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Real Estate
Real Estate

Virtual Real Estate: Buying and Selling Real Estate in the New Normal PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla R. Toomey, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty

Aug. 5, 2020: Since this past March, when the pandemic hit, there has been far less person to person contact in residential real estate than there had been.

People still want to buy and sell homes. Some buyers want to distance themselves from what they see as a risky dwelling situation in a densely populated urban area. Others are buying for the traditional reasons such as marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, death of a spouse, or job relocation, among others.

Virtual real estate has become a widely accepted approach in this "new normal." Virtual real estate enables prospective buyers to get to know the property without actually visiting it in person.

By now, most real estate agents have professional photographs and floor plans done to help in this process, but nowadays, there are virtual open houses, visual tours, and interactive floor plans to bolster these efforts.

Many agents and sellers want to see the prospective buyer's pre-approval before a showing, and COVID 19 disclosures and Fair Housing disclosures must also be signed to limit showings to serious candidates to avoid casual lookers from visiting in person. When in-person visits happen, masks, gloves, sanitizers, and no-touch requirements are in effect.

Enabling prospective buyers to see a property without actually visiting it can be very useful. From the selling side, it's also important that listing descriptions and data be as detailed and current as possible.

Practically every buyer who is serious about a property will see this new reality as a helpful screening mechanism and will want to visit the property in person before making an offer. But having used the virtual tools available, buyers can be far more focused and can spend their time far more wisely before settling on the home of their dreams.

Pictured here:  Priscilla Toomey, licensed associate real estate broker, Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty, Bronxville

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty 

 

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, legislators, and candidates. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



 
Bronxville Real Estate Market Update PDF Print Email

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By Cindy G. Landis, Brokerage Manager, Bronxville Office of Houlihan Lawrence

Jul. 15, 2020:  The global pandemic’s effect on the local real estate market has been compelling. New York City buyers, desirous of ‘greener pastures’ outside of NYC, fueled strong demand in the second quarter and created a surge in sales.

Bronxville is not the only community to benefit from those looking for more room for extended families and amenities from tennis courts to swimming pools, but Bronxville is certainly in the mix.

To illustrate, on May 1, closed sales plus pending deals (homes in contract) totaled 23 (13 closed,10 pending). By comparison, in 2019, those numbers were 23 closings and 8 pending totaling 31. The initial strong start to 2020 was seemingly washed away during the initial ‘state of pause.’

As of July 9th, the market has caught up and is positioned to surpass the year to date numbers of 2019. Closed plus pendings are now 44 (22 and 22), which is identical to 2019’s 44 (31 closed, 13 pending). A few additional homes are set to go into contract this week, which will tip the scales in favor of 2020. It’s late in the year for continued buyer demand, although all prognostications are off in this most unpredictable year. Last year’s total closings (57) are within reach if demand continues.

The sweet spot is $2,000,000 - $2,499,999 and the median is up at this point in time to $2,275,000. The higher end of the market ($3,000,000 and up) has also seen an uptick. There are currently 4 homes in contract above $3,000,000, and 5 have already closed this year. In all of 2019, there were only 5 homes the sold above $3,000,000.

The townhouse market has been slower to reap the rewards, but buyers see value nonetheless. The mid year median is $1,140,000; 6 have closed, and 2 are in contract. The coop market has begun to re-open as buildings and management have instituted protocols for showings.

Outside of the Village, high demand prevails. In Bronxville PO/Yonkers, closings plus pendings total 42 so far. That’s the total number of closing in all of 2019. Where this will lead is hard to guess.

Favorable mortgage rates add fuel to the fire, but there are a few additional curveballs coming this year, notably a national election. And don’t forget the prediction of the murder hornets - I wouldn’t rule anything out.

Stay safe! Enjoy your summer!

Cindy Landis, Brokerage Manager, Bronxville Office of Houlihan Lawrence

Pictured here:  Cindy G. Landis.

Photo courtesy Ms. Landis






 
A New Fair Housing Law In Effect in New York State PDF Print Email

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By Leah Caro, President, Park Sterling Realty

Jul. 8, 2020: On June 20th, a new Fair Housing law went into effect in New York State, requiring real estate agents to provide consumers a Housing and Anti-Discrimination Disclosure Form at their first substantive contact.  

The disclosure form, which is to be signed by buyers and sellers, and tenants and landlords, describes actions that would violate Fair Housing laws, and how consumers can file a complaint if they feel they have been a victim of discrimination in housing.

The law also requires real estate brokerages to display in their offices a Fair Housing Notice in a conspicuous location that is visible to the public, and have the Notice on their websites in an “above the fold,” readily apparent location. Further, this Notice must be displayed at all Public Open Houses.

The real estate industry has long championed Fair Housing for all and is held to the highest standards in the protection of members of the federal, state, and local protected classes. 

This new law creates greater transparency for the consumer, so they can better understand what discriminatory behavior is and how to protect their rights.

Under New York State law, protected classes include race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, military status, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, and lawful source of income.

So, though you will have yet another form to sign when you engage the services of a real estate licensee, please remember it is a consumer protection act, and your agent is required by law to give it to you.

If you have any questions about the new Fair Housing law, or anything real estate related, contact Leah Caro, President of Park Sterling Realty at  CLOAKING   or 914-282-2386.

Photo courtesy Park Sterling Realty


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Will You Change Your Space Due to Life in Quarantine? PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla Toomey, Julie B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty

June 17, 2020: Now that we have all been working from home for a while and are likely to continue to do so, at least part-time into the future, it has occurred to many people that their space at home could do with some re-configuring.

Not long ago, “ open plan” (kitchen/great room combination in white or grey) was sought after. But 24/7 togetherness can get you just so far. Many people are making their rooms multi-purpose and creating smaller, more private spaces instead of the one huge space they used to prefer.

Using different colors can help differentiate rooms and give more of a feeling of private space, rather than one continuous space stretching from one side of the home to the other.

Creating more storage space by building in an extra closet or pantry is another yearned-for feature, so that common areas can be kept more clutter-free.

Another helpful idea is to create a separate entry space so that coats, shoes, and bags can be put there to help control clutter in common areas.

Creating a separate space for tech, one which can be kept relatively private and quiet, is another goal for families that hadn’t created such a space before work-from-home (not to mention school-from-home) became necessities.

Another objective is to take another look at your outside space and make it as inviting, comfortable, user friendly, and pretty as possible so that it is used to its max, as we are all being encouraged to get outside.

Implementing as many of these tips as possible and being as creative with them, will help you enjoy your time at home.

Pictured: Priscilla Toomey

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty 

 


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



 
Leah Caro On Real Estate in the New Normal PDF Print Email

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By Leah Caro, President, Park Sterling Realty

Jun. 10, 2020: Real estate is back in business, but it is not business as usual.

Here’s a rundown of what’s been happening in Bronxville real estate, and what buyers, sellers, tenants, and landlords should anticipate as we work in the “new normal.”

On March 20, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6, directing all non-essential businesses to close, and unlike many other states, in-person real estate dealings were deemed non-essential.  

For a minute, we thought the real estate market would freeze. It didn’t.

In-person, agent-to-consumer showings and listing appointments were off the table for sure, but in the age of technology, access to properties went on. Virtual tours, virtual open houses, video, facetime, and of course, zoom became integral pieces of helping buyers see properties, and sellers have their homes exposed to the buying public.  

From April 1 to June 1, 2020, 893 residential properties in Westchester County went into contract. In the 10708 zip code, thirty-three residential properties went into contract. In Bronxville Village, 15 residential properties went into contract. Of course, this number is lower than what would typically be considered the heart of the spring market, but it demonstrates that buyers want to buy and sellers want to sell, even during a global pandemic.

On Tuesday, June 9, Phase 2 of re-opening started in the Hudson Valley, which includes Westchester County.

Brokers and staff will once again occupy Park Sterling Realty, but the ground has shifted, and we want you to know what to expect.  

The New York State Department of Health has issued a 13-page mandate for real estate brokerages, and these firms must affirm that they are in compliance with the mandate to begin Phase 2 opening.

Parts of the mandate will affect consumers, and we want you to understand them – it’s really all common sense.

-Face to face, agent-to-consumer contact will be permitted, with 6-foot social distancing and face coverings. This means properties can be shown in person, with, of course, the sellers’ consent. 

-Buyers/tenants should anticipate driving separately from their agent to the property (or you could all walk – we are a very “walk to all” town).  

-Please know that all agents are required to submit a daily health questionnaire before engaging with the public or entering our office.

-Buyers/tenants should expect to fill out and sign a form asking about their exposure to COVID-19, along with a COVID-19 disclosure form. Sellers/landlords will be filling the same form too. 

-Non-essential parties should not attend property showings, i.e., extended family and friends. Every occupant of a property must vacate while buyers/tenants and their agent is on the premises.   

And there are other requirements that your Realtor will be able to go over directly with you.

For the brokers of these agencies, the mandated protocols are extensive, but they are for the safety of staff, sales agents, and consumers and are being implemented with great care, including daily health questionnaires, sanitizing stations, and fewer on-site personnel.

Bronxville and nearby has always been a coveted place to call home, and I have every confidence that it will continue to be the case.

As city dwellers decide that their 4-person, 2-bedroom apartment really isn’t all that comfortable, I believe we’ll see a strong pool of buyers looking to our beautiful Village to spread their wings.

If you have any questions about real estate in the “new normal,” please don’t hesitate to ask.   CLOAKING . 914-282-2386.

Photo courtesy Park Sterling Realty


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
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