Lee Williams

Lee Williams

F. Lee Williams III, knows that real estate is more than an investment – it’s where people live and celebrate their lives. His strongly client-centered ethic drives him to treat each client as his only client, whether they hail from New York or are international clients from Russia, Israel, Canada, Singapore and London. Working with sellers, buyers and investors, Williams helps each achieve the best possible outcome.
With over a decade of experience in the NYC market, Williams has developed deep ties within the brokerage community, an advantage that can make deals happen. He understands and translates what brokers are looking for into successful marketing strategies. The trust that other brokers have in Lee has kept doors and deals open for his clients.
Since 2005, Williams has actively leased Manhattan apartments representing both tenants and landlords, giving him an encyclopedic knowledge of the market. As a marketer, Lee digs deep to identify what makes a property unique and how to leverage this for greater exposure. His sales listings have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New York Post, DNAInfo.com, Yahoo! Homes and other web-based publications.
Real estate transactions have a lot of moving parts and Williams has a reputation for flawlessly orchestrated transactions. In a market where cash can be king, Williams regularly gets mortgage-based deals approved over cash offers.
Williams’ stays close to his clients and has developed expertise in helping “accidental landlords,” that is, clients who choose to relocate, but decide to continue to own and lease their apartments.
A graduate of Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Williams regularly addresses industry organizations. Recently, he spoke to the Rent Guidelines Board on behalf of small property owners.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Williams enjoys motorcycling north to Litchfield County, CT or south to the New Jersey shore in his spare time. He plans an African motorcycle safari in the next few years.



December 2017 by F. Edozien and S. Ikeda , First Time Buyers , Other Bronx
Dear Lee & Doug

This past Saturday we moved into our new home and spent our first night there.

We spent Sunday walking around our new neighborhood. This is belated since we closed some time back but THANKS A MILLION. The work on launching my book in U.K. and NYC kept us from moving sooner.

As as we settled in, it seemed like had finally come to a close of the long journey in finding our perfect home and the place we will put down some roots. I am so grateful that we had you two to guide us with a steady hand from the get-go. Our ''triangle'' and the long list of requirements we had have been ticked off.

It has always been important for Scott to live near his network of clinics and the hospital and that we have achieved. While I needed a park with tennis courts and swimming pool nearby, a functioning library and access to subway lines for me to feel super comfortable. We have all that and more. A beautiful house, good neighbors so far, and all in a borough I resisted.

It certainly isn''t easy buying that fist home, but your steady hands, constant communication and easy explanations for complicated matters made this so much easier for us. I realize that my frequent travel abroad may not have made me the easiest client but you guys persevered and showed us all the options when I was around. You are a magnificent team and the combination of a light touch when needed and constant flow and explanations of the process was helpful.

Thank for prompting us to get our paperwork, finances and everything else ready before the financial brokers asked. All the recommendations for lawyers, home inspectors et al You know your stuff and your clients will always come out on top with this kind of attention to detail, early anticipation and generally calming our frayed nerves when things seemed to be going sour. We are very grateful for your professionalism, patience, kindness and generally being on our side. We never felt like you guys were our brokers we felt and feel like your team were our friends helping us.

When my friends are looking for homes, I know where to point them and will know for certain they will be in great hands!

A million thanks

April 2016 by Sean and Ruth S. , Inwood / Washington Heights
We were referred to Lee Williams through a colleague at work. We were in need of a larger apartment as our first child was due in a few months. Our current 400 sq. ft. 1 bedroom apartment was simply not going to work. We contacted Lee. He sent a full list of documents we would need to have ready and explained the process. Over 2 days we looked at four apartments and each met our needs. Each was a great choice. One was on Central Park, another had Hudson River Views, another had outdoor space,
and the third had just undergone a gut renovation with an amazing kitchen. Lee allowed us to take our time looking at each apartment and answered all of questions. He showed us options we did not expect to have in our price range and it was a tough choice to select one!

It was terrific to work with someone who knew the management companies and buildings, and we could trust was only showing us places he knew would meet our needs. We had been looking at listings online as well, and when we showed Lee a listing we were interested in he tracked it down immediately and determined it did not actually exist.

Lee negotiated the lease, terms and necessary repairs and was in touch regularly about where things stood. When the landlord did not pay one of the fees agreed to, Lee made certain we were accommodated. We’ve just moved into our home and couldn’t be happier. We will certainly be using Lee again when our son grows up and we need more space.

March 2016 by Joyce H. - Syntext Systems
Lee and I first met at an industry event. As a managing agent I receive countless solicitations from agents to work with the portfolio we manage. After listening to Lee’s proposal for one of our properties the firm decided to give him a try. The results were stellar. He evaluated the current rent roll and suggested increasing rents and inexpensive property upgrades to increase the value and marketability of the building and apartments. We now consistently seek his input when discussing apartment alterations and upgrades with our contractors. He has helped us reduce our expenses in this area as well.

Lee has consistently brought us credit qualified tenants who pay their rent on time each and every month. He puts the prospective tenants through a rigorous screening process and ensures the appropriate fit for each of our landlords. He works closely and cooperatively with our current tenants to minimize vacancies. Additionally, he keep us updated on the marketing of each upcoming or current vacancy a minimum of twice weekly.

Lee is a consummate professional, an effective negotiator, knows the rental market landscape and most importantly is a man of his word. His integrity and ethical manner of doing business is refreshing and welcome. Lee now handles our entire portfolio on an exclusive basis. I recommend Lee without hesitation.



March 2016 by Y.M. Kim and Lawrence L. , Upper West Side
We were introduced to Lee several years ago by a friend when looking for a real estate agent. Since then we have entrusted Lee with all of our real estate needs.

When we first met Lee, we were living in an alcove studio with our first child. He worked with us patiently as we looked for a larger apartment for our growing family, listening carefully to understand our situation and concerns.

After helping us find the perfect new apartment, he lent a hand to estimate the price of our alcove studio. Ultimately we decided to keep it as an investment, and Lee has since found us two great tenants paying market rates, suggested appropriate rental increases and worked with the management company to ensure a smooth approval process.

Lee is a true professional. He knows the business and as a human being he is very courteous. Easy to talk to, good at listening to his clients, easily available, and at all times quick at returning our calls or to respond to our questions or concerns. Above all, Lee is an ethical Real Estate Agent who makes it a point to help you meet your goals.
We recommend Lee Williams without reservation.

DNA Info (12/20/2016) - 17 Predictions for NYC's Residential Real Estate in 2017
 

17 Predictions for NYC's Residential Real Estate in 2017

 
By Amy Zimmer | December 20, 2016 3:03pm
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Brick Underground (01/04/2016) - 2016 MARKET FORECAST: IS THIS THE YEAR NEW YORK RETURNS TO SANITY?

2016 MARKET FORECAST: IS THIS THE YEAR NEW YORK RETURNS TO SANITY?

"You can’t have record prices forever."

The New York City real estate market is as eternally dramatic as it is expensive, but a funny thing happened on the way to the end of 2015: The monthly deluge of market reports stopped reliably bringing tidings of new, dizzying all-time high price records. Jitters about the international economy combined with good old-fashioned buyer (and renter) price fatigue seem to have finally turned down the stifling heat—at least a bit—in our market.

It doesn't, however, mean prices are about to plummet and the city will settle into placid, suburban-style market behavior. But at this point, any sign of sanity comes as a relief. This in mind, we're looking into the proverbial crystal ball for what's to come in the year ahead for buyers, sellers, and renters, from Mayor Bill de Blasio's ever-controversial rezoning plan to the next hyped outer borough neighborhoods to watch:

 

 

BUYERS: It's not cheap, but it is your market

For the most part, expect prices to stop their rapid ascent of recent years, and maybe even drop a bit. But keep in mind that price fluctuation will depend heavily on what kind of apartment you're looking for—and where.

"We're about to enter a buyer's market for the first time in about three years," RealDirect CEO Doug Perlson tells us. "Luxury buyers all the way down to the regular under-$2 million buyer will see for the first time in a while that there's less competition. In some cases it will be a buyer's market, in some cases it will just be a sane market instead of what we've seen over the last year or two." As evidence, Perlson points to the widening gap between sales contracts signed and listings available, an indication that apartments aren't flying off the shelves quite as quickly, and that prices may adjust as a result. 

"It’s natural market dynamics—you can’t have record prices forever," addsUrbanDigs founder Noah Rosenblatt, who notes that both the luxury market and the rest of the market will likely even out but "trend higher," albeit without a slower, more normal rate of growth than the one we've been seeing. 

One unfortunate truth in all this: If anyone sees real price declines, it'll almost certainly be buyers of ultra-luxury high-end apartments, which unlike anything else on the market, are actually in an inventory excess right now. "You're going to see softening"—that's broker code for price drops—"in the $10 million and up market, but I think you're going to see strengthening in the condo market and in Brooklyn and Queens," says MNS CEO Andrew Barrocas, since demand in those segments of the market is still significantly outstripping supply.  

And as for those recent interest rate hikes? No one expects them to have a significant effect on the market. "Most people buying properties in these price points aren't going to make their decisions based on a percentage point," as Engel & Volkers USA CEO Anthony Hitt puts it. And the same conditions keeping supply low and demand high for regular buyers are still in place. "I don't think we're going to see more sales volume in 2016 than in 2015, " says Miller Samuel appraiser Jonathan Miller, given that limited supply and tight lending standards still rule the day.

On the plus side, developers are waking up to the fact that not everyone is in the market for a multi-million-dollar three- or four-bedroom spread, and are starting to roll out options for buyers looking for something smaller. "You won't just have $3 million and $4 million apartments, but smaller one-bedrooms and studios," says Compass President Leonard Steinberg, who notes that some rental-to-condo conversions will have options under $2,000 per square foot, a relative bargain in the tony world of Manhattan new development (though admittedly, not what most New Yorkers would call affordable--by comparison, the typical price per square foot for a Manhattan studio is under $800). 

The quick takeaway here: "The bread and butter of the NYC real estate market is still chugging along," says Perlson. "It will cool down a little, but still winds up being strong."

SELLERS: Tone down the expectations

All that stuff about the market calming down? Yes, it applies to you, too.

"The days of irrational pricing have come to an end," as Steinberg puts it. While sellers looking to capitalize on the top of the market have been looking to set records and sell for at least five percent more than any recent comps in the neighborhood, "the market is starting to react and say 'enough is enough,'" says Perlson.

This isn't to say that you won't find plenty of willing takers if you choose to put your place on the market, but you should set your price realistically, with an eye to drawing people in—and ideally, creating a bidding war.

"Just to have a property is not all you need anymore," says Halstead brokerAnna Shagalov. "You want to price conservatively so you can get a lot of people in the door, and the market will adjust accordingly."

With conditions not quite as frothy as they've been in recent years, some sellers who've been on the fence are now choosing to stay put, too. "People who don’t necessarily have to move  and are trying to time the market now understand now that they may have missed the peak," says Lee Williams of the Level Group. "They may wait to put their properties on the market in the spring when the [Wall Street] bonuses have been paid out, and people are back in town."

Lee also notes that rather than selling, many owners are choosing to renovate, instead—meaning that if you're on the hunt for a contractor in the early part of 2016, you might find them in short supply or with suddenly higher rates.

RENTERS: Don't be afraid to push for concessions

Don't let Jimmy McMillan's recent retirement lull you into a false sense of security: The rent still is—and probably always will be—too damn high.

"I don't think you're going to see the frequency of [record-setting prices] that you saw in 2015, but I still don't think that means much in the way of enhanced affordability," says Miller. And if the most recent round of rental market reports are any indication, any significant price breaks will probably come at the higher end, as with the sales market. (Yes, even when things start getting cheaper, it's the One Percent that reaps the benefits.)

But another key factor from the December reports: Vacancy rights are comparatively high and landlord concessions are up, meaning now's the time to look for a deal, particularly during the usual winter slowdown. "With the increase in concessions, the conversation has shifted to, 'How do we keep our tenants?'" says Aptsandlofts.com founder David Maundrell.

"January, February, and March are a really good time for renters to look," concurs Citi Habitats President Gary Malin. "It's colder, there's less volume, and there are places that have been sitting on the market where owners are more apt to modify pricing or add in concessions." If there were ever a time to try your hand at haggling, this is it.

As of December, rental prices were rising more quickly in Queens than in Brooklyn or Manhattan, so expect costs to keep edging up there, as well as in area's of Brooklyn where development is still booming. "Places where you see a rush of new commercial tenants like Downtown Brooklyn, the 4th Avenue corridor in Park Slope, and around Industry City, you'll see increases," Barrocas tells us. "There are too many new jobs being created in those areas for prices not to rise."

(Photo: StreetEasy/The Oosten)

AMENITIES: The end of attention-grabbing excess?

Part and parcel with this general simmering down: Buildings are going less ostentatious with amenities—a trend that has been developing for a while, and this is just a continuation of it—and renters and buyers are less awestruck by them. After all, who wants a higher monthly bill for a virtual golf room they never use?

"I think what people are learning is that some amenities are gimmicks and some are really usable," says Steinberg. "And if you have a building with a ton of them, you're going to pay a huge amount for that, and on the flip side, there are savings to be had if the building isn't so over-amenitized." 

Multiple sources tell us that screening rooms are going the way of the dodo—most people wealthy enough to live in amenity-heavy buildings have their own flatscreens at this point—with buildings moving towards guaranteed winners like gyms and pools, or a multi-purpose rom that can be used for, say, a wine tasting one day and a yoga class the next. "Anything oriented towards healthy lifestyle continues to be popular," says Maundrell.

Social programming will also still be big, with buildings aiming to create a certain culture among residents—all the better to entice them to stay. "Showing Monday night football, cooking demonstrations, things to help the tenants interact," Maundrell adds.

(Photo: Flickr/Hrag Vartanian)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING: The uphill battle continues

As they were in 2015, expect the fight for affordable housing—and the discord around de Blasio's ambitious Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan—to be in the news more or less non-stop.

First, there's the push and pull over the 421a tax abatement, a break given to developers in exchange for building a certain percentage of affordable housing in new project. It's set to expire mid-January, with negotiations still dragging on, thanks in large part to a disagreement with unions over worker safety at construction sites. (As the Times chronicled in November, safety at construction sites has fallen by the wayside in the frenzied developer gold rush of the last year or two, with worker deaths and accidents increasing at a troubling rate.)

After winning a historic rent freeze at last year's Rent Guidelines Board vote,  housing groups will also be pushing for a full-on rent rollback this year. "Incomes are stagnant for most people, while rents are just continuing to rise," says  Ava Farkas, executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Housing. 

And expect lots of action from groups trying to protect current residents from getting pushed out by greedy landlords using shady buyouts—or insufferable construction—to bring in new, wealthier residents. A group called Stand For Tenant Safety is currently pushing 12 different bills to, as they put it, "comprehensively reform the Department of Buildings and put an end to Construction-As-Harassment." And organizations like the Crown Heights Tenant Union and CASA continue to fight for protections like theRight to Counsel in housing court—meaning tenants can't be bullied and dragged to court without a lawyer—in high-risk areas like Crown Heights and the Bronx.

ZONING AND PRESERVATION: things are going to get (even more) heated

As for the zoning portion of de Blasio's plan, expect lots of debate as a revised version of the bill heads to the City Planning Commission for a vote in February, and from there, to final approval (or lack thereof) in the City Council. "I don't think anybody expects that it will be enacted in the form that exists today," says Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. "The question is how much it will be changed, and in what form, and will that be enough for it to be approved by the City Council, given how many community boards have voted against it?"

While preservationists are concerned about looser height requirements in historic neighborhoods, the affordable housing crowd is worried that the concessions for affordability will be outweighed by pricey new development allowed in gentrifying neighborhoods, especially in areas like East New York, where most current residents make less than the income caps required for affordable housing options in the new buildings.

"We're organizing to say that mixed inclusionary housing [e.g. so-called "80/20" buildings] is not real affordable housing," says Farkas. "The rents would not be affordable to the families who are the most rent-burned in the city." 

(Photo: Flickr/Kai Brinker)

NEIGHBORHOODS: The Bronx and Queens take center stage

The end of 2015 seemed to be flooded with Queens trend pieces—StreetEasy even crowned Jamaica as the next hot neighborhood for the coming year. (We'll believe it when we see it.)

But hype and trend pieces aside, this will likely be the year when all the chatter about Queens starts to translate into a bunch of new residents, and most likely, higher prices. As with the L train before it, development (and new residents) are heading into Queens along the main lines of transit, particularly the 7 train. As new high rises fill up and neighborhoods coalesce around Long Island City, development (and price hikes) have already started spilling over into nearby Astoria, too, and residents who wouldn't have even considered areas like Jackson Heights or Woodside are now giving those neighborhoods a serious glance, as well.

 

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Parade (12/04/2015) - Selling a Home at the Holidays: 15 Decorating Tips

When my husband and I decided to sell our first home, we happened to put it on the market shortly before the holidays. Even though I knew about decluttering and keeping my house “show ready,” I couldn’t wait to pretty the place up with holiday decorations.

Until my real estate agent told me I couldn’t.

Or at least I couldn’t do it the way I wanted to or had always decorated in the past.

Turns out that just like family photos and other heirlooms that are personal to you but distracting for buyers, holiday decorations can make it hard for buyers to “see” themselves living in your home.

As a home seller it might be worth your time to make a few decorating adjustments during December—and for good reason:

  • Real estate experts continue to believe that those looking at houses during the cold-weather months are serious buyers.
  • The weekends before Christmas and New Year’s tend to have some of the highest traffic of the year. Realtor.com recently crunched datafrom its website and found this to be true.
  • During the holidays, says Andy Nelson, CEO and president of Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego, “there are fewer houses on the market to compete with. Many sellers will wait until after the holidays to list their homes, creating a flooded market and increased competition.”

So rather than take your house off the market in December or switch its status from active to “active-no showings,” use these 15 tips on how not to decorate your house when selling during the holidays. Who knows? You might wake up on Christmas morning to an offer.

  1. Holiday decorations should fit the style of the home. If you have a modern home, consider tasteful modern holiday decorations. Selling your home at the beach? Your decorations should reflect this vibe.
  2. Go for seasonal greenery. A real wreath on the door with a few bows is fine. So is some pine garland on the porch or across a fireplace mantel.
  3. Don’t over decorate outside. No twinkling, musical or colorful animated characters on the lawn, front porch or the roof. Now is not the time to compete with Buddy the Elf for the most decorated home.
  4. Clean up around your tree. If you have a real Christmas tree, “please make certain you clean up the pine needles,” begs Lee Williams, a real estate agent with Level Group, a full-service real estate brokerage in New York City. “Neatness counts.”
  5. Keep it simple with ornaments. Don’t clutter your tree with every ornament you’ve ever used over the years. Think streamlined and simple.
  6. Don’t eat up precious floor space. If your home is small, pare down your Christmas tree size as well. You don’t want it or the presents underneath taking up valuable floor space and making your home looking smaller.
  7. One candle per window, please. Candles in the windows are fine, but, warns Williams, “make certain the candles do not draw attention to any potential negatives outside or inside the home.” Some negatives outside might be dented siding, for example.
  8. Some decorative lights are fine. Lights (white lights only, please) inside the home are OK, but if you must run extension cords all over the place—due to a lack of outlets, a negative to buyers—forget the lights all together, says Williams.
  9. Choose colors carefully. If you must decorate your home for the holiday you celebrate, use traditional colors only—so red and green for Christmas and blue and white or silver for Chanukah, for example. Even better, keep religion out of the color scheme and go with silver and gold!
  10. Put away religious symbols. Nutcrackers, manger scenes and menorahs may be important to you but could be a distraction to buyers. Keep those out for your own personal celebrations but put them away for showings.
  11. Staging still matters. For the holidays, you may simply want to swap out everyday linens for those in your holiday color scheme.
  12. Don’t display holiday greeting cards. They become like family photos—another distraction that prevents buyers from “seeing” themselves living in your house.
  13. Pare down presents. If presents are to be displayed, keep them to a minimum. In fact, you may want to wrap a few empty boxes, tastefully, of course, as part of your decorating theme, suggests Williams.
  14. Clear your cookies. Don’t leave a plate of cookies out at showings—you’re trying to find a buyer, not entice Santa to leave you more presents. Plus, food allergies are a real concern these days. Causing an allergic reaction is not a good way to inspire someone to make an offer on your home.
  15. Curb appeal continues to count. In the winter and with inclement weather, a big part of curb appeal is having a shoveled driveway and a walk clear of ice and snow. It’s definitely a negative if buyers can’t make it to your front door—safely.
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Real Estate Weekly (10/15/2015) - Effort to improve transparency in mortgage forms has more pros than cons

A new set of rules for mortgage brokers will take effect this month, and while the rules are aimed at transparency between lenders and consumers, some say it may slow down the process.

The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) has been around since 1968. It was designed to safeguard consumers by requiring full disclosure of the terms and conditions of finance charges in credit transactions. It has been amended several times over the years, and this month, another rule will take effect.

In 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) integrated the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and TILA disclosures and regulations. Now, any transaction involving a mortgage will use new CFPB disclosure forms. The new forms were originally supposed to be implemented in August of this year, but it was pushed back until Oct. 3.

Put simply, the new disclosure forms are meant to help a consumer more easily understand all the costs and fees involved in obtaining a mortgage and closing on a home, make it easier to compare multiple loan offers, and avoid being hit with any last-minute charges.

“What the government has done is a really smart thing to do, which is to take away the surprise element,” said Melissa Cohn, a mortgage broker with MC Home Loans.“The consumer at a closing will get what is bargained for. If you just hand someone a document an hour before a closing and there’s another fee on it – it puts the consumer in an awkward position. And it’s a position they should never be put in.”

 

Cohn says one of the biggest takeaways from the new rules, are that the TILA document and Good Faith Estimate (GFE)documents are now combined into one document, instead of being separate and difficult-to-understand forms.

“It’s funny math all basically done by a computer, and doesn’t give any common sense to the consumer,” she said. “The new form is basically a worksheet of what you’ll have to pay – appraisal fee, closing, fees, mansion tax – whatever it may be, is presented in a very readable and consumer-friendly format, which I think is an incredible plus.”

One of the biggest changes with the new rules, is that both the TRID and good faith documents have to be presented in their final form three days prior to closing, meaning there will be no hidden fees showing up at a closing. Before the rule went into effect, the GFE document wasn’t signed until the day of closing.

However, a downside of the new disclosure rules could mean that a closing could get prolonged if something came up last minute, and the forms had to be changed and sent again with a new three-day period tacked on.

“The good thing is, once you get to the closing table, it should be a much better experience,” said Cohn. “In my eyes, it’s a real plus for the consumer, a plus for me as a mortgage banker, because it makes my job of helping my borrower understand what their costs are much easier today, and they’re comforted by the fact that there aren’t hidden fees at closing.”

The CFPB is also considering a clarification to the new disclosure rules dealing specifically with co-ops, which the new rules did not specify were included as part of the changes.

Co-ops have traditionally been considered real estate under TILA and RESPA, but the CFPB did not specify whether co-ops would be considered real estate under the new rule. Sales of co-ops have reportedly been slowed since the new rules were announced, because of confusion over which type of disclosure form should be used.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney of New York questioned CFPB director Richard Cordray during a hearing last week about the co-op issue, and he said they will take the concerns into consideration and work to “get it right.”

Transparency has become a major focus after predatory lending practices led to a subprime mortgage crisis, which coincided with the economic downturn of 2008-2009.

And even now, those seeking a loan are discriminated against based on their race, according to a recent working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. That study found that between 2004-2008, African Americans were 54 percent more likely to be charged high interest rates on their mortgages, according to a Washington Post article from December of 2014.

The study found that people in essentially the same financial situations got different mortgages depending on the color of their skin. The authors of the study estimated that, all else being equal, black Americans were 7.7 percentage points more likely to have a high-interest mortgage, a 54 percent increased risk, while Latinos were 6.2 points (45 percent) more likely to have a high-interest mortgage. Asian Americans were 1 percentage point (7 percent) more likely to have a high-interest mortgage.

The authors found that most of the people were concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods, and especially in places where the residents were less educated.

On the residential real estate brokerage side, agents see the changes a positive addition to the process. Lee Williams, a salesperson with real estate brokerage firm Level Group, sees there being an adjustment period to adapt to the new rules, but after that, smooth sailing.“There is going to be a slight delay with the new procedures,” he said. “Whenever there is any change it takes time for all those involved to become accustomed to the new rules.”

However, as most agents will tell you, a client’s needs and interests come first, and these new disclosure rules aimed at transparency do just that.

“In the end the customer will have the full list of fees and expenses for closing,” said Williams. “This is only going to be of benefit for all concerned. No one likes surprises at the closing table. Anything that makes this process more transparent for them will only help the consumer and our industry in the long run.”

Veteran broker Lawrence Rich, who works for Brown Harris Stevens, compared the three-day wait period to getting a marriage license and having to wait before having the ceremony. “When something’s new everyone complains, and then they just adapt,” said Rich. “It’s just part of the process. It could cause problems getting everyone together at the same time, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing, because people always say they don’t know what they’re paying for with all these fees.”

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