By Kate C. Patchett
It may be a new year, but the frenzy North Fork real estate agents began feeling in March 2020 has not let up. Nearly a year later, they have settled into a new groove amid restrictions and have been able to navigate the drastic changes within the market effectively. Activity has not let up on the East End with buyers still looking to find their place near the beach, farmland, and any open space they can find. The need for spaces to work from home or have virtual classrooms remains strong as consumers have now adjusted to this new way of life. Inventory has become scarce though, and all agents urge their buyers to make offers when they find a property they like. One must make a move fast because surely, someone else will, too.
Most agents will agree it is a seller’s market with such a lack of inventory, creating a high demand. However, it is interesting to note changes such as sellers listing homes sooner than expected. “But for buyers, what’s really interesting is that properties that may have not been listed previously are coming to market,” shares Sheri Winter Parker, a licensed associate real estate broker with Corcoran. “More homeowners are inclined to sell now rather than wait a few more years or so. I’ve worked with buyers whose dream home has come to market and they were shocked! It’s a double-edged sword in a way that can be pretty exciting to clients.”
Because of how swiftly the North Fork real estate market is moving, agents cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared. Douglas Elliman Real Estate licensed associate real estate salesperson Paul Loeb strongly recommends having a pre-approval and proof of funds ready and sitting with your real estate agent. One must be prepared to make a decision on a property right away and have an appealing offer for a seller. Tom Scalia, a real estate broker with Century 21 Albertson Realty, agrees on the importance of having financing arranged prior to seeing a home. He also shares that the fewer contingencies in your offer to purchase, the better.
“Once a buyer has an accepted offer, they need to do their due diligence and inspections as quickly and thoroughly as possible, as anyone can come in with a better offer and bump you out during that vulnerable time between accepted offer and full contract,” explains Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty real estate salesperson Gayle Marriner-Smith. “I strongly recommend using a good local attorney to help move things along and to help navigate the, sometimes Byzantine, real estate issues that can come up on the North Fork.”
It can be stressful, to say the least, when trying to navigate the current local real estate market whether you are a buyer or seller. Working with an experienced agent that understands the market and keeps an eye on quickly changing trends will prove to be a benefit, and perhaps may be the only way to ensure a deal can go through. Thankfully, as Marriner-Smith has put it, the serene, natural beauty of the North Fork serves as a soothing balm. Remember this while traversing the local scene in search of your dream home. Now, agents share their thoughts and tips on the current state of the market…
Sheri Winter Parker, The Corcoran Group
What advice would you give a buyer in this current market?
In a market like this, it is absolutely necessary to work with an experienced, seasoned agent. I cannot stress enough the importance of working with someone knowledgeable that can truly prepare you, make the process understandable, and guide you through every aspect and strategy. An agent with longevity is extremely important. They know the best approach and will make navigating the process as seamless as possible.
Tom Scalia, Century 21 Albertson Realty
In what price range is inventory scarcest right now?
I would say the lower and middle markets are experiencing the lowest inventory levels right now. It’s a seller’s market and you need to be ready to act quickly when you see a home you like.
Paul Loeb, Douglas Elliman
What are some of the challenges you face in this “new normal” market?
Lack of inventory and more buyers than there are houses. Many of those buyers are cash buyers which leaves buyers that need to have a mortgage contingency at a disadvantage.
Gayle Marriner-Smith, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty
With mortgage rates being low and inventory being scarce, do you see this as a buyers’ market or a sellers’ market?
With the supply low and the demand high, due to both the low mortgage rates and the frenzied pandemic migration from New York City to the North Fork and other rural areas, this has definitely been a sellers’ market!