Home Buying in Bronx>Question Details

Jim, Renter in Brooklyn, NY

1st time Bronx buyer wishes to interview agents/agencies

Asked by Jim, Brooklyn, NY Wed Aug 29, 2012

Hi... I'm a 1st-time buyer interested in the Bronx Grand Concourse / 140s - 170s area. I feel that I should interview with a few agents to find someone that I feel most comfortable with, someone that knows that area well and could represent me. Most importantly, someone that we both click well. Perhaps there's no short cut to this and I should simply call agents at random to meet? I welcome suggestions as to how a 1st-time buyer goes about this process. I'm also new to many real estate terms ("sponsor unit", "resale", etc), and so I don't want to find out later after the purchase that I should have known better about something but I didn't know to ask my agent the right questions. Advice, please.

Help the community by answering this question:


Hi Jim,

Congrats on your decision to become a home owner, I am an experienced Agent who works with first time home buyers I also have access to community organizations which will assist you with the process up to and including providing you with money towards your downpayment and or closing costs.

When you get the opportunity feel free to give me a call so that we can discuss this more.

Best Regards,
Tasha Trice
Licensed Real Estate Agent
AC Lawrence and Company
646 926-0609
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Dear Jim,

Congratulations on taking your first step towards homeownership.

Here are some steps that you will need to take towards your purchase.

1. Meet with a mortgage professional and get prequalified. You will need to provide the last two years tax returns, 2 months bank statements and last 2 pay stubs to get prequalified for a mortgage.

2. Based on the amount of you are prequalified for, that will determine how much real estate you can purchase. You should then contact an agent to discuss your needs. Please do not use the sellers/listing agent (they represent the sellers and their best interest). You do not pay a fee to have your own "buyer's agent" represent you in NYS, unless otherwise agreed to.

Your agent can provide you with a list of properties that best meets your criteria. You should hire an agent that you feel comfortable with especially the fact that you are a first time homebuyer and may have many questions and concerns with your purchase and should have someone that can answer all of your questions. This is one of your most important purchase, so make sure you are represented properly.

Nirmala Caraballo
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Cruse Realty / Cruz Network of Realtors
Tel.: 646-479-7873
Email: nhcaraballo@yahoo.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 30, 2012
Hello Jim,

Hopefully, you've already gone through the pre-qualification process or have statements of financing handy. Most sellers require that.

Are you interested in purchasing a co-op/condo or a home in the area? I noticed that you mentioned "sponsor unit," which is a term relating to co-ops and condos.

In either case, I'd suggest that you initially locate some properties that you'd like to see based on your budget, accessibility and whatever other criteria comes to mind.

You may also want to research the areas. These sites are helpful:


Next, contact the individuals that posted any properties that caught your eye. You'll get to meet and see a few different agents in action and possibly find your new home at the same time. If you don't, but you're impressed with one of the agents, don't hesitate to ask to see what else is available.

Regarding locating agents beforehand, you can check here on Trulia, Yelp.com or Zillow

There's also friends, family and co-workers. Ask them if they can recommend a good agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
Hi Jim, I don't sell in the Bronx; but I can give you honest advice. First step should be to get pre-qualified by a lender. This will allow you to know exactly what you can afford, will show agents that you are a serious buyer and allow you to submit offers. Secondly I would strongly recommend you work with a buyer's agent that will accept whatever the seller offers as their whole commission and will not require you to sign an exclusive agreement. Not signing the agreement will allow you to get another agent if you aren't "clicking", otherwise you will be bound to that agent for whatever the time period agreed to. Lastly, try to educate yourself by googling real estate terms and general reading, that way you'll know a knowledgeable agent from a pretender. Good luck.
Tom Brady SFR, e-Pro, SRES, GREEN
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Ret. NYPD Lt.
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Plaza - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
Hi Tom, I appreciate the advice. Just one question: How does a person find a "buyers agent"? It seems that all real estate offices both buy and sell. Are there agents that specialize in only representing buyers, not the sellers? Thank you in advance for your help. Jim.
Flag Fri Aug 31, 2012
Hi Jim,

It can be a luck of the draw. One helpful starting point might be to see if agents have reviews and what exactly previous buyers have to say. I for one have worked with mny first time buyers and they have practically waxed poetic on the third party website they used to write me a review bless their hearts. ;o). You can see those by going to my website and clicking on the Reviews link. http://Www.lauralazarkearns.com. Either way good luck with whomever you pick!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 29, 2012
Laura, Thank you! -Jim
Flag Wed Aug 29, 2012
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