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Park Sterling Realty Adds Majority of Sales Force of Peter J. Riolo Real Estate PDF Print Email


Submitted by Park Sterling Realty

Feb. 26, 2020: Leah Caro, co-owner of Park Sterling Realty, a realty brokerage company serving Westchester and Putnam Counties, has announced the addition of the majority of the sales force of Peter J Riolo Real Estate, a Hastings-On-Hudson firm.

Peter J. Riolo Real Estate, a respected firm for more than 70 years, recently closed its doors. The co-owner and president, Peter J. Riolo, Jr., the office manager, Sharlene Forman, and the majority of their sales force will now be associated with Park Sterling Realty.


Leah Caro, Peter J. Riolo Jr. and Sharlene Forman

Park Sterling, with its main office in Bronxville Village, has had a positive and productive relationship with the Peter J. Riolo Real Estate office in Hastings for over 30 years. Both offices were founding members of the Westchester Real Estate, Inc. consortium.

Park Sterling Realty (formerly known as Bronxville Real Estate) has been an independent company since its inception in 1990. It has prided itself on high ethical standards, teamwork, professionalism, and exceptional client services.  Peter J. Riolo Real Estate has the same values, making the association a natural fit.

"Putting People First" isn't just a motto, says co-owner Leah Caro, "It's Park Sterling Realty's way of life – for agents and clients."

The new river-town based sales associates will continue to bring a high-touch client experience, along with a high-tech toolbox to market Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley, Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Northwest Yonkers and beyond.

President and Principal Broker Leah Caro has been a friend and colleague of many of the new brokers including Kumiko Buller, Sharlene Forman, Alberto Hernandez, Marilyn Hirsch, Deborah McNerney, Laureen Paul, Lauchlan Paul, Susan Slattery, Ravi Wadera, and of course Peter Riolo Jr, himself.

She is delighted to include these successful real estate pros in her company and looks forward to continuing to bring the best service to the Hastings and River-town markets.

When asked about further expansion, Caro says she and partner, Jon Posner are examining another opportunity in Northern Westchester.

Jon Posner, a 45 year veteran of real estate, was the owner of Preferred Realty Inc, a 95 agent brokerage firm that was sold to Houlihan Lawrence in 2004.

Photos 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.




Priscilla Toomey on Real Estate: IBuyers and the Cost of Convenience PDF Print Email


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

Feb. 26, 2020: IBuyers or so-called "Instant Buyers" established a foothold in the west and have since been exploring markets farther east. 

Though still accounting for only a small percentage of their chosen markets, companies like OpenDoor, OfferPad and a division of Zillow aggressively market the "Instant Buyer" approach, usually to prospective sellers of moderately priced homes.

How much do the targeted sellers know about what they're trading away for a promise of convenience?

Five things to know about IBuyers: 

1. The promise of convenience is based on an all-cash offer and a closing date that is certain.

2. IBuyers rely on AVMs ("automated valuation models"), believing that technology will result in a fair asking price.

3. Renovations that are needed are determined by the IBuyer but are paid for by the home seller. The renovations are also geared towards the IBuyer's profitability in the transaction. The question is whether the renovations are all necessary or just needed to help protect the IBuyer's bottom line.

4. The transaction is, by its very nature, impersonal. The IBuyer's offer is the offer, and once the seller agrees to it, it is set without the ability to adjust to market changes or buyer reactions. Some people liken it to flipping, the difference being that flippers buy a home already on the market, and IBuyers seek out homeowners before the house goes on the market.

5. Because this is a business for the IBuyer, the transaction could result in a seller receiving as much as 10% below Fair Market Value.

Five Differences With a Traditional Sale:

1. In a traditional sale, the seller determines the price based on analysis from an agent who is familiar with the local market and knows what similar homes have recently sold for there.

2. In a traditional sale, the seller has discretion which repairs to do after consultation with the real estate agent and, often, a stager.

3. In a traditional sale, the price can be adjusted as market conditions, buyer feedback and other factors change.

4. In a traditional sale, the agent is there to present the property to the entire marketplace in order to get the highest price for the seller and is the local resource for the seller for whatever is needed to get the best price and terms for the home.

5. In a traditional sale, the agent has local contacts who can be called upon as needed to answer questions, perform work and help in whatever capacity is needed to complete the transaction. It's all very hand's on, and personal and the real estate agent wants to do the best possible job from start to finish because their reputation and future business depend on it.

Pictured: Priscilla Toomey

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, officeholders, candidates, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



Sheila Stoltz and Susan Kelty Law Recognized as Top Houlihan Lawrence Agents PDF Print Email


By Staff

Feb. 19, 2020: Last week, Houlihan Lawrence announced this year's recipients of its annual Emerald Awards, described as "a prestigious honor awarded to the company's top agents in recognition of exceptional sales results over the past calendar year. Individuals were recognized from across the firm's offices in Westchester, Connecticut, and the Hudson Valley."

Two agents from Bronxville - Sheila Stoltz and Susan Kelty Law - received Emerald Awards, which means they are top agents at Houlihan Lawrence. Houlihan Lawrence has over 1,200 agents.


A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Sheila Stoltz's entire professional career has focused on real estate finance, valuation analysis, and real estate transactions. Stoltz spent seven years at Morgan Stanley in the Real Estate Investment Banking and Asset Management Divisions, three years as a research analyst at Cohen & Steers Capital Management, and 16 years at Houlihan Lawrence. At Houlihan Lawrence, she has consistently been a top producer in the Bronxville and Westchester markets.


Susan Kelty Law practiced law in New York City for 13 years before becoming a residential real estate agent.  She has been an agent for the past 23 years. "Becoming a realtor turned out to be the perfect transition for me from practicing law," said Law, "negotiating deals and providing exceptional client service were skills I learned at the law firm and they have been key to my success in real estate too. I am blessed to work with great colleagues in a top notch firm and love what I do!"

"Sue and I are honored to be Emerald winners and to work in such a great community with so many beautiful homes to sell," commented Stoltz. "We are excited for a busy 2020."

Photo at top by A. Warner


Recap of the 2019 Local Real Estate Market PDF Print Email


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

Jan. 8, 2020: Dear Neighbors. Welcome to 2020, a new decade! Wishing each of you a year filled with happiness, health, and lots of your favorite things.

2019 is in the rearview mirror, but here’s a recap of some of the highlights.

Bronxville Village Single Family Detached home sales rose by 46%. Unit sales increased from 39 closings in 2018 to 57 in 2019. Median sale price ended the year at $1,950,000, $150,000 lower than in 2018, and the average price per square foot was $590. 

Buyers returned to the market in 2019 for Bronxville’s fundamentals: a top-ranked school district, proximity to Manhattan, charm, sophistication, and walkability. Nearly 55% of all closings were under $2,000,000 but a solid 37% were in the range of $2,000,000-$2,999,999 (21 deals). The highest sale was $5,100,000.

Bronxville Village Townhouse sales also increased over 2018. 12 townhomes closed in 2019, a rise of 25% from 9 deals in 2018. Ranging from $909,750 to a high of $1,500,000, the median sale price in 2019 was $1,117,750, which was down somewhat from 2018’s $1,250,000. The average price per square foot was $611, higher than that of single family detached homes for the 2nd year in a row.

Bronxville Village Co-ops continue to be an attractive alternative to single family homes for both empty nesters and first-time homebuyers alike. There were 33 closings in 2019, and the median price rose to $629,000 (from $595,000 in 2018). Price per square foot was $463, close to last year’s $461. The range of prices was from $190,000 to $1,685,000.

Other Surrounding Markets:

The Bronxville Post Office area of Yonkers had 42 sales in 2019 compared to 56 in 2018. Seven of those were over the $1,000,000 price point. The highest sale in the area was $2,195,000. Despite the broad range of prices, the median price for the year was $698,750, a decline of 9%.

The 10552 zip code in Mt. Vernon remained near 2018 highs. The median price was $577,500, close to $579,000 in 2018, and there were 88 single-family homes sold, 3 fewer than in 2018. There were 4 sales above $1,000,000.

Bronxville Post Office Tuckahoe school district had 25 sales in 2019, up one from 2018. The median price was $800,000, a decline from 2018’s 10 year high of $917,500 but exceeding 2017’s $754,000. The range was from a low of $429,000 to a high of $2,850,000, with 9 sales closing above $1,000,000.

The Eastchester School District had 113 sales in 2019, the same number as in 2018. However, the median price rose 1% to $719,000. The median price has remained over $700,000 for the last 5 years. The range in the district was from $435,000 to a high of $1,565,000, with 9 sales above $1,000,000.

What’s Ahead? 2020 is already proving to be an unpredictable year. There are geopolitical issues on the world stage, and it is an election year in the United States, so there is lots of potential drama. Mortgage rates remain low, always a plus for real estate markets.

Pictured:  Cindy Landis

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.

Park Sterling Realty Broker Makes Commitment to Excellence PDF Print Email


Contributed by Park Sterling Realty

Jan. 8, 2020:  Leah Caro, AHWD, CBR, CRB, CIPS, President and Principal Broker of Park Sterling Realty has earned the Commitment to Excellence endorsement from the National Association of Realtors®. The endorsement goes to Realtors® who have demonstrated knowledge and competency in 10 core areas of real estate practice:

1. Client service

2. Professional reputation

3. Real estate law

4. Realtor® Code of Ethics

5. Equal service to all (Article 10 of the Code)

6. Advocacy of real property ownership

7. Trust and integrity

8. Use of technology

9. Data privacy

10. Areas of practice

The C2EX endorsement is available only to Realtors®. It is earned through a self-directed program that enables users to assess and build on their competency in each of the core areas. Launched in November 2018, this innovative program sets the standard for what it means to be a professional in the real estate brokerage business. 

“Earning the Commitment to Excellence endorsement is a true accomplishment and an affirmation to consumers that you stand for ethics and professionalism in your work,” says 2019 NAR President John Smaby. “Advances in technology and online user experience are making our business more and more seamless, and that’s fantastic,” Smaby says, “But with new technology can come vulnerabilities.

A C2EX endorsement offers consumers the ease of mind that they have a skilled adviser, committed to conducting business at the highest standards, helping them through what may be the largest purchase or sale in their life.”

The National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing over 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

Park Sterling Realty is headquartered at 17 ½ Park Place in Bronxville and serves all of Westchester plus Putnam and Bronx counties. Leah Caro can be reached at 914-282-2386 or  CLOAKING

Pictured: Leah Caro

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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