The real estate industry is a mystery for many people who aren’t directly involved with it. But if you’re planning to buy or sell your home, you need to should know these five things about real estate agents. Being more knowledgeable about the job of real estate agents will help you to seek out the best one, understand how they make money, and realize the value they offer to homeowners.

1. They Live on Commissions

Real estate agents only make money when they sell property. They don’t get a salary, a stipend, a per diem or an hourly wage. They only make a commission if they are successful in selling a house. That means that every minute they spend working with you to sell your house is unpaid, until it sells. 

2. They Have a Boss


296 Views, 0 Comments

A booming real estate market offers many possibilities for first time home buyers. Before making such a major decision, consumers should ask themselves if they are ready for a home investment. Ideal market conditions could very well draw people into a commitment they are not quite ready to assume. By discussing home buying options in the Woodstock area with a qualified Realtor, consumers can get a better idea if home buying is the right choice for them.


Purchasing a new home requires a substantial financial commitment from new buyers. Prospective buyers should be financially capable and prepared to make such an investment.  First time buyers will be faced with numerous upfront costs that include down payment, closing costs, moving…

211 Views, 0 Comments

While many people who look for Hudson Valley real estate are seeking houses, it's important to note that there are many options available through local real estate agents. There are many pre-owned houses, of course, but there are also homes that have been built on spec and have never been lived in. Vacant land is another possibility, and for some, it's the most exciting one of all.

Vacant land is special precisely because there's nothing already on it. This makes it ripe for a custom-built full-time home, ski cabin, or weekend house. Since the buyer is able to literally have a house built from the ground up, that house can be customized to meet the client’s precise needs. Ever dream of having an interior balcony overlooking the living room? Just…

245 Views, 0 Comments

Congratulations! You’ve decided to buy a home. However, home buying in Ulster County can seem overwhelming when the time comes to get started. Even after narrowing the field according to budget, style, and other basic criteria, there will be many homes left to choose from. Here are some things buyers should look for that may not be as obvious:

Neighborhood Noise Levels

It can be hard to determine how loud a neighborhood is. When you’re visiting the home with your real estate agent, listen for sounds that you may find irritating, such as barking dogs, road noise or air traffic. Another idea is to visit the area at several different times of the day and night. On a weekend morning, drive around and look for neighbors who mow their lawns at 7:30…

244 Views, 0 Comments

There are several keys to a satisfying home buying experience in Woodstock, the Hudson Valley and the Catskills. This includes appearance, condition and location. The current owner also needs to meet the needs and expectations of would-be buyers, so it's a good idea for sellers to pay attention to what buyers are looking for. Here are some of the top points:

A House That Appears to Be in Good Condition

The emphasis on appearance is intentional - a house that looks great will fetch more buyers and more money than one that doesn't. This is true even if close examination of the important structural elements, such as the roof and plumbing, reveals that they are in the same condition in as other homes. When people see peeling paint, a dirty exterior and…

220 Views, 0 Comments

As a snowstorm begins to descend on the Northeast, just in time for Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the things I'm thankful for. Our real estate business has been up and running in Woodstock NY since October 6th, and every day has been wonderful. With my super talented and energetic Manager, Karen Gilbane, by my side very day, we are rocking' and rollin' the Woodstock real estate world!

We've been lucky to attract talented agents to our team, each bringing their strong work ethics and skill set. Pieta Williams has been shining bright as our new star, working with buyers and sellers in her warm and engaging fashion! A few weeks ago we were thrilled to welcome Dan Winn and Sheri Safier, a husband and wife team that have almost…

296 Views, 0 Comments

Well, the office has been open for just over a week, and it's been a great feeling. I have a strong team of agents onboard, and listings going live. We're all feeling happy and excited about moving forward with this new venture. We're getting up to speed with our new office software, too. (In real estate, you need software to manage all the multiple sales and purchases!) We spend an hour a day with a trainer on GoToMeeting, which is also an interesting experience. There was no template to follow or book to read about setting up a Real Estate office, so maybe I'll write one! We're also still waiting for a few more desks, but here's the reception area:

Lisa Halter
Principal Broker/Owner
Halter Associates Realty

229 Views, 0 Comments

It's another interesting day in the mountains. I left the house for a listing appointment this morning, only to find a set of muddy paw prints on my car door. And these weren't small, innocent prints. These were big, burly bear paw prints! My door was slightly ajar, and when I looked inside I saw that the bear had actually been IN my car. I started cleaning the prints off (After I took a photo!) then realized that the bear might still be around. I dropped the windex and ran back into the house! After  few minutes I ventured out again... no bear. 

I love living in the mountains, where your car is more likely to be broken into by a bear than a human!

Lisa Halter
Principal Broker/Owner
Halter Associates Realty

226 Views, 0 Comments