Finding the right homes for sale starts with the right realtor

March 8, 2010

Given the variety of transaction types in the city, surrounding suburbs, and rural areas of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, if a prospective purchaser is interested in knowing a fair value for the house, and in insuring that their investment in a home is a prudent one, they want to have an agent who is knowledgeable of the nuances in the areas of choice, and knows how to help determine value based on current market statistics, past community and sales history, projected changes in the community, and its stability.

Buyers no longer just expect that buying a home is a great investment.  Today they want a professional to “show me the money.” is a website where someone residing in or near the city can find the best real estate professional for their needs, based on real choices, depth of knowledge, experience and communication style.  No one should work with a licensee just because he/she happened to get your email or phone call.

Find a realtor best matched to your needs


April 30th Will Be Here Before You Know It

March 2, 2010

The snows of the last weeks have wreaked havoc with the goals of home buyers in the areas near and around New York City. People know their home buying clock is ticking and that April 30th is now only two months away; federal tax incentive to purchase a home and get a substantial credit back for helping the economy is not likely to be renewed again. Time is of the essence and looking at homes in white-outs is not safe.

The real estate transaction process differs not only from state to state, but in New York, from county to county. In some places up the Hudson River, a buyer is not usually in a signed contract situation (required to meet the deadline of April 30, 2010) for 4-5 weeks after finding a home and negotiating a price with a seller. That means he might actually need to find the home of his choice and reach a meeting of the minds with the seller in March, so that they can be in contract by April 30. February was a bit of a weather wipe-out. Now it’s gone.

The process is totally different in for apartment seekers in Manhattan. Contracts are usually fully executed within 2 weeks of verbally reaching a deal with a seller. But what if the seller gets a better offer before they sign a contract with you? In most cases money talks, the seller sends a contract to the higher bidder, and if they sign and return promptly, the seller tells buyer number one “goodbye”. So buyer “one” may not meet the deadline through no fault of his own. The minutes are ticking away. It is going to get hotter and hotter in March and April.

In the suburbs of New Jersey, the process is different still. Most real estate purchases involve an agent writing a fill-in-the-blank standard contract in most areas. You find the house, negotiate the price and terms with a seller, and you are likely to have a fully executed contract within 24-48 hours. But don’t wait until April. Best choices are available now.

“The Safier Rights” – You Have The Right To Be Informed

February 18, 2010

Perhaps it’s time to create Miranda rights for would-be home purchasers.
It is amazing that with internet access to virtually all homes for sale, would-be purchasers are naïve as they continue their knee jerk reflex to contact the listing agency if they have interest in a particular home. They seek the listing agent thinking she should know more than anyone about the home and be best able to answer specific questions.

That may well be true, but with a big “But.” It is vital to remember
the listing agent represents the interests of the seller and is not about to disclose any negatives to a prospect, unless obligated to do so by law or code. (if they are material facts) But so much in determining value for a purchaser is not based on material facts.

The listing agency is committed to getting the asking price of the seller, or the highest price they can for the home. And, though agents are required in most states to disclose their agency status at first substantive contact, there is no “Miranda” rights paragraph they are required to give to the prospective purchaser. I know from years of anecdotal reporting by buyer prospects, that many, if not most agents neglect to disclose who they are working for in an introductory email, or via a phone conversation or first meeting. So the buyer might be revealing more than they should.

How about giving real estate licensees a pocket card, like we give police officers, with Miranda rights printed on it, so that they can always be read to prospective buyers. I’d call them the Harris rights:
“I represent the interests of the seller, and you have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer my inquiries about your finances, your motivation level, and your cash on hand. You have the right to a personal buyer’s agent. If you think you cannot afford a buyer’s agent, you should know that the fee for same may be built into your transaction and paid for by the seller at closing. Should you choose to share information with the listing agency (me) about your interest, ability to finance or purchase the house, that information can and will be used against you in the negotiation process if you reveal them to me. You may make arrangements to be represented in a transaction.

Perhaps with Harris rights, more home-seekers would know why they need an agent who represents their interests, and that they may require their agent to create a comparative market analysis to help them determine fair market values in the local market, and to negotiation hard, on their behalf, in a buyer’s market like we have in most places today.

At a licensed concierge can discuss the issues of representation with registered site users and inform them about available buyer’s agents in the communities surrounding the city. Then the concierge can connect you with a top real estate professional who matches your wishes in skill sets, knowledge and communication style. Get what you deserve out of the transaction and have the professionals help you find the right home for sale at the right price in today’s market.

Harris L. Safier
CEO Licensed Real Estate Broker
Best Place 2 Move, Inc.

Let Us Help You Become A Commuter

February 12, 2010

What a difference a station makes! I don’t mean on the radio either. I mean commuter line stations.

With all the commuters coming into NYC from suburbs of NY, NJ, CT and even some parts of PA, the stations they commute from and to are a big part of peoples’ daily lives. Thousands of people who work in the city have considered homes to purchase based on traveling time from their office. That extra half hour commute across town, or uptown can dramatically change one’s community options; and no one wants to spend more time commuting than necessary. It seems many have wound up living in a particular community because their co-workers told them it was a comfortable commute, only to find they missed out on a better lifestyle elsewhere.

Lifestyle is vital in determining where to live, so it’s logical to want to know all community options within a comfortable commuting range, and be able to explore all those options. Choosing the right fit can make a huge difference in one’s happiness.

With , for the first time, this is now possible! When considering a move to the burbs or the country, there’s a website where you can enter your desired commute time, your arrival station in the city (train, bus, ferry), as well as your lifestyle choices, and then be matched with communities that meet your requirements. You can research and compare the results at your leisure in the comfort of your home and have access to detailed community profiles, prepared by people in the know, not just statistics and demographics. You have a wealth of unbiased, objective information at your fingertips, customized to your specific needs, which will complement the advice you receive from co-workers and family.

Harris L. Safier
CEO Licensed Real Estate Broker
Best Place 2 Move, Inc.

NYC Bankers Need To Invest Some Time In bp2m’s Community Search

February 10, 2010

As the CEO of a real estate company in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY, I read with great interest this Sunday’s NY Times Real Estate section cover story; “The Bonus Bounce.”  Opinions on bankers receiving large bonuses for 2009 profits aside, I wanted to learn what, if anything, was happening in NYC real estate market at the time of year when it is historically impacted by city dwellers receiving large annual bonuses.  As goes NYC, so goes most of the Hudson Valley.

The thrust of the article was that bonuses of cash and/or stocks to many bankers are anticipated to be large.  Most, however, are keeping a low profile about their good fortune at a time when so many are hurting financially and are surely not spending extravagantly.  Bankers are looking for good values for their money, and safer investments than some made 3-4 years ago, at the market’s peak.

While many are upgrading their primary residences, there is also a good number who traditionally have used bonuses to buy a weekend retreat, or a dual residence outside the city; splitting their residence between two homes somewhat evenly.  As evidenced in my three decades of experience, in the past most have looked in areas that friends or family suggested, or already resided.  Little exploration actually happened with most baby-boomers, myself included when I located in the valley.

Today, generation-X and the next are more committed to comparing different communities to find the perfect lifestyle for their needs and dreams.  The uniqueness of the community search option at offers such prospective purchasers the opportunity to program their wants and needs on the site, and be given profiles of matching communities up to three hours from Central Park.  Whether looking to expand their family outside the city limits, find their dream weekend retreat, or create a dual-residence in order to work from both the city and “ the country,”  at site visitors have the opportunity to explore hundreds of unique communities that match their personal criteria.  In some cases the community may never have previously been on their radar screen, as many successful NYC residents have moved to the city from other places and thus know little about the areas surrounding the city limits.

Harris L. Safier, CRB. CRS. GRI.

Principal Broker – CEO

little known fact about agents

February 7, 2010

With listing information all over the Internet, buyers too frequently, and naively, want to contact the agent whose name is on the listing, thinking that this agent can give them the most immediate answers to their questions about the home. However, when they do this, they are getting answers from the perspective of the agent who represents the seller. They are not being offered information, other then material facts, which might negatively affect the value to them. It is sort of like a successful businessman asking the mother of a woman he met online, whether her daughter would make a good wife for him. The response is apt to be a bit one-sided, at best.

Finding a community expert is probably one of the best investments of time that a buyer can make. Nuances between communities, knowledge of community attributes and nearby resources are very important to today’s buyers (according to their own responses to NAR surveys). Up to now, it has been a huge and daunting task online to find such a professional for all the areas within 3 hours drive of NYC. Now, at a site visitor can not only sign on to find comprehensive community profiles that match their lifestyle preferences, but they can also, at no cost, be introduced to a professional who knows those communities intimately, can communicate with them in the way the buyer requests, and meets the criteria in an agent the buyer specifies. Opportunity abounds for buyers in today’s market.

Harris L. Safier, CRB. CRS. GRI.
Principal Broker – CEO
Best Place 2 Move, Inc.

Understanding House Values

February 7, 2010

As I reviewed the closed residential statistics for my company, in the
Hudson Valley of New York, Ulster County, I saw a trend which continued
through 2009 which I believe is important to note;

The average selling price of a home in 2009 in the county decreased by 17%
from the average selling price in 2008. However, in our county we have a
substantial number of homes in the higher price ranges; $300,000+ which are
somewhat in a different buyer pool than the homes under that range. We have
people from metro NYC who have dual-residences here, and they purchase a
home with different needs and wants.

There were many more homes under $300,000 sold in 09 (820) up from ’08
(724) Their average SP was down only 7% from 08 to 09. However, since
there were so many more of them sold in 09, they pulled the overall average
selling price down the 17% mentioned before.

The average SP of homes $300,000 and up was down only 9% from 08 – 09.
However, there were only 218 in 09 vs. 318 of them in 2008. This large
decrease in the number of homes in the higher price ranges also created
the final overall of 17% decreased average selling price of all homes.

This sort of statistical analysis is often lost on internet home shoppers
and even on appraisers working for the banks. It all points to even more
importance that the purchaser of a home in such a localized market work with
a real estate professional who understands the nuances of their local
market, knows the stats, and can help the purchaser determine the fair
market value for them, and present the data to support their offer to a
seller’s agent who might not be as familiar with market trends. At the concierges are working with a hand picked group
of real estate companies and agents who have shown through their
performance and commitment to integrity that they can provide the best real
estate services to buyers in a buyer’s market. Sellers too should insist
that their perspective agent show them the in depth market data which will
enable them to price their home so that it can sell in today’s world.

Harris L. Safier, CRB. CRS. GRI.

Real Estate Trends – report from ‘Real Estate Connect – NYC’

January 26, 2010

I just returned from Inman News’ “Real Estate Connect- NYC”  In attendance a great number of top real estate and Internet innovators and leaders. Days were filled with up to the minute information about changes in the industry, trends, and visions of the future.  Technology, the web and social networking media were the predominant topics at every session.  The message, loud and clear from the speakers; we will be doing business in very different and exciting ways in the coming decade.  Inspirational, even after 3 decades in the biz.

What was clear is that gen-X and gen-Y consumers no longer need REALTORS to locate and select homes for them.  They need professionals for other aspects of purchasing a home.  The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) annual report;  2009 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, indicates the growing trend, now over 80% of all buyers began their search on the Internet, and reviewed homes online.  Speakers at “Connect” encouraged us to accept the fact– consumers can find and review photos and tours of just about every home for sale, anywhere, from their computer, or hand-held device.  Recent buyers indicated they needed REALTORS for: full knowledge of neighborhood attributes, character, and nuanced differences between those considered.  Buyers also expressed they needed professionals for knowledge of the real estate transaction in a specific marketplace where they purchased. (transactions vary widely by location and common practice) And, they continue to want professionals for negotiation skills and knowledge of fair market value in specific locations, and to introduce them to the best service providers for the purchase process and once they move to a new neighborhood.  They also value introductions to social networks as they settle in a new community. does exactly this.  Our network of hand-picked, market leading REALTORS has been prescreened by us and carefully selected to represent our clients in over 36 counties within a three hour radius of NYC.  What recent home purchasers from the NAR report, well most current Internet lookers miss, is that when they choose to contact the listing agent of a property, they are likely about to rely on the seller’s agent to help them determine value, and to negotiate the sale.  Ordinarily, the listing agent is committed to representing only the seller’s interests, certainly on initial contact with a buyer-prospect.  Leaving so many factors to chance; the seller’s agent may not be a great personality match, or communication style match for the prospective buyer.  She certainly may not know much about the prospect’s interests, such as commuter links, golf, or equestrian resources.  What home seekers need is a way to find their personal best agent–the one who knows what they need her to know, and can communicate the way, and when they need her to. provides the opportunity for a home seekers to find their perfectly matched REALTOR who knows the areas as an insider and has the skills and communication style best suited to accomplish the home seeker’s personal goal.

The ‘agent match’ section of enables users to select criteria that are important to them in finding a professional ‘match’. It’s the first step in a simple process that will ensure their interests are professionally and thoroughly represented for possibly the biggest purchase of a lifetime.  This is a vital component for success, especially in a buyer’s market like the one we are now experiencing.  Ask your questions, set your parameters for when and how to communicate, and see the way it should work.  You won’t look back.


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January 19, 2010

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