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Real Estate


We bought our place a few years ago and are wondering if brokers are still charging sellers 6%? It looks like few properties are moving which makes me think that is a little high and possibly negotiable. Anyone have experience selling by owner? We’re not looking to sell right now but are just working the numbers.


We put in an offer to buy a wonderful landmarked house which we were told the sellers (heirs) were eager to unload. We made an offer that the sellers Realtor recommended would be successful, which was accepted. We were then told that we had to both hire an attorney and get an engineer’s report before any contract would be signed. We were also told that we had to do all this in a big hurry to satisfy a pending state tax debt. We complied.
Strange things began to occur the very next day… and we suspected that someone else might be vying for this house. We were personally assured this was not the case. Phrases like, “no… no one else is involved” and, “don’t worry, the house is absolutely yours” were used. So, we hired the attorney, and an inspector (lots of $$$). We inspected and asked for concessions (credit) for some rather severe structural damage. We were resoundingly dismissed. No one contacted us from the realtor’s office again. However, the seller contacted us last night to ask what happened. In our talk, I discovered that this property was under litigation between the sellers. On sibling was suing the other two, trying to force then to sell to a speculator. Unbeknownst to us, a judge had decided the day before on behalf of the speculator because we had asked for repairs credits which might have made our offer less. We actually did nto ask for a particular amount, but this was enough to make the judge

I’m pretty angry about this.
But my question is: is this ethical for the realtor to have done? She did not advertise the house as an “As Is”, nor did she inform us that the house was under this litigation. Why would she have pushed us to get an attorney right away and an inspection- if the house sale was As Is? She also did not convey messages from both the seller and me requesting an urgent conference with the other. In fact the seller tried to locate me for days before this judgment. And I had requested numerous times a meeting with the seller. If I had known about this situation, I would have been able to respond.
If I had been informed, I likely would either not have bid at all, or not spent all that money for a structural engineers inspection when I was on my own to begin with. I would have been able to contemplate the ramifications of an As Is purchase. Instead I was lied to and tricked into competing in a pending legal mess.
By the way, even though I looked at this property at least 9 times, not once did the broker or realtor ask me to sign a disclosure sheet before seeing the property. I am told this is a violation of license.
Do I have any recourse?


Time to tap this knowledge pool…

Since we have decided to rent in Brownstone Brooklyn (couldn’t afford to buy the space that we need) we still have our “house fund” sitting in the bank. This past tax season has proven that 3 kids just don’t provide enough deductions so we are thinking of buying something to rent out.

My questions are many, including:
– is this a good idea at all?
– with a budget of no more than 325K, where should we be looking?
– should we bother looking at studios or are 1BRs that much better of an investment?
– Anyone want to sell their place but still want to live there? (hey, you never know!)

Many thanks in advance for your 2 cents.


I am thinking of starting my search for a house in Broooklyn. I was wondering if anyone out there has used Prop Shark and would they recommend all the search options. PShark has a few search options but the cost is about $900/yr. Things like ownerships, foreclosures, comparables etc. Is this worth it or is all this information free somewhere else on the internet? Isn’t all this information public information anyway?
thanks in advance,


My sister finally found an apartment she loves and can afford. The issue is the building is just being finished up and it does not have a Certificate of Occupancy yet. We are the first ones to make an offer on an apartment there. What things we need to be mindful of going through a purchase in the new building? What conditions we need to provide for in the contract? Do we need to have an engineers inspection? What about ensuring that everything works in the new building after people move in? What contingencies I need to stipulate? What questions I need to ask the seller?

Any advice in this matter would be greatly appreciated.



I’ve searched the forum archives about this, but I haven’t found anything recent or maybe my question is just too broad–so sorry if this is repetitive, and thanks in advance for any advice.

We’re just starting to search for a brownstone, and wondering if people have any advice about the process (especially how it might be different from looking for a coop or condo)? Are there red flags we should look for that may cost money down the road or potentially compromise the mortgage process?
Are there things to look for during the inspection (that wouldn’t be obvious)? Or anything you wish you would have done while looking? Is it better to go around to all the listings with a real estate agent? We’ve just started and have gone to some open houses but wonder if there’s a better way.

I know these are a lot of questions — thanks so much!


My husband and I are looking for a triplex over a rental (for my elderly mother) in the Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill area. We’ve been living in the area for many years and would ideally like to stay here with our family. My question is – is it possible to find a 4 story home that is no smaller than 18 x 42 and that does not need a major or gut renovation for no more than $2.3? By my calculation this size house would have to be priced at no more than 750$/sq. ft. All the homes we’ve seen are either in terrible shape, have been assaulted by having anything “brownstonish” removed and are still quite expensive. Does the market pick up during this time of year or are we just wasting our time hoping to find a house with original details, on a nice block, that is in need of some updating at this price? Any input would be greatly appreciated.


Dilemma (I seem to attract them) … Landed on a condo in an 8-unit building that I like. Then did some research and found that many of the units in the building are tenanted. Out of the 8, it looks like only two are actually owner-occupied, and, according to Property Shark, as many as 3 of the other units in the building are owned by the same person! I haven’t met that person, and I suppose a lot depends on their attitude about the building. But I’ve heard very mixed things about situations where a building has more rented units that owner-occupied ones. Ultimately I’m looking for a place to live and rent when needed, but I would still like to make sure the place will eventually appreciate in value whenever I do get around to selling. Plus what does this mean about the upkeep of the building if one person owns so many of the units? Any thoughts on this?