Briarcliff Manor, NY Real Estate News

By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
10 years ago, during Thanksgiving week of 1999, I went on a lunch date. It went pretty well; we said goodbye at 1:30... AM. I lived upstate in Rochester at the time and she was in Queens, so by June of 2000 I was back home in Westchester to be closer to her. In December of 2000 we were engaged, and on September 29, 2001 Ann Lee became Ann Lee Faranda.  Luke arrived 9 months and 2 weeks later; After a miscarriage, Catherine came to us in January of 2004. In December of 2004 Gregory completed our "Korean Twins," and Mark was born in March of 2007.  In the midst of all this production, Ann got her real estate license and started to help me build the company. With her help (and belief in me), the company went from a part-time venture out of a bedroom in mid-2005 to a dozen agent operation a...
Comments 11
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
New York real estate closings take forever compared to other areas. There are too many attorneys and too much red tape, but you can't control the weather. What you can control is how you approach your purchase and expedite the transaction. Is a 30 day closing possible? Yes, but you have to have all your oars in the water: Have all your mortgage documentation complete. Everything. If your loan processor says they want all bank statement pages, front and back, including advertisements, give it to them. This is perhaps the most imprtant thing you can do. Be reachable. If I need an answer, answer your email or call me back at lunch so we don't lose a day. Reach out to your attorney! Hint: If the attorney can't come to the phone, handle it with the paralegal. That's their job. The biggest le...
Comments 5
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
I am a big proponent of taking a child to work to see how their mom or dad works. Sometimes, the child will even emulate their parents and become more task oriented afterward. Here, Mark clearly demonstrates how impressed he is with his Daddy. 
Comments 4
By Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556, Corcoran Legends Realty
(Corcoran Legends Realty)
Briarcliff Manor is a sought after location. House prices have come down in the last few months. It is definitely a buyers market. If a house is priced for this market and shows well we are still seeing some sales. ZIP Code: 10510Location Characteristics: Sought after, upscale, picturesque village set on rolling hills north of New York City just off Route 9 A and the Taconic Parkway. Well developed municipality with very good puplic facilities and services and highly rated schools. Pretty village center with banking, police station, fire house, post office, shopping, coffee shops and good restaurants. Great access to the entire tri-state area via train, bus and car. Only 45 minutes by car to Manhattan. Nearest train station is the Scarborough Manor train station on Route 9 between Sleep...
Comments 0
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
An appraiser in nearby Rockland County has done an analysis on the price changes to a typical raised ranch in his town from 1965-2008. You can see the results here on the board's online newsletter. Once you hit the link, scroll down to page 5. The results are very instructive. In the last bust (1987 correction, Savings & Loan crisis, stock market crash of 1987, early 90's recession), it took until 1998 for prices to get back to the prior peak of 1986. Prices declined for 5 years, then rose nil to very little for another 6 years. This Great Correction is a doozy compared to those times. The drop of prices from 2007-2008 of 11% is historically unprecedented, and I wouldn't be surprised to see another decade of malaise. It is irresponsible to believe that things will be better in 18 months...
Comments 7
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
When I posted Spring photos yesterday the cherry blossoms weren't ready, but they greeted me this morning.  Of course, two family members had to beautify the photo in a "where's waldo" kind of way.  So, there they are. Posted a day late but just as pretty.    ____________________________________________________________________      You can search the MLS like an agent at http://jphilip.listingbook.com. J. Philip Faranda ranks among New York's premier short sale REALTORS specializing in short sales in Westchester, Rockland, Putnam & Dutchess Counties. www.NYShortSaleTeam.com. Read Phil's short sale blog at http://NewYorkShortSaleBlog.wordpress.com. J. Philip Serves Briarcliff Manor, Ossining, Croton on Hudson, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow, White Plains, Yonkers, Peekskill, Cortlandt, Tar...
Comments 1
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
When I walked outside this morning, I was greeted by an old friend: warmth. Warm weather isn't new this year, but the norm lately has been brisk mornings, warm days and cool evenings. A warm morning, for me, is a first in 2009.  Briarcliff Manor is beautiful in the Spring, and I took some photos of my favorite place in the Village: my yard.  That tree just got those white blossoms. You can see the forsythia behind the fence.  This is a better view of the forsythia.  My lawn is not a putting green. I prefer to consider it "vegitatively diverse." Those legs belong to a certain camera hog who loves dandelions more than her dad.  One of Spring's other calling cards: no more need for firewood. One more nice one:   The back yard cherry blossoms will be next week. They aren't quite there yet. ...
Comments 3
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
A question was asked on Trulia earlier today that stated a desire to not use a buyer agent so as to save 3%. Now, aside from the mistaken presumption that all buyer agents are paid 3%, the questioner inadvertently brings up a point that all purchasers should understand: You don't bring a knife to a gunfight. My answer began as follows: The notion that you are spending an additional 3% if you use a buyer agent is inaccurate. The listing agent already has a contractual commission arrangement with the seller, and they will not cut it in almost all cases just to make the deal work for you. Moreover, you are not represented in the largest transaction of your life. A good buyer agent will save you more than 3%. Some people think themselves as skilled and savvy enough to deal with the seller's...
Comments 4
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
Dear REALTOR.com, I tried to think of a diplomatic to say this, but I'll just cut to the chase. You suck. Not just because I have to pay you $3,000+ per year while providing you with my content. Not just because you telemarket the living crap out of me for banner ads. Not just because as a home search tool you are inferior to any basic broker IDX search. Not just because no matter how many times you revamp you are still a clanky, slow -to-load page even though I pay through the nose for a commercial grade FiOS connection which loads movies faster than 1 lousy photo on your site. No, you mainly suck because it has been a month and you still haven't fixed, or explained why you can't fix, the web statistics I pay dearly for and my 40+ listing clients expect. I can't tell you how degrading ...
Comments 21
By Phyllis Lerner call 914.438.7556, Corcoran Legends Realty
(Corcoran Legends Realty)
Briarcliff Manor is a sought after location. However sales numbers and prices have come down quite a bit from previous months. Nevertheless homes that are priced for the current market conditions and show well are still selling near asking. ZIP Code: 10510Location Characteristics: Sought after, upscale, picturesque village set on rolling hills north of New York City just off Route 9 A and the Taconic Parkway. Well developed municipality with very good puplic facilities and services and highly rated schools. Pretty village center with banking, police station, fire house, post office, shopping, coffee shops and good restaurants. Great access to the entire tri-state area via train, bus and car. Only 45 minutes by car to Manhattan. Nearest train station is the Scarborough Manor train statio...
Comments 0
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
My BA is in English. I am far more of a man of letters than of numbers.  I've always sort of disliked math, unless it was related to money or baseball stats.  But there are times when numbers are clearly more imprtant than letters. Take for example a recent conversation I had with an agent on one of my listings: Me: This is a short sale. It is contingent on price approval from the seller's lender. Her: Has the short sale been approved yet? Me: No, we haven't had an offer yet. But when we do, I can assure you that we'll get it done as smoothly as possible. I have done dozens of short sales. Her: Oh, I am a short sale expert too. I'm a certified pre-foreclosure(or whatever) property expert. Me: (scratching head, going through metal rolo-dex because I never heard of the person): Oh? How ma...
Comments 11
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
One of the biggest thorns in my side is how Zillow offers to estimate home values for consumers. It never fails to amaze me how I can walk through a home, sit with the owner, apply my 13 years of experience to a detailed market analysis, quote the owner my best price opinion, and then be told with a straight face "but Zillow said it is worth $50,000 higher." I have had irate buyers call me at 9pm, almost screaming that they just overbid on a home because Zillow said it was worth $25,000 less. There was a time that I just thought that Zillow hated agents. After watching the site evolve and reading Sara Bonert's writing, I no longer hold that opinion. I believe that Zillow does want to be a valuable tool. Sara tipped us off to Zillow's self-published accuracy statistics, which are very in...
Comments 8
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
There is some debate going on in some Inman News stories as to whether or not agents ought to be on salary in order to improve the industry. The author, Buz Hurley, is actually an Active Rain member and has a few blog entries. I don't see it. It wouldn't improve the quality of service, for one thing. It would kill it. I offer as an example the failure of Foxtons here in the New York Tri-State area. Foxtons gave their agents a $35,000 salary and a smart-looking Mini Cooper to drive. I wouldn't work for $35,000 if you gave me a Bentley, and that's why they closed up shop. The best agents, who do most of the business, remained at their companies where they would make more money.   The market has already determined how we should be paid. Agents who want the security of a salary may not trul...
Comments 13
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
I have a great deal of contact with people outside my home state of New york and they are shocked to hear how high property taxes are. In Ossining, where I grew up, the taxes on the rather average 2000 square foot home I grew up in are over $12,000. I remember the rent for my apartment after college was $500, and the taxes on my home were twice that. Our current home's taxes? Forget it. Of course, when someone from Texas or Nevada tells me the taxes on their newer, nicer place are $3000 annually, I want to scream. Why are taxes so high here? My observation is that in New York we have far more layers of taxation than most states. For instance, I live in the village of Briarcliff Manor, which is in the Town of Ossining. The Village of Ossining is also in the Town of Ossining. If I drive t...
Comments 4
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
I was inspired by Bill Gassett's recent posting on why listings expire unsold to share what I tell people when it comes to pricing their homes. Simply put, time costs money and money costs time. The faster you need to sell, the less you'll get. The more money you want, the longer you'll have to wait. Let's take a house that I think will probably sell for $375,000, bearing in mind that in my market, the same house may have sold in 2005 for $475,000 (ouch). Some people are more motivated than others. It need not be duress, they just want to get the show on the road and get packing. These are the people who don't need their arms twisted about the whole different set of eyeballs their home will get at $399,900 than $409,900. The house shouldn't take too long to sell. It may not sell the fir...
Comments 4
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
I have a listing priced at 219,000, and we received an offer of $185,000. Not uncommon in this market. The pre-approval included was also for $185,000. Now, I know that the buyer probably qualifies for more, but they don't want to tip their hand. Some of you may not agree with me, but this strategy can backfire. I'll say that in stronger terms: It is a DUMB strategy. What that $185,000 pre approval said to my seller was that the buyer is low balling him because they only qualify for $185,000 (a $35,000 price reduction, mind you) by an eyelash. They do not look like strong buyers. And their agent look silly for showing a $219,000 house to $185,000 buyers. So, instead of countering, my client had to be convinced that we wouldn't be wasting our time dealing with unqualified people. And all...
Comments 3
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
With the economy in decline and the housing market more so, real estate agents are leaving the industry. This is first and foremost a sad thing for anyone who loses a job or has a business fail; I never like to see anyone suffer or have financial problems. Overall, however, there is a silver lining to that cloud for the consumer and the licensees who remain active in the industry. Not all, but a disconcertingly high percentage of the ex-agents should never have been agents in the first place. In the market run up from 2002-2005 we saw an unprecedented number of new and reactivated licensees enter the market to share the bounty. However, while the short term profit may have been favorable, we are still paying the price of the inexperience and, often, the negligence of practitioners who w...
Comments 8
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
I relate to people that bought a house in the boom, spent thousands improving it, and then are told that it is worth the same or less than the price they paid, even with the improvements. Very discouraging stuff. What sellers need to realize, however, is that home buyers today are not buying roofs, windows, bathrooms or kitchens. They are buying the land under those things. And that land is, in a large sense, a stock certificate in the economy. It relates to supply and demand. When the economy goes down, demand goes down, & inventory goes up. Lower supply =higher prices. See 2005. High supply= lower prices. Look out the window. Right now, supply is enormous and growing, because more and more people are losing their jobs and being forced to sell. Unemployment was below 5% prior to 2008. ...
Comments 2
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
There are two magic words every consumer should know when considering a real estate agent and I almost never hear them. The two words form a question rarely if ever asked; in 2008 only one client of mine (I have 40+ listings) made the inquiry. I was only to happy to answer, because it gave me the segue I was looking for in my listing presentation. Very powerful question, too. But I had to wait until Novermber of this year to hear it for the first time! The two words are: "How Many," as in "How many homes have you sold in the past year?" or "how many homes in our area have you sold this quarter?" This is the full monty of credentials. I can't imagine how much stress and heartache (to say nothing of money lost) that could have been averted if consumers had asked this question of the horde...
Comments 4
By J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner
(J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY)
10. Abbreviate.  This is especially useful when you have the room to write more in your remarks but you still feel the need to call a living room an LR and a master suite a mstr ste. It really makes for easy reading when each sntce has mltple abbrvtns. Way to sell! 9. Misspell.Nothing builds your credibility like refridgerator, especially when the error lasts 4 months and your MLS has spell check. And while I'm at it, thanks for keeping that picture of the house under a foot of snow. It's September; my clients were curious as to what the place looks like in the winter.  8. Voicemail is for selling yourself! That 45 second sales pitch about your  commitment to excellence and your website URL, complete with spelling, enriches my day when I need to leave you a message. You'll always get bo...
Comments 3