Residential Experts Share Trade Secrets and Insight at REBNY Roundtable Discussion

-- Downtown Committee Event Provides New Perspective on Industry Issues --

New York, June 20, 2013:  The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY’s) Annual Breakfast Roundtable Discussion hosted by the Downtown Committee on Friday, June 14 drew in residential real estate professionals eager for insight and tips on navigating the challenges of today’s real estate market.

Residential experts including brokers, appraisers and mortgage bankers shared their insights on various market topics. Participants spent 20 minutes discussing a topic and asking questions before moving to the next table to interact with another expert. The discussions offered participants the opportunity to seek advice on trends in the market and how to improve their own success.

“The speakers were selected from REBNY’s network of top-notch professionals, giving participants the opportunity to get multiple perspectives on the industry’s pressing issues, trends and transactions,” said Co-Chair of REBNY’s Downtown Committee, Karen Gastiaburo of Warburg Realty Partnership. “The advice, best practices and do’s and don’ts shared at REBNY events like this are key in helping our members succeed in the industry.”

Topics and speakers were: “Ethical Behavior,” by Frederick Peters of Warburg Realty Partnership; “Competitive Bidding,” by Richard Grossman of Halstead Property; “CPA/New Taxes,” by Stephen B. Wetter of Wetter & Covertini; “Credit Scores,” by Solomon Algazi of CreditServicez; “Appraisals,” by Michael Vargas of Vanderbilt Appraisal Company; “Developments,” by Stephen Kliegerman of Halstead Property; “50 Shades of Negotiating Mortgage Contingencies,” by Ari Harkov of Halstead Property; and “The Importance of Gaining Pre-Approval in a Seller’s Market,” by Adam Turkewitz of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

A few highlights from the event included Frederick Peters of Warburg Realty Partnership who raised the question: Do brokers have the moral courage to do what they think is right when approached with an ethical dilemma? He suggested that brokers have a fiduciary duty to provide care, full disclosure, absolute loyalty, confidentiality and obedience to clients. Peters also suggested that brokers owe certain fiduciary duties to the party in the negotiation who they are not representing, namely honesty and disclosure of material fact.

Richard Grossman of Halstead Property discussed the best practices for winning multiple bid situations. He reasoned that the agent that is the most transparent and responsive, without giving away their clients’ secrets, can effectuate the most successful multiple bid situation and maintain their good reputation in the industry. 

Stephen B. Wetter, a CPA for Wetter & Covertini, shed light on how brokers can help clients qualify for a mortgage just by taking a look at their income tax return form. Using a mock form as an example, Wetter helped brokers to see which deductions declared on the form can be added back to the income total when applying for a mortgage.

Solomon Agazi of CreditServicez stressed the importance of credit scores in property transactions. He explained that most people don’t realize that the debt utilization ratio is an important factor if you’re looking to maximize lift in a credit score. 

Michael Vargas of the Vanderbilt Appraisal Company shared his insight on the industry, predicting that the real estate market in New York City will continue to be a sellers’ market until 2014 when inventory is expected to rise to a more stabilized level. Until then, this is a good time for sellers to enter the market because of low inventory. The challenge for appraisers, he says, is keeping up with current pricing in a changing market particularly when there is a lack of comparable sales.

Stephen Kliegerman of Halstead Property offered valuable tips when approaching new development sales. He advised brokers to be ready to register their buyers and themselves for a viewing as soon as they hear about a new development. Kliegerman also cautioned brokers to be respectful of the on-site sales team, adding value with comments, but being careful when voicing opinions to maintain a good rapport with both the buyer and the on-site sales team.

Ari Harkov of Halstead Property outlined the basic parameters that frame discussion and decision-making when negotiating mortgage contingencies. Harkov advised brokers to manage expectations upfront by prepping buyers on bidding strategy, the negotiable length of contingency, and the risk of the loan coming in below the buyer expectations.

Adam Turkewitz of Wells Fargo Home Mortgage emphasized the benefit of gaining pre-approval in property transactions. Although it adds a few days to the process, taking the extra step beyond pre-qualification will help the buyer secure the property they desire.

About The Real Estate Board of New York  

The Real Estate Board of New York is the city’s leading real estate trade association with more than 13,000 members.  REBNY represents major commercial and residential property owners and builders, brokers and managers, banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects, contractors and other individuals and institutions professionally interested in the city’s real estate.  REBNY is involved in crucial municipal matters including tax policy, city planning and zoning, rental conditions, land use policy, building codes and legislation.  In addition, REBNY publishes reports providing indicators of market prices for both the residential and commercial sectors.

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