow estimated that Rascoff's home was worth more than double its actual sales price.

But does that mean Zillow is worthless as a homebuyer’s tool? Absolutely not. As with everything, it has both good and bad aspects:

THE BAD: As a company, Zillow looks at home values and what they sold for and averages those figures to give the site’s users a rough look at what they might expect for their own homes. Zillow Zestimates come from an algorithm of public online data. It lacks the human element of an agent, and therefore can’t anticipate a potential buyer or seller’s desires or account for any outliers.


"Does that mean Zillow is worthless as a homebuyer’s tool? Absolutely not."


The way to get an accurate evaluation of a home is not to get an appraisal. Consult with a real estate broker instead. Why is that?

First, an appraiser will be paid no matter what. Rarely will they receive any backlash from over- or underpricing homes, unlike real estate agents, who work directly with the seller.

Second, real estate agents use less data than Zillow but have a more accurate conclusion. But why? The specific quality of the data they’re selecting, if they’re an experienced professional, is going to be the most pertinent. To get an appropriate value for your home, you need to have someone physically walk through your home, and have a working knowledge of what is going on in the current market. Zillow can’t anticipate anything beyond its algorithms.

THE GOOD: Zillow does have verified third-party reviews on real estate agents. You should absolutely get on Zillow and look for agents with quality reviews from a reasonable number of people—anyone with about 25 to 100 five-star reviews (like me)—and call that person to see what they think your property is worth.

For a more in-depth look at this topic, check out the full article here.

Message, email, or call me if you have any questions or would like more information. I’ll be happy to talk to you.