Hamptons real estate agent Bill Williams, Senior Global Real Estate Advisor at Sotheby’s International Realty in East Hampton, doesn’t get surprised by the wild amenities in the Hamptons most amazing homes anymore, “It’s truly crazy what some people will put in [their] homes, from bowling alleys to gun ranges.” Never one to balk at a little extra effort for a client, Bill tells us that, “I once flew clients out to the Hamptons in a private helicopter from Philadelphia to see a property that had just came on the market. Before they got back on for the return trip, we had a $17,000,000 accepted offer.”
Just before the rush of Memorial Day Weekend and the start of the Hamptons summer season we heard back from Bill with his thoughts on the state of the market.
Which towns/villages are the most sought-after right now?
BW: Amagansett has been very hot, especially the lanes. And Bridgehampton is seeing a lot of action also, especially close to the village.
Do you feel that the ‘Golden Age’ of East End real estate is over?
BW: Not at all. Real estate in the Hamptons is cyclical, like many other resort areas in the country. Professionals know how to ride out the slow times.
How have buyers/sellers changed over the past two years?
BW: Sellers have become more pragmatic, especially those whose properties have been on the market for more than nine months. Buyers have learned to be patient, and wait for the right time to make the offer. Together it is good for the market.
If “location” is the first rule in real estate, what is the second?
BW: Location. And the third is location. When buyers are looking for real estate, among the many factors that influence their decision are school districts, recreation and parks, view, proximity to village, etc. It all comes down to location.
What are the emerging trends in architecture?
BW: Modern architecture has become more and more prevalent in the past few years. We have some great local architects out here, such as Bates Masi, and New York based firms like Sawyer Berson.
What is an easy way to increase the value of a property?
BW: Information. Being able to tell a customer all important information about a property – lot size, coverage, surveys, zoning, comps – not only can increase value but also time on the market.
How important is ‘staging’ for a sale/rental?
BW: Critical. Staging makes all the difference in the world. I recommend it to all my clients whose homes lack furniture.
What is your forecast for the fall/winter real estate season in the Hamptons and North Fork?
BW: We should continue in a positive direction, the fall is a very active selling season in The Hamptons.
Tell us about one of your favorite listings on the market right now.
BW: My favorite listing right now is 380 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. 1.5 ocean front acres with a small home pushed way forward on the lot, great panoramic views, plus it’s flat, so building a new home here is just like building a home on Lee Avenue, just with better views.