Rockland County Above the Curve?

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So here in Manhattan and Riverdale buyers and sellers of residential real estate, namely coops, condos, townhouses and some 1-4 family homes have come to realize that the market is down from the highs of 2007, and many minds are meeting and agreeing on price. In some cases, this is being helped by the potential $8,000 home-buyer’s tax credit, which is in play for all properties sold for less than $800,000 that are in contract by the end of April and closed by the end of June, 2010.

So why is it that Rockland County, NY feels they are different than every other local in the country? Pam and I have been looking for our house in the burbs, and the Rockland brokers, who admit that sales volume is way down, insist on taking over-priced listings and then appear to encourage their sellers to hold firm. One Rockland broker told me median home prices for the county are down just 2.4% from the 2008 highs. I find it difficult to believe that home prices in Rockland continued to climb in 2008, given that just about everywhere else in the tri-state area prices peaked in 2007. I think brokers in Rockland County feel good just having listings . I guess someone needs to remind them they are hired to sell those listings, and doing so means you must give your clients, the sellers, honest advice, and sometimes the truth hurts a bit. One real issue I see is that many Rockland brokers are in denial about their home prices because if prices in the county are down it means that their own home is worth less. Perhaps they feel if nothing sells for less than what they believe homes should sell for then the market has not declined? Why would anyone want to work with a broker who is not honest with them?

I provide my clients with detailed financial analysis of a home’s and/or apartment’s value, and can peg a selling price usually to within in 1-3% of my financial analysis. some intangibles may skew some a tad bit higher or lower.

While no one can predict what will happen after March 30 (supposedly when banks will begin to raise mortgage rates because they may have to begin to portfolio loans), buyers and sellers alike in Manhattan real estate are finding that now is the time to  buy or sell a home. Remember that prices need to fall nearly 10% to offset a 1% increase in mortgage rates. Borrowing $100,000 at 5.25% (30 yr fixed) will cost the borrower $552.20, while borrowing $90,000 at 6.25% will cost the same borrower $554.15. Since many experts predict that mortgage rates will climb to over 7% this year, unless you believe home prices will fall 20% if you plan to have a mortgage, now is the time to buy.

If you know anyone who is looking to buy or sell in Manhattan or Riverdale, have them contact me.

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.



Attending the Solaria Auction? – Don’t Go It Alone!

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If you plan to attend the auction, you need to be represented …

Have you read the Updated Terms and Conditions of the upcoming Solaria Auction November 22, 2009?   I have. The following is a direct quote from the first paragraph of Section 3

    Bidding and Buying at The Auction:
    Reserve Price: All Properties have a Reserve Price, meaning the Seller of each property has established an unpublished, minimum selling price. The starting bid is not the Reserve Price. In order to become the Winning Bidder for a Property, a Bidder must meet or exceed the Reserve Price and have the highest bid (see Subject to Confirmation section below). Except where prohibited by law, the Auctioneer may open bidding on any Property by placing a bid on behalf of the Seller and may further bid on behalf of the Seller, up to the amount of the Reserve Price, by placing successive or consecutive bids for a Property, or by placing bids in response to other bidders. If no bidders meet the Reserve Price, the Seller is under no obligation to sell the Property. Conduct of the Auction and increments of bidding shall be at the direction and discretion of the Auctioneer. Auctioneer is not acting as an agent for any Bidder in any capacity, and is acting exclusively as the Seller’s agent.

A representative for the auctioneer, Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC) has informed me that New York City and New York State do allow the practice of the auctioneer bidding on behalf of the seller while the current bid amount is below the reserve price. While in my heart of hearts I still believe that this practice is unethical, we must deal with it, and I have a plan to ensure my clients are not bidding against themselves.

My clients and I will be prepared on Auction Day, November 22, 2009, going in with what I believe should be the maximum prices paid for any of the units available. The prices will be determined based on recent appraisals of similar units as well as recently closed condo sales in Riverdale.

Pricing is a science. The numbers do not lie. I will analyze closed sales in order to determine the appropriate value in terms of dollars per square foot, adjusted up or down for the floor and view as well as whether the common charges and real estate taxes are above or below the average common charges and real estate taxes for those units recently sold.

If you choose to hire me or another buyer’s agent/broker, our services are absolutely free to you the buyer, and are paid by the seller. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Call Lee Presser today to assist and accompany you to the auction on Sunday, November 22, 2009. Do not go it alone! Lee can be reached at (347)829-9996.
Apartments in Manhattan

Manhattan Apartments Benefit from Open House!

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I had 4 homes benefit from an Open House the week of October 12th. Perhaps the taping of the new Sex & the City 2  movie in the immediate area kept people away from one open house. 

This stylish apartment in the Bronx has 5 bedrooms and 5 baths!

This stylish 5 Bedroom home in Riverdale has beautifu views of the Hudson!

A listing in the heart of the Upper West Side of Manhattan had nine families/individuals attend. This was our third and final open house.  The contract has been signed – in less than three weeks!
A nice one bedroom apartment in Upper Manhattan had four attendees at what was our third and final open house. There is a contract out expected to be signed by Thursday – in less than four weeks from our first showing.

A very large apartment on Riverside Drive had three families attend. Good interest from all who attended. People are a bit more cautious on homes priced over $1 million.
Many other agents have listings that have been on the market for more than six months to one year! Check with me and The Corcoran Group for just the right home for you.  Our secret to selling in this market… Pricing right is critical. Over-price your Manhattan Apartment, and you end up chasing the market down. Priced right and the buyers come in droves!