New York City Helpful Tips for Buyers and Sellers


Getting a mortgage loan these days can be a slow and frustrating experience.

Here are some things that buyers should know as they go through the application process:

  1. Ask for the "Good Faith Estimate" early. It won’t be released until it is officially "complete" and all the questions are answered. Push applicants to find answers right away to all the lender’s questions.
  2. Suggest they read and ask questions about the fine print. Identifying and negotiating all the fees and charges can cut an applicant’s costs.
  3. Shop title insurance. Point buyers toward Web sites like, where they can comparison shop.
  4. Get a commitment. Insist that the lender or loan broker agree that there won’t be any other charges on the HUD-1, which most borrowers don’t see until they are at the settlement table. "If [the lender] won't agree to that, you have to be a little suspicious," says Claire Fennessey, senior vice president of Entitle Direct.
  5. Question flood insurance. If a property requires flood insurance, point buyers (and sellers) toward a civil engineering firm with experience with the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s resources to ensure that they aren’t paying too much. Eligibility for a preferred risk policy can cut costs substantially.

Source: Chicago Tribune, Mary Ellen Podmolik (07/05/2009)


Time to move on, move up, or "get out"? Just follow our top 5 tips for Sellers and you should have an easier time!

  1. Do your homework – research recent sales in the area before you list your property
  2. Speak with your accountant and lawyer before listing your home to understand the financial and legal impact of the sale
  3. Understand the current state of the market vs. 6 months ago so you can be realistic in setting a fair market price with your agent
  4. Find a real estate agent that has listed and sold successfully in the area
  5. Make sure that you are showing your property at its best. Fresh paint, clean surfaces, consider staging or even minor renovations – first impressions are everything


Looking to make your home look more valuable? Maybe it's in preparation to sell, or maybe you'd just like to upgrade things a bit. Here are our 5 most impactful, and easy, ways to add some value... over night!

  1. Upgrade lighting to make sure that the home is bright and cheery
  2. Organize your closets to make them feel spacious
  3. If old, purchase up-to-date appliances that will make the kitchen look new
  4. Refinish floors and paint walls where needed
  5. Have all windows washed to maximize light and views


Ready to buy? Here are our top 5 rules to follow before you sign on that bottom line:

  1. Get qualified for a mortgage before you start looking
  2. Interview real estate agents looking for professionalism and expertise – hire one who listens
  3. Research recent sales of comparable properties
  4. Ask when the home was last renovated and if there were any major repairs
  5. Do complete due diligence on the mechanicals to estimate any future expenses – hire a professional home inspector