Sunday, June 25, 2017

FED RAISES INTEREST RATES – SECOND THIS YEAR

The Federal Reserve voted last week to raise the key interest rate one-quarter percentage point, making it the second of three hikes slated for this year. The outcome was predicted, even with lagging inflation.

“In view of realized and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the [Federal Open Market] Committee decided to raise the target range for the federal funds rate to 1 to 1-1/4 percent,” according to a statement by the Fed. “The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting some further strengthening in labor market conditions and a sustained return to 2 percent inflation.”

The key rate, though not directly tied to mortgage rates, exerts influence in housing and eventually impacts mortgage rates.  The Fed initiated its first increase late last year, voting to carry out the first and only hike of the year, while signaling three hikes in 2017, in December. The Fed made good its promise in March, 2017. Mortgage rates have remained in flux since then, dipping  back below 4 % in April for the first time since the presidential election, although the most recent 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged  3.69% versus 3.60% last year.

It seems to me that the FED will continue its plan to hike rates again later in the year and it will trickle down to the consumer in higher credit card rates and mortgage rates.  The prudent scenario if you are planning a home purchase is to make you decision sooner rather than later.

Give us a call, 631 765 5333, visit our office, or email me, marie@BeninatiAssociates.com.  We’ll help you find the right home for your needs.  No high pressure selling, no gimmicks, no nonsense, just plain old hard work and looking out for you, our clients and customers.


Source: RIS Media.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Flag Day, June 14, 2017… FLAG ETIQUETTE & RESPECT

This past Wednesday was the 240th birthday of our Country’s Beautiful Flag.  On Flag Day and other holidays, many homeowners across America display the flag proudly outside their doorsteps.  As you raise your flag for a holiday, here are some historical facts about our flag and information on proper flag etiquette and care - courtesy of the Veterans of Foreign Wars:

Historical facts about our Flag:

·       It was believed that New Jersey’s Francis Hopkinson, signer of the Declaration of Independence, designed the first  American flag , although many believe that  the original "Stars and Stripes" version of the U.S. flag that was adopted by Congress on June 14, 1777 was designed by Betsy Ross.
·       The original flag had "13 stripes alternate red and white: that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
·       Today the flag still has its 13 stripes representing the original 13 Colonies and 50 stars representing all the states of the Union.
·       According to usflag.org, the colors of the flag signify purity, valor, and justice- white for purity, red for valor and blue for justice.

Etiquette and Care of our Flag:

  • Never let the flag touch the ground.
  • When flown on the same staff as other flags, the U.S. flag should be at the top.
  • If grouped among other flags, the U.S. flag should be flown to the observers' left.
  • When flown over a street, the stars should face north or east, depending on the direction of the street.
  • Do not fasten or tie the flag back, but always let it fall free.
  • If marching with the flag, it should be held on the marcher's right.
  • The flag should not be carried flat.
  • Don’t affix anything to the flag or mark it with any type of insignia, letter, word, number, figure, or drawing.
  •  A flag flown upside-down is a sign of distress or emergency.
  • The flag should not be used as clothing or as a cover or used for any type of advertising or costume and you should never use it to carry anything.
What a beautiful Flag we have!  As we display it outside our home or place of business and let’s all take care and show respect for our  symbol of a united, free Country and mindful of the blood, sweat and tears that have been expended to give us the freedom we enjoy every day of every year.


We also want to wish all the Fathers out there a Happy Fathers Day! Hope your day is filled with Joy!!


Sunday, June 11, 2017

ETHICS: A Matter of Importance in Every Real Estate Interaction

     There are a lot of jokes about salespeople, and those of us in real estate sales are certainly not immune from unflattering depictions of less than trustworthy behavior.  But there is a very important aspect of our profession that requires us to individually and collectively uphold the law and maintain the standards of our industry: we are licensed professionals, by the Department of State, under the Real Estate License Law and we have a Code of Ethics by which we obligate ourselves.
            
     REALTORS® have duties to their clients, customers, and the public and to each other, as defined the National Association of REALTORS Code of Ethics.®  All sellers and buyers, should be aware of our Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice that affect how we do business and interface with you.  Here are some pertinent excerpts: 
          
     “REALTORS® shall not knowingly or recklessly make false or misleading statements about other real estate professionals, their businesses, or their business practices.” This article in our code of ethics requires us to rise above the temptation to “put down” a competitor, with unfair or misleading remarks, including when discussing the prospects of listing a seller’s home. 

     REALTORS® have a duty to protect and promote their client’s interest while being honest with all parties.  As a consumer, you are entitled to truthful representations from the seller’s agent regardless of the fact that he/she does not represent you.
            
     REALTORS® are obligated to disclose pertinent, material defects or adverse factors about a property.  As a seller, disclosure of “pertinent and material” issues is always the best policy.  Most issues can be resolved if they are dealt with up front and with transparency.

     REALTORS® are not permitted to interfere with another Realtor’s exclusively represented client. Realtors cannot deal directly or solicit another Realtor’s client.  Exaggerated erroneous statements or using another REALTORS® photo representations in advertising are not permitted in print or on websites.
     
     REALTORS® are not to take unfair advantage over their competitors. They should not misrepresent their agency relationship to another REALTOR’S® client or suggest that a buyer’s agent cannot have access to or sell their “exclusive” listing.

     We would be happy to supply you with a copy of our REALTORS® Code of Ethics, just give us a call or stop by our office.  At Beninati Associates you’ll always get a straight answer from us ... we promise to “do the right thing”.


Source: The Code of Ethics, National Association of REALTORS® Copyright 2017.

Visit us on our website: beninatiassociates.com  We listen, we care…….and we get results.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD USE A REALTOR®

Selling and buying a home is a challenging process. And in this new market of scarce inventory, fast paced transactions and complex deals, an experienced Realtor® brings value to the table in many ways.  Here are 5 reasons why it makes sense to use a Realtor®:

1. Studies show that homes sold by Realtors sell for about 12% more than those sold by the homeowner.  Most of the sellers who decided to sell their own home, chose the route to avoid paying the agent’s commission, but in reality, homeowners left more than twice as much money on the table.  Realtors are experienced, professional sales people, who know their market, have lots of experience in pricing homes for sale and can negotiate better for you.

2. More than 92% of home buyers use the internet for their home search and the first impression counts when it comes to presentation of a property.  Professional photography,  well-written copy to describe the home’s assets, and wide dispersion of the property on the internet through major real estate portals, facilitates access of potential buyers online.

3. Realtors® have invaluable insights into what sells a home. We have a unique understanding of local markets, home features and buyer preferences. We believe that staging helps sell a home more quickly and for more money, which is why we provide professional staging assistance as part of our services.

4. For buyers, Realtors® are a trusted source of information and help buyers navigate the increasingly complex home buying process. We offer buyers local area expertise. Buyers who use a Realtor® to represent them engage a partner in the real estate transaction, who can provide counsel, market data, strategies, negotiating skills and more.

5. Realtors® are professionals, licensed by the Department of State and bound by a specific Code of Ethics which in addition to honesty and integrity requires continuing education to maintain the licensing status with New York State.

The added value of using a Realtor® is borne out by the fact that a vast majority of today’s home sellers and buyers use a professional Realtor® –  88% of sellers and 84% of home buyers,  use a real estate professional.


At Beninati Associates, we value the trust you place in us to represent you as a seller’s agent or a buyer’s agent.  We always listen, we always care and we always get the best results we can for you. Call us at 631 765 5333 or visit our office at Main and Horton’s Lane, in Southold or email us at broker@beninatiassociates.com.