Warburg Realty

The “Golden Goddess” of New York Real Estate

Talking with with Camille Duvall-Hero

by Tyler J. Peckio

photoWhat could being a New York City real estate agent and professional water skier possibly have in common? Surface level, the two could not be more different—one involves navigating the near impossible labyrinth of New York real estate (not for the weak of heart) and the other involves flying around behind a boat at 70 mph on skis (also not for the weak of heart).  The two professions, all appearances aside, have more in common than at first glance; Camille Duvall-Hero can testify to that. The ability to thrive off competition, the hard work necessary to attain success, and most importantly, the near obsessive attention to detail—all of these attributes converge in the worlds of real estate and professional sports. It was because of these skills attained by competing at such a high level in a dangerous water sport that the transfer into real estate was easy for Duvall-Hero.

The preparation and hard work she applied in water skiing led her to become one

of Sport’s Illustrated Magazine’s “100 Greatest Female Athletes of the Century” and that work ethic has transferred over into the New York real estate market. Duvall states, “I want to dot every I and cross every T. I don’t want to enter the competition until I know that everything is perfect and if that takes 10,000 hours of practice to get through then that’s what I do…I think it’s that attention to detail and preparation. I mean, you’re flinging yourself off a ski jump at 70 mph at 25 feet in the air. You don’t want things to go wrong…having that really, really strong preparation ethic carries over into this.” The preparation, Duvall-Hero feels, is what is necessary to eliminate any doubt whatsoever.149400_159903040712230_7333128_n
CD Skiing comp.Another set of skills that Duvall-Hero has used to her advantage: the ability to listen and read body language, which she acquired in her first career shift into broadcast journalism. “[The ability to really listen to people] is an easy carryover into this business. You have to watch their body language, their tone of voice… you can get a lot of clues from being able to really listen to someone…you need to take [the customer’s] desires into consideration when you’re taking an apartment for them or taking their price or whatever that may be.” Duvall-Hero’s main concern in the real estate arena is the customer’s needs and not having an agenda before meeting with the client.
These transferable skills have proven invaluable for Duvall-Hero’s ability to steer herself through the ever-changing real estate market. With the technology readily available for clients to do research themselves, it is the agent’s job to know the market better than the client so that they can advise them as best they can. As more and more agents craft personas through various social media outlets, Duvall-Hero stays focused on the customer’s needs and not on branding herself to be any particular thing. She feels that not everybody wants a “rockstar agent” and that most clients want someone who is going to find them their home.

Sales in the City – Fall 2013

The residential sales market traditionally heats up after Labor Day, and because this year our Summer selling season was just as active as Fall usually is, firms are gearing up for a wild ride.

We interviewed four NYC real estate experts to get the lowdown on what buyers, sellers and agents can expect.

Michael Signet, Executive Director of Sales, BOND New York
Susan Abrams, Senior Managing Director, Warburg Realty
Edan Pinkas , Friedberg Pinkas PLLC
Douglas Heddings, President, Heddings Property Group

What should an agent, buyer and seller be doing to prep for Fall?

 

Signet: Fall is typically the busiest time of year. Agent preparation would include doing extra networking and more marketing, such as soliciting buildings they’ve done business in before and sending out line letters for the buyers that have not found their dream home yet. Sellers should take some time this summer to stage their apartment, put a fresh coat of paint on the walls and get rid of any clutter they may have.

Abrams: Sellers should use the summer to wash windows and make any necessary repairs to their property and they should also have a conversation with their accountant and attorney about closing costs and taxes incurred in connection with a sale. Buyers should interview and select a buyer’s broker. A good broker will help a buyer navigate the process, understand the nuances in neighborhoods, price ranges, pre-wars, post-wars, co-ops and condominiums and prepare a buyer for the condo or co-op board application process. A buyer should also pre-qualify for a loan and have their financial information in order. Agents should be thinking about what properties will be coming on the market in the Fall, what new developments are coming to market and what properties that have lingered on the market may be ripe for negotiations and price reductions.

Heddings: My best advice to everyone regarding the early fall market is that it is never as active as people anticipate it to be. In NYC, summer continues through September and combined with the Jewish holidays it generally means that inventory doesn’t pick up until mid-October. Likewise, the number of buyers doesn’t increase until about the same time.

What do you expect for Fall in terms of sales?

Signet: We normally expect the Fall season to be the busiest of the year. As sellers return from summer vacation, more inventory comes to market, which in turn brings out more buyers that have run out of things to see and have been waiting. This year I expect the Fall selling season to be all of this but on steroids. We have predicted that there are currently six real buyers for every property and the multiple bid scenarios that have become common place prove this prediction. So, as more and more home owners that have been watching prices rise decide that now is a good time to cash out, more inventory will appear and more deals will get done.

Pinkas: I expect all facets of the real estate market (both the high-end market and regular market) to pick up where it left off in July and to really pick up steam. This will lead to many people trying to close before year end.
Abrams: . Inventory is at historic lows, especially in the two and three bedroom markets. As such prices will continue to be steady and may even rise due to low inventory in many sub markets. Properties that are priced right will experience competitive bidding.

Heddings: The Fall should be interesting based on what the economy is looking like and where mortgage rates are at the time. Any significant pop in rates will create even more of a buying frenzy (it always does) and with inventory still low we could see further price appreciation. If there is no viable threat of rates rising, the market will remain on an upward trajectory due to the continued inventory shortage.

What factors are coming into play when getting sales done this autumn?

Signet: The rules and procedures don’t change from season to season. Buyers need to have their pre- approval letters ready, their financial statements filled out and their real estate attorney in place.
Sellers, on the other hand, need to price their property correctly. Even though the market is hot, buyers are more educated now than ever and overpriced property will just sit and get stale.

Pinkas: Now that summer is over and people are back from vacation I expect contracts and closing to start happening at a faster clip.

Abrams: The biggest challenge in the fall will be inventory, especially in certain markets. Most of the new construction coming to market is serving the very high-end of the market. The very wealthy seeking new construction will have more options. It will continue to be a challenge to find properties in the $1-4 million dollar range that meet buyers’ requirements.

Heddings: DUCKS IN A ROW! To compete in the Fall market, buyers will have to make sure that they can present a clear, accurate and positive picture of their finances including pre-approval for a mortgage when submitting a bid. Sellers need to work with someone who has a reputation for solid and accurate pricing strategy.

What neighborhoods may have the most and least sales traffic and why?

Signet: The most sales happen where there is the most inventory, so right now: Upper East Side, Midtown East, Midtown West and Chelsea. Trendier neighborhoods such as Soho, Tribeca and the West Village where there is very limited inventory will see the biggest spike in prices, but the fewest number of transactions.

Pinkas: I think areas that do not have much new development or conversion going on will stall slightly in sales traffic and one such neighborhood is the East Village.

Abrams: Today almost all neighborhoods are desirable. Traffic is strong on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, all over downtown, Harlem, prime Brownstone Brooklyn and Williamsburg. The fact that homes are priced at $1.5 million in Bedford Stuyvesant is proof that neighborhood boundaries have virtually disappeared.
Due to the construction of the Second Avenue Subway, sales traffic is not as brisk along York, First and Second Avenue. However, the neighborhood is changing. The Second Avenue subway is bringing transportation and an influx of new and interesting retail to the area. This location is one to watch and I predict home prices will increase.

Heddings: The Upper West Side should remain consistently sought-after because of the demographics, proximity to parks, schools and transportation. I doubt we will see any immediate stalls in sales anywhere barring a spike in interest rates or a major political or world event.

Midtown West – Joél Moss, Warburg Realty

Midtown West has the best of everything New York City has to offer: World class dining at some of the city’s best restaurants, the theater district, shopping at Columbus Circle and Central Park. I love the little independent shops and restaurants and that everything is within arms reach. You can have a fantastic meal, a walk through the park and then to the theater district for a show; a quintessential New York evening.

Joél’s Suggestions:


01 Ink48 Hotel – The Press Lounge

Beautiful views

02Exhale Spa
Yoga, Pilates, amazing facials

03Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien
Great Burger

04Flute Midtown
Perfect for a romantic drink

 R05izzoli Bookstore

REBNY 25TH ANNUAL RESIDENTIAL DEAL OF THE YEAR AWARD

As a media sponsor and proud partner of REBNY, residencyNY Magazine congratulates the Real Estate Board Of New York on a fantastic event, and salutes the many winners, both with and without awards, that make our community special.

Jeffrey Rothstein of Douglas Elliman receives Henry Forster Award for lifetime achievement. Heather Stein of Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales receives top sales prize.

All photos by Gotham Photo Company.

Miriam Harris, Executive Vice President of Real Estate Transactions at New York City’s Economic Development Corporation presents the proclamation from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that declared October 24, 2013 REBNY Residential Division Day.

Miriam Harris, Executive Vice President of Real Estate Transactions at New York City’s Economic Development Corporation, presents the proclamation from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg that declared October 24, 2013 REBNY Residential Division Day.

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Jim Gricar, Sara Rotter, Diane Ramirez and Richard Grossman

Stephe Kliegerman

Stephe Kliegerman

Dottie Herman, Jeffrey Rothstein, Diane Ramirez, Judith Oston, Abby Gellert and Jim Gricar

Dottie Herman, Jeffrey Rothstein, Diane Ramirez, Judith Oston, Abby Gellert and Jim Gricar

Lisa Larson and Frederick Peters

Lisa Larson and Frederick Peters

Ellie Johnson, Suzan Kremer, Alfred Renna and Nan MarElia, J. Roger Erickson

Ellie Johnson, Suzan Kremer, Alfred Renna and Nan MarElia, J. Roger Erickson

Heather Stein and Peter R. Marra of Brown Harris Stevens

Heather Stein and Peter R. Marra of Brown Harris Stevens

Diane Ramirez, Judith Oston Barbara

Diane Ramirez, Judith Oston Barbara

Barbara Fox and Lori Huler

Barbara Fox and Lori Huler

Heather Stein, Suzan Kremer, Lisa Larson and Judith Oston

Heather Stein, Suzan Kremer, Lisa Larson and Judith Oston

 

Jeffrey Rothstein

Jeffrey Rothstein

Dottie Herman, Suzan Kremer, Ken Haber, Neil B. Garfinke

Dottie Herman, Suzan Kremer, Ken Haber, Neil B. Garfinke

Suzan Kremer, Luis D Ortiz

Suzan Kremer, Luis D Ortiz

James Gricar, Gerald Makowski

James Gricar, Gerald Makowski

Ilan Bracha and his team

Ilan Bracha and his team

Ryan Serhant, Jessica Campbell

Ryan Serhant, Jessica Campbell

Sarah Williams

Sarah Williams

Jeanne Oliver Taylor, Rich Cave, Gregory Frank, Nik Kolidas

Jeanne Oliver Taylor, Rich Cave, Gregory Frank, Nik Kolidas

Gerald Makowski, Diane Ramirez, Peter Grazioli

Gerald Makowski, Diane Ramirez, Peter Grazioli

Michael Sorrentino, Gary Malin, Alicia Marenzana, Jay Heydt, Corlie Ohl, Danny Charles, Peter J. Sobeck

Michael Sorrentino, Gary Malin, Alicia Marenzana, Jay Heydt, Corlie Ohl, Danny Charles, Peter J. Sobeck

Shlomi Reuvini,Pamela Liebman, Paul Wexler, Bess Freedman, Gene Martinez

Shlomi Reuvini, Pamela Liebman, Paul Wexler, Bess Freedman, Gene Martinez

Mickey Conlon and Tom Postilio

Mickey Conlon and Tom Postilio

Rich Cave, Nik Kolidas, Cheryl Eisen, Gregory Frank, Harry Armon

Rich Cave, Nik Kolidas, Cheryl Eisen, Gregory Frank, Harry Armon

Andrea Daniels, Deborah Lupard, Karen Gastiaburo, Lisa Larson, Marc Palermo, Claire Groome and Doug Williford

Andrea Daniels, Deborah Lupard, Karen Gastiaburo, Lisa Larson, Marc Palermo, Claire Groome and Doug Williford

Heather Stein

Heather Stein

Eric McCarthy , Kristin Thomas ,Wendy Maitland, Ari Lefauve

Eric McCarthy , Kristin Thomas ,Wendy Maitland, Ari Lefauve

Nicole Beauchamp

Nicole Beauchamp

Sales in the City – Summer 2013

The residential sales market traditionally cools just after Memorial Day and then picks up again after Labor Day, but apparently this year, with a market this bright, one has to wear shades.  We interviewed four NYC real estate experts to get the lowdown on what buyers, sellers and agents can expect during this summer selling season and how all can prepare for the upcoming fall.

Michael Signet, Executive Director of Sales, BOND New York
Susan Abrams, Senior Managing Director, Warburg Realty
Edan Pinkas , Friedberg Pinkas PLLC
Douglas Heddings, President, Heddings Property Group

 

What are you seeing in the market as we head towards the summer selling season?

Signet:  The state of the market as we head into June is “frenzied.” At BOND we are currently doing 40% more sales transactions than we did in the Spring of 2012. Our fees are up dramatically; our average sale price has doubled and we are getting almost every accepted offer into contract. The most noteworthy part of this equation is the number of different agents that are participating in the feast. Naturally the top-producing agents in each of our offices continue to impress, but the real indication of an unusually hot summer sales market is the number of deals being done by agents doing their first and second transactions. BOND is also listing more properties than ever—and continuing to get new exclusives even as the temperatures rise and sellers traditionally want to wait until the fall. Open houses continue to be very busy, multiple bids continue to be the norm and all-cash buyers are heading to the front of the line. With everyone talking about lack of inventory, our new listings are not sitting on the market for very long. While the summer is typically a slower time of year for sales, I see no slow down in our future anytime soon.

Pinkas: I (along with my colleagues that have similar practices to mine) always hear that the summer market is “slow,” but for the last three years that could not be further from the truth. For starters, my firm has traditionally had the three busiest months of the year in terms of new transactions and closings during June, July and August.  This year is no exception and judging by the month of May so far it seems like it may be even busier than normal.

Heddings:  The most telling statistic for Heddings Property Group is that we are on pace to do more sales volume in our Manhattan office alone than we did all of last year in Manhattan, Hamptons, Westchester, Greenwich and Rockland combined.  We have also had a three-month run of properties selling in 1-4 days at prices over the asking price that have shocked both us and our sellers. My agents and many of my colleagues have shared anecdotes of properties with 6 or more bids and after all settles, it is the 4th or 5th offer that ends up going to contract.  Emotions are running high. I believe that this year’s summer market will provide more of what we have seen in 2013 thus far with the exception of the rampant bidding war scenario in which we are currently experiencing. Mortgage rates will remain low and inventory will likely shrink further after a slight pop this spring. Sales volume should remain steady to slightly lower through the summer.

 

What should buyers, sellers and agents be doing to prepare to compete in this market?

Signet: Because there are no indications that the market will cool as we head towards the solstice, buyers should get a pre-approval from a lender, have a real estate attorney in place and have a REBNY financial statement filled out and liquid assets ready at a local bank. Agents should take this time to preview properties for their buyers. Wasting time showing properties that don’t meet buyers’ criteria makes no sense. Agents should thoroughly know the summer inventory.

Pinkas: Because people do tend to vacation in the summer months, it is prudent for agents, buyers and sellers to speak with their attorneys in order for the attorneys to obtain power of attorney from their clients (this enables them to close transactions on their client’s behalf when they are away). One warning that I can give is that it can take co-op purchases much longer to close in the summer months since members of the Board are away on vacation (instead of the normal 60 day closing it can take upwards of 90 days very often).

Abrams: Agents, buyers and sellers should prepare for the summer sales season just as they do for the other seasons because this summer things are not slowing down. Sellers and their agents should price properties within realistic ranges by carefully analyzing the recent sales history of similar-type apartments. Overpriced properties rarely attract bids in any season. Agents should educate both buyers and sellers on the process, what to expect and manage expectations along the way. Sellers should streamline and edit their properties of clutter and make any necessary repairs before marketing their properties for sale.

Heddings: Buckle in!  In all seriousness, with the exception of the bust years (2008ish-2010), the local Manhattan real estate market doesn’t seasonally slow down as a whole. There is typically less activity with larger family-style apartments because parents want children to be relocated prior to the start of the school year.  The one, two and even three bedroom properties – particularly condo units that attract both foreign and domestic investors – continue to sell over the summer.   Sellers, particularly those who own properties with “special” private outdoor spaces need to make sure that the space looks its best and is marketed during the time when most people would be interested in those outdoor spaces.

 

What benefits might there be to listing and selling in the summer?

Signet: With the lack of inventory we are currently experiencing, I believe the summer is as good of a time as any for sellers to list. New properties coming to market have been inundated with buyers and their brokers in the hopes of doing a deal prior to the ‘word getting out.’

Pinkas:  People tend to be in better moods and more likely to go shopping for apartments when the weather is nice. A bright, sunny day always makes a difference!

Abrams: The benefits of listing and buying in the summer are that sellers and buyers who are active during the summer season tend to be serious.  During other seasons both sellers and buyers can be testing the market; going to brunch and visiting an open house on a beautiful fall Sunday may be a hobby, but during the summer it is a serious endeavor. Buyers who are pounding the pavement in 90 degree weather and sellers who decide to market their property during the summer months want to make a deal. Since there is typically less property on the market in the summer, a seller will have less competition; buyers will also have less competition and may be able to negotiate more favorable terms.

 

 What neighborhoods are getting the most traffic?

Pinkas: I am seeing the downtown market (below 14th street) – specifically SOHO and Tribeca – have a huge increase in transactions and in price point.

Abrams: New York has become a city where virtually all neighborhoods are getting traffic. There are no longer unacceptable areas in which to live. Open houses have been crowded on the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, all over Downtown, Harlem and Brooklyn.  We expect more luxury new development condominiums to come to market in Tribeca than we have seen in a long time. Most of this product, however, will be in the luxury price range, so it won’t be appropriate for other market segments.

Heddings: Upper West Side is off the hook!

May 2013 residencyNY Roundtable

Diane Levine Sotheby’s International Realty, Senior Vice President/ Brokerage Manager
Frederick Peters Warburg Realty, President
Tresa Hall The Corcoran Group, Executive Vice President, Director of Sales
Gary Kiyan Anchor Associates, Senior Manager

 

1) What is the most important attribute you like to see in a seller when listing their home?

Diane Levine: With sellers it is important for them to have a plan for where they will be moving to next.  When a seller wants and needs to get on with their lives, whether because they are moving for a reason, like an addition to their family or a job promotion they are more receptive to the offers that they receive.  They will focus on what the buyers present to them vs. just thinking I want to achieve “x” amount.  Their thinking shifts from I’d like to get a certain amount  and I’d think about selling to what are the buyers willing to pay at this point in time.  When agents  have a handle on the seller’s real motivation and time frame, they have a better chance of persuading the seller to act.

Frederick Peters: Realistic pricing – hands down

Tresa Hall: The two most important attributes to look for in a seller is their motivation to sell and their willingness to price the property to sell.

Gary Kiyan: When a seller has  realistic expectations of what the market can deliver that always makes it better when creating proper marketing, and in the negotiation process for bringing about a solid transaction. In addition when the seller understands the partnership aspects of the relationship when it come to more linear points like staging, touch up work and showing schedules, these basics create deals.

2) What are some of the key qualities a prospective purchaser should see in a real estate agent?

Frederick Peters: Several qualities: you need to find an agent who can fully contextualize your purchase economically. So it must be someone with a breadth of market understanding who is capable of giving you adivice about what to go for and how aggressively to go for it. These days, with so many properties going into multiple offers, that information is critical. A good agent should also always help you to prioritize your need and determine where you have flexibility – is it size, is it location, is it price? That guides the search

Tresa Hall: A purchaser should expect that their agent is diligent is searching for properties and educating them as to the information that they have found on websites.  They should also expect their agent to communicate regularly and respond immediately to their phone calls, emails, or texts.  Their agent should be a good negotiator and should be knowledgeable in every aspect of the real estate transaction.  They should feel comfortable that they can trust their agent.  And they should believe that the agent has their best interests at heart.  They need to know that their agent CARES about them.

Gary Kiyan: A consumer who has or is willing to be educated as to the true state of the market is always great to work with; in addition, a purchaser who understands the partnership and agency relationship aspect of the procedure is something I relish as well. Real Estate sales negotiations is an art form, so when a purchaser can work in harmony with the agent I find that great transaction come from this approach, which points to the concept of trust, which is not the easiest thing to find or achieve in a “caveat emptor” business. In this market a buyer who understands the pace of the deal and or the transaction is another blessing when it is present, these are the qualities of my dream purchaser.

Diane Levine: Prospective purchasers will do best with a real estate agent that can explain what is happening in the real estate market, knows details of the apartments that they are suggesting for the client, listens and ask questions of the buyer so that they help the buyer identify what they want and need and who work diligently to make it happen.  The best agents care more about their clients vs. just doing a deal, they are hard-working and determined.  They return your calls and are actively guiding the buyer to proceed in a certain way, as the looking and buying process proceeds.

3) What are some of the most sought after locations today? Why?

Tresa Hall: There are many sought after locations in NYC today.   Chelsea and many of the downtown areas are extremely desirable in today’s market, in part because of some of the new developments.  Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg, Park Slope are sought after now.  All of these areas are popular for their neighborhood feel, easy access to transportation, restaurants and are considered to be “hip”.   Following new developments is the indication of sought after locations.

Gary Kiyan: Well the way the market is at present; locations with inventory are popular! All real estate humor aside, in my present environment I am dealing with many first time home buyers so, I saw a number of transaction from Murray Hill to the upper eastside in deals from 750k and down. In addition we saw strong demand in the financial district for one and two bedroom activity. Of course downtown in general shows strong demand ( which is typical) for Soho, Tribeca and the West Village remains in tact however with a shortage of product and the high demand has created a very fast paced and competitive environment, which must be navigated.

Diane Levine: New York City is the place to live—we have everything and more.  As an international company, the Sotheby’s International Realty agents get enquires from around the globe.  Foreigners are interested in neighborhoods that they have heard about abroad like Columbus Circle\Lincoln Center, Greenwich Village or Soho, which give them access to the excitement of the City.  If they are investors, they are also interested in value and growth.  Many are now asking more about Brooklyn and Harlem.

Frederick Peters: This is an impossible question to answer, as increasingly all of New York is sought after. There is no undesirable location in Manhattan any more – it just depends on what you want. People are fighting over brownstones all over Brooklyn. Each neighborhood has its charms, and whether it is artists in Bushwick, young professionals in Harlem or Beaux Arts lovers in Bed-Stuy, there is a place for everyone.

4) What is your take on some of the reality shows that portray NY real estate brokers.  Are the shows accurate?

Gary Kiyan: Well it certainly shows that we are in an entertaining, fast paced industry, this type of venue presents a bit of a personified version of the best and worst qualities of the  Real Estate professional, while I have seen similar scenarios develop on some of the more high profile transactions I have participated in, some of it is beyond the realm of many of the day to day deals I see. As long as there is some voice or attention to the fact that, honest professional service and consultation is the true cornerstone of our business I am comfortable with the shows.

Diane Levine: We, working in the real estate business in New York City, are lucky to be able to see the most luxurious apartments and to represent many of the most diverse, interesting and wealthy people from around the world that want to live in our city. The reality shows allow us to share these special spaces and  what our business is like with all that it includes: the excitement, stress and sometimes unusual behavior.  Although it is never “real” to condense a process that can take months into 30 minutes (If only our deals moved so quickly), it would be great to tell all involved we need to be done by the next commercial break.   Watching these shows have brought some great new talent into the industry.

Frederick Peters: Well, we have participated for years in “Selling New York”, which did a pretty good job of portraying the highs and lows of real estate brokerage as a career. I have been unenthusiastic about the mac ho/shark portrayal of agents on “Million Dollar Listing”, but I guess it sells ad space.

Tresa Hall: I don’t really call these shows “reality” shows.  I don’t think they necessarily shed an accurate light on real estate agents.

5) Imagine that interest rates increase from 1 to 1.5% above their current levels.  What impact will that have on the purchase market?

Diane Levine: Being in the business over 25 years, in the past, I saw a buying frenzy when interest rate first start to raise as buyers tried to jump in before rates went higher, followed by a flattening of prices, as buyers felt they couldn’t spend as much because their monthly payment would be more.  However, in New York City now since at all price points more and more buyers are “all cash” and not depended on financing – all bets are off.

Frederick Peters: Even at 4 or 4.5% interest rates will still be historically low. It would undoubtedly remove some purchasers from the mix, but with inventory shortages at their current acute levels, it would probably not have too chilling an effect on the market. And honestly, a little LESS intensity in the market would be a welcome experience for buyers and agents alike.

Tresa Hall: I believe that a small rise in interest rates would encourage the buyers to move more quickly before the levels were raised more.

Gary Kiyan: We are in a market where the lending rates are some of the best we have seen, and these rates along with the hope of an improving economy are definitely having a favorable effect on the market place. I do not personally think that 1-1.5 percent will kill the golden goose, however as interest rate rise it will gradually effect some pricing and when the point come that overall inflation kicks in, which is typical on the backside of a recovering economy, at that point we may see some deeper effect in the market.

The bottom line is; the less expensive an overall transaction is, more people can buy. So, while the luxury market may go unaffected, the median and lower parts of the market feel the effect more as interest rates rise, yet at a  1-1.5 percent increase I would still be confident.

6) Are you seeing an increase in demand for second home purchases?

Frederick Peters: I don’t think we currently see much of an increase. Ever since the recession began, flight capital from Europe, South America, and Asia has been making its way steadily into the US. That continues to happen at a high level. Bricks and mortar in New York seem very appealing to wealthy multinationals looking for a safe place to invest. In addition, we see many well-off Americans buying second, third, or fourth homes here. But I don’t know that this is an increase in demand. I think this demand has been here for a while.

Tresa Hall: We have definitely seen an uptick in purchases in the East End (Hamptons, Sag Harbor, Amagansett, Montauk and the North Fork).  Second home purchasers are definitely back in the market.

Gary Kiyan: Yes, actually I am seeing demand in almost all aspect of the Manhattan market, these types of deals are on the rise as well as empty nesters downsizing and taking advantage of market conditions. We see a risein second home purchases for the domestic and international market place at this point in time.

Diane Levine: As the manager of the Downtown Manhattan office of Sotheby’s International Realty, I have the responsibility of reviewing board packages on all our deals.  Most of the packages I reviewed in the first few months of this year were for primary residences.  There are a lot of first time buyers jumping in at points up to $2.5M.  Agents are reporting that many clients would consider buying up, if they could find something (hard in this multiple bid market).  Since you asked about second homes, I checked with our Hamptons offices and they have been reporting an overly brisk sales , significantly higher than the same time frame in 2012.  Most of their sales are second homes.

7) How do you advise a purchaser who is involved in a transaction where there are multiple bidders?

Tresa Hall: I would tell them that they should give the absolute highest price that they could and if they lost the bidding war at that price, then they wouldn’t be distraught at losing it.

Gary Kiyan: So many deals are going through this process right now and managing the purchasers expectations of the market are key in our present environment. It is a bit of an art form to give the purchaser an experience where they know the agent is vigorously representing them, when there is not that much give on pricing. Indeed, some buyer have to lose a unit during negotiations in order to understand the true will of our present market conditions. If I think a property is fairly priced I will advise my purchasers to be mindful of this point and refrain from attempts at hardball negotiations. Make reasonable offers if not full price and above asking price in some situations.

Diane Levine: As soon as there is more than one “real” buyer, the advantage shifts to the seller.    In order to level the playing field, a buyer and their real estate agent need to be prepared.  Buyers need to review and be prepared to present themselves financially in the best light -what they can spend, how much they can borrow.  When a property which meet the client’s needs hits the market, the buyer needs to act swiftly. The sooner they get in to see it, the earlier they can complete their due diligence and make an offer.  When bidding goes over ask, after the agent provides input as to current value of the unit, the buyer needs to think long and hard to answer- at what price if they lost it would they be kicking themselves.  By sharing details of other current negotiations, the agent needs to help the buyer truly understand the speed with which they will have to move.  In the market we are in, the buyer often may have to decide on the biggest purchase of their life are being in busy open house for a few minutes.  And we think our job is stressful.

Frederick Peters: Go high. And write the seller a letter about how much you love the property. It is amazing how effective those can be!