For some of us, the term O.P.P. takes us back to the early ’90s when the Naughty by Nature single was ubiquitous. But here at RealDirect, O.P.P. means “Other People’s Property” i.e. a property that RealDirect is not representing (or representin’, if you you want to keep with the theme.) Every once in a while we see some O.P.P. that is so interesting or compelling, that we highlight it in our team meeting so everyone will know about it and can share with their potential clients. Well, rather than just keeping it to ourselves and our clients, we are starting a new post that highlights these properties and explains why we are “down” with it.
Here at RealDirect, our goal is to work with our clients in the way that suits them the best. Sometimes that means they use our free services (RealPrice). Other times we work on a monthly fee basis (as in our Owner Managed program). And still other times, we earn a commission Agent Managed and Buyer Service). However, not all commission based real estate brokers are the same, and to best understand our commission structure, you need to understand how the typical brokerage is compensated. Read the rest of this entry »
We have recently added a new feature to RealDirect search called the RealBargain. This is an algorithm we have devised for finding homes that are priced particularly aggressively. We look for homes that have a total cost per foot that are in the bottom 20th percentile or lower for comparable homes. We exclude homes that are unrenovated, are dark, and have other associated issues. They are then flagged in our Finder so that you can easily spot them.
Keep in mind that these are not necessarily the lowest price homes in a neighborhood. A home may have a very low maintenance, but be priced in line with other homes in the area. But the very low common charge may make it a bargain. And the opposite is true as well – a home that is priced low, but with very high common charges will not qualify. And we only look for bright, renovated apartments because most buyers put “light” as their top must have, and they are typically unwilling to do more than a moderate renovation. Of course, if you are willing to renovate a dark apartment, you will find even lower cost/foot opportunities, but they are not necessarily bargains for the average buyer.
Take a look and let us know if you think this is a useful feature.
The core of our mission at RealDirect is to utilize technology to simplify the process of buying and selling real estate. With everything we do, we continue to push toward more efficient methods of matching properties with buyers. To this end, we have recently released new features which make it easier for buyers to quickly find the most suitable properties for their needs.
One way we’re helping buyers find their new home faster is through integration of our Buyer Survey with property search. Buyers wishing to receive personalized property recommendations can fill out all or part of our 65 point survey which helps define which criteria are most important in a new apartment. Our survey asks buyers questions such as which schools, parks or transit lines they wish to live near, are they willing to do renovations or live in a walk-up, and how important are these criteria. We then take all of the survey respondent’s answers and compile the data into “Must Have,” “Wish-List,” and “Deal Breakers.” This information is compared against available listings in order to recommend the most accurate matches for each buyer.
The goal of a real estate listing is to make the property seem as appealing as possible in order to get potential buyers through the door. But with the need to give a strong overview of the apartment, little details are often missed. For example, a built in bookcase in the living room, the view from the kitchen window, or a better look at the outdoor space. While the listing may not note that there’s a dry cleaner conveniently located in the lobby, this is the sort of thing that may be a selling point for some buyers. That’s why we’ve created the ability to leave tips on a an apartment or building. Anyone who visits the listing can leave a text and/or photo tip which will be shared with registered RealDirect users searching for properties. Much like Yelp or TripAdvisor, RealDirect brings a candid crowd sourced perspective to real estate.
When we work with buyers and they find a home they love, the first question they ask is “How much should I bid?” Unfortunately the answer is not always easy. They need to not only figure out what the value of the property is to them, but also a bidding strategy that will get their offer accepted, and not tee the property up for another bidder who will pay a little more.
In order to develop a winning bidding strategy without over-paying, we advise our clients to consider these three points: Read the rest of this entry »
Wondering where you should spend your real estate dollar in 2013? We asked our agents to pick out the neighborhoods that they felt were going to be hot in the coming year and got a wide range of answers. While our top picks aren’t necessarily hidden gems or NYC bargain neighborhoods (as if!), they are areas where home buyers are likely to see a strong return on their investment while enjoying a high quality of life. Whether it’s ease of commute, great schools, trendy nightlife, fine dining or open space, there’s something for everyone in our list of top NYC neighborhoods for 2013 real estate investment. Read the rest of this entry »
I believe that I live one of the nicest buildings on the Upper West Side – if you want to combine convenience, amenities and lovely views. The Bromley, at 225 West 83rd Street, is one of those postwar buildings that were built to be solid (I cannot hear my neighbors at all) and attractive. The lobby and entrance have a very pleasant art deco feel to them. There is a dry cleaner/valet service on the ground floor. The staff is attentive, friendly and helpful. Repairs are made immediately by an excellent professional maintenance staff. There is a garage and a roof deck.
But the most wonderful thing about the Bromley is The Second Floor:
• fully equipped health club with pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, yoga studio and basketball half court
• huge and very well equipped children’s play room with kitchen
• large clean and well maintained laundry with lots of machines
• event space that can be rented at very reasonable rates
So if you want to be my neighbor – right now there are 3 units for sale in my building.
• 2 bedroom 2 bath high floor Apt.15M
Panoramic southern views, lots of closet space, including a walk-in,washer/dryer in the unit. $1,750,000
• 1 bedroom1 bath
Open city west and south views. GORGEOUS SUNSETS! 727 sq ft. Fantastic storage space. New plank wood floors granite counters and kitchen floor and glass cabinets. Will be freshly painted and ready to move-in. $859.000
• 1 bedroom 1 bath Apt. 8A
Open city view. This is the largest line of the one bedrooms in the building at about 900 sq ft. $950,000
As a real estate agent, I often hear from my buyers that they are interested in all Manhattan neighborhoods EXCEPT the Financial District. Why exclude it I ask? Their reply is the usual… “Well…there’s no night life…there’s no shopping….too many suits… it’s not trendy…there aren’t any good places to eat…too many young kids…. too many old kids. It’s…well… just too boring! Get the picture?”
Listen to me buyers: within the next five years, we will witness a drastic change in the Financial District (in a good way) and it’s surrounding areas. Mark my words and let me explain why.
Read the rest of this entry »
11 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New York City Co-op
The New York City co-op buying process may have you wondering if the principals of honesty, integrity, and good faith exist in the real estate market. They do, we can assure you, even though you may be feeling doubtful. To understand why so many wannabe co-op buyers are jaded you need to see that it’s often the real estate game, and not the players, that are causing problems. In our experience, many buyers seem destined to make the same 11 mistakes—again, and again, and again:
Mistake #1: Apartment hunting without the help of a broker.
When apartments in Manhattan change hands, sellers typically pay 5 to 6 percent commission. And what do you, a buyer, pay your broker to represent your interests? Nothing. That’s because the seller typically pays out half of the commission to your broker as compensation for finding a willing and able buyer.
Warning: If you don’t have a broker then you interface directly with the seller’s broker, a seasoned professional whose fiduciary responsibility is to do anything legally in their power to skew the deal in favor of the seller and against you. It’s a sad irony that many buyers don’t seek broker representation for themselves, especially when there is no cost for doing so.
A competent buyer’s broker will help you to navigate the complicated process of buying a co-op while protecting you from the common mistakes outlined in this article. Don’t be shark bait. Get a professional on your side—at no cost. Read the rest of this entry »
This is the beginning of the holiday month and real estate will be a little slower in December. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, in my experience, December is a great time to be in the real estate market. I find that listings that are active at this time, especially those that are running open houses, tend to be from more motivated sellers. Additionally, buyers who are actively looking in December are more serious. As a result, over the years I have seen the best deals happen for clients during the month of December.
So…for those of you who will be in town I would urge you to stay active throughout this month – you may be glad that you did. Read the rest of this entry »