2010 Jun 3rd

Some Hoboken News to Help Keep you Cool

Well it certainly feels like summer is here!  sunflower

Looks like Toll Brothers is doing something over at the big empty parking lot in front of Hudson Tea.  No word on what’s being done though.

The “Secret Garden Tour” is this Sunday.  It’s a great way to peek at some amazing backyards in Hoboken and the fee goes to a good cause – the Hoboken Historical Museum.  Be prepared for an overwhelming number of yards “done” by the main sponsor of the event.  Personally, I’d rather see some do-it-yourself gardens instead of ones that cost tens of thousands of dollars.

There is talk about closing Sinatra Drive to traffic during the day on Sunday’s at least for the summer months.  I think it’s at least worth a try.   UPDATE – City Council passed resolution to close Sinatra Drive.  Stay tuned for more details.

Here is the latest news on the relocation of the Hoboken Municipal Garage.

Finally, the Hoboken International Film Festival starts tomorrow, just not in Hoboken.  It will be in Teaneck.

The one and only original, most comprehensive and detailed Hoboken Open House Google Map will be up tomorrow. (By next week at the latest, you will be able togo to it directly at HobokenOHmap.com.    Accept no substitutes!

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently No Comments »

2009 Dec 14th

A Strange Open House

Who is Selling This Hoboken Property?

I was out with some buyers yesterday looking at condos.  As usual, I searched the MLS, printed out the properties we were to see, made appointments with each agency and picked up keys at the various offices.  Midway through the morning, we were on our way to a particular property on the list, when my buyer noticed this sign in front of the building (I blurred out the address):

photo-2

What was so strange about it was that it looked like a “For Sale By Owner” sign.   Yet I had in my hand the MLS sheet for a listing from a reputable agency in town for the very same property.  The sign was clearly hand written, and lacked an agency name (as required by the real estate commission for agents).  There were no identifying names, no phone number, no agency logo, none of the usual trappings.  I thought perhaps the sign was for a different unit in the same building than the listing for which I had made the appointment.  It wasn’t.

Upon entering, we found the unit door unlocked and 3 men inside.  They welcomed us and invited us in.  I immediately identified myself as a realtor with my customers.  I called the agency and asked if they were holding an open house.  They said no.  While I was on the phone, one of the men picked up a stack of flyers from the kitchen counter, which I could see were property flyers, and shoved them in the kitchen cabinet.  I asked if one of them was a realtor but they said they were the owners.  Two of the three promptly left the premises.

We looked around the unit.  I opened the cabinet and saw that the flyer was indeed a “fsbo” style property flyer with no identifying real estate agency info and, this was even more strange, no price!

Now, every owner is certainly entitled to try to sell his or her own property without using a realtor.  My understanding, however, is that once an owner signs a listing agreement with an agency the agency typically handles the sale.  The agency does the marketing, makes the appointments and hosts the open houses.   The listing agreement specifies that even for a number of days after the agreement expires, the seller is obligated to pay the agency the agreed upon commission even if the seller finds his or her own buyer (unless a named party has specifically been excluded from the listing agreement when it was originally entered int0).

I wonder if the listing agent knew that these owners were holding their own open house with their own materials.  Why would they have their own sign and flyers (without a price) rather than use the agency’s?  What if they had found a buyer?  So what exactly was going on here?  Very strange indeed!

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 14 Comments »

2009 Nov 9th

Monday Morning Musings on Hoboken Real Estate

More Hoboken Condos

I read on Hoboken411.com (and confirmed from other sources) that a bunch of zoning variances were granted for a lot owned by the former Fire Chief Cassessa.  The plan is for a 12 story condo building with 100% lot coverage at 509 Newark St.  It’s down by the corner of Observer & Newark – the one with the  chaotic traffic every rush hour.  72 units and 77 parking spaces are proposed in yet another Dean Marchetto design.  I wonder, when Toll Brothers is having problems selling 700 Grove and Zepher Lofts right next door, why would a rational business person think more condos in a market with an oversupply of units for sale were an economically good idea?

Environmental Problems in Hoboken?

A quick search on the internet shows that almost all of western Hoboken (and much of the rest) had environmental “issues” at one time.  We even had our own EPA Superfund site right in town at the corner of 8th and Grand – still a vacant, fenced off lot.  My understanding, though, was that if a property was cleaned up, the NJ EPA would issue a “no action” letter essentially stopping the chain of potential liability.  Yet one of my buyers was recently in contract for a property at a popular Fields building near 9th and Jefferson.  The managment company filled out the condo questionnaire indicating that there was an ongoing environmetal issue even though the buildings about 5 years old.  As a result, the buyer’s FHA loan was denied.  Head’s up to current condo owners, condo associations and buyers – this may become a real problem for buyers of recent construction, especially on the west side of Hoboken where there used to be mostly factories.

Do You Find Open House Placards Objectionable?Washington Street

Every Saturday and Sunday, Washington Street becomes an obstacle course.  Agents put these placards out on every corner so we end up with 8 to 10 per corner.  It is unsightly, ineffective, unsafe.  It is out of control.  Unfortuantely, as long as one company can do it, everyone has to or the sellers say “why isn’t my open house out on the street?”.  So here is my suggestion.  Ban them.  No free speech issues here as it is commercial speech which can be regulated for a reasonable purpose – pedestrian safety, for example.  Why doesn’t the city of Hoboken put up a kiosk and sell space to agencies and other commercial establishements to advertise by flyer or, should they be so technologically sophisticated, by digital display.  Hey, the dry cleaners can do it – how hard can it be?  This would serve to clean up our streets, make it easier for pedestrians to walk, save me a ton of effort every weekend, level the playing field for realtors, and RAISE REVENUE for Hoboken.  Anyone else agree?  Is it time to start a letter-writing campaign to our new Mayor & council people?

Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 14 Comments »

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