Between home-showing appointments, house closings, and the hours of research he puts in on behalf of his clients, my son Dovid (aka David, in the business world) allowed me to pin him down just long enough to get this exclusive WWW interview.
Q: What real estate agency are you associated with and what do you enjoy most about your profession?
A: I am a realtor with Prudential PenFed Realty. Although I work primarily in the residential sector, I also help clients with 10-31 exchanges in commercial real estate. I enjoy meeting all types of people and helping them find their dream home.
Q: Do you have a personal heartwarming realtor story that you can share with our WWW readers?
A: One client called me after losing a home he really wanted to buy while using another realtor. I found him a house that night. To this day, every time I see him, he thanks me for finding his family their home. It makes me feel really good to see how happy I can make people, especially after putting in so much hard work.
Q: Do you have any cute or funny personal realtor stories to share?
A: I was showing a million-dollar property to a client who needed to use the restroom. Before he did so, I mentioned how it would be smart to test out the plumbing before purchasing. After he tested it, let’s just say the plumbing failed.
Q: How important, if at all, is Location, Location, Location?
A: Location is always most important – although people are sometimes willing to forego it to get other things on their home buying checklist that they prefer not to compromise on. Location is even more important to my frum clients, who wish to live within close proximity to the shul they want to attend.
Q: I’ve always heard that if you want to sell your house, you should wait until spring. What is your opinion?
A: I don’t agree with this theory. There are buyers looking for homes throughout the year. I have found that the most serious buyers are always on the lookout to find their dream home – even in the winter. If you are a seller, you may have more people looking at your home in the winter because of the limited availability out there. The first quarter of the year is the ideal time to put your home on the market, before the market becomes saturated in the second “spring market” quarter. Mortgage rates have fluctuated between 3 and 5% over the past couple of years. Many analysts are projecting that mortgage rates will exceed 5% by the end of 2014, and buyers who realize that a difference of a half-percent on a 30-year mortgage will cost them tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan, may want to buy early into 2014.
Q: Are you the type of realtor who gives the “hard sell”?
A: No, but I do offer my opinion, so homebuyers can make a smart decision based on it. Purchasing a home is perhaps the biggest transaction one will make in a lifetime, and this difficult decision shouldn’t be rushed. Although I don’t believe in pressuring clients, I do aggressively represent the buyer or seller once they have come to their own decision.
Q: What advice can you give to first-time homebuyers?
A: Before you even begin your house search, ask yourself, what are the advantages of owning versus renting? What will my total monthly housing cost be, including taxes and homeowners insurance? Will I be spending more than 28 percent of my income on housing costs? If these things check out, get pre-qualified by a lender. This will put you at an advantage if you see a home you like, so that you will not lose out to a bidder who is pre-qualified.
Lastly, make sure you use a realtor who is on top of things and makes you a priority. A proactive agent can help you find your dream home as soon as it comes out on the market!