Briarwood Homeowner Cashes out on Home and Heads to Florida for Retirement…

1_Home for Sale in Kew Garden Hills_Kew Garden Hills Homes for Sale_Kew Garden Hills Real Estate (71)We recently closed on one of our single family home listings in Briarwood, Queens. This one was listed for $750K and sold for $761K in less than 60 days. The seller of this property was actually referred to us from another agent down in Florida who was helping her find a home down there. The owner’s first language was spanish, so the agent was looking for a spanish speaking agent in queens who could assist her with the sale of her house in Briarwood. He called us and immediately felt comfortable sending us the referral since we know Briarwood very well, and more importantly, we always stress to agents that we will take care of their referrals as if they were our very own family. This is 100% true, and I think people sense that…

We called the owner, set up a meeting, and spoke to her about her selling options. When we first met her I felt like I was speaking to a person that could be one of my Aunts. This was one of those people who could easily be taken advantage of by one of those immoral and unethical agents. We love meeting sellers like this because we know that they’ll be in good hands with us. On top of that, she lived alone and recently had hip surgery. She lived in this house for close to twenty years and was finally ready to move to Florida so she could escape this cold. She was also tired of the stairs in her house because of the hip surgery. Now that we knew her goals, we were ready to go to work and help get her to Florida! We made sure she felt comfortable with the process and assured that one of our team members would be at the showings to make sure she had us on her side at all times…

Click here to see a list of one homes for sale in Briarwood NY

Now, the biggest selling point for this house was the fact that she just renovated the entire property due to a small isolated fire in the living room. Fortunately her insurance company wanted her to renovate the whole house so they paid for a large scale renovation instead of just the living room. In other words, the condition of the home was excellent! In addition, the house was much larger than your standard one family in Briarwood, and it also had room for 8 car parking (3 in front, 3 in driveway, and 2 in backyard). The downside was that it was right on Main St close to the intersection of GCP and Main St. We knew that we would likely get some negative feedback about the busyness of the area but we felt confident that there were enough positive selling points to overcome that objection.

Pricing was a little difficult because the highest sale price in all of Briarwood at the time was in the mid $600s. However, there was a large one family within a quarter mile (in Kew Garden Hills) which was listed for $749K and recently went under contract. Considering the fact that this one was similar in lot size, livable square footage, and condition, we suggested a list price of $750K. We scheduled the photography session, staged the property, and hit the market. We have an extremely aggressive marketing plan for our Queens’ listings so as soon as we listed it, our phones and emails were blowing up. We pushed all first showings to the first open house in order to create urgency, and we ended up having a huge turnout. After the first weekend showings, we had multiple offers on the property. Most were below asking price, and one very close.

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We ended up negotiating a full price offer for our client and got a deal going. This was great news, and our client was very excited since this would be the highest sale price for the entire neighborhood. After accepting the full price offer, the buyers asked if they could see it one more time, this time with their parents. Once the parents came to see it, they ended up backing out on us due to the fact that the parents didn’t like the street noise. Luckily we know to not stop showing even if we have an accepted offer so as soon as they backed out on us, we were already negotiating another offer very close to asking price. Now, being that we already had a full price offer on the previous deal, our client was not accepting anything below full price. This can happen sometimes, but frankly, we don’t mind because if one buyer was willing to pay it, then surely others will, it’s just our job to get them there.

So, we ended up negotiating another full price offer, but before we could get the deal going, something happened. One of the owner’s neighbors saw that she was selling and knocked on her door to express her family’s interest to buy the property. Now, this was great news because we offer our clients discounts on the commission if they are able to find us the buyer. That means that with this new offer, she would end up netting 2% more money from the sale! So naturally, we accepted the offer. The owner was so happy to be selling to the neighbor, and also to be netting more, that she said we don’t need to show the house anymore. We advised against it, but she felt confident that they were buying it since she knew them personally. They decided to bypass the inspection since it was recently renovated, but a few days later, the buyers said they wanted to see it again, this time with their parents (sound familiar?). As you can probably guess, these buyers ended up backing out on us as well because the parents didn’t like it. The bad news this time is that we stopped showing, so we lost out on several potential buyers while we were waiting to go into contract.

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We started from square one, relaunched all marketing activities, and got to work. After a few weeks, we had some new traction. Two buyers who really wanted the place! This time we were able to negotiate the prices over asking price, and on top of that, they were all cash offers which means no bank involved. We were worried about appraisal issues so this was a huge relief…

Ultimately, the owner ended up taking the second highest offer, because there was no selling contingency. We got the deal going immediately, and this time the buyer looked very serious to go into contract immediately. They scheduled an inspection which didn’t turn up anything alarming aside from a leak in the basement that the owner quickly resolved. We finally went into contract and were on our way to getting our client to Miami where she longed to be.

Contract to close was fairly smooth, a few speed bumps here and there, but nothing we haven’t experienced before. The owner needed an extra month or so to get things ready and the buyer was happy to accomadate… Once the closing date drew closer, we scheduled the final walk through on the morning of the closing date. This was one of the most pleasant walk throughs we’ve conducted because the buyer’s whole family came with them (mom, dad, kids, etc). The owner was almost done clearing the house out and it looked great, even bigger than the buyers remembered! Baby was running around the house, apparently marking her new found territory:) The buyers looked so happy to be moving in, and they had a certain gittyness that you rarely see from working NYC professionals! They asked us to take a picture of the family in front of the house, and it felt like we were in a real estate commercial. These are the times when we really get a lot of fulfillment in what we do… Most importantly, our client was packing up everything for the drive down to Florida and she was just as happy to be nearing the beginning of her retirement. Her daughter (who lives in the Bronx) was driving her down to Florida and she looked as if she was contimplating the move as well:)

Click here to see a list of multi family homes for sale in Briarwood NY

We were so happy for her, and when she got her net proceeds check at the closing (over $500K), we were excited to see that she had a nice chunk of change to retire with. As we grow, and as we continue to get more seller referrals, we are starting to realize that there is a large amount of empty nesters and baby boomers who are relocating to the south. We hope to find more of these families so that we can help them get the best return on their investment while making the process as smooth and hassle free as possible. Congratulations to our client as she begins this new exciting chapter of her life! Another fulfilling sale for the Queens Home Team…

Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team Keller Williams RealtyBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com

Forest Hills Coop takes over 2 Years to Close due to Complicated Development Issues

Station Square_Forest Hills Queens NY_Forest Hills Gardens NY_Coops for Sale in Forest Hills QueensWe recently closed on a 1 BR Forest Hills Coop in Forest Hills Gardens. This particular unit was one of our very rare deals that took a considerably LONG time to sell. This one was due to specific issues with the Coop development which affected financing for buyers and led to very high maintenance as well. This coupled with a negative reputation and perception of the building made it a tough sell, but at the end of the day, we got the job done and helped free our client of this burden…

We met this client back in the Spring of 2013. He was selling on his own after being on the market for 6 months with an agent who couldn’t get it sold. I think he was listed before that as well, suffice to say, he was already trying to get rid of this property. Honestly, most agents who list complicated Coops will not even ask for the listing back after 6 months because they know it’s a tough sell that requires a lot of work. In any case, when we met with the owner he explained the whole situation to us so that we knew what we were dealing with. Luckily our approach to real estate is all about helping so our natural instinct was to find a solution. We gathered all the details and got to work…

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In a nutshell, what we were dealing with was a Forest Hills Coop where more than 10% of the units were sponsor owned. Now, we have seen this before and anytime this is the case, financing will be an issue. Most banks will not lend in a development where more than 10% of the units are sponsor owned. In addition, this particular sponsor was not a very well liked individual to say the least. Ultimately, the board and shareholders ended up filing a lawsuit against the sponsor in order to make him sell off some of his units to get the amount owned under 10%. This was a long and drawn out process so the whole time we had it on the market we were just looking for cash buyers, or we would explore financing with several banks if a buyer was interested. The owner on the other hand, was coming out of pocket every month because the maintenance was extremely high for the area, and the subletting fees were also very high. The last hurdle to overcome was a very reserved tenant who did not feel comfortable showing the apt, and when we did show, she always found a way to say negative things about the apt or building…

It was a 1 BR unit right off 71st Ave and Austin St so if you know the area, you know that this is one of the most desirable areas of Forest Hills because of the transportation, shopping, entertainment, etc. Added to that, the price of the unit was $179K which was extremely attractive for the area. As you can expect, our phone and email would be blowing up constantly because the price, location, and pictures screamed value. So showing the apt was never an issue, we used to show 2-3 times a week (when possible) to prospective buyers and once a buyer was interested, we would negotiate and then come to an agreement on a price. After a while, the tenant became frustrated with the process and ended up moving out, this was a good thing because she only hurt the sale when we would show, however, now our client was coming out of pocket for the whole nut every month.

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Most interested buyers were obtaining financing so this is where we would always hit a wall. All cash buyers always gave low ball offers that were not acceptable to the owner or to us. So, 6 months passed and unfortunately there just weren’t any banks that would approve the building. So, the owner decided to take it off the market and rent it again because he was losing even more money every month now that the apt was vacant. We agreed that he should hurry up and get a tenant in there so we helped him rent the apt and told him we would stay in touch. We were not giving up on this deal even though most agents would tell us to just cut our losses, especially since the sale price was low. The thing with us is that we don’t care about how much work it will take or how much we’ll make, we just see a distressed homeowner who needs help with a complicated situation, and we’re in a position to assist. So, our goal was to help him get the job done and we were committed to getting to the finish line no matter how long it took…

Almost one year passes and we’ve been keeping in touch every 2-3 months to monitor the market for him. There were only one or two sales in the development but they were all cash, and extremely low so that didn’t give us any hope. However, progress with the lawsuit was coming along and the sponsor owned units was almost down to below 10% because the sponsor was being forced to sell his units slowly. We finally heard from our client once the new tenant’s lease was coming up for expiration. I received an email from him saying he was ready to sell again and hoped that we could get all it done this time. I responded back with the assurance and excitement that I’m sure he would appreciate from his agent… “That’s great news, let’s do it. We’re excited and ready to get the job done this time!!!” So we got started with the process again, but it wasn’t smooth sailing yet because although the sponsor owned issue was close to being resolved, we found out that there was a new assessment issued to all shareholders for the next 2+ years. Keep in mind that the maintenance was already high as it is ($1,100+/mo). Now we had a $200 ongoing assessment to add to it!

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Due to the price, condition, and location, attracting buyers was still not a problem, but now we were facing the constant objection of the high maintenance. Fortunately the market was in our favor and prices were going up rapidly so we finally found a buyer who was interested in buying it. We ended up needing to pay for the assessment (about $5K) but we got a very good price for the owner, and finally had an accepted offer that looked promising because on top of the accepted offer, the buyer’s uncle was actually on the board of the Coop!

So, in the end, we got to the closing table and our client was ecstatic! He was so grateful that we stuck with him and he appreciated that we always worked hard for him even after years of having to deal with the issues and challenges at hand. His appreciation and excitement to finally close reminds us of why we do what we do. We love helping people and we never count dollars and cents when going to work for someone. I guess the moral of the story is that you should be very careful when buying a coop, and make sure you do your due diligence so that you don’t end up in a situation where you end up being trapped with an apt. The moral of the story for other Queens real estate agents is just to cone from contribution when you take on new clients. Don’t be driven by the dollar, we’re in the service industry and we’re in a position to help people that are in very complicated and distressed situations. The gratification is worth so much, and that client will be a raving fan which is priceless in this business!

Well, that’s all for this story. Long and complicated deal with a happy ending! Happy client, check. Raving fan, check. We won’t even count how much we were paid per hour on the deal because it would likely be comparable to what people are making in far off parts of the world:) Our job is done here, off to find the next person we can help!

Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com

A Heart Warming Home Sale in Rego Park, Queens…

1_Rego Park Homes for Sale_Homes for Sale in Rego Park NY_Single Family Homes in Rego Park Queens (81)This week we closed on one of our single family home listings in Rego Park. This deal was one if those rare deals where everything went smoothly, and everyone was extremely happy! Our client was the seller and she was one of our most pleasant and friendly clients ever:) She was selling her home, which had been in the family for over 40 years. When we met her for the first time, we met with her, her son (who was raised in the home), and his wife. They were all very nice, and their biggest concern was getting the best price, and making sure that the process go smoothly. The house was a single family on 62nd Drive in Rego Park. This street is one of the widest roads in Rego Park and the curb appeal of the tudor homes are absolutely gorgeous!

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The home itsef was in amazing conditition. Usually when we sell long time family homes, the age is very evident. However, this client renovated the entire house last year and we were surprised at what great taste she had with the renovations. The house had the kind of kitchen and bath that you see in tv shows, and the layout was a typical one family layout (3 bedrooms on second floor, formal dining, kitchen, and living room on first floor). The owner opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room and it made all the difference!

When we met with them, we did a thorough consultation and needs analysis. The owner’s only son was now living in Jersey with his wife and kids, and she decided it was time to sell the house so that she could move closer to them. She was already under contract on a home in New Jersey so that part was done. Luckily it wasn’t contingent on the sale of her home in Rego Park so that made things much easier for everyone…

We went over comps to discuss the market value and suggested list price. The next door neighbor actually had just closed on their property recently. That one was a corner house with more living space but in poor condition. It ended up selling for $723K so we suggested listing at $750K because we felt that we could justify a sale price to an appraiser up to that number…

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Once we hit the market, our phone immediately strted ringing and emails started coming in. Our client didn’t want to have a lot of people roaming around the house at one time, so we scheduled all showings during 2-3 hour windows, with a showing every 15 mins. This was our first time doing this, but it really made for an awesome buying experience because every family that came was able to ciew the property by themselves for 15 mins…

After the first week, offers naturally started coming in. We had a total of about 12 offers on the house and negotiated them up to at or above asking price. The winning bid was a family who lives in the area and send their daughter to day care right across the street. This family was workibg with a buyer agent from Exit Realty in Forest Hills. They vuewed the property and then submited an outstanding offer, $810K ($60K above asking price)! They were the obvious winner but we did our due diligence just to make sure we had a solid candidate. After doing our financial review, we decided that they were good candidates to proceed with. The only thing we needed to address before going into contract was the inevitable appraisal issue. We value properties for a living so we instantly knew that it would be a very big challenge to justify the sale price to any bank appraiser. So, we asked the buyers’ for a no appraisal contingency in order to protect our clients’ with the offer price. The buyers’ acceted our terms and the deal began…

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Once we started the process of going into contract, we quickly realized that we were working with a true professional in the buyer’s agent. The buyers’ loan officer and bank attorney were also very cooperative and communicative. All we needed to do is reciprocate that same professionalism, which we always do:) The deal went very smoothly with very little hiccups along the way. Once the closing day arrived, we had the final walk through in the morning and then headed to the closing. At the final walk through, we could see the excitement in the buyers’ faces. It’s so gratifying to us when we get to see a happy buyer and seller at the closing table! The ownerwas there for 40+ years, and now a new couple was moving in with a baby on the way…

At the end of the day, this deal is just a reminder of how important it is to build a dream team when you buy or sell a home in queens. If you have the right people working for and(or) with you, then it makes for a much smoother transaction and more pleasant experience. This was on of the rare times where the seller’s team was just as good as the buyer’s team, and the end result was a very happy buyer and seller:) One chapter ends, while another one begins. This is why we love what we do, because we get to help people with one of the largest financial transactions they will ever experience. Our client netted $60K over market value, and the buyers’ are getting their dream home! Win-win…

Courtesy of George & Abigail w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.

George and Abigail Herrera_Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty_HEADSHOT_ROUNDBUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com 

Original Article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/success-stories/a-heart-warming-home-sale-in-rego-park-queens/