We reached out to six real estate pros across the Hamptons to get the inside scoop on the Hamptons real estate market this season.
Aspasia G. Comnas, Executive Managing Director, Brown Harris Stevens of the Hamptons: “One of the biggest issues for sellers to consider is whether everything possible has been done. The house and grounds should be decluttered, staged, freshly painted, power washed. It will attract higher offers and remove opportunities for a buyer to renegotiate the offer. If expensive chandeliers are not to be included in the sale they should be removed and replaced with an acceptable substitute. If a deck was added without a building permit, that should be addressed prior to putting the property on the market. Ideally, a seller should hire an engineer to inspect their residence and find flaws that a potential buyer would find and address them. The market response needs to be heeded: no showings, no offers is a market response.”
Cornelia Dodge, Associate Broker, Halstead East Hampton: “Get an updated certificate of occupancy. Sellers will be able to bring the building up to code before putting it on the market. Educate your selves on the clearing restriction in your town. You can’t just cut down any trees you don’t like. Know what a scenic easement is. Just because your landscaper will install it doesn’t make it legal. Please know that town codes change periodically. Your local building department is a great resource. Ask questions and avoid surprises. Use a local attorney familiar with town codes. To everyone involved in the real estate transaction: follow the golden rule. It’s easier that way, plus you’ll be able to sleep at night.”
Joseph Kazickas, Managing Broker and Founder, Rosehip Partners, East Hampton: “For the seller, it’s all about the buyer’s ability to close, especially if there is a financing contingency. For the buyer, it depends on one’s needs, aspirations and motives. In the Hamptons marketplace those will range from, ‘will this purchase meet my family’s housing requirements for the foreseeable future’ to, ‘I’ve reached top! I can afford it, going to show it, and wide open enjoy it! So does this property fir the bill?’ Our market is a real kaleidoscope.”
Renee Despins, Associate Broker, Corcoran Group, Bridgehampton: “Location, location, location!”
Sarah Minardi, Associate Broker, Saunders: “For buyers, location, hands down! You can always change the house, you can never change the location. Buy where you know you’ll want to be but also where the value will hold and grow. For sellers, make sure you have all your ducks in a row. Get a new survey, fix things that need to be fixed, and update the certificate of occupancy. The last thing you want to say to a buyer is certain things still need to be fixed or updated in regards to the town or village buildings department. That makes them start to wonder what other aspects of the house were neglected or out of date. Price it appropriately to what has sold in the area. Get an appraisal done if you’re not convinced. Many people are getting financing and the house needs to appraise if you want to be successful in selling it.”
Michael Daly, Associate Broker, Sotheby’s International, Sag Harbor: “Unrealistically priced homes are still not being sold. More sellers have priced their homes at today’s value and they are selling well. Many buyers are asking about flood zones. More buyers than in the past are including mortgage contingencies in their offers as a hedge on the property appraising below the accepted price. More sellers are requiring a mortgage pre-approval.”
The opinions expressed by these Hamptons real estate professionals, if heeded, can benefit the sellers and buyers of real estate, saving them time, money, and emotional stress.