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35 Comments by LM

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In Residence: Questioning the system

Idmoor, I'll give your last question a shot: when you list your house, your listing agent provides you with a "seller net sheet." On this form, you're provided with your expected net after costs (including real estate commissions). As a result, you offer your property to buyers with the fee BUILT IN to the asking price, which the buyer then finances, or in the event of paying cash, feels that they are paying for- at least, in part. Much like the chicken and the egg, depending on which side of the transaction you're on, it could be (has been) argued that in fact, the buyer is paying the fees associated with the property.
The agents involved with buyers in the Hamptons, as I understand it (with correction welcomed) typically operate on the sellers behalf, even as they're working with buyers. The disclosure form that you've been required to sign (even with an open listing) should offer an explanation for you of the legal responsibilities of the listing company (and selling broker agency, when an offer comes in), with respect to whose side of the transaction they represent. Unless a broker coming in has clearly indicated that they represent the buyer, they are llegally (per the NYDOS disclosure) responsible for watching out for the "best interests" of the seller.
Broker agency was introduced in order to eliminate "vicarous liability" for sellers, which exists when a real estate agent with a buyer (but representing you) shows your property- not good for you as a seller.
Because this conflict often presents the confusion that you've demonstrated, some companies are proponents of buyer agency, whereupon the agent with the buyer lets you know right up front that they have a legal obligation to watch out for the buyers best interest. Keep in mind that both representations require fairness to the other party, thus providing you with that element when dealing with buyer agency (and fairness to the buyer from the listing company). It just allows you, as a seller, to see what IS, which is that there always has been, and always will be, two sides to any real estate transaction- it's unavoidable.
In the state from which I relocated, commission was ALWAYS paid by the seller; often, buyers were hard pressed enough to come up with cash for the downpayment, so the additional out of pocket commission expense was offered by sellers to better facilitate and encourage the sale of their home (while including that cost in the purchase price of the home when it was listed).
It can be viewed both ways; both perspectives are legitimate.
Review the agency agreements received when your house was an "open" listing- if there's any confusion, a local broker can clarify it for you.
The NYDOS agency disclosure is required by law, with fines if it's not presented to you. Unfortunately, in the excitement of listing a home or buying a home, explanations are sometimes overlooked or insufficient.
You might try FSBO instead, requiring you to pay only the fee for the agent bringing a buyer (not a listing fee). Hope this helps." Jan 4, 09 11:27 AM

Sorry about the "llegal " typo, and "vicarious" typo!" Jan 4, 09 11:29 AM

Preforeclosures start to hit higher-priced properties

Now that the three month respite period for lis pendens filings is over (sept.2 through Dec.2), we'll be seeing more and more of this. A suggestion to homeowners in distress, for second homes, might be to ask your lawyer about a deed-in-lieu of- with the possibility of both tax ramifications or deficiency judgements on the balance shorted, exploring all possibilities would be wise, rather than simply short sale listing it without benefit of other alternatives. While a deed in lieu of foreclosure won't work for properties with more than one mortgage, it may offer a way out that is a bit less stressful than an attempted short sale, or going through a foreclosure in it's entirety. Sad times right now. " Jan 4, 09 2:36 PM

Alternatives to foreclosures explained

"sellers records will be clear in about nine months."
Really?" Jan 8, 09 8:08 PM

Agents try auctions to move property

wow- now a bunch of real estate agents with no experience in auctions have decided to "try it"- this is a really, really sad place for consumers. Newsflash: if a house were overpriced two years ago, investors/consumers aren't stupid enough to take the word of a non-experienced "auctioneer", and buy simply because it has "auction" as an enticement.
Gimmicks are getting old, and savvy consumers aren't going to jump simply because a real estate agent tags a property with the word "auction."" Jan 30, 09 10:19 AM

Year-end real estate stats show 2008 losses

They're still saying that it's a "great time to buy." Not the sharpest knives in the drawer..." Jan 30, 09 1:33 PM

Agents try auctions to move property

HEJIRANYC....BINGO.
There will be plenty of true auctioneers on the east end offering legitimate values as this market unfolds- don't pay for a real estate agent's helicopter by buying into the word "auction."" Jan 30, 09 4:26 PM

Real estate market stumbles into 2009

I'm stunned that a real estate company dependent on the willingness of buyers to actually BUY is calling smart consumers "vultures and bottom feeders."
At the same time, this representative of a major real estate company is criticizing sellers for being unrealistic.
If this is an attempt to garner sellers and buyers, and if you succeed, the Hamptons really is a very, very strange place indeed." Feb 11, 09 6:04 PM

Lunch With John Halsted: Finding the silver lining in a bad economy

A "most professional and dignified" person on the east end certainly makes idiotic choices- no fault but his own. Sorry, but this person has no business representing sellers or buyers on the east end until his own company respects consumers. Until that happens, no respect for someone that makes "moronic" suggestions to a public that hopes for integrity from Corcoran. So far...NOT GOOD." Feb 20, 09 12:01 AM

nospinhamptons, you sound like someone that ignored the early warnings of a Madoff question mark- while that's OK for you, it might not be for others- your choice, and opinion." Feb 20, 09 8:51 PM

I don't think that anyone cares whether or not he's a good or bad person- if the practices of his company are bad for consumers and other agents, he CLEARLY doesn't have "more knowledge" than those that take issue with practices and choices made by a "leader" of east end real estate. The kind of checks he brings home are his business only, and are irrelevant- a bunch of sappy followers is what's gotten the east end (Hamptons) and NYC real estate agents into the horrific public perception issue that they don't even recognize. Leaders should be knowledgable enough to recognize ethics in real estate.
" Feb 25, 09 8:52 AM

You must be joking, courtesy. " Feb 25, 09 4:34 PM

Courtesy, to the contrary. If that is your impression, you have my apology. What I DO object to is his company's participation in a listing system in the Hamptons that severely impact OTHER companies ability to make a living- he's the unfortunate mast head of this awful practice, so is taking what might be viewed as an unfair hit. A person knowledgable in real estate wouldn't consider a harmful practice that impacts sellers, buyers, and real estate agents. It doesn't make him a bad person, but it sure does make him a mast head worthy of the criticism, and it isn't going to end until bad practices end.
That he heads up HANFRA is just salt in a wound that becomes more infected with every unsold Hamptons property- exposure is CRITICAL for sellers right now." Feb 27, 09 2:27 PM

Fire destroys North Sea home

An interesting # of fires in the Hamptons lately. " Mar 6, 09 8:21 AM

WHB, laughed out loud- thank you!! :)" Mar 8, 09 10:36 PM

The bear market hits home sales hard

Would it be possible to get a local economist to comment on the state of real estate out here, instead of local brokers? This downturn is WAAAAAY over their heads, and makes for unpleasant reading." Mar 13, 09 3:34 PM

Although, my thanks for at least beginning the article in a sensible way. Next time, leave out the broker nonsense- it dilutes the points made by those that have a grip." Mar 13, 09 3:35 PM

East End real estate industry accused of monopoly practices

Hello??? What does a secondary site, dedicated to personal beliefs, have to do with REAL ESTATE issues? Stay on the topic- "wagging the dog" is obvious behavior, likely perpetrated by someone in the mix of the lawsuit.
It's not incumbent upon a new reported to seek out methods of disparagement- better left to people that seek to divert attention from the issue at hand, like yourself. Nice try." Mar 17, 09 12:43 PM

sorry- news reporter." Mar 17, 09 12:44 PM

That real estate in the Hamptons (with peculiar similarities to NYC) is compared to a "rat race" should make Hamptons brokers cringe (or, race to their publicist, announcing that "they" opened up real estate by using the MLS before anyone else in the Hamptons"- how else to extricate from the embarrassment)?
Provided the anti trust fines are paid in advance, of course.
If "you are the company you keep" holds merit, I agree with outoftown 100%, George." Mar 18, 09 8:36 PM

Online auction has mansions up for sale to highest bidders

Excellent point, nospinhamptons. The "forest for the trees" thing- short sighted, and inappropriate when fiduciary is in the verbiage agreed to for sellers." Mar 22, 09 7:20 PM

Auction winds up with many bids, few deals

I didn't like this idea at all when I read the first article, but there is absolutely something to be said for creating activity on listings that are sitting.
Even if zero sell on this go around, people that viewed the homes might return later. If the seller then wants to accept an offer, at least they're braced for the $ in what is most definitely a declining market with a shortage of buyers.
If a seller has to sell, the exposure is of huge value. Good for them." Mar 24, 09 3:39 PM

Riverhead man stabbed to death in front of Hampton Bays Diner

Wow. I don't know what a "salsa night" is, but it doesn't sound OK, based on the comments. I do know this: we go to the diner on occasion for breakfast or lunch, and like it. If I had ANY idea that activities that jeopardized the community took place there, it is most definitely not the only game in town, and we'd pass it by and get comparable food elsewhere. Like we plan to do, after reading this.
To HB lady, your evening was horrific. If it turns out that your account of events is accurate (no reason to doubt you- confirmation by other patrons will eventually come out) NO ONE should be visiting that diner until it's deemed safe- bouncers are irrelevant. The NEED for them, when it's self inflicted by the establishment itself, should be enough to shut them down.
They make enough serving 'til 10 p.m.- they had a chance to provide a safe environment for the public, and they blew it with whatever activities they're providing in the back room. It's a diner, for God's sake, not a bar where the likelihood of mayem is a choice made by the patrons to visit, or not." May 25, 09 3:21 PM

East Hampton couple returns woman's missing wallet ... and $2,400

Wow. Those are two painters that should get LOTS of business- how nice to have people inside a home and be able to just leave, let them do their job, and not worry for even a second about anything missing.
It's hard to find such people- I'm writing down their names." Oct 2, 09 7:53 PM

Town brings in guinea fowl to control tick population at Hampton Bays park

They are cool. There was a huge group that decided to hang out on North road on the North fork- a cop came in to halt backed up traffic and try to get them out of the road (not so successfully). I have to say, despite being late for work, seeing everyone laughing made that few minute delay totally worthwhile." Oct 2, 09 7:58 PM

East Hampton Town councilwoman could face charges for interfering in arrest

I don't get it. A kid drinks and drives (like most of us did, with kids that don't- but probably do)- and this woman, who is an elected official has the gall to try to prevent ordinary justice? Scary, that she promotes this obvious lack of responsibility to her son, for HIS actions- makes one wonder why on earth she's an elected official, if that's her philosophy.
The kid will learn nothing, she'll remain a town official despite behaving in an extraordarily irresponsible way HERSELF, and so it goes. Very, very sad." Mar 9, 10 5:06 PM

SORRY- extraordinarily." Mar 9, 10 5:07 PM

Justice Department probes Hamptons real estate business

I would agree that a simple tip is not enough to spark a time consuming investigation- while an investigation often does not result in an indictment, sending out CID letters suggests a bit more is being sought than a simple interview might provide." May 20, 10 10:46 AM

Unfortunately, NS, that is only "fixed" through the actions of an ethical real estate agent, who is aware of the fiduciary verbiage they've agreed to when listing for the seller. On the up side, the cost for membership to the MLS, and all of the data available for consumers, is approx. $200.00 per month- anyone is able to join, and it's clearly a benefit to their clients and customers. The North fork is fully participating, and enjoying the transparency offered to consumers." May 22, 10 8:03 AM

Real Estate Third Quarter Market Analysis

OK- this is becoming too much. The DOS and DOJ need awareness that the importance of TRUE days on market are being allegedly skewed by companies purporting to put out accurate info. We do MANY Hamptons bpo's, and suggesting that days on market (needed by both buyers and sellers) are lower than 300 is absurd based on our own submissions. Days on market begin with the uninterrupted marketing of a property- price decreases do NOT reset the clock. Before complaining to other entities, can someone from one of these companies, or the author above, please reconcile how these numbers are gathered, and why the reported DOM are so significantly below what appears to be reality? Buyers and sellers need accuracy, not wishful thinking. I'm happy to retract, if SOMEONE can provide the accounting method, because this just appears wrong- and intentionally misleading." Nov 6, 10 11:01 AM

Agency News

Good for him- it's about time buyers received representation out there. It isn't "recently" that such a practice came into play- buyer agency has been around for many years and used as standard procedure elsewhere. That Mr.Ehrhardt sees the value (no vicarious liability for SELLERS- competence/insight provided to BUYERS) will do much to improve the Hamptons market." Nov 6, 10 11:08 AM

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