Archive for December, 2010

Williamstown and Berkshires Real Estate Trends for 2011

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

 

Time Cover in 2010 - don't buy Real Estate

Time in 2010 - Rethink Buying

Buying Real Estate for Investment Time 2005
Time Magazine 2005- Buy Real Estate!

In September of 2010 I completed my 35th year in Williamstown real estate. There was a time when counting the years in my early career meant simply lasting from one year to the next in business. I recall how I began my career right around Labor Day of 1975 with high hopes and many trepidations, having left the security, though modestly remunerating, of a teaching job at Pine Cobble School. I was full of enthusiasm and fears but had a good teacher and mentor in my then broker. The first office was primarily an insurance agency and real estate was a extra “back-up” income for my Broker. I was to bring real estate forward with new energy and attention. I also obtained my insurance license and devoted some of my time to that as well.
 
September passed, then October and no real estate contracts. Then November came and was almost going to pass when I put my first property under contract at Thanksgiving. That was more than symbolic as it turned out. I felt like the Pilgrim who had struggled to survive and finally there was some promise of reward. The sale didn’t actually close until the following February as I recall so it took me six months to earn my first income from real estate. I also had my first and fortunately last two migraines ever, the first one right after signing the contract in November. 

In the months that ensued, thanks to determination, many appreciative former parents of students who became clients,  a patient wife, supportive family and good training by my broker, I gradually built a reputation and one success on top of another. In December of 1978 I left my mentor and broker.  So on January 1 of 1979 I began a new phase of my Berkshires Real Estate career and with two totally green and brand new Real Estate Agents, Martha Dietze and Judy Peabody we began what was then Harsch Realty.  We later changed the name because too many Williams College  students thought it was amusing to add an ‘I’ to the word “Realty” on our Real Estate signs changing it to “Harsch Reality”. Thus today, we are “Harsch Associates Berkshires Real Estate”.
 
I’m sure I had a few more headaches in the early years but the company grew rapidly and very quickly became the leading Real Estate agency  in Williamstown and then we added real estate offices in Bennington VT and Manchester VT, North Adams MA and Lenox,MA. At our peak in 1990 Harsch Associates had 50 sales associates divided about ¾ in the residential division of the company and ¼ in our business and commercial division plus 10 employees. It was a large and busy company and in our top year we closed on over $32 million in sales. 
 
Changes happened as they always do and in the ensuing years, following significant changes to tax laws affecting depreciation rules for one and other internal changes, we began a downsizing process. Today we are a highly efficient, very personal  group that does as much in real estate sales as agencies three to four times our size.   We sell our listings on average in less time and on average at substantially less of a discount to list price than our chief competitor and we have the most comprehensive most visited web site in our entire market area of the Berkshires.  Our office is located in a historic building- Walden House at 311 Main Street in Williamstown MA. We provide privacy and spacious conference rooms to discuss your real estate listing and buying needs with total confidentiality.   
 
I wrote back in ’06 that the market had peaked in our market area in terms of sales volume in ’05 and I later wrote in ’08 that prices had peaked in ‘07. These two predictions in time proved accurate. It is reasonable to think the bottom was reached in volume in ’09 but that prices will not start to advance overall until next year and even then only very slowly and randomly. This is because a substantial backlog in Berkshires and Williamstown Real Estate inventory exists that will take time to work through. As our local population drifts south,  the baby boom generation moves  in to retirement mode with the intention of selling their “extra home” and unless we see a significant increase in employment figures, the Williamstown and Berkshire Real Estate supply will still outstrip demand leaving many real estate sellers still hoping for purchase offers. 
 
In an effort to stimulate the nation’s economy following the dot com bust and then the terrible events of 9/11, Alan Greenspan pumped money in to the economy like free beer at a frat party and soon the nation was on another bender leading to the gold rush of the housing bubble, which like the dot com bubble and all others before it, was doomed to burst. Thus the excess of  home inventory and the accompanying discomfort today for sellers. This is the “hangover” we have to work through.  Those who did not  “benefit” during the bubble are very uncomfortable now.  It is very difficult to deal with increasing days on the market before a purchase offer is received. 
 
But like the mess that has to be cleaned up following the frat party, there is a lot of cleaning up in real estate that has to be done and it will be a while before real estate  return to some semblance of “normal”.   That said,  there are really only two reasonably certain ways to deal with this period of recovery. One is to just sit it out and wait for prices to rise again but this can be misleading. After all, its expensive to keep a property you no longer want or need and inflation will gradually eat away at the value of those future dollars. Between the carrying costs and the loss of future purchasing power, not to mention the postponement of other plans, the “holding strategy” can result in more loss than gain,
 
The best approach is “realism” and understanding fair market real estate value (see our blog on this topic). This requires recognizing the degree of competition for your property in the market and deciding to price your property to compete well.   There are not  many shoppers  in the current real estate market and the current buyers are making well considered decisions before making any purchase offer. 
 
Sellers can find it hard to deal with hard reality in a buyer’s market. Even costly improvements that were highly desired several years ago, hold little appeal for the savvy buyer today. Selling your home in a buyer’s real estate market depends on pricing to sell knowing the fair market value in your area.  Without an unbiased  professional appraisal to justify the listing price, it is easy to see why there are many homes that languish on the market as compared to the few “priced right” homes which are actually selling fairly quickly.  Many sellers are  unable to view their property (home) objectively.  Sound real estate advice from a knowledgeable real estate agent plus a professional appraisal in hand will go a long way when pricing a Berkshire property and will result in a purchase offer within the shortest amount of time.   No buyer will overpay in a buyer’s market, especially when they obtain the right to cancel the contract based on an appraisal that is very likely much lower than the listing  price.  No bank will offer a loan above what a property is actaully worth in today’s buyer’s market.   Low loan rates do not mean a willingness to extend credit beyond what a property is worth.
 
From 2000 to 2007 the median price of a home in the US jumped from 3.5 times the average household income to almost 5 times the average household income.   Such inflation was and is unsustainable except through artificially low interest rates.  Many investors began a rush in to the real estate market thinking of real estate  as the next “hot commodity”.

I commented on the growing number of people, whether as second incomes, side jobs, retirement activities or in the contracting business who were buying houses to simply fix and flip. I knew the ral estate bubble was becoming too big to sustain and the end was near when I learned in ’06 of young  college graduates who were setting up businesses to “fix and flip” houses. Now many of these entrepreneurs are unemployed.   The market has been glutted with “fix and flip” homes valued at lower prices than they were purchased for and foreclosures have ended many career dreams.  
 
Buyer euphoria, low rates, easy money, and a false impression of a booming economy all came together in the perfect real estate collapse storm. That destructive storm has passed we hope.  A  lot of cleaning up and recovery is taking place now will continue into 2011.  The real estate bust and ensuing economic recession brought the country to a national real estate “Katrina” sized crisis.  We are currently in the “clean up”  phase and real estate gains as we knew them are no longer happening .   The nation is recoverying . However, things will not bounce back to the way they were in 2005-2007.   The nation is burdened by enormous loads of debt and jobs are not rebounding since so many jobs have been shipped overseas to much cheaper labor markets. 

The decade ahead will be defined by how willing and able and quickly we do adjust to changing economics. It will require current sacrifices to assure future stability and growth.  New homes which are being built  emphasize the trend toward smaller and more energy efficient units.  In the academic world it is often said “publish or perish”.

In real estate is it adjust your price to the market or prepare to continue to live in your current home for many more years.   As we close this first decade of the new millennium and prepare to enter a new real estate market in 2011 where cost competitiveness is the key to selling success we will be encouraging our sellers to be very aware that  they are priced competitively to try to attract real estate purchase offers.   

We will  be counseling all buyers to view their home purchase not as a  promise of profit potential.  The most important reason in 2011 for purchasing a home is  the pleasure and comfort of  living within the home and community. America is returning to the roots of real estate purchasing in that residential real estate should be thought of as a home, a place of peace and enjoyment for the occupants and still the best  “investment” a family can make toward their financial well being.

Over the long run, homes have provided a solid very respectable average annual appreciation of approximately 5%. Not bad at all when you can enjoy living in your investment (playing, sharing, caring, belonging to a community and providing shelter for those you love).  These are things a stock share cannot offer.  
 
At Harsch Associates we understand and anticipate  trends and have  made adjustments to help our clients get the best results possible in a buyer’s market.  We have been able to bring together a satisfying number of sales (up 17% from 2009) in  this tough real estate market.  Our buyers and sellers have benefitted from our close attention to real estate trends. We are committed to achieving the absolute best results for our clients, both buyers and sellers.

 
Selling real estate today is far more complex a process than when I began in 1975. Numerous regulations on the local, state and national level have been added to the process over these past 35 years and its almost impossible for anyone in our business who is not full time and fully dedicated to adequately serve the buying and selling public. Naturally this leads to a broad diversity of levels of skill and dedication and thus very mixed results for the public. We believe we consistently provide the best possible service and results  for our clients. 
 
We wish you a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to our next real estate closing with you in 2011.
 
Paul Harsch, President and Realtor®
Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate

Lenox Real Estate- A look back over 2010

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Photo of historic home in Lenox MA

  1. The number of active listings for Lenox MA in 2010 fell 19% over the number listed in 2009.
  2. The number of new listings in Lenox MA for 2010 was down 11% over the new listings in 2009.
  3. Homes under contract as of Dec 29, 2010 was up 24% over those under contract at the same time last year.
  4. The number of residential homes sold as of Dec 29, 2010 was up 44% over those sold at the same time last year.

Active and new listings for 2010 were down and sales for 2010 were up compared to the previous year.  Would this be a good time to buy Lenox MA Real Estate?  If you are considering Berkshire County Real Estate Lenox looks like a great choice for 2011.  Contact the agents at Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate to begin your search today.

The Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate Team

Bennington VT Real Estate- Moose Bliss

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Bennington Real Estate is offered through Harsch Associates Berkshires Real Estate Serving Southern Vermont for 31 years.  A top 10 tourist event in Southern Vermont is the yearly Moosefest.  Tourists come to see the most unusual flock of moose in Northern New England and indeed in the world.  Click the moose photo to see the entire flock in all their glory.  Bennington VT is a great place to live, grow a business or own a country home.

Bennington Real Estate| Harsch Associates

Bennington VT hosts a Moosefest

Bennington VT has many historical sites.  The Battle of Bennington was a battle of the American Revolutionary War that took place on August 16, 1777, in Walloomsac, New York, about 10 miles (16 km) from its namesake Bennington, Vermont. An American force of 2,000 men, primarily composed of New Hampshire and Massachusetts militiamen, led by General John Stark, and reinforced by men led by Colonel Seth Warner and members of the Green Mountain Boys, decisively defeated a detachment of General John Burgoyne‘s army led by Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Baum, and supported by additional men under Lieutenant Colonel Heinrich von Breymann.  (courtesy of Wikipedia)

Click Here to  for Bennington Real Estate Listings

Berkshire Real Estate Agency | Compatible with your buying needs?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

R.E.Harmony: Finding a compatible Berkshire Real Estate Agent

Since

the commission for the sale of a house is almost always paid for by the seller, buyers are able to get assistance and information from Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate Agents, usually at no cost to them. It is for this reason that the vast majority of Berkshire county home buyers employ the services of a professional Berkshire County Real Estate Agent for their purchase. In addition, since Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate has every Berkshire County property available at your fingertips, including Stockbridge Real Estate, Lenox Real Estate, Great Barringtown Real Estate, Williamstown Real Estate and many listings in New York State and Southern Vermont our Real Estate Agents can offer you many types of representation.
The relationship between a home buyer and a their Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate Agent is a little like a marriage: it must be based on trust, mutual goals (to get you the house that best suits your needs!) and understanding. To a large degree, the home buyer entrusts their Agent to always keep their (the buyer’s) interest first and foremost. It is important that you understand who your Agent represents. Seller’s Agency and Buyer’s Agency and Facilitation Agency will affect your relationship with your Williamstown/Berkshires real estate agent.
 
 

 

What to look for in an Agent
An understanding of your needs which requires spending time with you in discussing your list of wants.
A willingness to work with you until your needs are fulfilled as much as is possible.
A sense of professionalism.  Look for someone who works in Berkshire real estate full time with years of experience.
Someone who is dedicated to their profession and has obtained special certifications indicating expert knowledge.  Ask how the agent will help you to find your dream home in the Berkshires and expect a clear answer.
A familiarity with Berkshire County Real Estate or any other area in which you have an interest.
A familiarity with the price range in which you have an interest, ask about the price range of homes your agent has brokered in the past two years.
Professional designations: for example, GRI–Graduate of the REALTORS® Institute, or CRS–Certified Residential Specialist are important and provide additional expertise that can make your purchase easier.
  Strong references from previous buyers, look for those on the website and if possible speak with someone who has worked with your Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate agent to buy a home.
   
Questions to ask a prospective Agent
How long have you been in Real Estate in Williamstown or the Berkshires? How many Williamstown Homes have you sold?  How many Berkshire County Homes have you sold?  How long have you been selling homes in Williamstown?
Are you a full time agent?  If possible find an agent whose true profession is real estate.  This agent will have experience in all kinds of negotiations and will most likely anticipate any issues before they arise and solve them quickly..  How many hours a day does your agent devote to Real Estate Transactions in the Berkshires, New York State and Southern Vermont.  Does your agent have an office or do they work from a home computer?
Are you familiar with Williamstown and the Berkshires?  Ask about a particular town and then expect the agent to give you descriptions in detail of the location and types of homes available in that area.
How many Berkshire home sales did you participate in the last two years?  Getting this number will reveal your agent’s ability to find you a home, negotiate the sale and close the deal.  This is one of the most important questions you can ask.  Expect a truthful answer and always investigate to verify the answer you receive.
What is the average sold price of the Berkshire homes you sold last year?  Getting this information should be easy for the agent if they are a member of a professional listing service.  The information is easily obtained by the agent through their Multiple Listing Service or Berkshire Board of Realtors website.
Do you normally work with Berkshire sellers or Berkshire buyers and do you offer facilitation as a method of negotiating a contract?  Facilitation is a similar to mediation.  All parties work together to obtain the best possible outcome.  This real estate transaction method avoids many of the litigation pitfalls sometimes seen in home purchases.
How many Berkshire buyers are you presently working with? How many Berkshire sellers?  How many Berkshire home sales have come about through your facilitation?
Where do you feel your strengths lie?  Is your agent capable of searching and finding a home for you that meets your needs, can your agent negotiate as long as needed to reach a consensus and get you the home?  Is your agent available during regular business hours and possibly evenings to discuss your immediate concerns?  Does your agent have a successful website that offers you every Berkshires Real Estate listing and regional listing?  How quickly does your agent respond to your concerns?
What buyers that you have worked with can you give me as references?  Get the references in writing if possible.  Most agents will have a file of reference letters if they have been in the real estate business for more than a few years.  Many agency website have reference letters available online.What is the toughest negotiation issue you have solved for your buyer?  Expect an exact description of what happened and how your agent resolved the issue and brought the deal to a close in a positive way.Finally, be an educated Berkshire property buyer.  Research other websites such as Realtor.com, Zillow.com, AOLrealestate.com and harschrealestate.com to learn about all the issues that need to be considered when buying a home in Williamstown, Stockbridge, Lenox, Great Barrington, New York State and Southern Vermont.  No question is too small to ask.  Every answer should be provided before you choose your real estate partner.
   
Where to find an Agent
Be aware: If you search for homes first and contact the Agent who has a particular property listed, that Agent will may be a seller’s agent representing only the seller (unless the listing agreement is a facilitation agreement.  In this case the agent will work to bring both the buyer and seller together to a mutually satisfying deal.)  Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate offers many properties through facilitation. 
Search newspaper and homes magazines ads for Berkshire real estate agents who offer every form of representation (Buyer, Seller and Facilitation).  Know what dual agency is and ask your agent if they are representing you or the seller or if they specialize in facilitation.  Never assume the agent is working for you unless you have signed an agency disclosure which details what your agent will do for you.
   
   
   

Fair Price?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Fair Market Home Value in the Berkshires

Berkshire Fair Market Home Value- Defined

Fair Market Real Estate Value Defined- Berkshire Real Estate

Berkshire home sellers can teeter between hope and worry in the housing market in the Berkshires. Berkshire buyers are confused and hesitant.  Real estate agents often fall somewhere in between the emotions of hope and despair depending on the particular day and month.  Our agency serves the entire of Berkshire County Ma. including Stockbridge, Lenox, Great Barrington, Williamstown, Hancock and all towns in between.

Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate (established in 1975) has experienced the rise and fall of the Berkshire Real Estate market through many cycles.  Our Berkshire housing market follows the general tide of the overall US economy.  Fortunately, in the Berkshires the rise and fall of home prices is less volatile than many other markets. 

Harsch Associates has tracked the average median selling price of single-family homes in Berkshire County since countywide records became available in 1987 and the average rate of appreciation over that time span is 6% per annum. That sounds good.   Similar to the stock market in many ways,  the prices of homes in Williamstown and Berkshire County can shift without warning.  What goes up will come down.

If you purchased  a Williamstown or Berkshire home in 2000 and sold the home in 2007 ( the peak year for home values in the Berkshires)   you enjoyed  roughly  60% appreciation in price. However, if you sold in 2009, you gave up over 20% of any potential gain.  Sellers who sold Berkshire Real Estate recently (2010) have fared less well.   Berkshire real estate buyers have snapped up many right priced homes in the 2010 housing market.  Berkshire home values today have dropped back to 2004/2005 levels.  This leads us to a discussion of determining fair market value so that you can actually sell your property to a Berkshire Buyer.

What is fair market value?  FAIR MARKET VALUE IS THE PRICE AN INFORMED BUYER IS WILLING TO PAY A SELLER WITHOUT PRESSURE CONSTRAINTS ON EITHER PARTY.  This means neither party has to buy or sell in an emergency.

Why are Berkshire County home inventories so high while Berkshire home loan interest rates are so low?  Berkshire Buyers are still purchasing homes but unfortunately many Berkshire sellers are not pricing to the current market.   The main reason for not selling a home within a reasonable amount of time (which can vary) is that many homes are priced above current fair market value.  

Current fair market value pricing applies to many items including homes and stock shares. Can you imagine going to a stockbroker and insisting on selling your valuable stock in XYZ Corporation for $80 per share when the current fair market value is $65 per share?  You can insist on the undeniable value of XYZ stock shares.  You can explain to the stockbroker how when you bought your shares the company was soaring and every investor wanted a share of XYZ.  You need to receive $80 per share because you paid $70 per share and you deserve a profit since you have held the stock for several years. 

However, when the stock market day is done the cold hard truth is that no wisestockbroker  is going to pay you $80  for a stock share that is only valued at $65 in today’s market.   At this point, you can keep the XYZ stock share and wait to see if the price rises again.  If the price falls even lower, you will have lost more than your initial $15.  Would you keep a stock that continued to decrease in value?  Maybe for the long term, but keeping an unused or no longer desired  home is a pricey investment that will quickly drain your wallet.  This is especially true if you no longer live in the home.

Real estate and stock shares prices behave similarly.  Current supply and demand for Berkshire properties determines the fair market value.  If someone insists his or her property is worth $500,000 and another home with more amenities is available for $400,000 then the wise buyer will most likely purchase the least expensive of the properties at $400,000 which is the fair market value the buyer is willing to pay.

So, how does a Berkshire seller know what the current fair market home value is in Williamstown or any other Berkshire town right now?  A licensed Berkshire Real Estate appraiser is the best way to approach the thorny issue of fair market home value.  Ask your Real Estate agent for several references or follow this link to the American Association of Home Inspectors to find a local certified home inspected with a reputation for accurate work.

Another more complicated approach 9used by your Williamstown Real Estate Agent is to look at the average rise and fall of home prices in the Berkshires or your particular town/neighborhood.   The average market analysis comparative Berkshire home price is based on the median selling prices obtained for similar properties in similar neighborhoods Williamstown or other Berkshire towns.  This median price is usually fairly accurate unless you have made substantial changes or investment in your property, which should be taken into consideration before finalizing a listing  price.  Realtor.com and Zillow.com offer basic tools for estimating  the fair market value of your home, although no one is more qualified to quote a fair market home value for your Berkshire property than a professional real estate appraiserworking with  your real estate Broker.

Fair Market Value is determined only through logical analysis, not guesswork or dreaming. If a seller is sincerely motivated to sell then obtaining an appraisal prior to listing a property with a Berkshire Broker is the best advice.   Not pricing to the current real estate market is the most common cause of Berkshire Properties languishing on the market for years with no offers to purchase.   

If you are truly motivated to sell your home then price it to the current fair market home value.  Many Berkshire Real Estate Agents will quote you a listing price that meets your dreams but that will not sell your property.   Best advice: work with an experienced broker who takes the time to analyze the market and to provide written carefully documented numbers that support pricing recommendations.

Let go the notion that a wealthy stockbroker from New York’s Wall Street with loads of money will pay you more for your home than a local buyer will.  Fair market home value is reality.  Today’s wise buyers will not waste hard-earned money.  Educated buyers are looking for a fairly priced home.  When a Berkshire buyer finds a home they want that is priced to the current market, they will be quick to make an offer.

Paul Harsch, Broker

Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell- Things your Real Estate Agent Shouldn’t Discuss with you

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
Don't Ask these questions that violate the Fair Housing Laws

Don't Ask Your Real Estate Agent

A good Williamstown real estate agent is very familiar with the neighborhoods where he or she shows properties. But because of legislation called the Fair Housing Act, the agent can’t legally share all of that information with you.  When searching with your Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate agent for properties in Stockbridge, Lenox, Great Barrington, Williamstown, Hancock, Lanesboro, Pittsfield or Adams, MA you may have questions that your agent should not answer for you.    Some things need to be researched by the buyer and if your agent offers you the answer to any of these questions, always check it out for yourself before making that real estate offer for your Berkshire Property.

Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate of Williamstown Ma searched out some sources to make your decision easier without placing your real estate agent in an awkward position.  Read on to find out why your real estate agent can’t provide you with some commonly needed answers before you decide on a property.  Then save the links in this blog so that you can find the answers.

Why the restrictions on real estate agents providing information to you? The government wants to make sure that home purchase decisions are based on a property’s fair market value and not factors such as race, religion or ethnicity. In other words, the law is meant to stop agents from steering clients toward or away from certain neighborhoods.

What can’t a real estate agent discuss with a buyer? We asked Scott Klein, an agent based in New York City, to give us a rundown on the topics that are off-limits.

The Do-Not-Ask List

Household income: Wondering if a neighborhood is considered upscale? Don’t bother asking your agent. Klein says he can’t discuss economic class with prospective buyers.

But it’s relatively easy to find demographic information online, including average household income for a particular area. At Neighborhood Scout, for example, you can get a description of a neighborhood’s “look, feel and character” that includes information about residents’ age, income level, ethnicity and other factors.

Schools: As with income level, sharing information about schools “might be perceived as steering someone into a certain neighborhood,” says Klein. “However, as a Realtor I can direct people to sources of information about education in that area.”
Here, too, the web offers prospective home buyers a wealth of information. Buyers can find useful school statistics, including enrollment, class size, and reading and math scores, at sites like School Matters and Great Schools.
Religion: The religious makeup of a neighborhood is another topic that’s off-limits for real estate agents to discuss. If a buyer wants to find out about active religious communities in a particular neighborhood, Klein directs them to local houses of worship for information.

 

Crime statistics: Surely an agent can answer questions about local crime statistics, right? That’s pretty public information. But it turns out that even this data is considered a sensitive topic under the Fair Housing Act.
Once again, buyers have to do their own research to find out if a certain neighborhood is considered safe. Homebuyers can find crime statistics online, including where sex offenders live, by logging onto Family Watchdog.
Klein also recommends that his clients pay a visit to the local police precinct and walk around the neighborhood to get a feel for it at during different times of the day.
Environmental concerns: A buyer would want to know if, say, a home is located near a Superfund site. In general, a real estate agent isn’t going to be much help when it comes to neighborhood environmental issues. Buyers will need to figure this out on their own. One way is to visit the EPA’s web site, which includes a database of environmental information, searchable by Zip code.

The one exception to this rule is if there is an environmental problem with a specific home. “If it pertains to that particular property, and it’s something I have knowledge of, I am required to disclose that,” Klein says.

So why use a Harsch Associates Berkshire Real Estate agent if you have to do so much information-gathering yourself? A Harsch real estate agent can show you Berkshire homes, guide you through the buying process from start to finish and help you negotiate the best price deals with sellers.  We have been doing just that for over 30 years.  We can answer many of your burning real estate questions and guide you through the over 180 steps of buying real estate, just don’t expect us to answer questions that might violate Fair Housing Laws.   
Source:  What a Real Estate Agent Can’t Tell You.  AOL Real Estate- Stacey Bradley

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