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Home Selling in Westchester County : Real Estate Advice

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  • Local Info9
  • Home Buying99
  • Home Selling16
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Activity 211
Mon Oct 16, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I know this is an old question but relevant and would apply across the U.S. so allow me to answer.
Although listing agents can be on site during the appraisal, they are a distraction and serve no purpose to being there. The purpose of the appraisal is for the buyer's lender or if the buyer is paying cash - then the buyer. Since the buyer's lender will have a lien on the home and technically owns it, the lender will finance the buyer up to the appraised amount. Therefore, the interested party is the lender - not the buyer unless it's a cash deal.

Listing agents cannot influence the appraiser to increase the value. Therefore, sellers need to learn that their contract price is not guaranteed because your listing realtor is on site during the appraisal. If your realtor priced your home to sell, the appraisal should confirm that. However, if your home was overpriced and a buyer agreed to it, the appraisal will confirm that your home was overpriced and the buyer will most likely re negotiate the contract. The same applies if your home was under valued.

The key to appraisals is what comps the appraiser used to determine value. Once the report is finished, all parties can see what sold homes were used and you can question the appraisal after completion.

To answer your question, your realtor is correct. He/she does not need to be there.
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Fri Oct 13, 2017
Jean Rivaldi answered:
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! That's a good one.

But seriously, we don't. 99.9% of the time if I find myself at a property with my clients that is more than they told me they wanted to spend, it is because they found it online (not in the search I created for them based on their criteria) and asked to view it. ... more
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Wed Oct 4, 2017
Mary answered:

The data you reported is coming from your county records, because of this I am unable to edit the information. This data is gathered by a third-party data collector and if correct with your county will be updated on Trulia when the updated data gets sent to us. My best recommendation would be to contact your county to ensure that the public records are up to date.

If the county records are correct and Trulia has not received the updated data yet, owners have the ability to edit their home facts on Trulia which appear in the 'Owner Information' section. Please know that edit home facts feature is currently removed from the property pages while we improve the feature. While we do not have a specific date for when they will be available, I can assure you this is only temporary. We thank you for your patience.

Thank you for using Trulia!

Consumer Care Advocate

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Sun Sep 10, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
It depends. Is the house being sold? Are both of you eligible to claim the capital gains exemption? I would advise contacting a tax accountant or perhaps your attorney can refer you to somebody with tax experience. Honestly, nobody online can advise you because you may have situations that we are unaware of and that would affect your tax situation. Sorry, but your question is not exactly a yes or no answer. ... more
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Mon Aug 28, 2017
Cary Collier answered:
Yes, some good and some bad. You have to talk to them and ask exactly what they do and see if they put it in writing. We have 2 programs for sellers. 1. 3-3.5% commission and $500 and a flat 5%. We've never had a bad review and are always happy to give ask past clients to speak with potential clients and have had no issues. Look around, I feel the local brokers do the best job as they know the true market and how to handle objections on negotiations.

Cary Collier
Broker, LLC
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Mon Aug 14, 2017
Sally Grenier answered:
NO. I've never heard of anyone ever asking to take money out of escrow before closing. What happens if the contract falls through due to loan issues and the buyer terminates and their EM is gone because you spent it? There's a reason why we do things this way. To protect both parties. ... more
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Sun Jul 23, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
If you haven't listed it already, you need to use Go to, type in your address, claim it as owner and follow the prompts. Zillow and Trulia are the same company (Zillow Group) so once it's listed on Zillow, it will sync to Trulia within 24 hours. Zillow should send you a confirmation email when complete.

Since I'm a former realtor with Coldwell Banker (New Rochelle) & Larchmont resident, I need to educate you on some hidden truths if you intend to sell by owner. Instead of doing a complete For Sale By Owner listing, you need to Google "Flat Fee Broker" - Westchester (County), NY or New York City area, etc. Flat Fee broker means you pay a small fee to have your listing in the MLS system + you pay a commission to the buyer's broker. However, you save about 3% by not listing with a full service broker like I was. So your total commission is 3% - not 6%.

The benefits to you of using a flat fee broker is when buyers work with a realtor to find them a home, EVERY realtor will ONLY show them home's that are listed in the MLS system because per the MLS rules, there is a contract in place that the seller will pay a commission to the buyers agent when the home is sold. This means that for every home advertised on Zillow, Trulia and other websites as "For Sale By Owner", that realtor will say the following to buyers: "I'm sorry, but that home is under contract, sold or not for sale (choose one). I do have other homes to show you that are for sale. I can schedule an appointment for us to meet and I would love to show you these home's." I will admit, I'm guilty of saying this too. The issue is it's not our job to check websites for listings advertised as For Sale By Owner. Realtors need a commission check and most don't want to negotiate with sellers to pay us a commission, so it's the lazy way out to lie to buyers.

Another issue you need to know - realtors like myself pay $$$ monthly advertising fees to Zillow, Trulia and other websites to get leads. Our faces & contact information appears on For Sale By Owner listings above the "owner" box. When buyers fill out the Contact form, the default checkmark is next to one of the agent's pictured - never next to the owner. Therefore, that Contact form goes directly to the agent - not the owner. Buyers are supposed to uncheck the agent & put a check mark next to you (the owner), however, very few buyers do this. So when the agent calls the buyer, all the buyer hears is "I'm sorry, but that For Sale By Owner listing is not available." If you are listed as FSBO, you can test this yourself. Pretend you're a buyer & call a realtor. See what they tell you.

The only reason agent's pounce on For Sale By Owner listings is to tell you how stupid you are and that you don't know what you're doing and to convince you that you need to list with Weichert, Coldwell Banker, Julia B. Fee Sotheby's, Stetson, Better Home's & Garden Rand Realty or Houlihan Lawrence. Take your pick, they all have the same system, technology, etc. except Stetson which doesn't have as much as the others.

If you choose a flat fee broker, the MLS is (Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors). Good Luck. P. S. I'm on Palmer Ave.
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Mon Jul 17, 2017
Janet.auer asked:
I have a listing at 55 Greenmeadow Rd, Pleasantville, NY 10570 which has an in-ground pool. When my client received an alert of houses in Pleasantville with Pools, theirs was not included.…
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Mon Jul 10, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Looks like I'm your new best friend in a sense. I'm a long time Westchester resident (New Rochelle & Larchmont) so I know Rye Brook very well. I also worked as a realtor for a few years and successfully sold a 2 family home + a few co-op apartments. I did look up the listing on Zillow and if you click on the "Price and Tax History" tab, I see what happened. Interestingly, the Tax History is blank but I don't need it because I know how expensive property taxes are + Mamaroneck did a town re assessment and our taxes increased.

At this point, I'm assuming you want to claim the listing so you can sell by owner. You need to go to and start there. From the home page, follow the prompts and you can claim the listing, edit any facts, pictures, etc. and post your home for sale by owner. Zillow and Trulia are now the same company (Zillow Group) so any changes to Zillow will sync to Trulia within 24 - 36 hours. I contribute replies to questions here and I've seen a number of complaints from owners and realtors that the information is correct on Zillow but not on Trulia. You should be aware of this.

I do believe you can be successful selling by owner and save at least 3% commission, however, it will be in your best interest to use a Flat Fee broker (use Google). Make sure they have access to HGAR (Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors) - the MLS system. Using a flat fee broker means you pay a small fee to have your home listed in the MLS + you will be required to pay the buyers broker a commission - if the buyer submits an offer. The buyers broker commission is negotiable but ideally, you want to offer about 3%. So roughly, you save 3% by not listing with a full service broker like Houlihan Lawrence. Using a flat fee broker allows you to have full control for marketing, disclosures, contract, deadlines, negotiations, showing your home, etc. You are essentially just paying to have your home listed in the MLS. I was stunned when I saw that you used Houlihan on Zillow. Your home is gorgous + the neighborhood and school district can't be beat so Houlihan couldn't sell a home in 2 months??? I think I know why without even asking you.

Next - If you don't use a flat fee broker, it will be more difficult to sell by owner. Unfortunately (hate to admit it but I'm just as guilty as every other realtor in Westchester)...real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, etc. earn money by selling advertising space to real estate agents. These agents pay $$$ in monthly fees to Zillow and Trulia so they can have their pretty faces on listings they purchase. This includes ALL For Sale By Owner listings. Disclosure: I was one of these agents on Zillow & I paid for zip codes in New Rochelle, Yonkers and Greenburgh. As you can imagine, Zillow and Trulia charge different rates based on average home prices in each zip code. Therefore, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Harrison, Rye, Larchmont, etc. will be more expensive for agents than Yonkers, Mount Vernon, Greenburgh, etc. will. Obviously agents advertising in the expensive zip codes will do whatever it takes to get leads from people inquiring about your home. If selling by owner (no flat fee broker), these agents will tell buyers the following about your house: "I'm sorry but that house is not for sale right now. I do have other homes that are available in Rye / Rye Brook that are available and move in ready. Why don't I meet with you tomorrow in my office and we can schedule a private showing to see those homes."

Yes, the above is the script that I used (and I'm sure other agents use). The way it works is on Zillow, there is a default checkmark next to one of the agents listed. All a buyer has to do is fill in the Contact Box and send in the form. The agent gets a text message immediately and it's up to that agent to call the buyer (lead). Zillow wants agents to call within 5 minutes. On a For Sale By Owner listing, the owner gets a "gray" box with no picture and just a phone #. However, the buyer will need to uncheck the agent's default checkmark and put a checkmark next to owner. Buyers are too lazy to do this or don't know they are supposed to do this. Meanwhile, every agent knows this and knows the buyer will contact them instead of you. Since your home is not in the MLS system (HGAR), every agent will tell your buyers that your home is not for sale. You need to know that when we speak with these buyers on the phone, agents are trained to just look in the MLS - not Zillow. Yes, agents are too lazy to check Zillow if your home is for sale. I said I was guilty of this - so don't bash me.

So what do agents use Zillow and Trulia for? - To prospect for leads. Agents will scour websites for Sale by Owner listings to contact you and insist that you list with them. Oh and they will tell you that you're stupid and don't know what you're doing. Yes I said this too on the phone - only I was more diplomatic.
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Thu Jun 1, 2017
Angelica P answered:

Upon checking your property under 8 Dr Tonys Rd Katonah, NY 10536 is no longer available. Please be assured that your property is already off market on Trulia. Please also be advised that we have deleted the photos of your property for your security purposes.

Consumer Care Advocate
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Mon May 29, 2017
Andrey Sokurec answered:
This is obvious that you do not want to indulge yourself with home selling troubles right? If yes, Well, I have a few secrets that may help you to sell your house quickly.

- The first ever thing is that you should know about your house buyers requirements, I means what they really want in your house.

- Make your house looks better with curb appeal or some home improvements. Because nobody will buy your house if there is a same house down the street with the less price.

- The second most is pricing. It shouldn’t be what you personally think that it is worth.

- The next thing you can do is deal with untidiness.
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Mon May 22, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Since Zillow and Trulia are the same company now, try editing the facts and photos in Zillow first. It should populate to Trulia. Zillow gives you editing control over your home.
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Thu May 11, 2017
Hi Mom, (sorry I could not resist)
wanted to address this question that with todays technology your agent has access to views, in fact big brother really is watching as in my own office we not only know views but have access to much more information.

Aside from that you should be looking at the amount of physical showings that are coming in and if you are receiving offers..... these numbers reflect just how well the property is priced.

Hope this helps you and other members in the future!

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Mon Apr 17, 2017
Jennifer Okhovat answered:
Hello - As a real estate agent based in Los Angeles, CA, I highly recommend continuing showings until the Buyer has removed ALL contingencies. That includes all inspection contingencies, loan contingencies, and releasing their deposit to you (the Seller).

In this market, it is very common that you will end up with a legitimate backup offer. Your agent should explain the different scenarios to you, and the options you have when you receive a Back-up offer.

Jennifer Okhovat
Instagram: @jennyohomes
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Mon Feb 13, 2017
Maricris A answered:

Once you activate your listing on Zillow, it will appear on Trulia within 24 hours.


Consumer Care Advocate
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Mon Jan 2, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Zillow owns Trulia. Both companies are under Zillow Group, Inc. Your listing will appear on Trulia within 24 - 48 hours. Considering I'm in Larchmont and a former realtor, accept my congrats for the courage to list your home For Sale By Owner. Be prepared for the onslaught of Westchester realtors to contact you and tell you that you are stupid and foolish for listing by owner. Expect them to recite prepared scripts citing statistics from the National Realtors Association that say listing with a broker will get you top dollar and sell your home faster.

It is false and has no facts to it. I know. As a former realtor, I was told to do the same thing.
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