Ask the Expert - Talking with Shawn Seigel
Shawn Seigel is a seasoned real estate agent with decades of experience in handling a variety of real estate transactions in the New York and New Jersey markets. In her 20 years in the industry, Shawn has achieved the prestigious Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) Top Producer Gold Award several times, proving she is one of the premier agents in the market.
A current broker-owner of the Real Estate Boutique in Staten Island and New Jersey, Shawn employs a hands-on and individualized approach with her clients. She specializes in buying and selling properties of all types, including residential, commercial and vacant land, and utilizes her market knowledge to achieve the maximum fi nancial outcome for each of her clients’ transactions.
When interviewing an agent, what are some key information points that a potential seller or buyer should focus on?
The first thing someone should focus on is the agent’s experience and how long have they been in the business. One of the key questions they should ask is if this is the realtor’s full-time career. A large number of agents in Staten Island do real estate work part-time. If the agent has another full-time job, then a client will not get the amount of attention that they properly should from the agent. Professionals who make real estate their passion and career have more experience and knowledge in the industry, in the specific market a client is dealing with, and they are available for clients 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There can be important details that are missed or overlooked by an agent when they don’t dedicate their full time and attention to the transaction.
What are some trends you see now in the Staten Island market?
Staten Island a very hot market right now. The waterfront is on fire because of the redevelopment that is taking place on the North Shore. Many people are moving from Manhattan and from Brooklyn to Staten Island because of the rise in prices throughout the city, so Staten Island is becoming the next stop for them. The borough has recently been referred to as the new Hoboken in some publications, because of the attractiveness of the area in terms of affordable pricing and an easy commute to the different parts of the city. Clients are able to purchase a luxury building for basically one third of the cost that they would have to pay in Manhattan, but still have the ability to get into the city in less than half an hour.
What common mistakes do you typically see happen during the process of a transaction that buyers or sellers should be aware of?
It depends greatly on each situation because every transaction is unique, but there are a lot of issues that can pop up in every scenario. If an agent isn’t attentive to every aspect of a transaction, from the engineering to the attorney to the bank, it can lead to some issues down the road. There are so many revolving pieces to the puzzle of a sale, and every agent might not know how to handle certain transactions that involve co-ops and condos, commercial pieces, or detached homes. Each one has its own moving pieces. Also, each transaction should be treated as just that transaction. People might overlook certain aspects of a transaction because they might have a level of expectation that it will proceed like a previous one. Just because a previous transaction went a certain way, that doesn’t mean it carries over to another because each one should be handled differently.
What is your biggest pet peeve as a broker?
Having to handle a transaction with a very inexperienced agent on the other side, whether they represent the buyer or the seller, and I see them be unprofessional because they are not prepared. For example: when someone can’t get in touch with an agent for days when they are dealing with something worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A common thing that I hear a buyer or seller say is they haven’t heard from their agent since they went into contract. That’s my biggest pet peeve.