Amer­i­can agent speak

The Irish Times - Thursday - Property - - Feature -

con­di­tion­ing units have to be ser­viced be­fore ev­ery sea­son.

Cul­tural dif­fer­ence

An­other key cul­tural dif­fer­ence for Ir­ish peo­ple is get­ting used to the public ac­cess to what they might con­sider pri­vate in­for­ma­tion. Sold prices are public as are all mort­gages, loans and liens on prop­er­ties. Anne Flana­gan, an Ir­ish agent work­ing for Berk­shire Hath­away New York Prop­er­ties, says she finds the big­gest is­sue for Ir­ish peo­ple rent­ing or buy­ing in New York is the level of in­for­ma­tion re­quired.

She says Ir­ish peo­ple will want “to run for the hills” when faced with ques­tions on an ap­pli­ca­tion form for a Co-op, such as what alumni net­works you be­long to, what foun­da­tions you sup­port and what stocks and bonds you own. “It’s al­most in­va­sive, the lit-

Amer­i­can – Ir­ish Yard – Gar­den Gar­den – Veg­etable patch First floor – Ground floor Jack-and-Jill – Bath­room shared by two bed­rooms Sid­ing – Ma­te­rial on the side of the house Mu­d­room – Cloak­room Washer – Wash­ing machine Walk-up – At­tic ac­cessed by stairs Pull-down – At­tic ac­cessed by lad­der EIK – Eat-in kitchen Set­backs – Min­i­mum dis­tance from neigh­bour

But­ler’s pantry/Wet­bar bar –

Drinks area with wine fridge Crown mold­ing – Cor­nices etc Farm house sink – Belfast sink any of ques­tions you have to an­swer on some of the ap­pli­ca­tion forms,” Flana­gan says, “but on a pos­i­tive side it’s very stream­lined and pro­tec­tive.”

In 2017 I got my real es­tate li­cence in Con­necti­cut and listed and sold our house. The process of buy­ing and sell­ing a house in the US dif­fers from that in Ire­land be­cause the buyer is rep­re­sented by one real es­tate agent and the seller, in the­ory, by an­other. (Con­necti­cut does al­low dual agency where the same bro­ker­age can han­dle both sides of the trans­ac­tion.)

The seller pays the com­mis­sion, which is gen­er­ally split be­tween the two agents, while the buyer pays noth­ing. The process is de­signed to pro­tect both sides, with each hav­ing ac­cess to a pro­fes­sional who will rep­re­sent their in­ter­ests.

To­day, the search for a house be­gins on­line and most prop­er­ties will have a lock­box con­tain­ing the key, lo­cated on the premises, which can be ac­cessed only by li­censed real­tors who are mem­bers of the Mul­ti­ple List­ing Ser­vice. The process makes it eas­ier to go to see houses but can make the home­owner feel more ex­posed.

By the time I was ready to list our own house, I had learned enough Amer­i­can real es­tate vo­cab­u­lary to de­scribe our flat back yard with its newly-in­stalled ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem. I pointed out things that had once seemed ut­terly alien– such as the his-and-hers walk-in clos­ets and the wet bar, the garbage dis­posal sys­tem and the laun­dry chute. I had even added a por­tico (oth­er­wise known as a porch) for the kerb ap­peal. Clodagh McCoole is an Ir­ish­woman and real es­tate agent liv­ing in Con­necti­cut

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