​Real Estate Insiders Share Insights for These Challenging Times

131 Post Ln, Southampton, NY
131 Post Lane, Southampton, Photo: Jake Rajs/Douglas Elliman

The East End real estate market is unique on many levels, but one thing it shares right now are challenges and questions in an ever-changing global, national and local landscape. Behind the Hedges turned to Hamptons and North Fork insiders and experts to share some observations they have been sharing with buyers, sellers and renters.

“[Everyone] should continue to remain informed and adhere to their government guidelines and recommendations, all while knowing their real estate professional is always there for them.”–Todd Bourgard, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

“Everyone should remember that eventually the market will return to normal and no one should panic. If you’re involved in a sale, then see it through. If you’re looking for a rental, don’t be intimidated by reports that inventory is gone. There are still houses to be rented.”–Gary DePersia, The Corcoran Group

“The current situation is going to change things, but it will create new opportunities. Some sellers will be more motivated, landlords will have the ability to rent for spring months that would normally be vacant, and buyers will be able to invest with peace of mind. With all of the volatility in the stock market, it may be more important than ever to invest in the Hamptons real estate market.”–Tim Morabito, Compass Real Estate

“The interest rates are at an all-time low. The stock market is uncertain. I am advising all of my client’s and customers to invest in real estate. It’s tangible. This too shall pass, and there are real opportunities to be had right now. I am taking advantage of the low interest rates, myself, and investing in another property. No more ‘would’ve, should’ve, could’ve.'”–Mary Terry, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

“The market in the first part of the year was on fire. Sellers had become more realistic and buyers were taking advantage of the new price point. Whenever there is an event such as the coronavirus, it has a marked influence on our sales market. Our buyers are very sophisticated. They go to the sidelines until the future economic direction is clear. Models such as in China and South Korea have shown that this virus will diminish. I foresee that once it does, the market will resume its positive direction. For all people in this stressful time, it’s important be civil to each other.”–Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

“The United States is the most resilient country on the planet. The underlying economics of the real estate market on the East End were good, personal debt was low and home equity was high unalike 2007 to 2009.  The economy was very strong prior to Corona Virus.  I anticipate that once this is under control, the economy, jobs and prosperity will come back quickly.”–Thomas McCloskey, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

“It’s critical that we all participate in curbing this pandemic over the next couple of weeks….I think it’s important for everyone to keep in mind that we will all get through this together.  Everyone needs to exercise patience and compassion–stay focused on helping those around us that need it most. The Hamptons is and has always been a desired destination in the best and worst of times, as evidenced after the 2008 financial crisis and 9/11.”–Lori Schiaffino, Compass Real Estate

“There are landlords gouging city tenants for short-term rentals, which is sad, because everyone is in this together. I am opening my own summer cottage in Sag Harbor Village and will offer it for a reduced price. Sales have picked up but prices are down, so there is no surprise on that front.”–Christopher Burnside, Brown Harris Stevens

“For buyers, there are great opportunities in the marketplace and now is the time to capitalize, or they will be sorry in a year or so. For sellers, if you are not priced accordingly, nothing is going to happen. Today’s buyers have a great amount of choice, and either the seller wants to sell or not. For renters, most properties are priced to rent, after a few slow summers. There is always some room in the asking price, but it is not huge drops.”–Timothy O’Connor, Halstead Real Estate

“Home valuations will remain strong after we recover from this. The notion of having a place out here to retreat to from the city specifically will forever hold tremendous value.”–Maria Cunneen, Compass Real Estate

“First and foremost, I’m available for all my customers and clients, simply to talk about the situation at hand and calmly discuss their options. This is a very confusing time. We’ve been trying to match up as many tenants and landlords as possible for immediate rental needs. On the sales front, we’re negotiating a few deals that have come about 5% away and stalled as both sides have dug in. Our buyers are mostly taking a step back to evaluate though a small percentage have forged forward. Overall my advice is business as usual–for my sellers, let’s consistently keep your property on the buyers’ radar, and for the buyers, let’s keep a keen view on what opportunities present themselves.”–James Peyton, The Corcoran Group

“This coronavirus has tentacles–its full effect is yet to be determined and may only be evaluated once it’s in the rearview mirror. Having been a broker here through the ’87 Crash, 9-11 and the Great Recession, I can honestly say these are uncharted waters….We will get through this. Look forward and take a beach walk! To own–or rent, if you can’t afford to own–a slice of heaven on earth is cheaper than therapy….Yes, this too shall pass.”–Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate