The following are a few of our most Frequently Asked Questions about real estate in Astoria, Long Island City and Queens. For more information, please contact us at 718.545.8300.

Your real estate agent will assist you in making an offer, which will include the following information:

  • Complete legal description of the property
  • Amount of earnest money
  • Down payment and financing details
  • Proposed move-in date
  • Price you are offering
  • Proposed closing date
  • Length of time the offer is valid
  • Details of the deal

Remember that a sale commitment depends on negotiating a satisfactory contract with the seller, not just making an offer.


Seller Tips

1. Clean up your daily / personal clutter in the kitchen, closets, storage spaces and some furniture qualifies as clutter. Don’t take ‘cleaning up’ your home personally, as it’s all about enabling the buyer to become attached to your home as you detach from it.
2. Fix up the interior by painting rooms that need it and fixing things buyers might encounter. Things to consider are the surface quality of the ceilings and walls, as well as the carpets and floors. If in poor shape, these can reduce the perceived value of your home. Also eliminate odors, fix any plumbing problems, and clean up the windows and doors.
3. Fix up the exterior so that it looks good, including yard work. And touch up the entrances so they look charming and appealing. When painting – go with neutral colors – this is not for you, this is for them.
4. Listing Agent works for you. They may also represent buyers, but ultimately they are working for the seller.
5. Beware brokers who ‘buy’ a listing by promising a higher sales price. Study the price analyses given by the brokers to see which makes most sense.
6. The listing contract specifies the obligations of the broker in terms of expected price range, seller’s commitment to sell the home and what’s included or not included in the sale, and the process for resolving disputes.
7. Marketing your home is done through other brokers, for sale signs, flyers, print and online ads and open houses. This advertising rarely results in a direct sale, as most sales are made by clients realtors have already been working with who likely responded to an advertisement on a home already sold. These pools of buyers become the real buyers of the next available properties.
8. Showing your home should be done by the broker and you shouldn’t be there because it generally makes home buyers feel like intruders. Turn on the lights as much as makes sense to brighten the home. Do not use fragrances, as it will cause buyers to suspect you’re masking something odorous. And empty the trash hours before the buyers come to see the home. Keep the home tidy, as nobody wants to tour an unkempt home.

It’s not required, but it’s a good idea. Following the inspection, the home inspector will be able to answer questions about the report and any problem areas. This is also an opportunity to hear an objective opinion on the home you’d like to purchase and it is a good time to ask general, maintenance questions.


Buyer Tips

Benefits of owning a home are enormous. Over time real estate can be one of the best investments a family can make. In many homes its a source of forced savings.

1. When planning to purchase a home, prepare your finances by paying off your debts and not moving money around. The same is true with respect to your employment as banks like to see tenure at your place of work.

2. Trying to time the market is difficult. If you’re going to live in the home for a long time, make sure you’re going to like the place and you should make out financially over the long haul.

3. Making an offer includes an offer price, what property is included in the sale, how much of a down payment will be made, who pays the closing costs, what the time table is for inspections, terms of cancellation and so forth.

4. The shape of the home will affect the value of the property and the investments that will have to be made following the purchase. Especially important are the structure of the home, including the basement and the roof, and its plumbing, electrical and heating systems.

5. Title insurance and pest control. More later.

6. Be sure your lawyer puts in buyer safeguards for any property deficiencies known by the seller. This should be a standard practice, but it’s worth checking.

7. Financing the home includes a number of variables. The size of the down payment can increase or reduce your payments, as can the length or term of the mortgage. Fixed versus variable rates will also affect your payments not just now, but in the future. Be sure to include taxes and insurance in estimating the total cost of your home payments and in figuring out how much you can afford.

Happy Home Hunters choose Halvatzis Realty for Astoria / LIC & Queens real estate.