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Real Estate Tips From a Million Dollar Lister

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 17:  Luis D. Ortiz, cast member of Bravo's 'Million Dollar Listing' rings closing bell at NASDAQ MarketSite on July 17, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images) Ortiz, of the firm Douglas Elliman, returns for his second season as a cast member of "Million Dollar Listing." (Credit: Getty Images)

Luis D. Ortiz, star of Bravo’s hit show “Million Dollar Listing,” knows the New York real estate market better than just about anyone. Since acquiring his real estate license in 2006, the 27-year-old a meteoric rise through one of the most cutthroat industries.

The show, which returns with an all-new third season on April 2, has only fueled Ortiz’s desire to be a top agent. He says the constant excitement of the real estate industry is his favorite part of his job.

“It’s mostly making things happen,” Ortiz says. “There’s always an original way to make something happen out of nothing, and that excites me.”

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The excitement is likely greatest in New York. It’s a faced paced city, as every New Yorker knows, and it can be tough for real estate agents to make a name for themselves.

“The toughest thing in the industry is your identity your brand,” Ortiz says. “Once your business gets that it starts going around to others.”

Ortiz has certainly become well known and his understanding of the New York market is comprehensive.

“I think right now it is a sellers market,” Ortiz says. “There are a lot of all cash transactions right now. It’s a major city and everybody wants to be a part of something in New York.”

The current sellers market places a premium on buyer preparedness. Ortiz notes the importance of knowing your financial situation when looking for a home.

“As buyers, people have to understand who they are financially, on paper.” Ortiz says. “You have to have something strong behind you in order to be taken seriously in negotiations.

Things like pre approval letters from a lender and credit score can be the difference in negotiations. They make it easier to gain the trust of a seller.

“Just having a financial statement fully disclosed that really tells the seller how serious you are,” Ortiz says.

Ortiz also recommends the use of a good broker. He says brokers that know the industry and are well respected can be very good guides.

“Because the information is so out there, a lot of people just look at listing and go to an open house,” Ortiz says. “I understand why people don’t want to use brokers, obviously our industry doesn’t have the best reputation for a lot of reasons. But using a good broker saves a lot of time.”

For those trying to sell their place, Ortiz stresses selling for the right price.

“In this market, it’s not really selling,” Ortiz says. “It’s about selling for the right price.”

To get top dollar, presentation of the apartment is very important.

“How to brand your apartment and position your apartment so that it can get the top dollar,” Ortiz says. “If buyers come in to a place people are living in, they can’t really see themselves in the apartment if they have to ask permission to open closets.”

In order to allow potential buyers to see themselves in an apartment, what Luis refers to as "staging" becomes crucial.

“I always say that with each one of my listings,” Ortiz says. “It’s the way its presented to the audience.”

Bringing out the character of the apartment is what Ortiz tries to do when staging. Showing the best ways the place can use space and color is important to the staging process.

“A good staging gives an idea of how to make better use of the actual space,” Ortiz says. “Some apartments might have one big living room, and maybe that space could have two separate spaces.”

As Ortiz says, it should be treated like a first date.

“When you go on out a date, first impressions are very important,” Ortiz says. “Books, props, flowers, even scents-all of those are important. You want the person you're going on a date with to smell great. You always want to remember that.”

That means the end of iPhone pictures in the advertisement for a place.

“It’s a very serious transaction," Ortiz says, "and I think people should take it as such."

But, if selling by yourself seems like too much, you can always call a professional.

"If anybody wants to sell or buy, call me." Ortiz says.

 
 
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