Page 1

A GUIDE TO

BUYING

& SELLING


©2017 SIGNATURE PREMIER PROPERTIES ALL MATERIAL PRESENTED HEREIN IS INTENDED FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY. WHILE THIS INFORMATION IS BELIEVED TO BE CORRECT, IT IS REPRESENTED SUBJECT TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, CHANGES, OR WITHDRAWAL WITHOUT NOTICE. REPRODUCTION OF THE ARTICLES OR PHOTOS CONTAINED HEREIN WITHOUT THE EXPRESS WRITTEN CONSENT OF SIGNATURE PREMIER PROPERTIES IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED. EQUAL HOUSING OPPORTUNITY


TABLE OF CONTENTS


06

24

OUR STORY

A brief story about Signature Premier Properties and our accomplishments.

TOWNSHIPS

Explore Long Island and learn about its various neighborhoods and townships.

12

38

DIVISIONS

A look into the divisions within Signature Premier Properties that make us the strongest real estate company.

18

PARTNERS

We partner with the best in the business to help bring their skills and success to our clientele.

BUYER’S GUIDE

A series of helpful articles everyone needs to know when buying a home.

50

SELLER’S GUIDE

Helpful tips and resources to help you get ready to sell your home for the highest price.


6 | Buyer & Seller Guide

The Signature Story is your story.

It’s a story with a positive ending — whether you are buying or selling a home.

Our family of professionals is committed to success – and proves it every day by providing home buyers and sellers with the highest level of personalized service and support. It’s a positive approach that moves us forward. Today, we are the fastest-growing real estate company on Long Island.

Real Estate the Way You Want it To Be — That’s the Signature Difference

Founder Peter Morris and co-owner Kathy Viard share a visionary strategy focused on clients, community, and carefully targeted expansion that has propelled us into Long Island’s fastest-growing real estate firm. Peter and Kathy’s involved leadership is at the heart of Signature Premier Properties’ success. They’re committed to providing their agents with the guidance, tools, and support to meet your needs. They understand that for most of us, buying or selling a home really is a big deal. And they know that there is a real hunger for a locally owned, non-franchised, independent real estate model. Signature Premier Properties is built on delivering knowledgeable, personalized guidance and professional advice throughout each stage of every real estate transaction. By fulfilling this promise, we’ve grown from a single agent to more than 600 agents in ten short years. Each community we move into consistently rewards us with command of its local market share.

It’s Personal

Our agents are the foundation of our firm. Our Signature team is a family of like-minded professionals — always growing, while supporting each other and our clients’ success. Each Signature Premier Properties agent has demonstrated affection for and knowledge of their community, and a clear talent and enthusiasm for buying and selling real estate. For them, helping others find that special place to call home is a deeply personal calling. By working in a non-competitive environment free of the red tape that defines large franchises, our team is able to offer individually personalized service. They are equally comfortable working with ever-evolving social media platforms and traditional marketing strategies. Their goal is always the same, to help you meet your needs and objectives.


700

Signature Has Grown From 1 to 800+ Agents

570

364 302

242 188 139 93 59 34 1

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

*Information gathered from MLSLI 2007 - Present

Yesterday — and Today

The Signature Story began in a little house in Huntington Village in 2007. Our team of homegrown professionals live where you live; we’re your neighbors. Our devoted attention to you and your needs has allowed us to continue to expand into communities where we live, work, and play. Today, you’ll find our offices not only in Huntington, but also in Northport, Cold Spring Harbor, Dix Hills, Smithtown, Syosset, Babylon, East Northport, Woodbury, Locust Valley, and Merrick. In our recent merger with The Donnelly Group, we have opened our doors in Garden City, Garden City South, and Floral Park. Our signposts are proudly displayed across Long Island and we love it when you tell us, “I see your signs everywhere.”

“My vision is to provide a community-focused, independent real estate group of top producers able to be flexible and creative in the face of ever-changing markets and trends.” — Peter Morris, Founder/Co-Owner | lreb

Signature Cares

With our Long Island roots, Signature Premier Properties is uniquely connected to our communities. We want life on Long Island to be even better; and we know where and how to help. Giving back to the communities we serve is in our DNA.

We want to make a difference. That’s why our Signature Cares Division helps fund everything from annual holiday drives, such as local coat drives, food drives, Toys for Tots, and to other programs such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and local veteran charities that directly benefit the communities we call home. “Signature’s phenomenal success story is built on empowering and supporting our agents, so that they are able to put our clients first – every time, without exception.” — Kathy Viard, Co-Owner | lreb


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WHY WORK WITH A SIGNATURE AGENT? Choosing the right real estate agent to represent you can be a difficult decision. Let us take a deeper look into what makes a Signature Premier Properties real estate agent right for you.


Signature Premier Properties | 9

KNOWLEDGE & EXPERIENCE Signature Premier Properties’ foundation is focused on giving our agents the tools to succeed. We have weekly trainings to keep our agents at the top of the industry. POWERFUL NETWORK Our Signature Premier Properties agents are part of a family of over 600 agents. This powerful network of professionals supports one another and ensures success. MARKETING LOCALLY & GLOBALLY Signature Premier Properties’ in-house print and digital marketing team provides our agents with everything they need to successfully market and sell properties. WE LOVE OUR COMMUNITIES Our Signature Cares Division allows us to give back to the communities we love. Our agents come together to support local charities and families in need.

“OUR SIGNATURE FAMILY IS A GREAT GROUP OF LIKE-MINDED PROFESSIONALS WHO LOVE, SUPPORT AND CELEBRATE EACH OTHER.” – KATHY VIARD, CO-OWNER | lreb


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Our Locations BABYLON

HUNTINGTON

PATCHOGUE

COLD SPRING HARBOR

LOCUST VALLEY

ROCKVILLE CENTRE

DIX HILLS

MASSAPEQUA PARK

SMITHTOWN

EAST NORTHPORT

MEDFORD

SYOSSET

FLORAL PARK

MERRICK

WOODBURY

GARDEN CITY

NORTHPORT

126 West Main Street Babylon, NY 11702 P: 631.422.3100 | F: 631.422.3101 157 Main Street Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 P: 631.692.4800 | F: 631.692.4801 15 East Deer Park Road Dix Hills, NY 11746 P: 631.673.3900 | F: 631.673.3901 190 Laurel Road East Northport, NY 11731 P: 631.368.6800 | F: 631.368.6880 142 Plainfield Avenue Floral Park, NY 11001 P: 516.492.3210 | F: 516.492.3209 730 Franklin Avenue Garden City, NY 11530 P: 516.741.4333 | F: 516.741.4330

157 East Main Street Huntington, NY 11743 P: 631.673.3700 | F: 631.673.3359 41 The Plaza - Building #1 Locust Valley, NY 11560 P: 516.759.4400 | F: 516.759.4401 4863 Merrick Road Massapequa NY, 11762 P: 516.799.7100 | F: 516.799.7110

3080 Route 112 Medford NY 11763 P: 631.512.4520 | F:631.475.5700 2170 Merrick Avenue Merrick, NY 11566 P: 516.546.6300 | F: 516.546.6310 172 Main Street Northport, NY 11768 P: 631.754.3600 | F: 631.754.3601

27 South Ocean Ave Patchogue, NY 11772 P: 631.475.5700 | F: 516.496.0301 75 Seaman Ave Rockville Centre NY, 11570 P: 516.766.7900 | F: 516.766.2900 7 West Main Street Smithtown, NY 11787 P: 631.360.2800 | F: 631.360.2810 33 Jackson Avenue Syosset, NY 11791 P: 516.921.1400 | F: 516.921.1438 7952 Jericho Turnpike Woodbury, NY 11797 P: 516.496.0300 | F: 516.496.0301


SIGNATURE DIVISIONS


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55+ Division

ASSISTING THE SENIOR COMMUNITY Our 55+ Division is dedicated to educating our agents so that they may guide, advise, and provide real estate resources and timely information for this growing group of people as they age and want to remain on Long Island. We are proud that our agents have earned the prestigious Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation (SRES®). A SRES® agent is a licensed salesperson or broker in good standing with the National Association of Realtors® and is trained, experienced, and knowledgeable in meeting seniors’ specific needs. We can help make wise decisions about financing, buying or renting, managing the tax implications of owning real estate, and other issues such as steering clear of loan schemes and scams that victimize senior borrowers. We understand the many decisions a senior and their families face as they

downsize from large, single family homes, need help with reverse mortgage information, or other “aging in place” initiatives. If you are thinking of buying, selling or relocating, use the experience and knowledge of a Signature Premier Properties Seniors Real Estate Specialist to carefully guide you through the transaction.

Equestrian Division Signature Premier Properties’ Equestrian Division understands your needs as either a buyer or seller for horse properties. Our Equestrian Division will find you and your horse the perfect home and barn. Our experts will listen to all of your equine needs and will find you the perfect property. Our equine experts are equestrians themselves and are familiar with the locations of riding trails and other facilities that you or your horse may need. Our specialized agents can offer marketing strategies that no other agency can. We will network within the equestrian community and will use our in-depth database to market your home and equine facility. Equestrian properties have specific requirements such as lot size and local zoning laws which allows us to educate the horse property’s buyer or seller. There are many horse friendly neighborhoods; we will not stop until we find the perfect home and equine property for you.


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Signature Cares Signature Cares was built on the foundation of family, community and support. Our mission is to support the communities we serve and give back to those who have been so welcoming to us. 22-DAY PUSH-UP CHALLENGE

During the months of October and November 2016, we were engaged in the Long Island community with the 22-Day Push-up Challenge for our veterans. What began in East Northport soon took to the road as we brought the challenge to each of our offices, local fire departments, Town Halls, local High Schools, and other well established venues; all of which have participated in the challenge or helped donate to the cause. This past Veterans Day marked the final day of the challenge where we presented $100,000 donations to five veteran charities – each receiving $20,000 at the Huntington Country Club.

BREAST CANCER WALK

Each year, Signature Premier Properties’ agents and staff walk together and raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. We are so proud to support this amazing cause.

SIGNATURE PARK

We were able to turn a one-acre overgrown area into a fully fenced dog park for the animals at the Little Shelter. The animals are now able to run free and enjoy themselves while they are at the Adoption Center. The dogs love their new park!

BLOOD DRIVE

To support the New York Blood Center we host an annual blood drive. Our agents as well as members of the community come together to donate blood to New York hospitals.

SWAB EVENT

Signature Cares recently took on an amazing new cause. Several of our offices hosted a Swab Event, which gave people the opportunity to be swabbed and added to the National Bone Marrow Registry. The whole initiative had 407 people swabbed – it only takes 1 match to save a life! Over $3,000 was donated.


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Signature Staging Real estate staging is the act of preparing and showcasing residential or commercial properties for sale. It is a systematic and coordinated methodology in which knowledge of real estate, home renovations, and harmonious design principles are applied to appeal to potential buyers. Unlike Interior Design, which is a very custom and specific approach to decorating, home staging is the strategic marketing of a property. Professionally staged homes sell for an average of 6-10% more versus a home that is not staged. Additionally, staged homes sell significantly faster than un-staged homes averaging of a minimum of 50% faster sales. Staging is always significantly less expensive than the first price reduction. According to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR®), the average staging investment is between 1-3% of the home’s selling price. This investment generates an average return of 8-10% more.

Photos of professionally staged listings appear better online. The Internet drives buyers to a specific property. Professionally staged homes will get more showings than un-staged homes. In controlled tests, selling identical homes, professionally staged vs. those not staged, the non-staged homes sold in 102 days while the staged homes sold in 45 days. This means huge savings in carrying costs. Staging is required to sell a home as quickly as possible and for as much as possible. THERE IS NO BETTER SHORT TERM INVESTMENT A HOME SELLER CAN MAKE THAN PROFESSIONAL STAGING.” – BARBARA CORCORAN

*Source: National Association of Realtors


International Backed by Signature Premier Properties’ unrivaled local expertise and extensive access, the International Division works collaboratively with our agents to help international buyers find the right home. We understand the unique needs and challenges that international buyers face; from language and cultural barriers to community orientation. We take pride in our highly personalized service to our international clients by our dedicated experts and bi-lingual professionals. The International Division further enhances Signature Premier Properties’ marketing service for your home by providing exposure to a global network. We understand the importance of reaching out and educating potential buyers about our great communities to live and raise families in. Finally, a selection of our luxury listings are marketed internationally through popular foreign websites, social media, print and digital publications; targeting affluent global investors and buyers. We strive to harness the power of technology to bring qualified buyers to the table.

Relocation The Signature Relocation Division guarantees outstanding service, ongoing commitment, and results when working with buyers and sellers on a local, national, or international platform. Whether you are buying a second home or purchasing an investment property, a Signature Premier Properties agent can connect you with a real estate agent anywhere in the world. With our client’s criteria in mind, we use the various resources at our disposal to find the perfect home. In today’s inter-connected global economy, an international workforce is required. Our Relocation Division has relationships with prominent real estate agencies, reliable moving companies, and third party relocation professionals all over the world which gives us the resources to make your big move as seamless as possible. We know how stressful it can be to relocate and we will make certain that your next move is a positive and smooth experience. Signature Premier Properties is comprised of only “the best of the best,” and whether you are looking for a home down the street or a remote island in the Caribbean, Signature Premier Properties can find it for you. As an affiliate member of the industry’s largest broker-to-broker network all over the world, you can always count on us and feel very comfortable to recommend any one of our agents to help you, your family, or friends with their next move.


SIGNATURE PARTNERS


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Ensignia Premier Title

EXPERTS IN TITLE INSURANCE

Ensignia Premier Title Agency is a full-service, residential and commercial title insurance agency located in East Northport, New York. They provide related services to real estate agents, attorneys, developers, lenders and more. Founded in 2010 by a trio of talented and experienced real estate professionals, Ensignia Premier Title has rapidly grown to become an industry leader in the Long Island and metropolitan areas. When purchasing a home, you have the right to choose your title company. By choosing a title company that you can trust, you are protecting the most important investment you’ll ever make – the investment in your home. Title insurance is issued after a careful examination of copies of the public record. But even the most thorough search cannot absolutely assure that no title hazards are present, despite the knowledge and experience of professional title examiners. In addition to matters shown by public records, other title problems may exist that cannot be disclosed in a search. Title insurance is not a policy of guaranty of title, but is a policy of indemnity for an actual loss. Unlike other types of insurances, title insurance is a one-time fee paid at closing.

Title insurance provides protection from those hidden hazards that can threaten the financial investment in the home. For example: • • • • • • • • • •

False impersonation of the true owner of the property Forged deeds, releases or wills Undisclosed or missing heirs Instruments executed under invalid or expired power of attorney Mistakes in recording legal documents Misinterpretations of wills Deeds by persons of unsound mind or legal disability Deeds by persons supposedly single, but in fact married Liens for unpaid estates, inheritance, income or gift taxes Fraud

Ensignia’s mission is to surpass the expectations of each of their customers by offering a premium level of customer service and professionalism. For more information please call 631.923.1338 or visit ensigniapremier.com © 2017 Ensignia Premier Title


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Commercial

REAL ESTATE FOR BUSINESSES Signature Premier Properties’ Commercial Division is a Long Island based commercial real estate firm that offers a full suite of services to our clients. Here, we take a team approach to incorporate proven systems and progressive technology along with a vast knowledge of the commercial real estate market on Long Island which gives our clients unparalleled service. Our team is comprised of well-practiced & skilled real estate professionals with the ability to handle the many facets of commercial real estate. • • • • • • • • • • • •

Acquisition and disposition Corporate real estate services Energy and sustainability consulting Landlord and tenant lease representation Lease administration Location/site selection Marketing research and analysis Property development consulting services Property valuation Relocation services Rent review and lease renewal REO/Distressed asset management services


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Morris Construction FOUNDED ON THE PRINCIPLES OF QUALITY, VALUE, AND INTEGRITY

Morris Construction is a locally owned construction company that prides itself on providing innovative, well-designed, and solidly constructed homes. Founded on the principals of quality, value and integrity, Peter Morris, owner of Morris Construction, has been building homes in Huntington and the surrounding area since 1994. Since then, Peter has built over 250 homes, including several small communities and many spot locations, as well as custom projects on homeowners’ own land. Unlike impersonal, national builders, the principals of Morris Construction are involved in the communities in which they build. Morris Construction has a wonderful staff of professionals that will work with their clients from start to finish. They will walk you through the process and make sure that it is a positive experience. Whether you are ready to move in right away or if you would like to take some time to build the new home of your dreams, there is no better choice on Long Island than Morris Construction. For more information please call 631.332.0118 or visit morrisconstructionli.com Š 2017 Morris Construction


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Cross Country Mortgage It’s more than a mortgage. It’s the keys to your future.

That’s why I’ll ensure it’s a positive experience from start to finish. Whether you’re buying your first home, are investing in real estate, or are upgrading to a luxury property, I’ll help you identify the right financing solution to achieve your financial and homeownership goals: ■ Conventional mortgages with adjustable or fixed interest rates ■ Down payment assistance and state bond programs ■ FHA home loans with a low 3.5% down payment requirement ■ FHA 203(k) home loans for financing a home and qualifying repairs ■ Investment property financing programs ■ Jumbo mortgages with financing up to $3 million ■ USDA rural home loans with no down payment required ■ VA home loans with 100% financing for those who’ve served ■ Niche programs for self-employed and foreign borrowers ■ FastTrack Credit Approval program for closing in as few as 10 days with a signed purchase agreement Get your no-obligation, competitive!

Get your no-obligation, competitive rate quote now!

631.546.0950 CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. 14 Commerce Drive, Suite 400 Cranford, NJ 07016 NMLS3029 NMLS1600235 Licensed Mortgage Banker-NYS Department of Financial Services. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. is an FHA Approved Lending Institution and is not acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the Federal government. Certificate of Eligibility required for VA loans. Subject property and borrower income/credit must qualify to USDA guidelines. NMLS3029 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org). Copyright © 2017 CrossCountry Mortgage, Inc. Rev. 06.2017 CCM0019


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Contour Mortgage For Over 20 Years Contour Mortgage Corporation Has Been Helping People To Not Only Realize The Dream Of Home Ownership But Also Help Them Discover How Their Home’s Equity Can Create Financial Opportunities. About Us

As one of the premier mortgage bankers on the East Coast, Contour Mortgage Corporation is uniquely qualified to find the right loan program to suit our clients’ individual needs. Whether that means a niche mortgage product or conforming products, we offer the very competitive mortgage rates, Contour has the resources and products to find a reliable solution for anyone. We have experience working with first time home buyers. Whether they are looking to purchase their first or fifth home, we are committed to working with them as a partner to help them understand their financing options. Our core priority is to always put the consumer first, and as a result, we continue to have one of the highest referral and repeat client rates in the industry.

What Contour Mortgage Offers • • • • • •

Purchase FHA Refinance Reverse Mortgages VA Loans 203k Rehab Loans

• • • • • •

Multi-Family Loans Jumbo Mortgages Jumbo Alternative Investment Properties Condo/Co-op 97% Conventional

Contour Mortgage Corporation | 990 Stewart Ave, Suite 660 Garden City, NY 11530 | Toll Free: 888-417-5757 | www.contourmortgage.com Licensed Mortgage Banker | NYS Dept. of Financial Services | NMLS# 34384 CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TN, TX, VA, WA


NASSAU SNAPSHOT


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NASSAU COUNTY AT A GLANCE

Stretching from the Long Island Sound to the Atlantic Ocean, Nassau County offers something for everyone. A combination of careful master planning and expansive recreational, educational, and essential services, Nassau County has grown to be one of the most sought after suburbs in the country. Just 20 miles from Times Square, Nassau County offers world class shopping and fine dining throughout. For relaxation one can visit Jones Beach, the largest public beach in the country and Bethpage State Park, home of the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Open with its five world-renowned golf courses. Countless other parks, ball fields, picnic areas, ice rinks, and nature preserves enable its residents to enjoy the outdoors. In addition to its fine colleges and universities, other educational pursuits are enhanced by visits to Museum Row in Garden City, Old Bethpage Village Restoration, and Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, the home of Theodore Roosevelt. Nassau’s booming hi-tech industry provides the perfect opportunity to live and work in Nassau County.


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CITY OF GLEN COVE

On the North Shore of Nassau County, bordered by the Town of Oyster Bay, is the City of Glen Cove. Residents can take advantage of the beaches, picnic areas, and walkways with scenic views. The City of Glen Cove is also home to the St. Rocco’s Feast: “The Best Feast In The East.”

WHY NASSAU...

Growing up in Nassau and having raised a daughter here, I have experienced every facet of what Nassau County has to offer. My family benefited from its great schools, community pride, local sporting events, and entertainment options evident in every town. In Nassau, there are many activities that can fill your day such as baseball, ice skating, sailing, bike riding, and swimming. Growing up in the local community provided us with many parks and different areas for our children to meet and socialize. Trips to the Nassau Coliseum were a special treat! Seeing Disney on Ice shows or watching The Islanders are special memories I have. Friendly interaction with neighbors and a sense of safety were the dominant feelings that still exist today.

Stephen Caronia

Locust Valley Branch Manager, lareb

CITY OF LONG BEACH

On the South Shore of Long Island in Nassau County you will find the City of Long Beach. This city was nicknamed “The City By The Sea.” The 2 ½ mile long boardwalk was built in 1914 with the help of elephants! The City of Long Beach is very well known for its beaches where you can spend the day sun bathing, swimming, surfing, and much more.


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TOWN OF HEMPSTEAD

The Town of Hempstead has many fun things to do and places to visit such as Valley Stream State Park and Hempstead Lake State Park. However, the most popular place to visit here is Jones Beach State Park. With 6.5 miles of beautiful beach, this 2,400 acre park also has a lovely 2-mile boardwalk to stroll down.

TOWN OF N. HEMPSTEAD

Located in the northwest region of Nassau County is the Town of North Hempstead. In the early 1900’s the North Shore of Hempstead became known as “The Gold Coast.” Some of the town’s best attractions are the North Hempstead Beach Park, Gerry Pond Park, Clark Botanic Gardens, and Old Westbury Gardens.

TOWN OF OYSTER BAY

The only town that extends from the North Shore to the South Shore in Nassau County is the Town of Oyster Bay. It’s one of the most suburban environments and the communities are famous for their well-manicured landscaping and quaint shopping areas. It is also the home to many great parks and fun places to take your family!


SUFFOLK SNAPSHOT


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SUFFOLK COUNTY AT A GLANCE

Come spend a day and stay for a lifetime! Suffolk County is the easternmost county in the state of New York. From its Atlantic ocean beaches stretching the southern coastline, to the quaint bays that dot the shoreline, and the Long Island Sound on the northern coast, this peninsula of land has it all. Founded by the Dutch in the late 1600’s and home to many prominent forefathers such as Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, August Heckscher, Vanderbilt, and many more it shouldn’t even be a question as to why Suffolk County should be where you call home. The land and waterways in Suffolk have been a great resource to farming and fishing for centuries. From potato farming and whaling to the wineries & lobstering industry, Suffolk is a county that has it all. Industrial parks & business corridors bring many businesses to Suffolk County. The commute to New York City and the surrounding areas is also convenient from many of the local suburbs. These features are only part of what makes Suffolk County such a great place to live.


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TOWN OF BABYLON

Babylon is named after the ancient city of Babylon in Mesopotamia. Some of the most popular places to visit are the town beaches, the Fire Island Lighthouse and Museum, Captree Island and Belmont Lake State Park. The Township of Babylon has so much to explore!

WHY SUFFOLK...

I moved to Suffolk County 20 years ago when I was expecting my first child. I grew up in Queens and always loved having everything nearby. The transition to Suffolk County ended up being seamless and a pleasant surprise. There is no place else I would want to live! The open green space, fabulous water front villages, and thriving downtowns offered me more than I ever expected. Suffolk County allows for an active lifestyle with its many parks, golf courses, bike/hiking trails, and water sports. A weekly visit to the farmer’s market and a trip out to the Huntington Lighthouse on my paddle board are two of my favorite activities to do around town! When it’s time for an adventure, I head east – whether its pumpkin picking on the North Fork, or spending a week at the ocean’s edge in Montauk, Suffolk County has provided years of happiness for me and my family!

Donna Spinoso-Gelb

Huntington Branch Manager, lareb

TOWN OF BROOKHAVEN

The Town of Brookhaven has the highest resident population in all of Suffolk County and has many wonderful spots to visit. Enjoy the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville, multiple beaches and ferries to bring you to Fire Island and Connecticut, or Avalon Park & Preserve in Stony Brook. Experience all the fun Brookhaven has to offer!


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TOWN OF EAST HAMPTON

At the eastern end of Suffolk County on the South Shore you will find a popular tourist community. East Hampton is known for its many beaches, nature trails and golf courses. Visit Montauk Village and Lighthouse, Hither Hills State Park or take the ferry to Block Island.

TOWN OF HUNTINGTON

Located in the northwestern part of Suffolk County is the Town of Huntington. Huntington grew from a primarily agricultural and shipping area, to a hot spot for tourist attractions and a commuter hub into the city. Visit the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium, Heckscher Park, Heckscher Museum of Art, Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum and Fish Hatchery, and Huntington and Cold Spring Harbor’s bustling Main Streets brimming with many fine shops and restaurants.

TOWN OF ISLIP

On the South Shore of Long Island in Suffolk County, you will find the Town of Islip. This town is a varied and beautiful place to live. It is home to many ocean beaches, bays, lakes, canals, ponds, forest fields, and historic villages. The town has great water access which is part of the reason why the town has expanded to the size it is today.


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TOWN OF RIVERHEAD

Located on the North Shore of Long Island in Suffolk County is the Town of Riverhead, home of many great attractions! The most popular places are the Long Island Aquarium, Splish Splash Water Park, The Tanger Outlets, Indian Island County Park and many beautiful vineyards.

TOWN OF SHELTER ISLAND

At the eastern end of Long Island is the Town of Shelter Island. Only accessible by ferry, it sits between the North and South Fork. Visit the Nature Conservancy which takes up half of the island. Shelter Island is also known for its bike-friendly terrain and beautiful beaches!


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TOWN OF SMITHTOWN

Originally known as Smithfield, now known as the Town of Smithtown, it is located on the North Shore of Long Island. Visit Caleb Smith State Park Preserve, Frank Brush Barn, Sunken Meadow State Park, and Nissequogue River State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park and Blydenburgh Park Historic District.

TOWN OF SOUTHAMPTON

Located on the South Fork of Long Island is the Town of Southampton. Enjoy the many beaches, Southampton Historical Museum, or Shinnecock East County Park and Marina – where you can go fishing, surfing, swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, scuba diving, bird watching, and much more!

TOWN OF SOUTHOLD

On the North Fork of Long Island, at the northeastern tip of Suffolk County is the Town of Southold. It is considered by many to be the first English settlement on Long Island. Visit the township’s many nature preserves, beautiful vineyards, and fresh farm stands.


QUEENS SNAPSHOT


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QUEENS AT A GLANCE

Sitting on the western end of Long Island is the largest of the five NYC boroughs – Queens. Established in 1683, Queens is home to many wonderful attractions that make Long Island such an amazing place to live. Famous for the New York Mets, Citi Field, Queens Zoo, MoMa PS1, and the 1964 World’s Fair, Queens is a central hub of classic New York culture. Central to the neighborhood as well is the Queens Museum, known for the “Panorama,” which is the largest scale building model of all of New York City. Queens is perfect for travelers, with easy access to LaGuardia Airport and JFK International Airport. Local commuters can ride the Long Island Rail Road from its many stations across Long Island. Jamaica Station has become a central terminal which offers residents the ability to commute directly to NYC, Long Island, or Brooklyn, and can even ride the air train to JFK International Airport. Halfway between New York City and the waterfront coasts of Long Island, Queens invites its residents to create experiences that will be remembered for generations to come.


NORTHWESTERN QUEENS

Here, you will find places like Long Island City which is a residential and commercial neighborhood with an ongoing, rapid growth in residential and gentrification locations. A thriving area for the art community, this neighborhood is perfect for the up and coming artist.

NORTHEASTERN QUEENS

In Northeast Queens you will find Citi Field, home of the New York Mets located in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park. It is also home to the famous Unisphere, representing global independence, which was part of the popular New York World’s Fair 1964-1965. The fair represented “Peace Through Understanding.”

CENTRAL QUEENS

What would Queens be without the unbelievable beauty of Central Queens? You can find neighborhoods here such as Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and Forest Hills Gardens. These neighborhoods are charming and unique. Even though these areas are densely populated, they are green and airy and filled with tree-lined streets.


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SOUTHEASTERN QUEENS

Jamaica, Queens – home to some of New York’s busiest transportation terminals. Jamaica Station is the largest transit hub on Long Island with weekday ridership exceeding 200,000 passengers. It is also home to JFK International Airport, which is the busiest international passenger gateway into the US.

SOUTHWESTERN QUEENS

This diverse neighborhood is filled with a history defined by transportation routes. Richmond Hill is known for the historic triangle where Jamaica Ave and Myrtle Ave meet. All of these neighborhoods are surrounded by the Belt Parkway and Cross Bay Boulevard.

THE ROCKAWAYS

In the southernmost part of Queens are The Rockaways – a small peninsula separating Jamaica Bay from the Atlantic Ocean. There are some beachy areas in these neighborhoods such as Breezy Point, Roxbury, and Broad Channel, as well as certain areas that overlook the beautiful Manhattan skyline on a clear day.


BUYER’S GUIDE


Signature Premier Properties | 39

The Home Buying Process For most home buyers, the purchasing of real estate is one of the largest financial decisions that you will make. The annual survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors® of recent home buyers shows: •

87% percent of buyers nationally recently purchased their home through a real estate agent.

In NY, 93% of buyers purchased their home using a real estate agent.

88% percent of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.

Buying a property isn’t just about the house, its about the neighborhood. Making a decision about where you want

to live is a crucial part of the home buying process. You are buying a lifestyle. Are there parks nearby? Playgrounds? Do houses in the neighborhood hold their value? These are just some of the questions that prospective buyers ask. As the neighborhood expert, your Signature Premier Properties agent will be making sure that you have as much information as possible in order to make a good decision about the home you select. Did you know that as a buyer, you can have representation? There are many benefits to working with a buyer’s agent. Professional buyer representation services are offered by our Signature agents. Just ask!


40 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Smart First-Time Buyers QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME... 1. Should I Buy A Home Or Rent?

When you rent, you pay a mortgage – not yours, but your landlord’s. When you pay rent, the money is gone. Sure you have a home, a place to live, but can you tweak it to really make it your own? You might not be able to garden, paint, hang pictures with nails, or have a pet... the list goes on. When you own your home, property taxes, the interest part of the mortgage payment, and in some cases, a portion of the common charges, may be tax deductible. The resulting tax savings can be significant.

2. The Importance Of A Real Estate Agent

At Signature Premier Properties, all agents go through extensive educational training before they can practice real estate. A Signature Premier Properties agent will listen to all your wants and needs to find you your perfect dream home. They are well versed in many different neighborhoods and the pricing of each area.

In any market, hiring an experienced negotiator may save you thousands of dollars. Our agents handle negotiations through every stage of the deal, from the original offer, accepted offer, engineer inspection and the appraisal process. An agent with great negotiating skills is very important to having the deal go smoothly.

3. How Much Money Will I Need To Buy A Home?

Generally, you will need enough money to cover the down payment, which is a percentage of the cost of the home that you must pay when you go to contract, plus closing cost (the cost associated with processing the paperwork to buy a home).

4. How Do I Know Which Mortgage Is Best For Me?

From first-time home buyers and Veterans Loans, to Conventional and Jumbo loans, a Signature Premier Properties agent will provide you with recommendations for reputable mortgage bankers and finance companies that will assist you with your pre-approval.


5. What Will Happen At The Closing?

In a nutshell, you will sit at a table with your agent, your attorney, the agent for the seller, often the sellers themselves, your seller’s attorney, possibly a representative from the bank, and many papers requiring your signature. While you will receive an explanation of each page, take the time to read each one and consult with your attorney to make sure you know exactly what you are signing. Before your scheduled closing date, your lender is required to give you a document explaining the closing costs and a list of documents you will need to bring with you at closing. If you do not receive those items, be sure to call your lender before you go to closing, and do not hesitate to ask any questions.


42 | Buyer & Seller Guide

5 TIPS FOR BUYERS 1. Get Your Credit In Shape

If you plan to finance your home purchase, check your credit history, especially if you’re a first time buyer. That way, you can correct any errors, and take measures to boost your credit score before your big investment.

2. Get Pre-Approved For A Mortgage

Early in your search, meet with a mortgage lender who will take a look at your credit history, your savings and investment statements, and your current financial situation. The lender can give you a better picture of what you can afford and the financing options that are available to you.

3. Establish Your Budget

Whether you’re financing your purchase or paying cash, it’s important to establish a budget. This will help you focus your search on great homes within your price range.

4. Make A List

Buying a home is a process of elimination, not a process of selection. Make a list of your ideal home’s must-haves and deal breakers. This will help you to narrow your search so that you can find a home that fits your current and future needs.

5. Think About Resale

The average homeowner lives in their home for nine years. While you may purchase your home as a long-term investment, keep in mind that you may need to sell it one day. Consider the homes potential resale value when you’re looking at properties.


APPRECIATION VALUE

F

5 REASONS TO BUY vs RENT

R

A

TOP

BUY vs RENT

OLUTION.. S . H ES

Appreciation is an increase in the value of your home over time. This isn’t something that you can invest in through renting.

TAX DEDUCTIONS When owning a home, you may deduct mortgage payments & property taxes when filing tax returns.

NO RENT INCREASES As a homeowner, you won’t be subject to any increases in monthly payments with a fixed-rate mortgage.

FORCED SAVINGS Investing in a home allows your home’s equity to increase over time, whereas paying rent goes directly to your landlord.

• • • • • •

Landscape Designs Landscape Construction Masonry Weekly Lawn Maintenance Spring/Fall Cleanups Bobcat Service

• • • • • •

Seed & Sod Plantings Transplanting Trimming Licensed Pesticide Applicator Fertilization Programs

FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE From kitchen cabinets to bathroom tile, when you buy a home, you can completely customize everything to your liking.

(631)757-8323 • Bill@KoranScape.com


44 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Basic Mortgage What Is A Mortgage?

Mortgages are loans that a mortgage lender or bank gives to help finance a home. There are three typical parts of a mortgage payment: principal, interest, and escrow. Principal is the amount of money you borrow to finance your home. Interest is the money paid regularly at a particular rate for the use of the loan. Escrow is a deposit included in a mortgage to pay property tax and homeowner’s insurance during the term of the mortgage.

What Is Good Credit?

A qualification of an individual’s credit history that indicates that the borrower is a safe credit risk. A high credit score is an indicator of good credit, while a low credit score indicates bad credit. An individual’s credit history is dependent on a number of factors, including the amount borrowed, the amount of available credit remaining, and the timeliness of payments.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration. They are designed partly for borrowers who cannot come up with a large down payment or have poor credit. This is a popular choice for first-time home buyers. Veterans Administration (VA) loans are a zero-down loan offered to qualifying veterans, active military, and military families. In most cases, no down payment is required and you will not have to pay mortgage insurance. If you qualify for a VA loan this could be a great option for you to explore. SONYMA loans (State of New York Mortgage Agency) are an option for first-time home buyers in New York who make less than $100,000 per year. If you qualify, this program provides for loans with only 3% down payment.

Source: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/g/good-credit.asp?lgl=no-infinite

What Kind Of Mortgage Is The Best?

This depends on what your plans are for the home you are purchasing. Fixed-rate mortgages get paid off over a set amount of time and at a specific interest rate. A 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the most common example. As market rates rise and fall, your interest rate will remain the same. Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs) get a lower initial interest rate compared to a fixed-rate mortgage. Interest rates fluctuate depending on market conditions.

A Conforming loan is any home loan that follows Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s conforming guidelines, which include credit, income, asset requirements, and loan amount not to exceed $424,100. Jumbo loans are referred to as non-conforming mortgages. This is a good option when you are purchasing a higher-priced home. The rate on this type of loan can be between a 1/4 to 2 percentage points higher than on a Conforming loan, making qualifying for a Jumbo loan more difficult.


CO MPA S S I O N ATE // RES P O N S IVE // E F F EC T I VE

Kelly A. Dantuono concentrates her practice in Real Property Law, including representing buyers, sellers, and lenders in all aspects of a real estate transaction. She maintains an active litigation practice, including landlord tenant, land use violations, and contract disputes. Kelly A. Dantuono’s attention to detail and service result in her clients having an exceptional and thorough experience.

631.925.5691 // kelly@kellydlaw.com // 190 Laurel Road, East Northport, NY 11731

w w w. k e l l y d l a w. c o m


46 | Buyer & Seller Guide

the importance of a

PRE-APPROVAL

A

pre-approval is necessary to know how much you can afford before you begin your home search. This way you will only look at homes in your specific price range. A pre-approval is also important to make a confident offer.

What Is A Pre-Approval?

What Documents Do I Need?

A mortgage pre-approval occurs when a lender agrees to lend you a specific amount of money before you have found a home. To apply for a mortgage, you will first fill out an application. A complete review of your credit history is performed and the information you have provided is validated. Based on this information, the loan can be pre-approved.

• • • •

How Do I Get A Pre-Approval?

Fill out a residential mortgage application with a target loan amount and sales price with your lender. These amounts may change as you continue to search for a property but it is important to establish a starting point. Regardless of the type of mortgage you choose, your income and down payment sources will need to be verified. This entire process typically takes 7-14 days.

• • •

Your W2 from the past two years Your pay stubs for the past three months Your tax returns from the past two years Your checking or savings bank statements for the past three months (this will likely show your down payment funds in them as well) Your statements for all your other assets (stocks, bonds, retirement accounts) for the last two months The name & number of your landlord or your current mortgage documents Your divorce decree, if applicable If you are self-employed: Business tax returns for the past two years with your year-to-date profit and loss statement, and year-to-date balance sheet Credit Report and Credit Score (the lender can run this for you)

Source: http://www.danecountymarket.com/mortgage-preapproval


CREATING A BRIGHTER FUTURE TOGETHER

Founded on the principles of quality, value, and integrity.

Whether you are ready to move in right away or if you would like to take some time to build the new home of your dreams, there is no better choice on Long Island than Morris Construction.

631-332-0118 190 Laurel Road | East Northport, NY 11731 pmorris799@aol.com morrisconstructionli.com


Signature Premier Properties | 49

the home buyer’s

HOME INSPECTION CHECKLIST FOUNDATION

EXTERIOR

BASEMENT

ELECTRICAL

PLUMBING

APPLIANCES

HEATING/COOLING SYSTEM

ODOR

Look at the bottom of walls and the ceilings. Do you see cracks or shifts in the foundation? Do the same outside. Does the property appear to have proper drainage where it drains away from the house? Do you see any obvious soggy areas?

Do you notice dampness or if there is adequate insulation? (You may want to leave the crawl space for the professional home inspector to check out).

Check for unusual noises and malfunctions, slow or clogged drains, water stains, and leaking pipes.

Does it seem to be in good, working condition? How old is the system? Has the system been converted from oil to natural gas? If so, was the oil tank abandoned properly by a licensed company?

Check for repairs that will need to be made. Check the gutters, downspouts, loose boards, dangling wires, and if there is asbestos in the exterior material. See if there are any signs of leaks. Is there any interior evidence of leaks on the ceilings and around windows?

Do all the switches work? Are there any obvious malfunctions? Are the outlets grounded? Are there GFCI grounded outlets in the kitchen and bathrooms?

Check to make sure all major appliances are in good working condition. Ask the homeowner if there are any manufacturer’s warranties that can be transfered over to the new buyer.

If the home has a smell, can you detect what it might be and if it could be fixed? Musty odors could mean a wet basement and apparent problems in a home. The proper professionals can advise on the best ways to deal with the issues.


SELLER’S GUIDE


Signature Premier Properties | 51

HELPFUL HINTS FOR SELLERS S I X

1 2

KEEP A PAD AND PEN BY THE PHONE

Jot down all appointments made. Get the name of the salesperson, the company they work for, the phone number, and time they are expected to arrive.

R U L E S

T O

L I V E

property more easily when they can say they have seen it themselves.

HOME ACCESS

Never let anyone into your home unless they are accompanied by a real estate agent. If the person who knocks on your door is truly a prospective buyer, they will contact the listing agent and make an appointment to see the property. You would not allow a stranger to access your home normally – do not do it now.

3

then say: “If you have any questions, just let me know.” Do not follow them around. The purchaser may have objections that they do not want to voice in front of you. The real estate agent cannot overcome objections if the buyer is unable to voice them. If the buyer has any questions, answer them honestly, then let the agent do their job of selling your house.

5

ALL VALUABLES SHOULD BE PUT AWAY DURING SHOWINGS

If there are any small items that are of great value, it might be advisable to remove them from the house while it is on the market. Cash, wallets, and handbags should never be left out in view.

BROKER INSPECTIONS

Once your house is listed with the Multiple Listing Service, we will get calls from real estate agents who want to show your home to prospective buyers; however, we will also receive calls from agents who simply want to preview your home. By all means – let them do so. An agent can do a better job showing your house (pointing out the benefits and features) when they are familiar with it. They can persuade a prospective buyer to come to see your

B Y

4

LET THE REAL ESTATE AGENT SHOW THE HOUSE

You may know your house better than the agent, but the agent knows the prospective buyers better than you do. The real estate agent knows what features and benefits will appeal to their customer. Greet the prospective buyer cheerfully and

6

YOU SHOULD CONTACT AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS THE HOUSE GOES ON THE MARKET

You should supply the attorney with copies of the deed, all certificates of occupancy, survey, and mortgage information including mortgage number, bank, and balance. If your mortgage has been satisfied, a copy of a recorded satisfaction should also be given to your attorney.


52 | Buyer & Seller Guide

The Home Selling Process The home selling process can be scary at first. Your Signature Premier Properties agent will help you with selling your home every step of the way. When it comes to selling your home, you’re in safe hands with us!

01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08

CONTACT

Contact your Signature Premier Properties real estate agent.

VALUE

Determine the current value of your home.

MARKETING

Work with your agent to prepare a personalized marketing campaign.

STAGING

Stage your home to stand out from the competition.

PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s time to take some professional photos of your home.

PAPERWORK

Verify taxes, certificates of occupancy, survey, and all other pertinent information.

MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS)

Launch listing on MLS, signaturepremier.com, and other national/local real estate websites.

SHOWING

It’s time to start showing your home!

09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

OPEN HOUSE

Host an open house to find the right buyer for your home.

BUYER

Confirm the qualifications of the buyer.

NEGOTIATE

Negotiate offers & terms to obtain maximum value for your home.

OFFER

Acceptance of the offer.

INSPECTIONS

Home inspection & termite inspection.

CONTRACTS

Execute the contract of sale with your attorney.

APPRAISAL

Work with a bank to appraise your home.

MORTGAGE

Receive written mortgage commitment (45-60 days).


Signature Premier Properties | 53

17 18 19

TITLE

Title search ordered by purchaser’s attorney.

MOVING

Call movers for estimates.

UTILITIES

Transfer all utilities and have your oil meter read (if needed).

20 21 22

WALK-THROUGH

Final walk-through scheduled 12-24 hours prior to closing.

CLOSING

Closing occurs at lending institution or attorney’s office.

CELEBRATE!


54 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Understanding The Comparative Market Analysis OUR SIGNATURE PREMIER PROPERTIES AGENTS WILL HELP YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR CMA Selling your home is a huge financial and emotional decision. Your Signature Premier Properties agent will help guide you through the process to ensure you feel comfortable every step of the way. When you are ready to meet with your agent, you may already have an idea of what your home is worth. You may be aware of homes in your neighborhood that recently sold or you may be keeping tabs on current listings in your area. Your agent will prepare a comparative market analysis (CMA). Data in this report includes facts about homes similar to yours that are currently listed, and those that have recently sold. Some significant points of comparison include number of bedrooms and baths, approximate square footage, size of major rooms, age of the home, property taxes, school district, and desirable features like fireplaces, fenced yards, hardwood floors, pools, and security. Depending on the current market, a CMA may cover a period of time ranging from one week to 12 months. Some research values range from a few streets near your home to entire school districts. This comprehensive report is a key tool your agent uses to determine its current market value. When determining the right price for a house, proper pricing in any market will attract the most buyers, bring in offers, and ensure a timely transaction. This is where your Signature Premier Properties agent is instrumental when it comes to selling your home. Your agent will be thoroughly familiar with the local market and recent sales in the neighborhood, as well as comparable properties listed for sale, your competition. Together, you and your agent will decide on a price that properly positions your home on the market.

How Does My Home Get Put On The Market?

Once you sign a listing agreement with your Signature Premier Properties agent to sell your home, it will be listed and marketed immediately. Among the first and most effective means utilized is placement on signaturepremier.com and many other highly trafficked websites. These days, most people begin their property search online and having your property featured on the Internet ensures maximum

exposure to the widest pool of potential buyers. In addition, your property listing will be distributed to the entire community of real estate agents on Long Island and beyond. Professional photos of your property will be taken and used to advertise and market your property in a variety of prominent online and print media outlets. To get the best price for your property it must be seen by the largest pool of potential buyers. Listen to your agent’s guidance when it comes to properly pricing your property from the start to avoid future price reductions, and keep your home from becoming “stale� to the real estate community.


McCarthy & Reynolds, P.C. is a full service law firm located in the village of Huntington, Long Island, New York. Our areas of concentration include land use, zoning, real estate, and development. The firm also has an emphasis on related litigation, environmental and municipal law. Clients of McCarthy & Reynolds, P.C. range from multi-national corporations to individuals. Each client of McCarthy & Reynolds, P.C. is treated with the same degree of courtesy, respect, and attention.

Michael L. McCarthy, Esq. Lee A. Reynolds, Esq. Attorneys and Counselors at Law

7 East Carver Street Huntington, NY 11743 631.351.4000


56 | Buyer & Seller Guide

10 Strategies For Selling Your Home #3: The First Impression Is The ONLY Impression

You never have a second chance to make a first impression. No matter how good the interior of your home looks, buyers have already judged your home before they walk through the door. It’s important to make people feel warm, welcome, and safe as they approach the house. Spruce up your home’s exterior with inexpensive shrubs and brightly colored flowers.

#4: Always Be Ready To Show

Your house needs to be “show-ready” at all times – you never know when your buyer is going to walk through the door. You have to make yourself available when buyers want to preview your home and it has to be in tip-top shape. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, make all of the beds, keep the bathroom sparkling, and make sure there are no dust bunnies in the corners. It’s a little inconvenient, but it will help your house sell faster.

#5: Take The Home Out Of Your House

One of the most important things to do when selling your house is to de-personalize it. The more personal items in your house, the less potential buyers can imagine themselves living there. This includes family photos, memorabilia collections, and personal keepsakes. Put as much as you can in storage.

#1: Pricing It Right

The most important factor to consider when selling your home is determining the right price. Your Signature Premier Properties agent will provide you with accurate and current market data to position your home properly to stand out from the competition and to net you the most money in today’s real estate market.

#2: Working With The Right Agent

Your Signature Premier Properties agent is a local specialist that will help you get top-dollar for your home. Our professionals go through extensive training to be the best possible real estate agents in the marketplace. Our continued success of “fewest days on the market” for our clients is a testament to our dedication and commitment to selling your home.

#6: Don’t Over Upgrade

Quick fixes before selling always pay off. Instead of a mammoth makeover, get a new fresh coat of paint on the walls. Clean the curtains or go buy some inexpensive new ones. Replace door handles and cabinet hardware, make sure closet doors are on track, fix leaky faucets, and clean the grout.

#7: The Kitchen Comes First

Nice kitchens are at the top of the buyers wish list. If you don’t have a completely updated kitchen there are inexpensive ways to spruce it up. If the counters are completely out-dated but the cabinets still look good, then change the counter tops. If your budget is tight, little things like changing the hardware or a nice fresh and neutral paint job would certainly do the trick. Do you have one appliance


that doesn’t match and truly stands out? Replace it, you don’t want to give buyers anything negative to talk about.

#8: Light It Up

Maximize the light in your home. After location, good natural light is the one thing that every buyer cites they want in a home. Take down the drapes, clean the windows, and cut the bushes outside to let in sunshine. Do what you have to, to make your house bright and cheery – it will make it more sellable.

#9: Conceal Your Pets

You might think a cuddly dog would warm the hearts of potential buyers, but you might be wrong. Not everyone is a dog or cat lover. Buyers don’t want to walk in your home and see a bowl full of dog food, smell the kitty litter box, or have pet hair stuck to their clothes. It will give buyers the impression that your house is not clean. Focus on your home and not your pets.

#10: Half-Empty Closets

Storage is something every buyer is looking for and can never have enough of. Take half of the items out of your closets then keep everything neatly organized. Be sure to keep all of your closets and cabinets clean and tidy.


58 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Staging Your Home YOUR FIRST SHOWING HAPPENS ONLINE...

Your first showing is long before the first potential buyers arrive at your doorstep; it’s actually the moment your listing appears online. The photos of your house, along with the pricing and listing description, determine whether or not your house is considered good enough for an in-person look, or placed on the “do not see” list. This is why staging your house prior to the photos is so important! Your house needs to put its best foot forward! Otherwise, buyers will eliminate it just by looking at the photos online. Your Signature Premier Properties real estate agent will help recommend the best ways to update your home. Your house needs to stand out from the competition and great photography can help showcase this. Photos can add to the emotional

connection. Take an outside picture at sunset with the lights on inside the house, and the warm glow instantly says “home.” If you have wonderful views of mountains, lakes, trees, or a garden, make sure these are included. Lifestyle photos also add to the emotional appeal – beautiful moldings, wonderful cabinetry, a fire in the fireplace, romantic bedding, candles, and flowers. Buyers need to have an emotional connection with your house. There is a reason people say that they “fell in love” with a particular place. Staging addresses the emotional elements of presentation, as well as the rational ones. You are not only selling your floors, windows, counters, and space - you are selling a lifestyle! Make sure your first showing allows a buyer to experience “love at first sight!”


QUICK TIPS: HOME ENHANCEMENT Minor Details, Major Impact

SORT: Give Away, Trash & Save

Remove all clutter, such as toys, newspapers, and yard tools. Pick up after your pets.

Clean:

Make beds; clean up dishes; empty waste baskets; vacuum and dust. Clean smudges or marks on walls.

Paint & Polish:

Nothing brightens a home more than a fresh coat of paint, leaving the home looking clean and crisp.

Repair:

Repair or replace anything that looks old or worn, such as fences, door knobs, porch details, or the front door.

Lawn & Gardening:

Keep the lawn well maintained, with all hedges & shrubs trimmed. Remove all dead plants. Decorate with colorful potted plants.


60 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Prepare Your Home For Photography THESE TIPS WILL GIVE BUYERS A REASON TO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR HOME

Exterior, Front, & Back • • • • • • •

Remove cars from the driveway Sweep walkways Pick up sticks, leaves, and branches Put away all garden tools and supplies Remove all hoses Straighten and arrange deck furniture Clean pool area

Bathrooms Kitchen • • • • • • • • •

Remove all items from refrigerator doors Store food away in cabinets De-clutter counters Put away small appliances Hide soaps and cleaning supplies Hide towels and sponges Clear sink of dishes Organize items on open shelves Place a bowl of fruit on the counter

• • • • • •

Make bathrooms sparkle Hang a fresh folded towel Clear counters of toiletries Clean mirrors Close all toilet lids Remove all items from the bathtub and shower


Signature Premier Properties | 61

Dining Room • • • •

Main Areas • • • • • • • • • •

Remove personal items and family photos Open shades and blinds Empty waste baskets Hide pet dishes, toys, and beds Tidy up or put away all children’s toys Turn on all of the lights Vacuum all carpets and sweep the floors Turn off the television Remove all publications and mail Minimize knick-knacks

Straighten and push in all chairs Set the table for dinner Add a vase of flowers Add a bottle of wine and glasses

Bedrooms • • • • •

Make the beds Arrange decorative pillows on the beds Put away all clothing and shoes Clean under the beds Clear all surfaces of clutter


62 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Benefits Of An Open House 5 REASONS WHY AN OPEN HOUSE MIGHT RESULT IN A SALE You Can Set The Scene

When potential home buyers stop by your home for a traditional showing, they often do it with little notice, which is why it can be stressful keeping your home “show ready” for the entire duration it is on the market. With an open house, you’ll be able to prepare for an event that has the potential to bring in many prospective buyers with one fell swoop.

You Could Lock In That Interested Buyer

There’s likely a limit to the number of times even the most interested buyer is willing to ask for a private showing. If your house has already caught the eye of a potential buyer, he or she might be more willing to come back for a second look in a less formal setting. An open house gives that buyer the opportunity to bring friends or family along for their opinions; and as a bonus, walking through an open house provides a visitor with plenty of time to look around without feeling rushed.

Buyers Can Compare And Contrast

Any given weekend usually sees several open houses in a particular location. Buyers interested in purchasing a home in your area will “comparison shop” by attending several open houses; this is your opportunity to make your home stand out from the crowd – make sure it looks fresh and clean.

You Choose The Time It Gets Eyes On Your Home

Open houses bring in potential buyers who may be unmotivated to book a showing. Buyers find open houses a convenient way to maximize their busy schedules. Your friends and family can mention the event to everyone they know who might be interested in taking a look at your home. Neighbors could be a valuable resource for referring potential buyers to your home – they might have friends and family who are looking to move. Add in advertising and signage, and you’re going to catch the eye of both casual and serious prospective buyers.

Some weekends see more open houses than others. Holding an open house has the potential to put your home on the real estate map. By working strategically with your Signature Premier Properties agent, they will have the knowledge to schedule a successful open house to get the maximum amount of traffic through your home.


5 WAYS TO PREP YOUR HOME FOR AN OPEN HOUSE Depersonalize:

Your potential home buyer could spend more time looking at what’s in the home than actually seeing their lives taking place there. Your goal is to have your home appear as a blank canvas, just waiting for a new buyer to make their mark.

EAST NORTHPORT on Jericho Turnpike Across from Barnes and Noble

Don’t Shove It In The Closet:

Storage is important to buyers checking out a home. Many will check inside your closets to look at the space and you don’t want them to open your closets and see all of your clutter. The important thing is to make your home look spacious.

Warm It Up:

The old trick of baking bread or cookies works to appeal to clients because it makes the home feel warm and inviting. Scented candles can work a similar magic. Fresh flowers or plants are also a nice touch and one that stagers often use.

Keep It Bright:

Light sells homes. Windows should be freshly cleaned on both the inside and the outside for maximum sunlight potential. Remove heavy drapes and cut down the bushes outside your windows to let natural sunlight into your home. Make sure to replace the lightbulbs in your home with fresh ones as well.

Make A Day Of It:

Defuse the stress of an open house by taking yourself and your family out for a little reward.

(631) 462-3200

westy.com


64 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Deadly Sins Of 1. Branding Problems

When a new listing hits the market, every agent quickly views the property to see if it’s a good fit for their clients. If your home is branded as “overpriced,” reigniting interest may require a drastic price reduction.

2. Selling The Competition

Overpricing helps your competition. How? You make their lower prices seem like bargains. Nothing is worse than watching your neighbors put up a sold sign.

3. No Showings

Today’s sophisticated home buyers are well educated about the real estate market. If your home is overpriced, they won’t bother seeing it, let alone make you an offer.

4. Stagnation

The longer your home sits on the market, the more likely it is to become stale. Have you ever seen a property that seems to be perpetually for sale? Do you ever wonder: “What’s wrong with that house?”

5. Lost Opportunities

You will lose a percentage of buyers who are outside of your price point. These are buyers who are looking in the price range that the home will eventually sell for but don’t go see the home because the price is above their pre-set budget.

OVERPRICING

6. Tougher Negotiations

Buyers who do view your home may negotiate harder because the home has been on the market for a longer period of time and because it is overpriced compared to the competition.

7. Appraisal Problems

Even if you do find a buyer willing to pay an inflated price, the fact is that most buyers use some kind of financing to pay for their home purchase. If your home does not appraise for the purchase price, the sale will likely fail.

AVOID THE TEMPTATION OF OVERPRICING YOUR HOME


Photo Exchange:

Before you move, take photos of the old house and friends for a photo album keepsake. Exchange phone numbers, addresses, and emails to stay in touch.

Packing:

Label and decorate moving boxes for your kids. Return library books and rented movies. Make sure all art supplied are sealed and pack them separately.

Moving Day:

Have a special toy ready for your kids on moving day for the ride to your new home. Bring a book, game or craft to occupy them once you arrive there. Bring plenty of snacks and drinks.

KID’S MOVING CHECKLIST

Fun Plans:

Plan a trip to your child’s new school & check out the school’s website. Take a walk in your new neighborhood to find local parks, attractions, and meet your neighbors.


66 | Buyer & Seller Guide

Moving Guide & Checklist Moving can be a difficult and stressful process, but the actual day can be downright overwhelming. It is possible that the stress level can be reduced with the proper planning and preparation. Knowing what you need to get done and in what order will put your mind at ease. Below are some pointers and reminders to help you throughout your moving process. Remember, planning ahead is the key to maintaining your sanity and having a stress-free move!

Make A List

Write everything down! Before you pack anything, create a system. Number or color code EVERY box you pack and write the contents on your list.

Keep Things Together Keep light bulbs with lamps, picture hooks with pictures, etc.

Pack Early

If it’s not essential to daily living, pack it. Save time by packing everything you can ahead of time.

Cleaning Kit

Supplies

You’ll need a lot of boxes and packing materials – more than you think. Set aside about 10 boxes for last minute moving day items. Tall wardrobe boxes are perfect for bulky, lightweight items like comforters, pillows, and clothes that need to remain hanging.

Put together a kit of basic cleaning supplies which will help you on moving day.

Mark & Set Aside Items You Don’t Want On The Truck

This will remind you to tell the driver what not to pack as you conduct your preload walk-through. Make sure the important paperwork pertaining to your move doesn’t get packed and shipped with your household goods.

Prepare With Children

Have the kids pack a box of their “special” items, things that they’ll want to have nearby as soon as you arrive at your new home.

Keep Valuables Safe

Keep valuable possessions like jewelry & family heirlooms with you. Check your homeowner’s insurance to see how they’re covered during the move.


Point Out Essential Items Set these items aside the day before the move. Then, once the mover arrives, point out items that are most special to you during the walkthrough. Also, point out the boxes you would like to have unloaded first, if they are not going into storage. These boxes may include kitchen and bathroom items or your children’s toys.

Take Care Of Your Driver And Crew Members

Consider the needs of your driver and crew members! It is not necessary to prepare an elaborate meal, as this is the last thing you will have time for. Still, run out and get some breakfast rolls or cookies and order pizza for lunch. It’s a nice gesture and will be warmly received.

Give ‘Em A Heads Up

Mary Hughes & Associates is a general practice law office with an emphasis on residential & commercial real estate, estate planning and wills.

Advise schools, doctors offices, utility companies, and the post office of your move to avoid confusion and hassle after you’re settled in.

631.482.1264 • FAX: 631.482.1266 MHUGHES@MHUGHESASSOCIATES.COM linkedin.com/in/hughesmary

1 SAWMILL ROAD • COMMACK, NEW YORK 11725


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Profile for Signature Premier Properties

Guide To Buying & Selling  

Our Guide to Buying & Selling is full of Signature Premier Properties rich history, stories of our community involvement, detailed informati...

Guide To Buying & Selling  

Our Guide to Buying & Selling is full of Signature Premier Properties rich history, stories of our community involvement, detailed informati...