Real Estate Roundtable: Inquiring Minds

370 Captains Neck Lane, Southampton, Photo: Douglas Elliman Photography

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 the East End to learn what essential questions buyers and sellers need to be asking in the current market and climate.

As we work through unprecedented times, I counsel both sellers and buyers in a similar manner discussing the immediate life style needs of the family and how the potential transaction fits their overall financial portfolio. For buyers the market is still offering plenty of opportunity at every price point from Southampton to East Hampton and for sellers that have been on the sidelines the time is now to come to market.–James Peyton, The Corcoran Group

In today’s world, safe and secure is on every buyer’s list. The weekend/summer home is now an alternative full-time living space. Buyers and renters want to know the health status of the prior occupants. This is the first time I have heard “We want the house to be sterilized before we move in.” I had to actually had to look up what sterilization meant in reference to a home. Sellers want assurance that the potential buyers are and had been COVID-19-free. It is a new world with new norms. Will we ever be the same?–Alan Schnurman, Saunders & Associates

Sellers need to be asking 1) How long will demand like this last? 2) How long will interest rates remain this low? Buyers should be asking 1) How long will interest rates remain this low and will the bank make the borrowing requirements more stringent? 2) With inventory on the North Fork so low, what am I willing to live without in the home that I eventually purchase?–Thomas McCloskey, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

With buyers looking to spend more time out east, the question they need to ask is, If the home is not everything they want, “Can I get permits to do what I want here?” Sellers should make sure their buyer is qualified and can close the transaction, because the wave we’re on right now, like everything else, will eventually come to an end. Do not accept a deal with back doors out of the contract.–Judi Desiderio, Town & Country Real Estate

What will the housing landscape look like in five years. Where will houses and properties appreciate, versus what fits and solves as problem right now.–Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Sotheby’s International Realty

Buyers need to ask if properties have offers currently on them, and sellers need to ask if they’re priced appropriately. Homes are selling across all price points when they’re within striking distance of market value.–Tim Morabito and Nicole Weiss, Compass Real Estate

Buyers should be speaking to their lender and inquiring about taking full advantage of the incredibly low interest rates. Sellers should be speaking to their brokers and inquiring about how to get the most out of their investment in this extraordinary market.–Todd Bourgard, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The most frequently asked question by sellers is “Is this the right time to sell my house?” For the first time, in a long time, the answer is resolutely “Yes.” We are not suggesting home prices are going to soar in this new market. They have been too high for too long. What we know for sure is that homes that are priced responsibly are going to get sold.–Keith Green & Ann Ciardullo, Sotheby’s International Realty