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Are Broker Warranty Kickbacks Okay?

For some time there has been a nifty little side business in real estate: Your friendly broker offers a homeowner warranty program to reduce buyer worries about possible repairs. Such warranties may or may not be a good idea — you have to look at what’s included, what’s excluded, the up-front cost, the cost per […]

July 6th, 2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Compare “For Sale,” “Sold” & “Under Contract” Signs

In our area real estate signs say For Sale, Sold and Under Contract. These signs are a shorthand way to explain the contract status of the property — information which may suggest that the property is off the market, on the market or maybe both. For Sale It might seem that a property which is […]

January 8th, 2010 | | 0 comments | Continued
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How To Pick On Appraisers

Many in the real estate community are upset with the newly implemented Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) and want it suspended or revoked so we can go back to the good-old-says when it was okay to threaten and pressure appraisers. The HVCC was an agreement worked out between New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, […]

June 26th, 2009 | | 9 comments | Continued
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Can We See Another Buyer’s Offer For A House?

Question: We made an offer on a home. The broker representing the sellers said a higher offer had been received and asked if we wanted to raise our bid. We declined, but here’s the question: How do we know there was another bid or that it was higher? Answer: One of the most difficult issues […]

March 16th, 2009 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Do We Have To Disclose Past Mold Problems?

Question: A new home has had complete demolition of all walls because of mold. What type of disclosure is suggested? What type of an inspection? What does this do to the property value? I am a prospective buyer of a new home that got very moldy throughout construction. Answer: Mold is a relatively new concern […]

March 2nd, 2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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The Case For Flexible Real Estate Commissions

Isn’t it time to change real estate agreements — to make them better for buyers, sellers and brokers? Syndicated columnist Peter G. Miller explains.

February 17th, 2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Must Owners Accept Full-Price Offers?

No. A real estate transaction is complex and involves far more than the purchase price. For instance, you bid full price but perhaps someone bid more. Or, you bid full price but require the sellers to re-paint the first floor — effectively asking for different terms and a discount on the sale price. Why not […]

December 8th, 2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Can We Get Back Our Deposit?

Question: We purchased a parcel of land on Friday. Two days later we decided to cancel the transaction. (buyers’ remorse). Can we get our deposit back? Answer: Maybe. You need to ask several questions. For instance: First, what does the agreement say? Does it have a rescission or cancellation period during which time you can […]

November 18th, 2008 | | 0 comments | Continued