Hamptons Real Estate Do’s & Don’ts

Hamptons real estate
A good agent will absorb the stress so you don’t have to. The Christopher Covert Team of Compass at work.
Courtesy of Harris Allen

Pricing has been on a noticeable rise in the Hamptons for a solid 2 years. Everyone is wondering how long the increases can last and whether or not a downturn is around the corner.

No one knows. Though inflation and mortgage rate increases feel concerning for both buyers and sellers, Hamptons home inventory remains at all-time lows and the median sold price remains at all-time highs, 19% higher than the same time last year.

For Sellers: 

DO: List with a qualified agent who has a track record. Deals that have gone under contract have failed to close and found their way back on the market. The process of effectively broadcasting a listing to the marketplace has grown more complex, and handling the volume of showings and incoming offers has become a delicate ballet. Agents not familiar with land use, building codes and closing processes can sometimes be the cause of the deal breaking down, especially in a rapidly moving market. 

DON’T: Demand the stars, sun and the moon from interested buyers. You are going to get the best price for your home if you list right now, but you will get the best deal if you keep in mind that buyer emotions are still on high and it’s no longer with rabid excitement. Many have lost on multiple bids, feeling the sting of disappointment over and over again. Being open to meeting some buyer terms will not only secure you a deal you can be confident will close, but will also mean less likelihood of unanticipated issues during the closing process.

For Buyers: 

DO: Make sure to be prepared. If you start to look for properties, before you have figured out your financing and timing, you are going to be disappointed. Though you may have seen plenty of price reductions recently, don’t let that fool you. The number of days on market is still at a historic-low and properties will still come and go from view before you can look up how many bedrooms there are. Pricing is coming down a bit from where it was, yes, but homes are still closing 19% higher than this time last year.

DON’T: Be afraid to place a bid. You may want to crawl under the covers and hide, but buyers who have stuck it through and gotten creative have been able to succeed in not only securing a Hamptons home, but also in negotiating anywhere from 10-20% off the list price in some cases. Go for it and bid what you feel is reasonable, despite the seller’s high list price. Afterall, some recent buyers who anticipated a property would have multiple bids have been surprised that their offer, which met the asking price, was the one and only and accepted offer. You just never know. 

Adrianna Nava is the founder of Hamptons Market Data and Director of Market Intelligence for Covert at Compass. Read more of her columns on Behind The Hedges.