2014 Aug 14th

An Actual Hoboken Real Estate Conversation

Last week, a property was listed in the MLS as an 800 square foot 2 bedroom.    There was no floor plan provided, though the capacity to provide one right on the MLS exists and we always do.  From the photos, it was impossible to tell what the layout was like, and there were no pictures of the second bedroom.  My buyer was interested in seeing it but asked me about the second bedroom.  Having sold a unit in that building years ago, I was pretty sure that it was not a true 2 bedroom.  I suspected that the second “bedroom” was actually the little, half-room which is above the entrance hallway on the main floor.  This little room is often used as an office or a nursery as it will fit a crib but it is not typically large enough for a full sized bed.

First, I called the listing agency to request a floor plan.  I was told none was available.  This is interesting because there is a Master Deed for every condo unit and in that Master Deed, is a floor plan for every unit in the condo association.  So one was available, but this agent didn’t have it or hadn’t bothered to ask the seller for it.    So I texted the listing agent.  The conversation went like this:

Me:  “Is 123 Main St. a true 2br or a railroad?  Is the 2nd BR the little room over the lobby?”

Listing Agent:  “2br”

Me:  “Right, but equal size BRs?”

Listing Agent:  “No”

Me:  “So is the second “bedroom” the small room above the entrance way on the parlor floor?”

Listing Agent:  “I dont know.  When you see it you will know”

Needless to say, my buyers didn’t care to see it.  What took me aback, however, is that this agent could not be bothered to answer a simple question from another agent.  I assume he couldn’t be bothered because the alternative is that he really didn’t know the layout of his own listing, which would be nothing less than a likely breach of fiduciary duty to his seller.  How do you not know the layout of your own listing?  Why haven’t you bothered to get a floor plan?  Does the seller of this property know that his or her agent is dealing with inquiries from agents in this callous manner?  If I were the seller and found out, I’d fire this agent immediately.  This makes me just crazy and gives ALL realtors a bad name.  Raise the bar, people!


Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently 3 Comments »

2014 Mar 20th

Hoboken Real Estate Descriptions Make Me Laugh

Here’s a good one – straight from the advertising description of a Hoboken condo:

Beautiful 25 year young duplex apt. Walking distance to PATH & 3 minutes to NJ Turnpike and RT 1 & 9 (Holland Tunnel). Large apt. with master bedroom suite, walk in closet, spacious master bath, vaulted ceilings, tremendous living room w/balcony & modern kitchen. 12′ ceilings is critical for easy commute. Fabulous layout with a lot of storage, very low taxes, Vaulted ceilings quiet block. Large stage area in Basement.

Which is better – the idea that a 25 year old apartment is young?

The 12′ ceilings which are needed for the easy commute? That must be important since the ceilings were mentioned 3 times in an extremely limited amount of space which makes us choose very carefully what we select to include in the description.

Or the large stage area in the basement.  What exactly would one do with a large stage area anyway?

This really made me laugh.

Here is another good one from today.  AR means “Active Rental”.  For Rent – only $2,450,000.

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Posted by Lori Turoff | Currently Comments Off on Hoboken Real Estate Descriptions Make Me Laugh

2014 Mar 18th

A Typical Real Estate Sunday in Hoboken

It was a another typical weekend in the Hoboken real estate market.  It’s always amusing what I see from my perspective.  This is a small sampling:

Took a client to a property listed as a 1 bedroom plus den – is was actually a true 2 bedroom.  Makes me wonder if the listing agent bothered to check the listing or was even ever at the property.  Bathroom had one of those horrendous 1980’s Hollywood light fixtures  with 5 bulbs.  Three of the bulbs weren’t working and none matched.

Much more common – took another client to a property listed as a 2 bedroom.  The second “bedroom” would not fit a bed.  These half-rooms are found in older Hoboken buildings but competent agents mention in the remarks something like “small second br perfect for baby’s room or home office”.  Nothing like managing the buyer’s expectations.

Took clients to an open house.  Listing didn’t bother to mention that building had a common yard.  Hosting agent didn’t know which parking space came with unit.  Basic information you think a seller might want buyers to know.

Had the usual cluster f**k over keys.  One property had three keys that all look identical and are not labeled.  All three fit into the lock on the front door of the buildings.  None open it immediately.  It took about 15 minutes of guessing which key to jiggle and just how to jiggle it before one finally worked.  Really?  Is it that hard to label a set of keys?

Later incident – listing agent didn’t bother to make multiple sets, didn’t put a lockbox on the property, the receptionist gave them to agent A who gave them to agent B, who gave them to “someone but I don’t know who it was”, etc., etc.  These are the keys to a home.  You think the sellers are happy that they were handed off to any old stranger?

My favorite was the open house that was advertised from 1 to 3pm.  I showed up with my clients at about 1:10.  The host was outside futzing with taping a flyer to the door.  I said “Good morning. We are here for the open house!”.  We’d never met before so she had no idea that I was an also an agent.

Agent:  “I’m not ready yet”

Me, after looking at my watch to confirm time:  “It’s after 1pm, no?”

Agent:  “Well, parking in this town is always a problem”.

Way to sell a property in Hoboken!  Did your sales coach teach you that technique?  Especially because this is a unit in a building which has deeded parking but this particular unit does not come with a spot.  But they do advertise rental parking in a municipal lot a block away, where she easily could have parked.  When she finally finished grumbling, she let us in but didn’t bother to turn on the lights.  It’s always nice to sell a space in the dark.  Oh, and Hoboken is a city, not a town.


I also had at least two calls from agents trying to open the lockbox at my listings.  Yes, all the properties we list for sale have lockboxes.  If buyers can’t see it you can’t sell it.  Basic premise of real estate sales.  They couldn’t figure out how to turn the number tumbler and open the box.  We decided that as part of the (pathetically inadequate) real estate licensing exam, they ought to distribute the 3 basic types of lockboxes and if a wanna-be agent can’t open them, they don’t get their license.

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