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The only break we received on a recent purchase through a well know brokerage was 1% off for properties over 1 million and an additional 1% off for the buyer not using a broker. We didn't haggle over that because the broker gave spent a lot of time giving us advice on upgrades and staging; he also took top quality photos.
1. I offer and pay broker's 3% when selling
2. even in this market I am sticking with that
As a seller's broker fee.
Anyone managed to lower the fee? It seems like properties are pretty much selling themselves lately.
I'd like to see how that affects the format of StreetEasy. Both Zillow and Trulia have terrible websites. We were thinking of moving out of town and found their information on houses inaccurate.
What does the StreetEasy crowd think about this?
I bought a condo once without a buyer's broker. The seller advertised FSBO and said he did not have a broker. However, he hired a broker for a small fee to handle the paperwork. What a nightmare of incompetence! I finally had to take the Board package to the managing agent myself and told the seller to send the agent the additional papers he had to include. Also, the seller was not communicating with his lawyer properly either, so this delayed matters further. ( He wanted to stay in the apartment after the closing for a month or two, ridiculous because he inherited a huge house he was moving into. He felt he could stay rent free until he was ready to move.) However, it was a "hot" market and the seller 's price included a discount for not paying a broker's commission. Everything worked out fine. We paid a fair price.
We sold that condo, using a broker, to a buyer without a broker. Our broker did NOT receive double the commission. His firm discounts 1% of the commission if the buyer does not have a broker. Our broker then became the broker for both of us, which I did not like. The buyer was arrogant and unreasonable. I felt the broker, in trying to reign in the buyer, was almost siding with him at times.
If you know what you want and study the market, you don't need a buyer's broker. The seller's broker will get double the money, and this, I think, works for your advantage in a competitive market. It worked for me.
Wow, a lot of misinformed opinions here. This is not a straight forward issue. Some people can buy direct, some of the time. Some people can sell direct some of the time. FSBO listing are out there every day. Do they move faster? No. Dp they get more cash in the pocket of either the seller of the buyer? Most of the time no. The bottom line is that sellers cannot service a sale effectively. Most work and cannot show or market their property when buyers want to see it. A listing on Streeteasy is one thing, servicing that listing is another. On the buy side, how many buyers want to play tel tag day long to get things done? Buyers broker is not a facilitator - he is the buyer's best advisor. If the buyer feels he can do all on his own, let him proverbially "break his leg". But most buyers either lack of market knowledge or confidence or time to make the buyer process effective. Sure, you can search all you want but a broker will cut to chase faster and more effectively. Forget the focus on commissions. Every seller has a contractual duty to pay a commission. A co-broke or no co-broker does not alter that obligation in any way without consent of all parties involved. In the end, a seller may chose to give up few dollars on his net for a c-broke deal that he knows all parties have incentive to close than deal with a buyer who may be there one minute and be gone in another.
I didn't read this whole thread but I really agree with this last comment. And in fact, I very much regret my decision of working with a buyer broker. After a few weeks of working together, the broker I worked with had episodes of antagonizing me with excessive criticism using an abusive tone and various tactics to make me feel isolated, "abnormal" (his word) and bad for things like asking too many questions, or being 10 minutes late (which I warned him would happen on the first day.) Additionally I made an offer with an agent who had refused to cobroke. But that man had manipulated me so hard to swear my loyalty to him, that I felt unethical about cutting him out of the picture for the no-cobroke apartment and agreed to pay him 2% separately, half of which I will now pay to someone else at his company since I'm now refusing to work with him. The second agent is also cold and condescending, doesn't get back about specific questions, issues or requests. I walk away from almost every transaction feeling pretty miserable. And I know that if I want an answer, I can easily pick up the phone and call the seller broker.
In the meantime, I was able to negotiate completely without any of their help, and found that calling the seller-broker directly is faster and more efficient. Dealing with the brokers has felt not only like a game of "telephone," it's also created delays, and made me lose out on an apartment I wanted. I also believe that for reasons of professionalism, the buyer broker can't be as candid with the seller broker about situations or requirements as you can be directly. I suppose that if you're trying to slyly get the best deal, a broker might be better at negotiating things like comps, or helping reduce the anxiety of the board meeting (though half the advice I got was counter-productive.) If I could do this again, I would only hire a broker in the last minute if I ended up having to deal with a seller broker I didn't trust. But my advice is really that you'd save more time doing your own research, and working as close to the seller as possible. If you know what you want and what your price is, there are enough laws (plus the help of an attorney) to keep any major breaches from happening. Moreover, if the seller-broker is getting your 3%, they become half buyer broker which may just work in your favor for reasons stated above and others perhaps as well.
OP - there are "potential" advantages to not using a broker if you know what you are doing. These advantages may or may not get realized from deal to deal, but don't let brokers convince you that there are no advantages.
One of the advantages is that the listing agent will be MUCH more motivated to convince the seller to accept an offer from an unrepresented buyer since they will make tens of thousands of dollars more by keeping the full commission. At the very least, you increase the chance of your offer being accepted, and depending on how unscrupulous the listing broker is, you may save a substantial amount of money as well. Assuming no other offers on the table, an unscrupulous listing broker(there are more than the industry likes to admit), may very well push the seller to accept an offer from an unrepresented buyer even if it is significantly less than what the broker thinks the seller can get because the broker can still come out on top financially (potential breach of fiduciary duty, but almost impossible to prove, so likely to happen). A really, really naughty broker may even keep higher offers from the seller in order to get the unrepresented deal done (major breach of fiduciary duty so unlikely to happen, but you never know). Even a scrupulous broker, when faced with an offer from a represented buyer and a slightly lower offer from an unrepresented buyer, can renegotiate his commission with the seller so that they can each make a little more by accepting the slightly lower offer from the unrepresented buyer - Everybody wins!
If you have the time to look, compare, and negotiate yourself, there is little need for a buyer's broker and you do have potential financial advantages.
It was just a matter of time before people started wising up.
Hi, I'm a reporter with the New Yorker Observer, writing about how buyers have been cold on open floorplans of late and more into classic layouts. I'm looking to talk to people who are tired of living in an open floorplan, or has recently moved from an open to a more traditional one. If you're willing to talk, please send me email me at kvelsey at observer.com.
This building is being sold to Laurence Gluck (Independence Plaze) and Joseph Chetrit (The Chelsea Hotel, Sony Building). The word is that it's going to be upgraded to a luxury rental. As of the summer of 2014, it's 50% market rate, 50% rent-regulated. Market-rate leases are not being renewed and there are rumored to be at least 100 vacant units. Market rate tenants report being told that their leases will not be renewed but being refused move-out dates! The sale is supposed to close by Labor Day. A similar thing is going on at the "sister" building, 160 East 88th Street.
In a way it's easier to figure than a plain land-owning co-op. Instead of having to guess what the value of the shares will be when you go to sell, in a land-lease you know they'll be worth $0 at the end of the lease, and so can calculate for any point before then.
In another way it's more complicated. The rent, being based on land value, will be more volatile than plain old maintenance would be, so harder to predict.
To be fair, I should probably do the math before I conclude that it's not worth it - I'm just not sure how you factor in the potential maintenance increases during the adjustment periods, among other things. Which is probably why I'm not the right investor for this building.
lease contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. Nestseekers is one of the top brokerage firms in Manhattan having done billions of dollars worth of sales in last few years. Dedicated to our clients and working around the clock to satisfy any buyer or seller. With a trusted list of high net worth clients from around the world we are able to surpass any obstacle we face as brokers, finding any individual the perfect home they wish.
Maybe the numbers worked. Take the $200K studio, with $1K maintenance, that sold earlier this year.
If we assume that annual rent savings are now $18K per year, and that that savings stays the same as both maintenance and comparable rent go up over 30 years, then that's an 8.1% return over the whole term.
There's always the chance that that annual tax-free saving will go either up or down as the 30 years go by, but that's the risk any buyer or renter takes.
There might be something that both pays 9% tax-free *and* returns the principal, but I don't what it might be.
I truly cannot imagine why anyone's lawyers allowed them to buy in this building...
The building failed its Local Law 11 inspection in 2012. Once it does, esp if it is a large building, it's messy for a few years.
We are current tenants and there is a major "facade restoration project" underway in the building. You cannot use the HVAC or open windows from 9-5 M-F. The noise of grinding, drilling, hammering happens all day. Also, the construction guys go up and down the building all day so your shades need to be closed all day as well. It is awful... We also have chemical fumes in our apartment from it. We are in a 3-bed. Just be warned. The work started in Spring of 2013 and will probably go until Spring of 2015.
Terrible, terrible managers. You would be better off looking for an apartment in another building than to live with Citadel. They don't pay buildings' bills on times; they get maintenance payments mixed up between apartments; they don't get multiple bids on jobs; buildings have to hound them to get any action out of them. As Samerun wrote, Citadel Property Management (Michael Crespo and Mark Elman) are a mess. Disorganized, combative for no reason, borderline unethical in their dereliction of duty. We had to fire them.
Citadel is an absolute mess. My building hired them to be our property manager a few years ago (we are a condo). Checks would sit on their desks uncashed for months on end. They would ignore emails. They brought in their own contractors and I believe that with the pricing model- it was easy to imagine that their contractors were kicking back money to them. We had to fight with them to make sure our taxes were filed- and that W2's were issued. I have scores of emails documenting the problems we had with them.
Is anyone familiar with this company?
I'm looking at a rental in Hudson Heights that was managed terribly for years [scores of DOB complaints & violations inc. in 2008 an elevator crashing twice]. There's now new management--Citadel--and apartments are being fixed up for market -rate rentals. I like the apartment, but don't want to step into a messy situation.
If your market value is down since 2007, sounds like you own somewhere in that great
wasteland which extends from the northern border of the Bronx up to Canada
These are all great, thanks so much. We had an accepted offer before, but fell apart after inspections two weeks before closing (they got cold feet about owning a country house -- didn't know mice live in the country!), hoping to avoid that again.
Only twist - I wouldn't tell the all-cash people that the other offer has a financing contingency. Otherwise, no way they are coming up.
Alan is absolutely right. You can't trust pre-approvals at all, it's a gamble. They need to offer much more than the cash people to win. Also, along with that higher offer, insist that they forego the mortgage contingency clause, especially since this is a house and not a condo or co-op. If they have confidence in their financing, they'll agree to it. If they can't finance after all you at least can get some damages. But if it were me--the cash people win.
We did this. We paid cash at the closing table, then got a HELOC afterward. The interest rate was not good, something like 2.99%+prime. But this was a home equity line of credit post closing. The process took 50 days with Citibank. Wells Fargo told me they could do it in 15 days but I don't really believe that.
This is called Deferred Financing and will not be considered "Cash Out Financing". Not every bank offers it but we do. Please call me to discuss.
ENG Lending, a Division of the Bank of England
Established 1898, FDIC Insured Since 1934, A Century of Stability
5 Penn Plaza | 19th Fl | New York, NY 10001
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If co-op, you'll still need to go through the board.
I would ask at more than one bank / mortgage broker - always a good idea.
Thanks, everyone - very helpful. And to NWT -- everything was put on hold for many months for various reasons. Just wanted to revisit this issue since I'm currently going through the process again. And to rb345 - that's an interesting law, thanks. I guess I should have specified that I'm buying out a co-owner who used to live in the apartment instead of trying to buy another apt. in the building - I imagine that most of the rules you guys mentioned still apply.
I bought another shareholder's apartment in my co-op and am selling mine to neighbors. I still had to pay the Board application fees to buy (and sell) and fill out full financial package, but the Board waived the interview, reference letters, letter from building manager confirming I was up to date on maintenance payments and the move in/move out fee. Oh yeah and they required a $101.00 credit report from Fidelifacts.
The First Appellate Department ruled years ago that a coop must approve an existing
shareholder's application to buy a second apartment unless it has a sound business
reason for refusing consent, e.g., questions about the ability to cover maintenance
It depends on the building. We've done this without having the existing shareholder go through the interview process (which we felt would be insulting to the shareholder and a waste of time for everyone involved). We also didn't even require the full board package (letters of recommendation, etc.), but obviously we did need to revisit their financials.
In case anyone who might know is as confused as I am, see http://streeteasy.com/talk/discussion/37898-buying-out-a-co-shareholder-what-happens
Congratulations. Good luck with everything
Thanks to everyone that responded. We finally got approval this week. They finally escalated things, called an emergency meeting, and after 2 years we now have permits. Thank God! I'm sure I'll have dozens more questions on here as we start to really get into the renovation, which I thought was supposed to be the hard part.
MC - I had a similar (and even more ridiculous) request from the DOB. Get the expediter to go down to the records at the DOB, and make copies of the microfilm records. The borough office would not have asked for this kind of proof. Please document all this, and send to your local city councillor and borough president.
It is unconventional, and probably not done that often but if you go to the Department
of Buildings with a suicide bomb strapped to your chest the employees will probably be
able to issue your permits on the spot
Ever the font of helpful knowledge. Thank you very much NWT!
The DoB says "Development Challenge Process is pending Zoning Approval" and Landmarks recently approved the design, so should be pretty soon, as these things go.
Does anyone know when construction is set to commence on this building?
Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. We are one of the top brokerage firms in Manhattan having done billions of dollars worth of sales in last few years. Dedicated to our clients and working around the clock to satisfy any buyer or seller. With a trusted list of high net worth clients from around the world we are able to surpass any obstacle we face as brokers, finding any individual the perfect home they wish.
stellar has taken over!
Interior renovations are done. The pool and gym are operational and are not bad. The hallways are okay. They never do anything to fix problems in apartments, so if you want anything done, make sure it is done before you take up residency. The Second Avenue Subway noise is insanely loud and extends from 7:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. and has completely blocked the driveway, making it very hard to drive up and unload. The central air conditioning is iffy. If you look at an apartment and the units are old, make them change it. The super is a corrupt jerk. The doorman are nice. Management/ownership is Schneider & Schneider, who took out Helmsley Spear a few years ago.
I thought the dynamiting was going on down on 72nd now, way below this building. bsc, do you live in the building and feel the vibrations? Also, what's this I hear about perchloroethylene? We just looked at a monstrous 1400 square foot 2BD with a nice balcony overlooking 86th and 2nd that was priced below market (not WAY below, but below). What am I not seeing?
Good article. Thanks.
nyc511, I represent potential HDFC buyers in Harlem, and they are precisely the people the program is meant to help (one works with special needs kids). So far we have lost multiple properties in the $350K range to all-cash buyers. Whether the winning bidders are getting money from their parents or the sale of previous apartments I don't know (I suspect it's a mix) but the backdoor is not that purchasers are lying about their income, it's that, as NWT speculated, not all low-income people have low assets.
They probably have cash but low income.
I understand the concept and history behind these HDFC buildings, but what I don't understand is some of the prices; how are two people, making a combined income of $32,000, going to get financing for a $170,000 co-op? And if they do get a loan, how are they going to afford $12,000 + in debt service and maintenance on top of living expenses? Are people getting into these buildings through a "backdoor" method?
Right. Leaving it to the managing agent forces the board to codify just what the requirements are. It really boils down to meeting the financial criteria and not being a litigious crackpot. That can easily be verified by the managing agent.
On the other hand, it's the board's responsibility to vet buyers, so just blowing it off seems to be going too far.
Stop overanalyzing this. There isn't enough data recorded or even data to be recorded for non-traditional co-op approvals. A managing agent doing it is likely to give approval because none of the emotional aspects are involved.
NYCMatt, I understand that a MA may have less of an interest (i.e- it is not a shareholder and doesn't have to live/pay for a deadbeat or a "crazy" neighnot) in keeping out questionable candidates but I presume that they review the financial documentation fairly close, do DTI calculations and generally follow some sort of approval model that has been adopted by the Board. Further, from what I read on here, unless you are drooling or insult someone pretty badly, if you are brought in for an interview, you are generally good. I understand that 5 minds are usually better than 1 but do you think there is a real statistical difference between co-op defaults for shareholders who gain entry in non-alternative means such as MA approval only or purchasers of Sponsor units? And again, from what I was told, all other issues, capital improvements, finances, etc. are decided by the Board. Anyone else have any thoughts?
Lz, the fact that you're even asking that question frightens me. Stick with buying in New Jersey.
NYCMatt, given your experience, what can a MA miss on reviewing applicants that could negatively affect the building? My thought is that if they don't do their job then they will be ripe to get sued by the Co-op Corp and that such a lawsuit could negatively affect their business/reputation.
Nothing wrong with painting them. Just find out how the contractor is going to do it. Spraying is probably the best way to go
In our dated oaky(fourth) bathroom upstate I had no interest in gutting it. I asked the contractors to paint everything white and it looks 100% better! although still not ideal. It sounds as though your cabinets are better, go for it.
Primer - Many have recommended IKEA, but that look is too contemporary for me and doesn't feel right for our old little apartment. I kind of like the time warp feel and think we are just going to paint existing.
When we talk about refacing it is not exactly gluing laminate to the existing. When we reface we replace all the doors and sometimes the panels as well. Sometimes we have to glue laminate to a panel but never the doors. It is also possible to spray your cabinets onsite which usually comes out great. There are some inexpensive cabinets such as Ikea which I recommend highly.
There are many Ikea kitchens on my site. www.primerenovationsnyc.com. Look under gallery and then kitchens. Not all are Ikea but there are many.
Your are correct. Refacing is just gluing laminate over the doors. Refinishing involves sanding down the doors and staining them or painting them. If the doors are "dated", you could just replace them.
I had a dated kitchen, but the cabinets were solid. I just replaced the doors. You can cap the ends of the cabinets with high quality wood veneer or another door. You can also get wood veneer trim in strips to go around the cabinet where the door meets it. I had that done and the doors and veneers were purchased through Walzcraft.com. I also added their crown molding. Everything matched perfectly. It was like a brand new kitchen!
We have a lot of experience install the those shades. Clients are very happy with them. They are not cheap
I looked last year and prices were still rich. Ended up doing it myself with parts from rollertrol.com
Cost was right about $1k for three shades. The motors are not silent, but I wouldn't call them loud either... they're on par with a copy machine. The noise level is somewhat proportional to the size of the shade; the motor on the ~5x10ft shade is certainly louder than the one on the ~2x7ft shade, even though they're the same components.
Not an option for most, but if you have good DIY skills and pay attention to detail, they're hardly impossible.
Thinking about these shades for the bedrooms. Anyone have recent experience getting these motorized shades? Any recommendations? Have prices gone down for these?
the 2 biggest in new york are vogue window fashion & the shade company, i think (heard about them the most)
Just checking to see if everyone is still suffering from this? I still don't get email updates... This is such a major flop for SE. Being informed in time is probably the most important thing in this game...
still sporadic for me.
My daily updates - actually, I get hourly updates - started arriving a few hours ago. I have a feeling that the fix has been implemented.
my daily updates haven't been arriving regularly for quite a while.
Paul at Lidmar Electrical has been very good. He upgraded our entire apartment, (new outlets, recessed lights, moved the box up to the unit, etc). Very satisfied with him. During the job other things came up, (we wanted an induction stove, needed more juice) he was very accommodating. He is licensed/insured and highly recommended by others. Number is 917 939 4956
I used this guy for many of the same things you are looking to have done and I live in Brooklyn Heights:
Spotlight Electric, LLC | Jaroslaw Choinski, President | 243 McDonald Ave #6T | Brooklyn, NY 11218
t: 718.666.5303 • f: 321.600.5303 • e: email@example.com
I was very happy with his work and his prices were reasonable.
Any recommendations for an electrician in the Carroll Gardens / Boerum Hill area? Any opinions on estimated cost are greatly appreciated as well.
We are looking to do the following small items:
Change light switch to dimmers
Change light fixture to ceiling
Move electrical (cable outlet) in order to mount television
I used this guy to install some track lighting and ceiling. Good work, on time, reasonably priced. Very responsive.
Same as Primer if you want to compare electrical pricing: firstname.lastname@example.org