BAY RIDGE — It was all about the art of closing the deal at the Brooklyn Real Estate Board’s meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 6.
The guest speaker was Bay Ridge attorney Robert Howe, who is a member of Bay Ridge Lawyers and the New York State Bar Association and also serves as president of both the Merchants of Third Avenue and the Bay Ridge-Bensonhurst Beautification Alliance.
Real Estate Board President Joanne Valerio welcomed guests to the meeting, held at the Knights of Columbus, 1305 86th Street, and introduced Howe to the packed room. Howe humbly described himself as a “simple country lawyer from Bay Ridge.”
He began by saying that the first step to closing a deal, from accepted offer to closing table, is to be prepared. “We all work together, my colleagues and I, the attorneys, the brokers, the title companies, the mortgage brokers — all of us work together to close the deal,” said Howe.
The first question he asks when the deal comes to his desk is, are all the terms of the deal really fleshed out?
“I’d like to ask all realtors to flesh out all the details before the deal gets to the attorney,” he explained. “It makes for a much quicker contract process. If you have not worked out all the terms of your deal, you are handing me your million-dollar baby and you are now saying, ‘Boy, I hope Bob doesn’t screw it up or drop the baby.”
Howe offered a number of helpful tips and recommendations for realtors to follow before approaching a lawyer to finalize a contract. The personal property clause, for example, should clearly state what is going to be left in the apartment or building, such as appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners.
“Who wants to be at a closing where the seller has taken all the air conditioners out of the windows and the buyer thought all of the air conditioners were going to be left?” said Howe. “Air conditioners could cost $500 each, and it shouldn’t be an issue at the closing after we’ve spent three or four months negotiating the contract,” he added.
Howe said he loved lecturing about real estate law. “I truly enjoy speaking about it and I especially love giving brokers little tips on how to be a better broker, make more money and sell more houses,” he told this paper.
Attending the meeting were other community leaders, including Brian Chin, vice president and branch manager of Northfield Bank.
“The Brooklyn Real Estate Board is a wonderful community organization,” Chin said. “On a monthly basis, the association holds educational meetings with presenters in the real estate field. Tonight, we had the pleasure of having Robert Howe, an esteemed Bay Ridge attorney, as the guest speaker. It was an exciting and highly informative meeting,” he said.
Valerio said she was thrilled to have Howe address the group. “Closing the deal from beginning to end was very informative for all our guests this evening,” she told this paper. “We had a very big turnout and it was especially nice to have Bob Howe, a long-time attorney in Bay Ridge with 38 years of experience in the business, speaking to our group tonight.”
The Brooklyn Real Estate Board is a networking organization that has been educating the community about real estate and related matters since 1926.