I Sell Homes

What can be more confusing than seeing a sign or hearing a statement from a Realtor that says “I Sell Homes”? I believe what has gotten the real estate community into the most trouble is the fact that we tend to take credit when a home sells, or when wealth is created through real estate ownership, but then refuse to take the blame when someone either can’t sell their home or when someone loses money in real estate.
For over 25 years I have been preaching one thing and that is I, as a realtor, do not sell homes. It is my job to assist buyers and sellers during the sale process; I can’t sell someone’s home unless I have the right to make the final decision on the price.
I believe that the realtor should be a trusted advisor, a knowledgeable professional who is there to assist their clients in their real estate needs. We need to fully understand the process, make that process easy to understand for our clients and guide them to a successful transaction.
Today’s technology when embraced actually makes part of our job a bit easier. While technology advancements have caused an increase in the cost of doing business, it has helped us become more professional. No more taxi cab trips with buyers hoping that they get out of our taxi when they find the home of their dreams. As professionals today we have a better chance of developing a solid relationship with our clients, one that will not have them running off with someone else to see a home.
If we have a challenge with buyers it is that since they have so much information available that agents may tend to wait to be called by the buyer in regard to a property that they are interested in, when the agent should be more diligent in searching for the home that is right for the buyer. You would be surprised at the major complaint I have heard from buyers about their agents. That complaint is, “my agent waits for me to call him/her about a property, why aren’t they also looking for homes for me?”
But I did start this about agents saying that they sell homes, and I should finish it with something about sellers. Seller need to realize that they have a responsibility in helping a realtor get their home sold. Favorite items may create clutter, so too could be pieces of memorabilia. Remember buyers are looking at your home as a potential place to live they need to be able to see beyond your personal tastes. I would say that there are three major words that a buyer and a realtor must remember and they are; available, presentable and affordable.
A home must be available to be seen when a buyer wants to see it. The home must always be presentable, that is looking its prom queen best; and the home must be affordably priced, that is priced for the market conditions as well as the condition and location of the home.
While me and my sales team doesn’t sell homes we have helped thousands over the years get their home sold and have seen them start new adventures in new areas and new properties all because of the emphasis on teamwork. It is not all about the realtor, it is about team focused on a positive end result.

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What is selling and what is not, why?

What is selling and what is not selling? Have you checked your listings over the past few months to see why they have not sold? A new CMA might help, a better understanding of where the seller will be moving after sale may help. How is the condition compared to similar homes that have sold?

OK enough negative stuff to look at, let’s take a look at some positive things. Buyers today seem to be leaning toward simpler homes that serve their more relaxed look at life. Maybe one of your listings needs a staging overall, a reduction of extras and an emphasis on something else. Like nearby playgrounds, dog runs, areas for family exercise. Proximity to shopping maybe a movie theater as well as shopping, bus service and of course schools.

Take a look at how your listing appears on a map that a buyer may use to see how close the home is to things that interest them. First time buyers these days are social in nature, different than some of us who purchased homes to get privacy. How does the rear yard look for a party?

Try updating the photos you have taken with some of this in mind, rewrite the description using the same mentality.

Sit with your seller to discuss how we can make the home more appealing. This may include a significant price reduction to create the excitement in many of the buyer’s eyes. Remember multiple buyers will result in multiple offers and a potentially over the present asking price sale.

You are the professional and your job is to HELP them get their home sold. You can’t do it alone you need the sellers’ cooperation.

No one knows how long this competitive market place will last; it would be a shame to see homes presently listed still on the market months from now. Some way somehow we need to help the sellers understand what is happening and why their home is sitting on the marketplace shelf.

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A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

A Day in the Life of a Real Estate Agent

By Frank Reali, Real Estate Broker licensed inNew YorkStateandNew Jersey

The alarm goes off at 7AM awaking me from a restful sleep.

Time to make the coffee, shower and shave but first let me check my e-mail and text messages for anything important and business related.

As I am dressing and having my morning wake up coffee, I turn on my computer and access the mls system checking especially for any expired listings in my personal marketing area. While I religiously farm an area of about 600 homes I have expanded my market area to my entire town here onStaten Island. This gives me more opportunities to find potential business.

Today I found two expired listings and both I have had the opportunity to show previously so with any luck the owners will remember me. As I print a letter and package to drop off I must also access Face book to make sure my friends know I am alive and well and ready for another day of real estate. Wow how social media has changed my schedule, this new way to reach many in my sphere of influence has actually giving me more time to hit the pavement and build contacts.  As I put everything together for the day, I answer my e-mails, send out any important updates to my clients and set up a few showings for my hot prospects tonight.

Well its 9AM and I am all set to get out into the exciting world of real estate. First off I better drop off those letters so that the owners will be prepared for me when I stop by later on, then it is off to my farm area. I need to visit 30 homes to stay on schedule to see every home by month’s end. Yep, only 30 homes 5 days a week and I remind 600 homeowners that I am the neighborhood professional with the expertise to get the job done for them. As I walk the neighborhood I see clients and potential clients. I am always hoping to catch as many homeowners out and about, but understanding that many are at work already leaving them something of interest to read when they get home will be sufficient to keep me in their mind.

That was a quick hour so I now will stop by my favorite coffee shop for a light breakfast but more importantly another opportunity to talk about real estate. It is always great to see the regulars but it is the new faces that excite me. Maybe it is someone checking out the neighborhood as a potential place to move. Well I’ll hand out a few cards and I can always count on one of the regulars to ask me a real estate related question, what better way to let the new faces realize who I am. Hey I better check my e-mail again to see if there are any messages from the office, maybe a new listing that will fit one of my buyer clients. And before I leave I better contact that new lead that just came in from lead router so I don’t lose the buyer to someone who reaches them more quickly. Hey, another house to show later this afternoon great; kills two birds with one stone I get to meet a new buyer and also see another home and interact with another home seller, great!

So let me stop by the office to get some forms and update my listing presentation so I will be prepared when I visit my two potential listings later on in the day. I can’t wait for dot loop to get activated so that I can finally be paperless, definitely a more efficient way to go. Well I see someone brought in a new listing that may be perfect for my new buyer so I will add that one to the showing tonight. I find a quiet corner and make some phone calls and send out some e-mails to check on my pending transactions and stay in touch with my present listings. By spacing out my transactions and listings I never need to spend too much time any single day which allows me more flexibility and more time to drum up new business.

Well it is now almost 12:30 and time for me to meet with my business group for lunch, glad it’s not every day but today is my day to speak about what I do so I am a bit excited. Even though I have done this before, the constantly changing real estate market always gives me something to talk about and everyone wants to know what’s happening so it should be a great afternoon. I hope it ends up on time today, since I have three homes in my market area I want to preview and I still need to make a drive through the neighborhood to make sure that there are no for sale by owner signs that popped up overnight. Although I have a readymade package available, I really want to get to those two expired listings before someone else beats me to it. 

Well lunch is over and I am on my way to visit one of the expired listing, sure hope they are in. They were in sure enough, but so disenchanted with real estate that they didn’t want to talk, but I will keep them in mind and stay in touch. They listed to sell for a reason I am sure they will again, I just need to be in front of them. Well I am off to preview a few homes, even though I don’t have any buyers for them right now I want to see wants on the market and also it will give me a chance to meet a few owners and leave my card it may come in handy later on. Woops, another buyer lead just came in let me reach out and see what I can do. Well this one was interesting seems they have been looking for awhile but can’t find anything. They are working with 10 realtors, but when I asked them how many realtors were working with them they became a bit confused. Seems no one ever set them up on listing book or has ever called them back, so I took the bull by the horns and told them to throw those cards away, I set them up in listing book where I will follow their activity as I try to win the home sale lottery and find them the right house. It may be a challenge but I know I am better than every other agent so I think I am in a good place. In the meantime I do have an appointment to show them a house later on in the week.

Those previews went well, a few nice homes but a bit overpriced I’ll check on mls to see their days on market maybe they will expire before they sell and I can scoop them up. I just hate it when someone lists a home in my area. Well at least there were no for sale by owner signs, but I need to keep diligent, since they are my biggest competition, but the more info I put out in my farm area the better chance I will have of keeping them at bay.

Time for dinner, so let me take a break for a bit, I still have 2 buyer appointments starting at 6PM and I definitely want to take a shot at that second expired.

Back on the road, meeting my first buyer and with 2 homes to show it should move rather quick, they have been looking for awhile but still have not narrowed down their criteria. Maybe today I will need to ask them some tougher questions, we have a good relationship, I believe, and they are qualified to buy so let’s see.  Okay 2 nice shows and they haven’t said a word; I guess it is time to ask some more questions. My question, let’s see we have seen a bunch of homes have you seen anything that you like, they answer, we like them all so far. I am shocked they didn’t indicate that to me, so I continue with have you seen any house that you would consider buying and they answer, well we were waiting for you to tell us which house would be best, we figured you were showing us such nice houses that you would tell us when we were done so that we could make a decision. Well for the love of Pete, that just about knocked me over, I guess I did not do a real good job of debriefing them so we scheduled an appointment for tomorrow to discuss what they had seen and maybe then they will make an offer. Idiot, sometimes I just forget that the buyers actually are hungry for advice and here I am, superstar forgetting to give them what they need.

Well let’s see what surprise buyer number 2 has for me.  They have seen a few homes but they have been more vocal, so I think they may be getting close to making an offer. Bingo, this second home fits them to a tee, so let me help them fill out a purchase agreement and then contact the listing agent and get this offer presented and accepted. A little negotiation back and forth and I got a deal; the buyers will be happy and so am I. I picked up 2 new prospects today and got an old one sold and let’s not forget tomorrow I need to do a real good debriefing job to help another buyer make a decision.

I am off to see that second expired listing and I am on a high so nothing can get me down. The sellers were home and eager to speak with me. It seems they have seen me in the neighborhood for months and recognized me from the signs on my car, my business card, as well as the various information that I have distributed. I am glad I came prepared; with my lap top presentation as well as a live cma I am sure I will knock them over. So I take a look through the home and sit down to discuss how I and my company can help them get the job done. I discover that upon selling they will be moving south; in fact they will be away for about two weeks looking at homes and taking a short vacation. I ask them if they have an agent in the area that they are planning on moving and they say no. It seems that while they have been searching on the internet they have not contacted anyone yet, so I tell them that I can refer them to one of our associate company’s in the area, in fact I will bring them an agent’s name and company information tomorrow and have the agent contact them. In the meantime we hammer out the details of the sale, come up with a price and settle upon commission. They like our marketing strategy sign the papers and I schedule an appointment for tomorrow to take photos and then I measure the rooms leave them their paperwork and take off for home. I put up the sign and since I will do an open house over the weekend, I add the open house rider letting everyone know the time and day of the open house.

Oop’s my gas tank is empty so I better stop and fill up, and as I reach into my pocket I realize I still have one business card left, and my motto is never go home with a business card, so I guess I will give one to the attendant. I am finally home when I realize I had one more thing on my schedule to do and that was a webinar that I wanted to listen in on. Now what time was that supposed to start? 6PM PST, oh that’s 9PM my time so I just have time for the 45 minute presentation. Not a bad day, now if it just went that way every day.

 This fictitious day in the life of a real estate agent may not be so fictitious for some top producers. They have achieved their success through hard work and much effort and even today continue to put in the time to achieve success. It may sound silly or impossible but I assure you it is not. This is why 5% of the agents do 95% of the overall business. Someone who wants to be successful only needs to put in the time on a continual basis to build a business worth having, and a life you can truly enjoy.

I dedicate this short story to my wife Fran, a true success story.

If you are interested in a career in real estate or if your career needs a re-boot, visit:

www.JoinSafariRealty.com

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National Community Involvement Award Winners – Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty

We are honored to have received the coveted Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Community Involvement Award! This accolade recognizes our company as a real estate brokerage committed to giving back and making our community stronger. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the entire Staten Island community! To learn more, view the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugRRWM3WMvc

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BUYER LEADS

Sadly enough, there is no question that generating buyer leads has been one of the main focus’ of real estate brokers in our area. Despite the explosion of technology and the burden the great expense that staying on top of technology brings to the table, “LEADS” are still the single most sort after item.

Historically though, the conversion rates seen on these leads has been less than what a broker would expect. We have participated in numerous surveys and to this day the rate still is around a 2% conversion. That is 2 out of 100 buyers. At the same time these surveys have shown that over 35% of the buyers actually bought from someone and another 40% were actively looking for a home. Pretty poor numbers if you ask me. But how do take this information and enhance our own ability to improve your closing ratio?

Today’s buyer is not really any different, although the technology they use gives them more information than their predecessors. There are times when they know more about a property than the agent that they are speaking with, so what are they looking for when the contact you?

More often than not they are looking to find an agent with whom they feel comfortable with. We are finding with sites such as ZILLOW that buyers are pretty seasoned and generally ready to make an offer, but finding an agent that they feel good about may become their final decision maker as to presenting an offer.

So as an agent how have you evolved? Are you able to discover what a buyer wants or are you still asking the same old questions? Maybe it is time you speak with your broker and discover what he has to say about how you are doing business today. I am sure your broker has already evolved and is waiting for you to come and find out what you need to do to be successful in today’s super charged business atmosphere.

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BHGRE Safari Realty announces new Military Veteran’s Initiatives

For too long our returning and retired military veterans have had a hard road to follow to readjust to a more normal lifestyle. Starting a new career, re-entering the civilian job market and purchasing or selling a home, military vets have in many cases had to go it alone.

Today Brokers Frank and Fran Reali of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty, one of Staten Island Leading Real Estate Companies announced two initiatives aimed directly to this segment of our population. “We looked at a situation and after careful planning believe we have come up with something that will help ALL our veterans, those returning from active duty and those who have retired over the years,” stated Fran Reali.

First we looked at how we could assist those veterans looking to build a new career, stated Mr. Reali. How could we help these fine people get started in real estate and utilize their own experience and ingenuity to earn to their maximum potential. Getting started in real estate has always required two things, time and money. Potential agents are required to successfully complete a 75 hours salesperson licensing class and pass a state test. They then need to associate with a real estate company and they are then required to join the local board of realtors and the local multiple listing service. They can then expect that with the proper training and exposure to need approximately 6 months worth of investment money to get their career started. All of this takes both time and money, which is in many cases a problem for the potential real estate agent.  The program called Veterans to Real Estate Professional allows veterans to transition into a rewarding career as a real estate salesperson.

While we could not shorten the time it takes to take classes, said Mrs. Reali we believe that we have come up with a scholarship program which will help our military veterans reduce their out of pocket expenses and allow them to more easily start and build a real estate career. Details of our program will be given out at a seminar soon to be announced so that we can help get the veterans moving in the right direction and give them the opportunity they deserve. It is our way of saying thank you said Mr. Reali.

Similar to the military, we train our recruits. We understand the discipline, resiliency, and respect for procedures veterans developed during their time serving our country. Those characteristics, combined with the tools and support available at BHGRE Safari Realty, make for an exciting and successful new career in Real Estate.

For more information to learn how to take advantage of this exciting program please call for an interview at 718.442.5200 and mention that you are interested in the Veterans to Real Estate Professional Program.

Secondly we looked at how to assist all our military veterans enjoy the benefits of homeownership, and even help those looking to sell and relocate. We did not have to look far for an answer. Over the years BHGRE Safari Realty helped hundreds of veterans through our association, as the Principle Broker, with CARTUS Relocation Network and their affiliation with USAA. All veterans who are members of USAA receive benefits when they utilize the services of BHGRE Safari Realty. The problem has been that many military veterans have not joined the USAA Network and miss out on valuable savings not only for the sale or purchase of a home but also for mortgages and insurance. Presently we are reaching out to all the veterans in our area to make sure that they realize what they are missing.

We can help those veterans who are not members of USAA join the USAA network and take advantage of the benefits they deserve, by putting them in touch with our USAA Team, stated Gail Sweeney the company’s Relocation Director.

Our entire company is excited about these two new programs and we encourage EVERY veteran whether a recent veteran or a more seasoned retiree to call us today at 718.442.5200 and mention you want more information about joining USAA so we can help you get started.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty, one of the leading real estate companies on Staten Island, is located at 1958 Victory Blvd. and is a member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, Brooklyn NY Board of Realtors and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty is a member of multiple listing services on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties which expands the exposure of the company and its listings. BHGRE Safari Realty main constituency is the Staten Island Community and presently has over 40 licensed real estate sales agents or associate real estate brokers working from it’s easy to reach and easy to recognize mid-island location. BHGRE Safari Realty provides real estate assistance for buyers and sellers. Commercial assistance is provided through the BHGRE Safari Realty Commercial Division. BHGRE also boasts specialized marketing services through its two specialized brands Urban Properties dedicated to those specific needs and Distinctive Properties dedicated to the specific needs of the high end market. Our relationship with CARTUS Relocation allows us to assist many corporate, and affinity buyers and sellers including those members of the USAA network. To have your home listed with BHGRE Safari Realty, to reach any of Safari Realty’s award winning agents or get more information about the company you may call 718.442.5200 or e-mail us at info@safarirealtyonline.com. BHGRE Safari Realty invites you to visit us on the web at our newly designed web site www.safarirealtyonline.com. You can also plan your open house searches at these sites as well as see over 20,000 homes for sale in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. So remember, if you are looking for a REALTOR who can help you with all your real estate needs, “at Safari, we can do that”.

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6 BHGRE Safari Realty Agents Garner Top Producer Awards

March 14, 2013 was an exciting day for Staten Island Realtors as the Staten Island Board of Realtors announced the Top Producers from 2012. Six members of the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty were recognized as Staten Island Top Producers for their production in the Staten Island Real Estate Market.

Winning the Bronze Award were Jeanine Del Gaudio, Barbara Tringali, Rita Colon-Burnett and Nicholas Tortora. Being recognized for the Gold Award were Gail Sweeney and Cindy Cheung.  As an added surprise to everyone in the room The Staten Island Board of Realtors announced the induction of just 5 sales agents to their Top Producer Hall of Fame, the criteria was being recognized as a Top Producer in each of the last 10 years. Brokers Fran and Frank Reali were excited to hear that Gail Sweeney was one of those five honorees. When asked how they became top producers at a time when the real estate market is in such flux they all responded that hard work and determination allowed them to achieve their current status. They also thanked the support team, which was in attendance, for their assistance in the daily day to day operation , and thanked brokers Fran and Frank Reali for their vision and persistence in providing an atmosphere where customer service and service to the sales team co-exists to insure everyone has a successful real estate experience.

Frank Reali stated that we are excited that 20% of our sales team ranked in the upper echelon of real estate agents onStaten Island, it proves that our quality over quantity model is working, and working well. A number of our agents just missed qualifying and we expect that next year we will see a few more members of our team on the red carpet. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate tag line “BE BETTER” just goes with our desire to be just that, BETTER. And we challenge anyone to find out how they can BE BETTER, by calling our office at 718.442.5200 and schedule an interview.

Gail Sweeney, a broker associate who started her real estate career in April 1993 at Safari Realty and gladly accepted the added responsibility as the Company Relocation Director in 1997 and has been a consistent high level producer for many years. Gail who lives in New Springville has utilized her previous experience as a Vice President at Merrill Lynch, to achieve her lofty status. I was very excited when our brokers announced that we were joining the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Franchise Organization back in November of 2011, said Ms. Sweeney. I knew our affiliation would bring us a myriad of tools to help our customers and clients achieve their prospective goals, especially in these trying times, she added. I am delighted to be recognized as a Gold Award Top Producer and was surprised when my name was announced as a Hall of Fame Member. I am equally excited about my own and our company’s prospects for the future. Gail is married to her husband Robert and they have a daughter Gabriella who is studying for her Masters Degree. Gail can be reached mobilely at 917.678.4926.

Cindy Cheung, who started her real estate career in July 2000 at Safari Realty, is multi-lingual and has proven that she can perform her real estate duties in any market. She has been recognized as a Top Producer numerous times and beamed brightly as she went up for her award. Cindy stated that she was excited to be affiliated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate safari Realty, because she knew that it enhances her ability to provide the top quality service her customers and clients come to expect. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a Brand that is associated with HOMES said Ms. Cheung and that is what we do, help people buy and sell homes to achieve the lifestyle that they want. What better affiliation could a sales agent want but one that works hand in hand on a daily basis delivering lifestyle opportunities for consumers. Cindy can be reached on her mobile phone at 917.601.2627

Nick Tortora, joined the Safari Realty Family in May of 2002, when he decided that a full time real estate career required a full time real estate organization. Nick has been a multi-year Top Producer and sees 2013 has his time to move up in to higher honors. Mr. Tortora resides in Port Richmond with his wife Bonnie and their children was excited when he was told about the honor, stating it is great to be recognized by your broker for your efforts but it is a super feeling when you are honored on the Staten Island Stage by your peers. Our move to the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Organization has provided all of us with more tools than you could imagine. The technology, marketing tools and learning opportunities that we have been introduced to is just the tip of the iceberg of tools that will help us perform our job in a more professional manner. The company web site and the agent website that Fran and Frank provided to us at no cost, have already started to pay dividends in attracting more buyers and more exposure for our listings. Nick can be reached at his mobile phone at 917.273.4344.

Jeannine Del Gaudio has been with the safari Family since 1989 and takes care of the company’s REO Department. Jeannine is also a licensed appraiser and utilizes her immense talents to provide exceptional services to that sector of the market. Ms. Del Gaudio also has built a large referral business form her satisfied client list that continually are call for her expert assistance in either selling or buying a home. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate affiliation has proved to be a great benefit for everyone stated Ms. Del Gaudio. When coupled with the ingenuity and dedication of our staff and brokers we all have an arsenal of tools to assist us in being successful. I would expect that 2013 will see the number award winners from our company to double as we continue to work within this great system. Jeannine resides in theFortWordswortharea and can be reached on her mobile phone at 917.613.3269

Barbara Tringali has been with Safari since 2002 and has been a consistent producer over the years receiving her share of recognition. Barbara was excited to hear that she was being recognized as a Top Producer for her work in 2012. It proved that even in a tough real estate environment if you stay focused and work hard you can achieve success. Ms. Tringali credits a strong referral base and the ability to identify serious buyers as the source of her success. We receive plenty of buyer leads over the year, some are serious and some are just lookers. Asking the right questions and listening to and understanding the answers allow me to utilize my time in a way that is beneficial to the consumer. Strong negotiating skills also help, she added. Our move the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate has also allowed me access to BHGRE Greenhouse where I can brush up on various topics and also take advantage of the tools available. The customized listing presentation portfolio that each of us have been given by our brokers also has proven to be of great value. When you finish with the presentation every possible question a seller could have has been answered. It is then time to complete the paperwork. I expect that 2013 will prove to be an even stronger year for me. Barbara can be reached on her mobile phone at 718.490.2457

Rita Colon-Burnett enjoyed a great year in 2012 and has a leg up on 2013 already. Joining Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty in 2011 she has proven to be a valuable member of the team stated broker Fran Reali. Despite all the problems we faced in 2012 Rita was able to stay focused and work toward achieving her stated goals. Every year our broker Frank Reali sits with the sales team and encourages them to set goals for the upcoming year and also put together a business plan that we can follow. He kids us by saying, you will never know if you arrived at your destination if you never had a destination planned in advance. The Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate system has business planning tools as well as goal setting assistance to give every agent the opportunity to build their business on purpose rather than by accident. It is this planning that allows us to continually improve our skill sets and our achievements and also gives us the confidence to assist the consumer in achieving their real estate goals. I have seen a strong start to 2013 and anticipate an even more successful year in 2013. Rita, resides in Arden Heights and can be reached on her mobile phone at 718.490.2457.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty, one of the leading real estate companies on Staten Island, is located at 1958 Victory Blvd. and is a member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, Brooklyn NY Board of Realtors and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty is a member of multiple listing services on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau and Suffolk Counties which expands the exposure of the company and its listings. BHGRE Safari Realty main constituency is the Staten Island Community and presently has over 40 licensed real estate sales agents or associate real estate brokers working from it’s easy to reach and easy to recognize mid-island location. BHGRE Safari Realty provides real estate assistance for buyers and sellers. Commercial assistance is provided through the BHGRE Safari Realty Commercial Division. BHGRE also boasts specialized marketing services through its two specialized brands Urban Properties dedicated to those specific needs and Distinctive Properties dedicated to the specific needs of the high end market. Our relationship with CARTUS Relocation allows us to assist many corporate, and affinity buyers and sellers including those members of the USAA network. To have your home listed with BHGRE Safari Realty, to reach any of Safari Realty’s award winning agents or get more information about the company you may call 718.442.5200 or e-mail us at info@safarirealtyonline.com. BHGRE Safari Realty invites you to visit us on the web at our newly designed web site www.safarirealtyonline.com. You can also plan your open house searches at these sites as well as see over 20,000 homes for sale in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. So remember, if you are looking for a REALTOR who can help you with all your real estate needs, “at Safari, we can do that”.

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Buying a residential property on Staten Island, how much longer do you wait?

Much has been said over the years about dropping property values and falling sale prices on a National Level, but who really has taken a look at prices in the Staten Island Marketplace? When will we hit a bottom has been the buyers cry and many have waited on the sidelines and missed opportunities to take advantage of buying a home on Staten Island.

There is no question that price corrections have taken place butStaten Islanddoes have a varied marketplace. While some prices continue to correct in some areas, the average sale price has actually gone up in each of the past 3 years. So some smart buyers have been able to take advantage of the market and many owners are starting to see equity return.

The chart accompanying this story shows a 10 year look at the average sale price of Staten Island Residential Properties, 1 and 2 family homes as well as co-ops and condos from 2003 through 2012, based on information available through the SIMLS.

There is no question that the Staten Island Real Estate Market has stabilized and in fact is in pretty good shape. Both buyers and sellers have the opportunity to take advantage of the market to allow themselves to enjoy their own personal dreams.  Interest rates are low and the banks are lending to qualified buyers. This has always allowed the real estate market to expand, and 2013 should be no different. While much of the country is looking at 2013 as the comeback year for real estate, we here onStaten Islandsee 2013 as the year that confidence continues to grow for everyone involved in the sale or purchase of residential real estate.

So whether buying or selling the time is now to take advantage of what the Staten Island Real Estate Market has to offer.

The writer of this article is the Broker/Owner of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty, Frank Reali. He has studied and continues to study trends in real estate on Staten Islandand the BHGRE Safari Realty sales team is always equipped with the latest information to help the consumer make the right decision. He can be reached at 718.442.5200, the company web site www.safarirealtyonline.com has listings of homes for sale in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island as well as Monmouth andOceanCounties inNew Jersey. Stop in and visit the web site or call the office and take advantage of what we have to offer.

 

 

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Real Estate As An Investment – Staten Island, NY

As the real estate market returns to some normalcy consumers still may question whether or not real estate is a sound investment. In my opinion the purchase of a one family owner occupied home should not be considered as an investment. That may sound as heresy from a real estate broker but I think you need to consider some things before you condemn the “heretic”.

We need a place to live and there are only limited options. We can always stay or return to our parents, if they will have us; we can choose to rent possibly by getting a roommate, and help someone else with their investment; we can choose to live on the street generally not a good idea; or we can purchase a home and pay off our own mortgage.

Homeownership provides one of the few entitlements available to us as tax payers. Most of us are still able to take advantage of this tax shelter by writing off real estate taxes and interest from our mortgage payment. Your accountant can assist you in finding out how much of a benefit you may be able to enjoy but in many cases buyers have found out that the tax benefit has proven to bring the mortgage payment closer to what they were paying in rent.

The length of time you own your home is where it becomes an investment vehicle. Over the years real estate has proven to be a great hedge against inflation, generally increasing in value at the rate of inflation or better. Usually the longer you hold on to the property the better chance you have of selling it for more than you paid for it. This gives you an opportunity to build wealth. The fact that you usually purchase a property without paying for it fully, down payments your true initial investment are generally only a portion of the purchase price, allows a great return.

If you have the stomach for it some buyers have built wealth by selling sooner and buying up again using the equity built in their present home to increase the opportunity for financial gain. In this process you have more exposure to yearly price adjustments and must consider closing costs as part of the investment necessary. In either case if you are living in the house you still get the benefit of a roof over your head, potentially an improved quality of life and some cushion from the fluctuations of real estate values.

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BHGRE Safari Realty 25 years and counting!!!

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty held its year-end meeting at the LiGreci’s Staaten inWest Brightonusing the opportunity to update the sales team on the analysis of 2012 and the expectations of 2013.

Broker Fran Reali opened the meeting by announcing that 2013 is the 25th anniversary of the formation of the company and that our goals have stayed consistent through the years and that was to provide a quality real estate experience for consumers and team members alike. Fran welcomed the newest staff member Tricia Burke-Laino who now gives the company a three headed technology strong support team to assist everyone in the real estate transaction. With Lucy Lacagnina, Daniella Reali and now Tricia we have an interactive cross-trained team to make sure that everything goes smoothly for all those involved in our company.

Frank Reali took over the meeting from there reviewing the activity from 2012. A 15 year residential graph showing closed sales from 1998 to the present on Staten Island showed the highs and lows but more importantly proved that theStaten Islandmarket had reached its bottom and was moving in the right direction. We have never accomplished anything by crossing our fingers and hoping but rather through constantly studying the trends and providing good solid information to our buyers, sellers and professional real estate team. The graph showed the consistent number of sales over the past 30 months with a slight increase over 2011 which was right on target with Mr. Reali’s prediction last January. He then made his prediction for the 2013 year which is an eight to ten percent overall increase in residential sales.

Mr. Reali congratulated the team on their outstanding accomplishments in 2012 allowing the company to maintain its top 5 real estate office position onStaten Island, closing $74,851,853 in sales volume and singled out those top producers for their personal production during the year. Mr. Reali announced that the company had 2 members of the sales team finish in the top 10 agents on Staten island and 7 agents overall in the top 10% of the industry.

Recognized as Bronze Zebra Million Dollar Club members were Ted Williams, Joann Maviglia and Rita Colon-Burnett. Introduced as Silver Elephant Two Million Dollar Club members were Theresa Passanesi and Barbara Tringali. The members of the Gold Leopard Three Million Dollar Club were Jeannine Del Gaudio and Nick Tortora, and reaching the Diamond Tiger Five Million Dollar Club were Cindy Cheung and Gail Sweeney. The group are the company leaders which overall had 75% participation from the sales team in 2012.

Mr. Reali also announced that as we start 2013 16 members of the sales team already had transactions in contract waiting to close which puts many of the team members on track to reach and even surpass their personal goals for the year.

As members of an International Real Estate Organization Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate members of the sales team are also eligible for International Awards based on their production. Mr. Reali announced those agents who are in line to receive recognition at the upcoming Fusion Conference inLas Vegas. BHGRE International Silver Award Honoree’s are Jeannine Del Gaudio and Nick Tortora and the BHGRE International Gold Award Honorees are Cindy Cheung and Gail Sweeney.

Technology has always been on the forefront of the BHGRE Safari Realty’s agenda and Fran and Frank Reali gave the sales team an update and look into the future as they reviewed some of the highlights from the Inman Conference they attended last week. We have the capabilities right now to provide a seamless and paperless real estate transaction to the consumer tight now stated Mr. Reali. For years we have had computerized listing presentations, the ability to perform live comparable market analysis’ for sellers and all our forms have been in the cloud for easy access from the many remote locations today’s top agents find comfortable to work from. The bricks and mortar office allows a central location for operations but no longer is the only location that an agent has to work from. Shared desks, wireless access allow agents to come and go with their own mobile devices and stay as productive and busy as they like, knowing a strong and experienced staff is behind them assist them in getting the job at hand accomplished with the least amount of stress and aggravation.

Mr. Reali announced that BHGRE Safari Realty has contracted with a number of companies to tie all the initiatives together and with the recent announcement of electronic signatures becoming legal and acceptable we would soon be able to take advantage of much of the technology that today’s consumers are demanding. The end of the horizon is limited only by your personal vision stated Fran Reali and our vision is 20-20 forward always looking for how to improve the real estate experience.

The sales team was reminded of the many learning opportunities, and numerous tools that the affiliation with Better Homes and Gardens has been able to provide to everyone and Mr. Reali encouraged the team to continue taking advantage of what is available, from new agent training to experienced agent refresher sessions there is something for everyone. Our partnership with the Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Franchise System has proven to be what we needed to stay in tune with the constantly expanding technological improvements in our industry, and it has proven beneficial for all our agents regardless of their age and experience level. This has proven to be a great marriage stated Mr. Reali, and we expect that many of new and experienced sales agents will start to realize those benefits as we continue to expand our influence on the Staten Island Real Estate Landscape.

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty, one of the leading real estate companies onStaten Island, is located at1958 Victory Blvd.and is a member of the Staten Island Board of Realtors, Brooklyn NY Board of Realtors and the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Safari Realty is a member of multiple listing services on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens,NassauandSuffolkCountieswhich expands the exposure of the company and its listings. BHGRE Safari Realty main constituency is the Staten Island Community and presently has over 40 licensed real estate sales agents or associate real estate brokers working from it’s easy to reach and easy to recognize mid-island location. BHGRE Safari Realty provides real estate assistance for buyers and sellers. Commercial assistance is provided through the BHGRE Safari Realty Commercial Division. BHGRE also boasts specialized marketing services through its two specialized brands Urban Properties dedicated to those specific needs and Distinctive Properties dedicated to the specific needs of the high end market. To have your home listed with BHGRE Safari Realty, to be included in an upcoming Open House Sunday, to reach any of Safari Realty’s award winning agents or get more information about the company you may call 718.442.5200 or e-mail us at info@safarirealtyonline.com. BHGRE Safari Realty invites you to visit us on the web at our newly designed web site www.safarirealtyonline.com. You can also plan your open house searches at these sites as well as see over 30,000 homes for sale in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island andNew Jersey. If you are interested in a new career in real estate or are ready to take advantage of all we have to offer call our career advisor team headed up Tricia Burke-Laino at 718.442.5200 for a confidential interview.  So remember, if you are looking for a REALTOR who can help you with all your real estate needs, or a new career jump start “at Safari, we can do that”. Why not join us today !!!

 

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