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Thomas Trifon's Advice

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  • 49 Contributions
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  • 7 Helpful

Thomas Trifon wrote:

square feet

Response
An "easy" way is just go to the town assessor's office and look at the field card for your house. Then when you state the square footage, you will specify the assessor as the source. You'll have a lot less headaches if you mismeasure. Same is true about the lot size (unless you have a survey).TT
May 23 2012
(0)

adding a closet to make a 4th bedroom

Answer
I think a better use of the money would be to make the house sparkle - some paint inside, eliminate clutter, make sure the grass is mowed and garden beds mulched, edges are crisp and no weeds. Wow the buyers before they enter the house, and keep them wow-ed when going through the house. They will not even notice not having a 3rd BR. Clean the basement too. Not having a 3rd BR is not a detrimental to the price. Stage the house well and you will be surprised as to how well the house will show. Perhaps you could set up the 3rd floor as an office. Put in a small desk, bookcase etc  (borrow them from a friend or family) You will return them when the house sells.Good luck.
May 23 2012
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Listing price vs last sold price vs property tax assessment

Answer
The owner has the right to chose not do use an agent on her side of the transaction; she does not have the right to tell you that you may not be represented.  If you want to use a realtor (a good idea), that agent could provide you essential information about the worth of the home, market trends, etc.  You want the most information that you can get before making an offer.  You can always hire a realtor, but have the offer presented through your attorney. If she balks at an attorney presenting the offer, move on to another property; something is radically wrong with either the property or her.Good luck.TT
May 22 2012
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adding a closet to make a 4th bedroom

Answer
The 1 bath is the bigger negative; I would suggest that you would get a bigger bang for your buck as well as increasing the attractiveness of the house with another BA.  The 4th BR may not even increase any value due to the perceived view of "not enough bathrooms" to service the 4 BRs.If you are not on a sewer system; your septic system would need to be upgraded to a 4BR system. The septic system would not have to be increased if you added a bathroom. Whatever you decide to do, get permits.TT
May 22 2012
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False Square Footage on Listing?

Response
In many MLSs, the source of the square footage is noted; eg. Assessor, Owner, etc. Just because it is in the town records that the square footage is X, doesn't mean that it is correct. I know of a recent house that is on the market, that the assessor's office was under by 35%. Why? Because the records (especially old ones) are not necessarily accurate. Whether the records are on paper or electonically kept, there is always human error that is possible.The Sellor and/or the Sellors' agent should investigate it with the town to determine what the correct sqft is correct. (You could also do this). This may entail having the assessor go to the house. Good luck with it.One last point: because there is a discrepancy in the MLS information and that which your insurance company tells you, it is really disingenuous to accuse the listing agent of fraud, misrepresentation.
May 08 2012
(0)

my mom is thinking of selling her home on an AS IS basis, is this dueable?

Answer
You would be better served if you put 'as-is' into the marketing: it would be (1) honest; (2) non misleading; (3) attract buyers who really want a project; (4) not have a lot of people hugely disappointed when it turns out to be a project; (5) it would also help to vet buyers so as not to waste any agent's time, nor anyone else's time.You want to attract that part of the market that wants a fixer-upper. How would you feel going to a property expecting it to be in relatively pristine condition, onlyy to discover you made a trip for nothing?Am I alone here iin being open and honest about a property's condition?Please refer to the 2012 Realtor Code of Ethics, Article 12:"REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations."
April 30 2012
(2)

Synthetic lawn or not??

Response
Are we talking about an acre of artificial grass or 20 square feet of the stuff? I would suggest if it is 20sf, go for it - it won't be hard for a buyer to replace later on and would not have an negative impact; otherwise I think you would be wasting your money, and adversely affecting the value of your home.  It's your home - your decision - your money.TT
April 30 2012
(0)

I'm selling my fathers house in Brooklyn and have a buyer. All the sudden my realtor told me I have

Answer
Property that is permanently attached to the house (e.g. gas range, dishwasher) is a appurtenance, and would be (normally) included in the sale.  If the property is not affixed to real property (e.g. electric range, refrigerator)  it is considered chattel property and is not included in the sale UNLESS it is specified in the contract. The seller can exclude items that are permanently attached (gas range, chandelier, wall scones) if it is in the purchase and sale agreement.When selling a house, make sure that those  appurtenances are itemized in the listing contract, and that is is also put into the MLS, and  before signing the purchase & sale agreement that they are listed there as well.TT
April 30 2012
(0)

how to bid on vacant land

Answer
Ofe's response is good advice. Don't forget about environmental issues such as buried oil tanks, brownfields, etc. Good luck; and get good representation.
April 30 2012
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my sq footage is incorrect; an architect that was measuring my house says it should be

Answer
There is not one way to measure square feet.ou should attribute the source of the measurement from whom you got it from: public records, architect, owner, etc. It is a good idea to have it in writing from the architect too. Don't use 1132.81; round up. Good luck.
April 30 2012
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