Roberta Axelrod

March/ April, 2013 residencyNY Rountable

Diane M. Ramirez Halstead Property, CEO
Dottie Herman Douglas Elliman,  President & CEO
Reba Miller CORE , Director of Sales-Madison Avenue
Roberta Axelrod Time Equities Director of Residential Sales and Rentals

1)  The market has had a great year relative to the last 4 years.  Do you think this trend is going to continue in 2013? What 3 factors influence your outlook?

Dottie Herman: At our recent meeting with our 1,000 Agents in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I shared that I was no longer ‘cautiously’ optimistic – I was definitely optimistic. In 2012, Halstead Property had our best year in the firm’s history. Combined with our high level of deals in just the first two months of 2013, I know it’s going to be a great year. Three factors that influence my outlook are low inventory, increased consumer confidence and the rising numbers of construction permits (for new developments.)

Diane M. Ramirez: At our recent meeting with our 1,000 Agents in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I shared that I was no longer ‘cautiously’ optimistic – I was definitely optimistic. In 2012, Halstead Property had our best year in the firm’s history. Combined with our high level of deals in just the first two months of 2013, I know it’s going to be a great year.

Three factors that influence my outlook are low inventory, increased consumer confidence and the rising numbers of construction permits (for new developments.)

Reba Miller: It’s definitely going to be a great year ahead. The three factors influencing my outlook are the tempo of deals being done each day, the quick sell-out of new developments, and lending  being cheap and readily available.

Roberta Axelrod:   In 2013, it looks as though the market will continue to be strong throughout the year since there is a serious shortage of available inventory, interest rates remain low and many purchasers and sellers have been waiting on the sidelines to be sure the market is back.

2) When representing a buyer, you are trying to secure the lowest purchase price.  When working with a seller, your goal is to command top dollar.  However, putting a deal together that will close with a qualified buyer/motivated seller can impact those numbers.  What advice do you give your clients early on in the process to manage expectations?

Diane M. Ramirez: It’s imperative that the broker represents the best interests of their client – whether it be a seller or a buyer. We take that very seriously at Halstead. We advise our Agents to manage expectations by keeping a clear line of communication, a calm demeanor and to be thoughtful of the stress on a buyer or seller.

Dottie Herman:  It’s imperative that the broker represents the best interests of their client – whether it be a seller or a buyer. We take that very seriously at Halstead. We advise our Agents to manage expectations by keeping a clear line of communication, a calm demeanor and to be thoughtful of the stress on a buyer or seller.

Roberta Axelrod: We are advising purchasers that product is very low and that they need to be able to see units they may be interested in at the first showing, have their lender pre-qualification letters in hand and be prepared to make a serious offer that day if they love it.  We are advising sellers that they can typically price their units above the level of the past selling prices in the building.

Reba Miller: If I am representing a new seller, then I do my best to prepare them on proper pricing which is reflected in market data from the past 30 day. If priced properly, multiple bids are possible!   If I am representing a buyer, I am preparing a strong offer that can be acted upon quickly in order to remain competitive in today’s fast-paced market.   A knowledgeable and prepared broker will help to guide both the buyer and the seller.

 

3) I want to purchase a new home in your market.  What is the best deal right now, and why?

Reba Miller: The best deals are going to be with units that are in need of renovation.  With time, energy and creativity, a buyer can get a good deal and have their dream home when construction and design is complete.

Roberta Axelrod: The best deals can be found on “fixer uppers” that are priced low as most purchasers are not willing to put in the time and effort to get involved with major renovations. But beware, if you are not experienced, renovations always take longer and cost more than originally planned.

Dottie Herman: Inventory is extremely tight in Manhattan right now. The best “deal” is to find a home that meets your individual needs and you will have a bit more luck where the inventory is not as tight such as the Upper East Side or certain Downtown areas.

Diane M. Ramirez: Inventory is extremely tight in Manhattan right now. The best “deal” is to find a home that meets your individual needs and you will have a bit more luck where the inventory is not as tight such as the Upper East Side or certain Downtown areas.

4)  What are 3 items your buyers seem to ask for on their “wish list”? What amenities are you seeing as the new trend?

Roberta Axelrod: Purchasers are asking about children’s playrooms, dog friendliness and bike storage. We are seeing more buildings with refrigerator storage for grocery deliveries and concierge services that do more than sit at the front desk.

Diane M. Ramirez: Three things that buyers seem to ask for is a great location, lots of natural light and a good flow. The amenities that we are seeing as a new trend are over-the-top closets, his & her closets, an open flexible floor plan and outdoor space.

Reba Miller: Reasonable Maintenance, Space and Light Good data to support the purchase.  A pet washing station would be an example of a trendy amenity.

Dottie Herman: Three things that buyers seem to ask for is a great location, lots of natural light and a good flow. The amenities that we are seeing as a new trend are over-the-top closets, his & her closets, an open flexible floor plan and outdoor space.

5)  There is plenty of chatter on the street that the banks aren’t lending.  Is this true? Are you buyers having difficulty obtaining mortgages?

Dottie Herman: It all depends on the individual buyer. If they have great credit and the funds to purchase a home, the banks are lending. They are stricter than in years past but that is actually for the best. Buyers should be prepared to present lots of documentation and be patient with the process.

Diane M. Ramirez: It all depends on the individual buyer. If they have great credit and the funds to purchase a home, the banks are lending. They are stricter than in years past but that is actually for the best. Buyers should be prepared to present lots of documentation and be patient with the process.

Reba Miller: Some buildings showing a high concentration of sponsor or investor units are still having difficulty and buyers with poor credit scores are having trouble.

Roberta Axelrod: Qualified purchasers utilizing professional experienced mortgage brokers are obtaining financing in this market. A competent real estate broker generally can recommend a mortgage broker to their clients to meet their financing needs.