Category Archives: Preparation

Rochester NY 2011 Real Estate Statistics

Rochester NY MSA 2011 Statistics. Continue reading

For Sale by Owner (FSBO) in Rochester NY

Rochester NY’s FLAT FEE, FSBO Leader


You have heard about “Location, Location, Location” in real estate but when you are selling your homes by owner you have to think about INFRASTRUCTURE, INFRASTRUCTURE, INFRASTRUCTURE!  Why? Because if you hitch your wagon to the wrong star you run the risk of leaving lots of money on the table.  


List2Move (formerly called was started right here in Rochester NY almost 7 years ago with the idea that if you give the sellers the RIGHT tools (the same ones the agents and brokers use) and a little coaching along the way, that they would be able to successfully sell their own real estate.  Well Rochester, it is working really well!  We can tell you with confidence that by listing with you have a 42% better chance of not paying any co-brokers commission at all. (And much better service and better signs than anyone in or out of town!)  We have saved our homeowners (our neighbors) over a $1,000,000 (million)  in commissions!


That being said, it is also true if you go with the cheapest service out there you are going to get some real cheesy looking signs, and little if any infrastructure which makes a big deal if you are really trying to save the most money.  So if you want to save the most money, have the least amount of problems and sell quick there is still only one real contender, the market leader…




Don’t Confuse a Repair with an Improvement

We get these questions all the time.  Should I replace windows, roofs, garage doors etc… My response is usually, “if it is not broken, don’t rebuild the house!”  For Sale by Owners should always use common sense!  If the window is broken you can replace the glass but you don’t have to replace the fixture.



Unfortunately, not all home expenses are treated equally for the purpose of determining your home’s basis [for tax purposes]. The IRS considers repairs to be part and parcel of home ownership –something that preserves the home’s original value but does not enhance its value. This may not always seem true. For example, if you bought a foreclosure and had to fix a lot of broken stuff, the home is obviously worth more after you fix those items, but the IRS doesn’t care — you did get a discount on the purchase price because of those unmade repairs, after all. It’s only improvements, like replacing the roof or adding central air conditioning, which will help decrease your future tax bill when you sell your home. For gray areas (like remodeling your bathroom because you had to bust open the wall to repair some old, failed plumbing), consult IRS Publication 530 and/or your accountant.

Change commissions after accepted offer?


One of the requirements for gaining access to MLS as a For Sale by Owner or as any full service real estate client is an offer of commission.  It can be as low as one dollar (as with but you have to make a blanket offer of commission and it has to be documented in the listing agreement (Contract)!  This “offer” basically says, “if you (a Realtor) bring me an offer that I accept, I will pay you (that Realtor) “x” amount of dollars or percent!!!!  It is contractual, it is specified in the MLS and only Realtors who have access to the MLS database can see it!!!!!   Again, it is contractual because we are dealing with money….which should make cents, right?


Negotiation of the commission can only happen before the contract is signed!


Real life story….

I got a call this morning from an agent who has an accepted offer with a seller.  She tells me that the seller who is offering 1.5% says they are going to pay less because the buyer came in before they put the home on the MLS without a Realtor, however, the contract was drawn up by a Realtor with the Realtor’s name on it naming the Realtor’s company as the procuring cause of the sale.

I looked up the offer of compensation on our listing agreement, and it read 1.5%.   Seller didn’t renegotiate with Realtor before accepting the offer and therefore, most likely, the Realtor will be paid the full 1.5% commission.

Real Estate Rebate Check Cut in Pittsford, NY-Just Smart

Last month we cut our first rebate check of  the year!  Buyer bought a $265,000 home and got a sweet rebate check of $3975.00 after closing!

Not something you see everyday!  A real estate broker coming to your door with a check for thousands of dollars!

These people worked the system so well on both ends of the deal that they saved over $10,000 in commissions easily!

If you are buying, you are going to a lot of the work yourself so why not get paid to do it?  It is about savings, it is about keeping your money, it is about being smart.

Attention all Rental Property Owners

Happy New Year from the IRS!  This year they want you to start working for them!  FOR FREE!

A new law requires you to issue an IRS Form  to the handyman or other vendors if you give them over $600 in work for the year.  (Make sure you keep a copy for yourself)

If you don’t comply you might find yourself paying the IRS the tax liability for your vendors!

When Listing on the MLS is More Information Better?

We recently showed two properties to a buyer and his wife (competing properties) and at the end of the day they were sitting in the kitchen of the second property arguing over which kitchen was larger.  Since we were able to access the MLS and because the measurements were right there we were able to stop the argument.  The first property  we visited earlier in the day had entered their room measurements in the MLS and the case was closed.

So is more information better?  For the agent (us) it was better because we were able to solve the mystery right then and there.  What about the that seller who put the extra (not required) information in the MLS?  Their kitchen was smaller, and in this case the buyer moved forward with the other  house because it’s kitchen was larger.

So is there a moral to the story?

Not really, by putting that information in the MLS we were able to make an educated decision right then and there not to return to the previous house.  But some might say if they didn’t put the information in the MLS then we most likely would have come back for a second look, and that the selling/listing agent might have been able to “sell” us on some of the other features and benefits of the home.

Here’s the truth.

1.  Agents don’t sell houses.  They expose them on the MLS and make them available to the public,  so buyers can check them out.  A listing agents job is not that hard.  #2. No agent could ever sell you anything you didn’t like.  It just isn’t going to happen.  So if we went back to the first house, we would have wasted our time, the sellers time, and the listing agent’s time because there is nothing that agent could do to correct for the small kitchen.  #3. Most of the time the listing agent won’t even show up for a 2nd look so what could they possibly sell?

The bottom line

Most sellers know that getting ready for a showing is a real pain, so with that being said… I think you should put more information into the MLS so people can make quicker efficient decisions.  The time you spend putting that extra information in the MLS will save you a lot of time on the back end.  Time is money!

Local Trumps National and Local Owned Trumps Interstate

The word is out… anyone  can get an MLS number without the high cost of traditional real estate brokers and that is a good thing or is it?

The real estate industry is extremely confusing, even for some of us who study it on a daily basis and consumers who think that just getting an MLS number is the panacea are sadly mistaken.

There are national companies like, and many more who can get you an MLS number for a fee.  They have agreements with agents all over the country who will put you on the MLS where the agent gets paid directly from the company you paid.  The problem starts after you pay for the service.  These companies send the lowest bidder out to your house for your signatures to get you on the MLS  and that is when the problems start.  That agent most likely brings an exclusive right to sell contract for you to sign.  You don’t know so you sign it and then that agent becomes your competitor.  Nice!

I spent 25 minutes on the phone with a previous client of one of these companies earlier in the week and he told me that, “this dirt bag came out to my house to sign the paperwork and spent 45 minutes trying to convince me to list full service with him.”  This client was so upset with the whole experience he wanted to sue the company for his $500 back, but he said the company was in Florida and it would have cost him more money than it was worth so he moved on.

There are large companies like Cont. Real Estate and C21 Clickit who cover many states as well but they have only one person covering all their listings.  Again the customer is on their own, and many customers end up not getting the support they need.

Tonight I noticed after some research, that the latter group were members of our local MLS, but their listings were not showing up on our local powerhouse real estate portal,  Which absolutely blew my mind.  You wonder how many of their clients knew that?  I guess it doesn’t matter because most would never even know that their odds of selling directly to a buyer is now the same as planting a sign in the yard with their phone number on it.  There is no competitive advantage for the seller, and the chances of capturing the buyer without an agent is severely diminished.

The moral of the story?  Clients are better served locally buy someone who has boots on the ground, someone who is committed to your success because he believes that your success is also his in the long run.

Need Tax information in Monroe County, NY?

Here is a great property link brought to our attention by a retired Realtor that allows you to type in your address and get public information like true taxes (required for any real estate listing), assessment information, previous sale information etc….This information was once available to only licensed individuals.

It is call the Monroe County Real Property Portal and if you are buying or selling real estate in Rochester NY or Monroe County this utility is a must.  It allows you to “do your homework.”  If you want, you can try it out on any of Rochester, NY’s Flat Fee Listings.

Rebate Check cut! (Fairport, NY) today cut a $5206.88 check as a rebate to buyers who recently closed on their new home built by Morrell Builders in Victor, NY.

These buyers were also sellers with and because there was no agent on either side of the selling transaction they saved over $10,000 in selling commissions as well.

Not bad considering we are still in a recession!  Smart?  You bet. offers flat fee MLS for sellers and offers commission rebates for buyers.