What is the difference between a good agent and an agent that just wants to get the listing?  I learned early on your word is your bond and your reputation precedes you.  I think the four most important words I learned working in real estate is “do the right thing” and not for yourself but for your client as well as for your colleagues.

So wh…at in the world am I talking about?  Many agents having a strong need and desire to get listings will at times tell potential sellers what they know they want to hear.  Meaning in some cases they may over-inflate the value of the target listing in-spite of comparable sales to the contrary. They may neglect to point out issues or even represent that they have a cash buyer for your home. 

   So what happens in a case like that?  Case in point:  A potential seller interviews three Realtors.  Each one is working with the same comps from the same MLS.  All three should come to a close estimate.

Who would you choose?  In most cases the seller will choose the Realtor who promises the most.  Why not?  Right?  That is exactly what some unscrupulous Realtors bank on.  In one word…greed.

Well here is where I think it is important to weigh all opinions and perhaps use the following points as a guide line:

1.       MLS comparable sales for the previous year are the same for every agent.  After discounting homes with inferior/superior attributes everyone should come to a reasonable average list price for the target home.  Large swings in listing prices higher or lower suggest something is amiss.   A price well over an average price suggests the agent may be looking to lure in a potential seller with fantasies of a large pay day. 

A much lower target listing price suggests that the agent may be looking to take advantage of the seller by placing a lower listing price hoping to insure a quick sale and a quick commission.

Both tactics are bad and both agents are lacking in integrity and violating the first rule of agency – the client comes first!

2.      A good agent is going to go through your home and look at it as a potential buyer would look at it.  We are professionals and know what the buying public is looking for.  The listing agent will get feedback from buyers’ agents about the home.  It is better to prepare sellers for the possible remarks and criticisms they will get as feedback before they get an unpleasant surprise.  Everyone thinks their home is the Taj Mahal.  Some are close, some not so close.  A good agent will make suggestions; point out areas where buyers will have an issue which will be used to negotiate a lower price.  The object is to be honest, help the seller get ready to stage the house and then to accentuate the positive aspects of the home as it is presented to the buying public.

3.      Trust is essential.  Choose an agent you trust.   Don’t discount new agents because they have the eye of the tiger and fire in the belly.  They most likely will work the hardest to market your home and keep you updated as to what potential buyers are saying and how they are marketing your home.  They need to prove themselves to you and to their supervising broker.  Big names may mean you will be number 302 on their client list.  Agents with a smaller client base will naturally give you more attention.

4.  You are your best resource.  Look at popular real estate web sites like Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com.  Look for recently closed properties very similar to yours.  Discount short sales and distress sales, add em up and average it out.  If you and the realtor come up with around the same value go with that Realtor.  Yes you can list it higher than the comps but beware for the principal of substitution mentioned in my last post.

Happy house hunting.

REAL ESTATE, Uncategorized

Home Ownership


My grandparents came to the shores of this great country in the 1920s. Back then banks weren’t making loans like they do now. You had to save your money and sometimes the seller would take back a mortgage. As a child I spent most of my days with grandma and grandpa. We would tend the garden and Pop would teach me all about the roses, cucumbers, tomatoes, figs and those big ugly green tomato worms. Before I was 5 I could grow, pick and plant a victory garden thanks to Pop.

I also went with them when they would go and collect rents from the various buildings they owned or spend the day watching grandpa paint a house. It was during this time that I fell in love with real estate, gardening and cooking. Home ownership builds pride in people. It imparts security and a sense of success. It is the American dream which is not so far from most people’s reach today. It is my wish that every responsible and qualified person experience the joys of home ownership if that is one of their dreams. It is my prayer for them.

Although regulations governing loans has been tightened this year due in part to the crazy times leading up to the 2008 crash, loans are still relatively easy to qualify for.

My grandparents worked hard. My grandpa was a singing waiter and house-painter. Grandma worked as a finisher in a sweat shop in Manhattan. They didn’t always have the benefit of getting a loan from the bank. They gave mortgages to the sellers or took back mortgages from buyers. I recently did a property records search in Brooklyn and discovered all the homes my grandparents owned, how they paid for them and how they sold them. Those methods would be considered unusual today given regulations and the ease of securing traditional loans from banks or other lending institutions but that’s how the old timers did it back then. My grandparents paid off their loans, bought and sold homes and commercial buildings and raised a family. This is the American dream. How lucky we are to have freedom to pursue our dreams.
It was always my dream to own a home for as long as I could remember. I saved and saved and when I was 22 I bought my first home, a fixer-upper. I went from bank to bank with arms full of tax documents to prove my worthiness for a loan. I paid application fees I could not even afford to pay and was turned down every time. I owed nothing. But that didn’t matter to the bankers because I didn’t have a credit history. Finally someone told me to get a credit card and establish a credit history. I paid cash for everything and I didn’t want a credit card but I needed it now. I went to Macy’s got a credit card, bought a shirt, paid it off and then I had credit. I secured a loan at Flatbush Federal Savings and Loan for 10 1/4 % interest and my mother had to co-sign the loan. I worked on that house for 10 years and I learned a lot. I had my own garden, my own fig trees and my own lawn. It was great.

I wish everyone who has this dream has the opportunity to live it. It is truly a blessing. It takes hard work, patience and money but in the end it is all worth it. Real Estate is a wealth builder. Real Estate is the way to achieving your dreams.

I worked as a real estate paralegal for over 11 years and gained so much knowledge and insight into the real estate world. I closed over 2,000 loans and bought and sold real estate. I am a licensed REALTOR Associate with Exit Real Estate in Freehold, New Jersey and a member of the New Jersey Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors as well as MLS. It is a great profession and a wonderful way to help people achieve their dreams.

There is a special satisfaction one gets from helping people buy and sell homes. For most people this is the biggest investment of their lives. Nerves and emotions run high. It is my job to make it a smooth happy and exciting process.

I wish you all a happy house hunting experience.

If you or anyone you know are looking to buy or sell a home now or in the future in New Jersey, USA, please give me the opportunity to earn your business.

I also enjoy answering questions. Feel free to email me if you have a question, I will be more than happy to help.





It was 1990 and I was a fresh faced young Real Estate Paralegal with a major law firm in New York City.  Paralegals did everything that needed to be done in connection with getting deals done.  I was no exception.  If it meant getting rolling on a deal Monday morning which lasted straight through to Thursday afternoon (with shower breaks every 18 hours or so) I did it.  There were many of those.  Or if it meant I was immediately sent out to Seattle to perform due diligence for an Assisted Facility REIT for a client – I did it.  That happened a few times.  There were no cell phones at the time so a hastily written love note to my bride and a voice mail message on the home phone informing her I would call when I got to my hotel room in Seattle or West Virginia or Pennsylvania (or wherever I was going) was the order of the day.  My wife is wonderful and understood. 

There were times when I would come into the office at 9:30 a.m. (law firms start at 9:30) and be summoned into a partner’s office immediately.  The partner would be barking a command at me as I entered the palatial wall to wall windowed office overlooking the Manhattan skyline.  It never began with a good morning only a run-on rattle of orders.  One morning before I even got my coat off I was summoned into a very serious looking Partners office.  “Sit down”.  I sat.  “Listen, you are going to have to go over and appraise the condition of a very infamous person’s penthouse”, he said.  I nodded, listening intently, now on the edge of my seat.  “I am going to send you with an armed guard”.  “What!?!?”  I said.  He then proceeded to tell me that the firm was representing a major lending institution which had an interest in the Adnan Khashoggi penthouse at 641 Fifth Avenue right across from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  Good I thought to myself I could dash in for confession and Last Rites before I went up there – it sounded dangerous.

“Why do you think I need an armed guard”? I said.  He said, “well you know he is a major arms dealer and has been in the news lately with the Iran Contra situation.”  He has had many wild parties up there, orgies, etc… and it could be dangerous.  We don’t know who you will find in the apartment.”  “And you want to send me?”  “Yup!” was the response.  “I will arrange to hire an armed guard for you” he said.  I told him that I had an armed guard, my cousin was an NYPD detective and a big sucker.  He was so big that when I stood behind him you couldn’t see me at all.  I negotiated his salary and transportation and scheduled the appointment.  We arrived at the Penthouse early one brisk morning.  My body guard assured me he had extra clips just in case.  I felt very secure.

The Olympic Tower is located at 641 Fifth Avenue (Mid-town East) and is 51-stories high.  The building was designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill and was probably the first if not one of the first mixed use zoned for Fifth Avenue. The structure was constructed as a joint venture with Aristotle Onassis (second husband to Jackie Kennedy) and his company, Victory Development, in partnership with Arlen Realty and Development. 

The mixed use building features offices, condominiums and high-end retail at the ground level including the NBA offices. Unfortunately there are no pets allowed, and based on the rouges gallery of tenants, owners and occupants animals would be a big improvement.

The penthouse with 360 views of Manhattan was the product of 12 combined apartments.  It had about 12 rooms including five bedrooms, six baths (with bidets which at the time amused and confounded me), a  swimming pool, indoor gardens, a ballroom, an in the wall media center, a sauna, an office, an industrial size kitchen, maids rooms, a guest apartment and more.  I sat on the bed and pressed buttons on a remote control.  One opened up the drapes, one revealed an in the wall bar and entertainment center, another turned the TV on and off, another dropped a movie screen down (remember this was 1990).  Thankfully no one but the maid was in the apartment and the preview/appraisal of condition was uneventful.  Needless to say my body-guard and I were awed. 

Can you imagine the commission fees on this baby?  My mouth is watering now.  Maybe I should get licensed in New York too.

The New Jersey listings thankfully are less notorious but no less glamorous.  There are so many beautiful estates on bucolic grounds and it is a pleasure and honor to preview every home that is coming on the market be it a cottage or a manse.  Happy house hunting.   




By:  Edward Monti

November 16, 2013

What makes a house a home?  A dog of course.  The great American ideal is still a happy husband and wife, 2.5 kids and a dog.  Dogs rule, no matter the makeup of the household be it a modern family, a couple sans kids, single parents, a single person household whatever.  A dog brings life to a home.  It rounds out the family and brings joy.  I love my baby.  Everyone I know that has a dog smiles as soon as you ask about the dog.  It is an amazing thing.  No matter what’s going on.  As soon as you ask, a big smile comes across their face as if they were actually in the presence of their baby.

It might be a primitive attachment we both have in our DNA that goes way back to when ancient man first started cohabitating with dogs, hunting with them and using them for protection.  Man has a long relationship with domesticated dogs which some say originated in China.  Be that as it may dogs are such a special part of our lives.  They really are God sends in so many ways.

When we were looking for our new home we were searching for a home which would meet the needs of the human inhabitants as well as our family companion.  We wanted room to roam, a fenced in yard, trees, a park to bring him to, a beach close by, a dog park too and no steps getting into the house so when he became a senior citizen he wouldn’t have issues going for walks.

Finding that perfect home includes Fido more often than not.  If you are looking for a new home and your dog is a big consideration make sure you let your REALTOR know.  After all they may have a little bundle of joy themselves.

Happy house hunting.




FSBO is the industry term for “For Sale By Owner”.  I recently told an acquaintance of mine that I am now a licensed real estate sales person.  I have some excellent ideas on 21st Century marketing which will distinguish me from the pack.   He gave me a Cheshire Cat smile and informed me that he instructs people on how to sell their homes without a broker.  Apparently some folks regard real estate sales people as no better than used car salesmen.  I asked him for the web site which he provided me and then qualified his condescending remarks about FSBOs (pronounced FIZBOWS) by saying “yeah, but it is a pain in the “butt” to do it on your own.

NO KIDDING!  I tried it when I was selling my home in Brooklyn 14 years ago.  It was stressful and in retrospect very dangerous.  You have no idea who will be ringing your bell.  No pre-qualifications and no chaperone (the sales agent) accompanying the potential buyer to the home.  You have no idea if Charles Manson is paying you a visit.  All an FSBO thinks about is saving that commission fee.  After all what in the world is the agent doing to earn that commission anyway?  Well, let me tell you what I will do:

I provide a Competitive Market Analysis which helps the seller decide on a price to give them an idea what similar priced homes are selling for;

I will preview the home and provide upon request a staging analysis and in certain cases help with ‘Curb Appeal;

I Market your home using my own personal resources (financial, professional connections, sphere of influence, advertisements, etc…) – I have skin in the game also and it is my fiduciary obligation to represent my seller in the best way possible protecting their interests FIRST;

I will pre-qualify all potential buyers.  I will make sure that anyone I bring to your home has the capability of being a ready, willing and able buyer.  I know who they are and where they live so to speak;

I will facilitate getting the offer processed once an offer is made and draw up the contract;

I will be a problem solver and intervene on behalf of the seller to resolve any issues that might arise in the best interest of the seller;

I will arrange to get or assist the seller to obtain proper township approvals (e.g. a Certificate of Occupancy) and arrange to have utilities suspended among other check list items;

I will recommend various professionals (attorneys, title companies, lenders) and help the sellers with re-location in or out of state; and

Assist with the facilitation of the closing.

These are just a few things sales professionals do among many other things.  As professionals we are obligated to make sure we represent YOUR best interest!  We have taken the required courses, received our certificates and are licensed with the State of New Jersey.  Every two years we are obligated to take a continuing education course consisting of at least 12 hours of study.  Many of us take other certification courses all at our own expense to provide the public with the best service available.  We are committed to getting you the highest fair market price for your home.  We are aware of the strong personal attachments people have to their homes and I am sensitive to the stress that selling and/or buying a home can cause.  I have been there a few times myself.  My goal is to make this experience a pleasant, happy one.  While anyone can list and sell their homes and many do and in most cases it is a safe experience based on my experiences I would NEVER do it myself again (even now that I am a licensed professional).  The cast of characters I allowed to enter my home without knowing who they were or if they were qualified or even if they were really potential buyers makes me shutter now.

Unfortunately, at the time we were trying to sell our first home FSBO we were unaware of identity theft.  We let a group in to preview the house and while we were distracted they stole personal information from my wife and stole her identity.  They used her personal information allowing them to make illegal charges at stores and even attempted to take out a loan from a bank in her name.  They were successful in making charges at jewelry stores in Boston but we were able to stop them cold.  Now my wife has a block on all her accounts, we filed police reports, at the time we even put locks on our mail-box.  It was difficult for her to apply for various forms of financing even buying a car because of all the blocks on her identity.  Not to mention all the paranoia! We suffered all this aggravation because I was trying to save a few bucks on the back end by not using a trusted professional.  FSBO should really stand for Forsake Safety By Owner.

I would love to earn your business.  If you are interested in selling your home, buying a home or leasing a home in New Jersey please email me at emonti@outlook.com.  I promise you white glove treatment and a pleasant experience.  No pressure presentations and a free Competitive Market Analysis.




If anyone is looking to come to live and work in the USA perhaps a career in real estate is for you. If you email me with your information I can email you back a packet of information (free of charge) explaining my career path, who I am, what schools are available and provide you with a Licensed Real Estate Broker to interview with for employment as a part time or full time Real Estate Sales Person. Here are the requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older.
  • You must have a high school diploma or proof of equivalent education (such as a GED).
  • The Commission must be content with your display of trustworthiness, honesty, and integrity.
    • You must undergo a criminal history record check.
  • You must submit fingerprints.
  • You must not have ever been convicted of a crime.
    • You must not be on parole or probation.
    • Provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal immigrant status.
    • Complete 75 hours of classroom training

Please email me at – emonti@outlook.com

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in New Jersey I would be honored to earn your business. We have some beautiful properties in New Jersey.

Email me at – emonti@outlook.com





Today we commemorate the great sacrifices our men and women of the armed forces throughout the years have made and are still making for our country.  All too often these vets returning home have a difficult time finding jobs.  One of the up and coming careers for Vets (and really anyone who is a self-starter and in need of a new career or extra income) is a Real Estate Sales Person or Broker.  Certain requirements are waived for vets.  The following information is excerpted from the PSI pamphlet for New Jersey:


Disabled Veterans

Candidates who are citizens of New Jersey and have

certification of a disability from the Veterans Administration

and have been honorably discharged from the United States

Military may qualify for a waiver of the $200.00 broker’s

license fee or the $100.00 salesperson’s license fee.**

Submit the following to the Licensing Services Bureau-Real


1. PSI passing score report completed in its entirety

2. Sagem Morpho Universal Form, and payment receipt

Fee in the amount of $60.00 for salesperson’s license


3. $70.00 for broker’s license (no personal checks)

4. Certificate of Disability issued by the Veterans


5. Certificate of Honorable Discharge (DD-214)

Candidates should contact the NJREC at (609) 292-7272 Ext:

50137 for detail/instructions regarding education or

experience waiver requirements for Disabled Veterans, and to

obtain a Certificate of Examination Eligibility.


I would like to invite anyone and especially Veterans who are in need of employment to e-mail me.  I will respond with a full packet of information for them to advise them on my experiences and make a formal introduction to my broker for full or part time employment in New Jersey.  No strings attached, no fees, it is free.  I will respond to any inquiries and be happy to share my experiences with everyone regardless of location.  I am in New Jersey but a variety of experiences is always helpful when researching a new career path.


E-mail me at – emonti@outlook.com