Ask the Real Estate Expert: Jacques Ambron, Brown Harris Stevens

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Q: My agent asked me to leave a key with their office. Is this a good idea?

A: If your schedule is very busy and you feel comfortable with the agent, then it might be a good idea. One of the most important aspects when marketing a property is access. As a broker, I find that I have to try to accommodate the buyer’s or renter’s schedule. If a customer wants to come out and view properties, I have no choice but to show the properties that I can access. If you do leave your keys with an agent, request that they accompany other agents when they show. This way at least you know someone you trust is in the home.

Q: I’m purchasing a coop. Do I need to have an engineer inspect the apartment?

A: Since the coop is responsible for most of the building structure maintenance and repair, an engineer is not generally necessary. On a rare occasion, there might be some severe issues that

warrant an engineer. For example, some of the buildings I handle are fairly old, and if I’m selling an apartment under the roof with large cracks or water stains, this could be something serious. Sometimes it’s just settling cracks, but it’s best to have that checked out.  However, most people don’t need to go through the expense. Engineers are best for house purchases where the owner is responsible for the house structure and systems.

Please send your real estate-related questions directly to  or to Jacques Ambron, Brown Harris Stevens Forest Hills, LLC, 108-23 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, NY 11375, 718-878-1970.

Jacques Ambron is executive director of sales for Brown Harris Stevens Forest Hills.

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