Tag Archives: Realtor

Introducing Moshe Elmekias

As you may have noticed, the website has been undergoing some changes over the last few weeks. If you had not heard, we, Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson, transferred to Sotheby’s International Realty in Los Angeles. In an effort to best serve our clients in Boston, we sought out a partner to take over our business who is local, attentive, and knowledgeable in the Boston real estate market.  Partnering with Moshe Elmekias was an easy choice for us since we saw how he operated first hand as we worked together in the South End office of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty. Not only was Moshe a colleague, but a trusted friend and a source of insight based on his 15 years of experience working in the Boston real estate market.

Moshe Elmekias | Boston Realtor | Gibson Sotheby's International RealtyMoshe joined Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty nearly 15 years ago and quickly became a top producer, consistently ranked among the company’s elite brokers. He has earned recognition and praise from his clients, building his real estate family one extraordinary transaction at a time.

In the past 20 years, Moshe has assisted countless buyers and sellers reach a satisfactory outcome by utilizing his knowledge, experience, ethics, straight-forward approach and ability to keep calm in stressful situations. He remains involved in all aspects of his clients’ real estate transactions, making himself available at any point in time and keeping everyone informed at every step. Moshe firmly believes that a real estate transaction should not only be smooth and successful but fun and exciting!

If you have any real estate needs in Boston, Alisa and I recommend Moshe without reservation. We decided to transfer our business to him because we know he will attend to the clients we were fortunate enough to work with in the same high standard of service to which Alisa and I held ourselves.

And if you or anyone you know has any real estate needs buying, selling, or renting a home in Los Angeles, you can find Matthew and Alisa at luxuryhomeslosangeles.com.

Posted in Alisa Peterson, Matthew Gaskill, Moshe Elmekias, Realtor, Relocate, Sotheby's International Realty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

3 Ways A Realtor Can Help You Win in a Situation with Multiple Offers

This is part two of a three part series on how to win in a situation with multiple offers. 

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know…. and what they know.

Many of the strategies I wrote about in the previous blog on how offer terms can help win a situation with multiple offers are only possible when the buyer has a good Realtor working on their behalf. A strong Realtor has a large vetted network of vendors in all aspects of a real estate purchase. From lenders and attorneys to painters and carpenters, a good Realtor has many qualified contacts able to put a buyer in the best position to buy a home. More importantly a strong Realtor has developed good relationships with other Realtors in the broker community.

  • Quiet Listings 

The Realtors behind Matthew and Alisa Group Real Estate Blog

Most sellers would prefer to have their property on the general market but few unique properties are shopped around quietly among brokers for reasons as simple as getting the right price, the sellers do no want the general public in their home, or the sellers does not want their neighbors to know they are moving. No matter the reason, the result is the same, a buyer needs to be in the know when a property becomes available. A good Realtor spends their time knowing the market conditions, the properties on the market, and the other agents working in the real estate sales market in the area and surrounding neighborhoods. So when a new listing is not going on the general market right away, selling agents will contact other trusted agents they know and have worked with to bring a buyer. Agents working for brokerages with deep connections in the community and many active agents will have further access to these quiet listings beyond their own personal network.

In extreme cases where a buyer must waive a mortgage contingency and/or an inspection contingency, advance knowledge or early access to a property can also allow the buyer the ability to have an inspection prior to submitting an offer or get the property approved by a lender before submitting an offer. Our team of Realtors does not believe a buyer should waive these contingencies unless protected. By getting our clients early access to properties we are able to offer them a competitive advantage while protecting their deposits.

  • Home Inspectors

As mentioned in the previous blog, expedited contingency dates and a short due diligence period can mean an accepted offer. Having a Realtor with a network of trusted inspectors means a buyer can offer an inspection date within two days of acceptance. With a list of multiple qualified inspectors to call, a buyer can almost always find an inspector available within two days.

  • Mortgage Lenders

When an offer has a mortgage contingency, a pre-approval letter must accompany the offer. In a multiple-offer situation, the decision can come down to what lender two particular buyers are using. When a buyer is using a big box lender, such as Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, etc., their offer can be viewed less favorably because the arduous and inflexible underwriting can stall, delay, and even kill a deal after keeping the home off the market for two or more months. A seasoned listing agent will advise their client on the risks associated with taking an offer accompanied by a pre-approval letter from one of these lenders. Similar to the network of trusted home inspectors, Realtors have extensive networks of trusted mortgage lenders. Many Realtors have had to step in and advise a buyer to switch from a big box lender promising slightly lower rates to a mortgage lender known for getting to the closing table.

Working with a Realtor a buyer trusts is a key factor in any real estate transaction. However, a seller’s agent will not only look for the best terms for their client, but also the team the buyer has decided to use. Agents want to work with other proven agents because it assures their client the best chance of success. Using an agent unfamiliar with the area and the local customs of a transaction or an aunt who has her real estate license but has not sold a home in four years will not make an offer appear any stronger in a situation with multiple offers.

In the next post in this series, I will discuss how important the lender can be in a home purchase. Unless all buyers start buying property with cash, the lender a buyer uses can make or break a deal.

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What Sellers Wish Buyers Knew Before Submitting an Offer

With property selling at lightening speed, sellers are in the position where they can review multiple offers. However, not all offers are created equal and some are down right off. Here are 4 things sellers hope buyers know when submitting an offer.

1- Nitpicking and nickel-and-diming will not get you a discount.

Pointing out every little stain and out-dated design will not have the seller agree to a discounted price. Sellers and seller’s agents know the difference between cosmetic issues and major concerns, and they (should) price the home accordingly. If you want to offer a certain price based on what you are going to have to do to the home, fine, but if it’s significantly less than asking and what you need to do is cosmetic, it will not be considered a serious offer by the seller. Even if you come back with a more reasonable offer, (and the property is still available) the seller may have taken your original offer personally and may decide not to work with you.

2- Giving a sad story with a sloppy offer will not impress or move a seller.

I have suggested to my buyers to write a brief letter about themselves and why they want to buy this particular property. This is a good idea when the sellers have multiple offers and the property was the seller’s home rather than a new construction from a developer. The letter gives the seller a chance to identify with you and in the best case scenario allows the seller to see you are in the same position they were in when they bought this home.

However, if your offer is incomplete (missing pre-approval letter, offer not signed, no deposit check, etc.) and you have a letter saying how you would rather be homeless than live in any other home than theirs, it could raise a red flag to the sellers and they may not want to deal with you.

Tips for Buyers from Sellers3- Making everything easy for the seller will make everything easy for the buyer.

First, have all your the paperwork signed, complete, and organized. Not every agent types the offer to purchase paperwork, which is fine as long as the offer is written clean and legible. Second, know what your timeline is but also be flexible to what the seller’s timeline is. Many sellers want to sell as soon as possible, so consider having your offer with accelerated closing dates. This will also give sellers more confidence your offer will make it to closing. Of course, paying cash will bring the most comfort, but if the buyer can have an inspection in two days, sign purchase and sale within a week, and close in 30 days, the seller may find those terms more comforting than a cash offer at a lower price.

4- Mind your manners.

Asking for a seller to fix something or give credit toward fixing something is not uncommon. Little issues are almost always found during an inspection. But do not demand to have the something done that doesn’t need to be fixed. If there is an issue, politeness and rationality goes a long way. Even beginning a request by stating, “I understand that I may asking this too late but…” or “Thank you for considering” will help your cause. As always “Please” and “Thank You” goes a long way.

5-Choose your agent wisely.

From beginning your search to closing your transaction, your agent is there with you at every step acting in your best interest. Whether you are selling a home or buying a home, your agent should be acting professionally, responsibility, and constantly communicating with you. If you are putting in an offer to purchase, your agent should make sure you have all the paperwork to sign, have the dates clear, and go over everything to make sure you know what you are offering. I have written this many times, but it bears repeating, buying property and selling property is emotional. Anything that involves egos, memory, and money will be emotional, real estate transactions involve all of these with multiple parties. As your Realtor, it is our job to represent your best interests and keep emotions calm. Many of the tips I’ve written above can and should be explained by your Realtor, so it is very important to work with a Realtor you trust and who will represent you in the best possible light.

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Should You Work With a Realtor to Buy Property?

There was a time when the only way a person could find a home for sale was searching for signs on lawns, scanning the paper, or going to a real estate office and having an agent flip through a binder of homes. Today, buyers can find what’s available while in their pajama’s at 3am. The internet makes it possible to learn just about everything regarding buying property. There is only one thing that the internet will not prepare you for, the emotions involved. The home you can see yourself raising a family and growing old in or rejuvenating your spirit of whimsy may have been the home the seller never thought they would ever leave and may still have a hard time parting with. The dream home may have another offer that you have to compete with. The perfect condo may be a short sale and you will have to wait months before you know if it is yours. Thousands of possible scenarios could come up and make you feel unprepared.

Buyers, the main reason you should work with a Realtor is unless you have bought many times before, you don’t know what you are doing. I am not saying this to be mean or to undermine anyone, I work with many seasoned Realtors that have been doing nothing but representing buyers and sellers for decades and even they say they learn something new at every deal. The real estate market is a volatile emotional animal and just when you think you have the reins, something changes.

Use a Realtor to Buy PropertyYou may be thinking that if you are not working with a Realtor, maybe you can pass the savings on to the seller and get a better deal. Nice idea, but wrong. If the seller already has a Realtor, the seller has already signed an agreement to pay the Realtor their commission. If you are not working with a Realtor, the seller’s agent keeps the full commission, without working to protect your interests. And without representation you are on uneven footing. The seller has a knowledgable professional working on their behalf with their interests in mind to get the the best possible deal. However, there is the opportunity for dual agency. Once the paperwork is signed, the agent becomes a neutral party. Even in this scenario, you will not get a better deal, the agent only passes information between you and the seller without analysis, while still receiving the commission agreed upon when the listing contract was signed.

If you are in a situation where you are not working with a Realtor and found a home that is for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) then you can potentially save the seller money and maybe get a lower price for the property. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors of the latest trends of Buyers and Sellers, only 9% of homes on the market nationwide were FSBO properties. The majority of homes that are sold by owner were sold to a buyer that the seller knew beforehand. And with most FSBO sellers willing to work with a buyer’s agent and pay the agent’s commission, wouldn’t you prefer someone who does this every day preparing the paperwork and orchestrating the transaction to close?

Always remember Caveat Emptor or “let the buyer beware”. If you already know what the buying process entails and what to look for in a property, then you may not need an agent. But it is always better to have a professional with your best interests in mind when making a purchase in real estate and who is able to remove emotion from the process. Another agent once told me “the internet can give you information, but it can’t give you knowledge.” Even if you think you know what to expect, something can always come up that you never considered.

If you are interested in learning more about the home buying process and what we do to find you a home and protect your interests, contact the Realtors of the Matthew and Alisa Group.

Schedule a consultation with a Realtor

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Should You Work with a Realtor to Sell Property?

The internet has revolutionized the real estate business. For a long time sellers could only find out what their home was worth when someone told them or the latest real estate section of the paper came out. Today, sellers can go on Zillow and get a “zestimate.” So when all the information is at your finger tips, why work with a Realtor? Many use the saying, “Would you do your own dental work?” or “Would you self-diagnose chest pains?” Selling property is a major endeavor, with the exception of a few people, working with a professional will save you time and money in the long run.

Sellers, unless you have sold property numerous times and have plenty of time, it is in your best interest to work with a Realtor. I understand many will feel I am biased, but there is much more to selling property than putting an ad on the internet and opening a door.

Why Use a Realtor to Sell PropertyMarketing is the most important factor in getting your home sold at the best possible price. Realtors have access to a variety of networks and we use them all to showcase a property to get it sold. A couple of examples include an email blast to area Realtors, hosting a broker’s open house, and radius mailers introducing the property. According to a survey by the National Association of Realtors analyzing the latest trends of Buyers and Sellers, 90% of buyers use the internet for their search, which means high quality, professional photos are a must. If the pictures are dark, blurry, of messy rooms, or if the listing does not include photos buyers will move on. Many Realtors know how important good pictures are which is why many real estate offices have a professional photographer on staff.

The showings alone can be incredibly time consuming. Depending on the market your home is in, if there is an influx of properties similar to yours, you will have to accommodate every showing you can get. If you list your property with a Realtor, you will still have to accommodate showings but your Realtor can coordinate everything from multiple showings, open houses, and private showings to better accommodate your schedule and maximize the time allotted.

Finally, since 87% of buyers use agents, if you are going to sell your property on your own, you will only save half a commission since you will most likely need to offer a commission for buyer’s agents to bring their clients to your home. The majority of sellers who sell their property without professional assistance usually have a buyer before selling. But if you do not have a buyer and want to sell your property, consider using a professional. A large percentage of owners who try to sell on their own eventually list with a real estate professional, but what has this delay cost them in terms of lost buyers and time?

Would you like to discuss what The Matthew and Alisa Group offers when we list your property? We would be happy to share our method with you, so you can make an informed decision when it is time to sell.

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Home Buying Process Class at Stella in Boston’s South End

Whether you are a first-time home buyer, a seventh-time home buyer, or an investor, this class is for you. Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson, along with David Datz Esq., and Joe Smith from Guaranteed Rate will be hosting a class that will discuss the different aspects of buying property.

Matthew Gaskill and Alisa Peterson will be discussing the search and offer process, along with the current sales market. With the market being incredibly dynamic, we want to manage expectations, calm fears, and even help you decide if buying now is the right decision for you. Buying property now is not for everyone, but if it is for you, we want get you excited to get started on your search.

Joe Smith from Guaranteed Rate will be discussing the financing process. Financing is crucial in this market and Joe Smith will help you understand what is needed and what to expect.

David M. Datz, Esq. from David Marshall Datz P.C. law offices will explain everything from the legal standpoint of your real estate transaction and explain how we keep your interests protected.

Home Buying Process Class at StellaThe class will be at the restaurant Stella in the South End from 5:30-7pm on Tuesday January 29th 2013. We will have light refreshments and appetizers. We will have a Q&A session after our speeches, so please come with a pen, notebook, and any question you have about the home buying process. Please RSVP by January 24th by contacting Alisa Peterson at alisa.peterson@gibsonsir.com if you are interested in attending.

We are heading into another exciting real estate season and we want to get you as excited as we are!

Posted in Alisa Peterson, Boston Events, Buy Property, First Home, Investment Property, Matthew Gaskill, Real Estate Sales Market, Real Estate Tips, Realtor, Rent vs Buy, Things to Do in Boston | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What to Do Today to Sell Property Tomorrow

If you have sold property before, you may be aware that there is more to it than sticking a for sale sign in your yard. According to the a survey by the National Association of Realtors, 90% of buyers begin their search on the internet. Today’s buyers are much more savy about the real estate market than they may have been in the past. If you are planning to sell a house in 2013, you need to know every possible about your home now.

Sell Property Tomorrow, Start Planning Today1) Get all your paperwork in order.

If you have a single family home, find all the paperwork and receipts of work you’ve had done. If you up-dated the heating system, re-pointed the brick work, or had any other repairs or renovation work done, it is important, and buyers will want to know when and what you have had upgraded/repaired. If you are selling your condo, have the condo handbook accessible and start doing your research about the building. To avoid any pricing surprises, find out if there are any planned assessments, how many units are owner occupied, and if there is any commercial interest. If there is a high commercial interest and low owner occupancy (or other factors that might limit a buyer’s ability to secure financing), it will limit your pool of buyers. If the condo is deemed unwarrantable, only buyers who can put down 20-30% down will be able to get a mortgage from a portfolio lender. Any planned assessments you plan to pass on to the potential buyer will certainly be a turn off. If your property has any issues, it will be in your benefit to know beforehand so you can adjust your pricing expectations accordingly.

2) Start staging your home to sell now.

Start getting rid of everything you do not need or want. Two of the most common reasons properties don’t sell in a strong real estate market like this past year are price and a lack of staging. Don’t make the second mistake (or the first by pricing a home higher than the market value). Start seeing your home how you would want to see a home you are planning to buy. Get rid of all clutter and extra furniture. With so many out there who could use a helping hand, now is the perfect time to donate everything that will keep you from selling your property.

3) Talk to a Realtor.

This is a crucial part of the process whether you are buying property or selling property. Talk to a few Realtors. Learn how they would market your home and see if they understand your goals and needs. Some real estate agents are motivated to sell fast and others are motivated to get you the best possible price. Discuss what your plan is, why you are selling, and find someone you are comfortable with and trust to sell your property.

Selling property can be emotional, so it is very important to start the process of separating yourself from your soon-to-be former home. If 2013 spring real estate market is anything like we saw in 2012, you can sell property in as quickly as a day. You should start planning out exactly what your next move is now, so if your property does sell quickly, you know your next step and are excited for it.

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Search MLS Listings and Use Our Website’s Tools

We designed our website to give you the tools you need to achieve your real estate goals. We believe the combination of the best technology and attentive and knowledgeable Realtors will give you the advantage  in a competitive real estate market.

As you know, our website features every listing offered on the MLS, including those for sale by owner. Our website updates with the MLS each hour, so you know are getting the most accurate information available. On every one of the listings you have access to on our site, you can take advantage of the following:

  • Contact a Realtor with questions on the listing or to schedule a showing. No need to pick up the phone or even switch over to your email client since your request can be done directly from the listing.
  • Save the listing to a list of favorites, so you can easily access it later. You can use this to keep track of listings or to have easy access to listings you want to compare.
  • Save notes to the listing for you to reference later. By keeping your notes on our website, your notes will all be in one place and available for you whenever you want them.
  • Calculate mortgage payments with the integrated mortgage calculator. The mortgage calculator is adjustable, so you can change the down payment, interest rate, and loan term.
  • Get the opinion of friends and family with the ability to email the listing to anyone you want or share the listing to your social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest share buttons are all available on the page.
  • If you find some value in the Zillow Zestimate®, you can access this figure for each listing as well as many market and area demographics area compiled by Zillow. Although, if you rely on the Zillow Zestimate®, we should talk so I can explain how my knowledge will give you a better understanding of the real estate market than a number spit out by an algorithm.

We believe these tools will help make the most of your online search for property, but we also think your Realtor is another tool to be utilized in any real estate transaction. We are here to help and offer the guidance and advise you will not get from a website.

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How We Can Help You Decide Where to Live in Boston

Are you new to the area or looking for the neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle?

We are available to discuss and share our insights on the city and its neighborhoods. Trust us, we could talk about Boston and its neighborhoods for hours. But if you’d prefer to do some research on your own before you get us talking, our website is a great source.

We have integrated the website with resources such as Walk Score, education.com, Yelp, and Google Maps to help educate those in the midst of an international relocation and those looking for a new neighborhood to call home.

  • The Walk Score feature will provide one score for the walkability of a location and another score for its access to public transportation.
  • The Yelp integration allows you to locate nearby services including dry cleaners, coffee shops, grocery stores, health providers, athletic facilities and gyms, restaurants, and much more.
  • Our education.com feature will show area schools on a map, provide contact information, offer a brief description as well as a link to more thorough information and reviews on the education.com website.
  • By featuring Google Maps on our website, we are able to provide access directly to Google Street View without the need to leave the property listing.
  • The Zillow integration offers a variety of charts and data providing insight on the real estate market and area demographics.

We think these tools will give you the ability to find the area right for you and your lifestyle. Of course, I am always available to discuss in more detail or if you have any questions.

Schedule a consultation with a Realtor

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3 Tips to Stay Ahead of the Current Real Estate Market

Do you feel like you are a few steps behind the real estate market? Is every house you inquire on already under agreement?

This is one problem with the large national real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. These sites were not built with the intention to provide information, so they are not concerned with whether listings are current or accurate. Their intent is to sell leads to real estate agents and, to this end, the sites will withhold certain information to encourage you to contact one of their paying agents.

Our website is updated with the MLS each hour, so you know the information is current. Another benefit we can offer with our website is the ability to save your searches and have the system send you daily email summaries of any properties matching your criteria. The triggers prompting a listing to be added to your daily email alert include a new addition to the market, a price reduction, and status changes, which is helpful when a property goes back on the market after a buyer falls through. Watch the video above to see how easy it is to set up daily email alerts for MLS online casino listings.

You should also be aware every property does not make it to the internet. Some sellers do not want their property online at all, so the property is shopped around within the real estate community. Other properties are shared among agents before going public, so once it does hit the market buyers are already lined up. If you would like to set up a consult, our Realtors would be able to get a good idea of what you are looking for and alert you of any pocket listing matching your search criteria.

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