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Taxpayer Funded Stupidity in Westchester County - 06/30/09 07:12 AM
Most of my postings on short sales have a happy ending. This is not one of those postings. In late 2008 my office brought in an offer on a distressed, vacant property I had listed as a short sale in Mount Vernon. We did yeoman's work. I listed it and one of my agents brought a string buyer. The client, a victim of predatory lending, was desperately trying to avoid a foreclosure. The home was listed at $219,000 after several price reductions. We were listening to the market. We had hardship. We had a buyer. The short sale package was sent (1 comments)
A Hat Tip to Active Rain and "Getting Found." - 06/24/09 10:05 PM
I was contacted by an Associated Press reporter who was writing a story on the housing market in the Northeast, and the story ran yesterday. This is the 2nd time in a month I have been contacted by a national news outlet with a subsequently appearance in their venue. Last month it was ABC World News. You should have seen my 2-year old son go nuts when he saw Daddy on the TV. This time around, I asked the reporter how she found me, and she said "Active Rain." The only appropriate thing to say is THANK YOU, Active Rain.
Westchester County Median Home Price Dips Below $500,000 - 06/24/09 09:27 PM
According REALIST, to the public data provider for the Westchester -Putnam Multiple Listing Service, the median price for a single family home in April of 2009 was $491,250. After peaking at over $700,000 in 2005, this is the first time in a long time the median price has fallen below half a million dollars.
We are also at a low ebb for transaction totals; 2008 was a deplorable year, with fewer than 4000 titles transferred. 2009 is on pace for fewer than 2500 single family homes sold. In 2005 there were over 6000 sales. This means that home values have (0 comments)
Selling By Owner? Cooperate with Agents in New York - 06/20/09 07:55 AM
I was contacted by someone out of the blue asking me to show them a home for sale in Eastchester. They found it on Zillow, which isn't uncommon. I looked up the address on the MLS and it came back with "no properties found." Checking Zillow revealed that the home was for sale by owner. So I called the owner and set up an appointment as if I were calling any other home listed for sale. No sheepish query if they were cooperating with brokers or explanation of my intentions. "When can I show it." Thursday. So I showed it Thursday. (6 comments)
Zillow Saves a Deal in Rockland County Real Estate Sale - 06/19/09 03:07 PM
I have blogged before about the difficulties Zillow has caused. Typically, their "Zestimate" has caused people to 2nd guess the more accurate evidence on the ground and either over or undervalue a home, killing a possible transaction. The galling thing about it is that the more compelling evidence is right under their nose from the MLS, but that one number on a zillow page (which, by Zillow's own admission is typically off by 11% or more in Westchester County) has killed everything. However, this past week, Zillow zigged instead of zagged. My seller clients were agonizing over whether or not to (24 comments)
After a long battle with the Department of Justice is finally over for the NAR, one of it's members is now virtually inviting another case to be filed. The last case did not exactly go well for the NAR, and was bad for the public's perception of REALTORS. When a consumer searches for homes online on a broker's site, they expect to (4 comments)
Understanding IDX - 06/14/09 12:02 AM
The words jumped off the page: "It troubles me that I am not identified as the listing agent. The way this listing is displayed it looks like you are. I feel taken advantage of." This was an email sent to one of my agents from a competing agent in our MLS who googled the address of one of his listings, and lo and behold, saw my agent's photo in the sidebar as the showing contact on a search page. He was indeed troubled. I decided to call him and see if I could turn that frown upside down. I asked him (12 comments)
New York Home Buyers Extremely Price Conscious - 06/12/09 07:08 AM
As Westchester County area home sellers are finding out, there are more buyers out there; that doesn't equate to happy endings. Here is an unscientific example of the pattern I am seeing: The house is listed for a price the sellers feel good about. Not great, good. Shwings the first few weeks, then nothing. The price is lowered once 2-5%. A few calls and showings, no offers. The price is once again lowered 3% or more after no offers. Showings do not increase. Frustrated, the sellers are faced with the market changes of the past 90 days. What few sales in (6 comments)
The Pink Flamingo Story - 06/08/09 09:30 PM
For my 200th blog posting (!!) -I was prompted to write this after someone pointed out a mistake I made but did so without being nasty. This occurred early in my career when I worked in Rochester with my old college rommate Kevin and his father Paul at their company. Both trained me in the business, and I owe my career to them. Paul was the broker and owner of the company (he still is) and operated out of a converted house in a commercial zone on a busy street on the border of a residential neighborhood. The house needed painting, (7 comments)
Beware the Pocket Listing - 06/02/09 07:47 AM
Imagine you are selling something-anything-on the open market. If we broke down the walls of time and space and put everyone who might be interested in what you are selling into one big room, it is obvious that the more people there are in that room, the better chance you have of not just selling, but selling at a good price. The fewer the people exposed to your product, the longer the odds of a favorable sale. Now imagine that you are selling the very same thing on a desolate roadside where only a few passers by will ever see you. (8 comments)
Paul Krugman's Dishonesty - 06/01/09 11:15 PM
Paul Krugman is a lauded economist, but he leverages that credential to preach to the echo chamber that is the New York Times readership. In today's screed, Krugman makes a big fat lie in his assertion that Ronald Reagan is to blame for our current economic problems. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; they are not entitled to their own facts. My comment is as follows: As a real estate broker, I find the following quote problematic: "Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending — restrictions that, in particular, limited the ability of families to buy (3 comments)
Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900. Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*
There is no doubt in my mind that the house would still be on the market if it wasn't for Phil's proactive efforts.
Phil was very responsive to our requests; he was very professional and respectful; he always gave us his honest opinion on the questions we asked. ... more
Phil is a very honorable and respectful realtor. He has gone way above and beyond the call of duty for me not only once, but twice. He helped sell ... more
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.