Questions. They are everywhere around us, and new ones keep popping up all the time. At certain moments, it can even feel that the more we know, the more answers we seek. With that in mind, we turned to real estate experts and insiders on Long Island to learn what essential questions buyers and sellers need to be asking in the current market and climate. Also, we’re curious, what is the number one question you are hearing these days?
Michael Jordan Sadis
The number one question these days is around interest rates. Sellers are wondering how the interest rates have affected home pricing on Long Island and are asking if I believe they will continue to rise into the spring market. I also often hear from buyers, “Does the amount of money I put down at contract signing still strengthen my offer?” or, “If issues come up after inspection, can we use this as a way to renegotiate?”
Questions, in an ever-changing market, are key to keeping people laser-line focused when making life-changing decisions on their biggest investments. It is of utmost importance to ask when you may not know! These days it seems like sellers are keyed in on their own opinion of value over what the market demands. Our buyers focus more on rates than eyeing more crucial things like not skipping inspections. The top inquiries from buyers I’ve been receiving are, “The rates are so high! When will the market drop in my favor?” I educate my buyers about the many moving parts of a transaction and having the right agent in their corner to protect them and negotiate the right price for an accepted offer over a rate. The saying, “Marry the house and date the rate!” Couldn’t be truer when purchasing. As many know, the real estate market changes daily. Focusing on rate shouldn’t be first when searching for that dream home. It will always change. Sellers seem to truly focus on value. “What is my home worth? Well, I believe it is worth this.” The days of the large over-asking payouts are gone. Explaining this to sellers and getting on board with a fair price and marketing strategy to bring the best value is one of the top goals we try to accomplish together. Lastly, as agents, we don’t have that mirror ball to say what future markets will exist. But here is the great news, I can tell you this, whether you are buying or selling on long island, it is an incredible time to do both in our strong market!
Branch Real Estate Group
The number one question I am constantly getting is, “So Molly, what’s happening in the real estate market these days?.” This question is a golden opportunity for realtors to really educate the person or client asking this question. The reality is most people don’t realize that now is a perfect time to put your house on the market or to jump into the market to buy. Over the last few decades the average interest rate has hovered around 7%, but what we experienced during the pandemic gave many people a false sense of reality. While we may never see the low rates we experienced during the pandemic again, there are many financing options that are available outside of the classic 30-year fixed that can offer much more appealing and economical rates for the short term. As a real estate broker, educating my clients so they know what their options are is a top priority.
The Agency South Shore
Not enough sellers are asking, “What will you do differently?” When I see or hear other agents’ marketing plans they all seem pretty much the same. We are coming out of an environment where the sale was a little easier — rates were low and buyers were lining up down the block. Times have changed and the agents with the sharpest marketing plans are going to be the ones that succeed. How far is your reach? How good is your content? Have you done your research — where are the buyers coming from and how do you get in front of them? That’s something we pride ourselves on. When I sit down with a seller I can tell you where your buyer is most likely coming from and how we’re going to capture their attention. Skills and creativity matter again. The biggest question I’m hearing is, “When will there be more inventory?” Higher rates are keeping inventory down. A lot of people refinanced into the threes and they don’t want to give up that payment. That being said, there are always opportunities!
The real estate market is changing rapidly. With low inventory and high-interest rates, buyers and sellers are faced with new challenges and questions. How can I avoid a missed opportunity? Low inventory means that buyers need to act fast. Competition for housing is fierce and one missed weekend can mean losing out on a property. Buyers should make sure that they are working with a realtor who is knowledgeable about the town they want to live in and has strong relationships with other local agents. Additionally, being prepared to present an offer immediately, with proof of funds or a preapproval letter, gives sellers a sense of security that a buyer is more likely to close the transaction. Is price the only consideration when selling? Sellers in today’s competitive environment often receive multiple offers. It is imperative to evaluate each offer, including price, any financing contingencies, timing and other proposed terms to choose the most qualified buyer. “Is this the right time to buy/sell?” is still the most common question that our team is asked. The answer is a personal one and can only be answered by the individual. However, the advice of a trusted realtor should not be underestimated in helping to make this decision.
This article appeared in Behind The Hedges inside the Long Island Press’ March 2023 issue. Read the full digital edition online. For more real estate stories on greater Long Island, click here.