Real Estate Roundtable: Is Winter a Good Time to Sell or Buy in the Hamptons?

The real estate market on the East End is like no other in the country. From the unique properties offered across the North and South Forks to the particular factors that move the markets here, understanding East End real estate requires a true insider perspective. Where can you find that perspective? Right here. Every week, we turn to a virtual roundtable of experts in East End real estate for their insights into developing trends, their knowledge about national real estate news influencing the local market, their thoughts on buying and selling, and more.

What are some of the little-known advantages of buying and/or selling a home in the Hamptons during the winter?

“Surprise to many, I sell several homes in the beginning of the New Year. Spring is around the corner, our season is about to begin! While other brokers are preoccupied with sneaking away on winter retreats, I’m busy planning for your visit. It takes time to coordinate and close, if you would like to be ready to have great beach memories with family & friends; this is the time to begin your search. Even the perfect house will need a little tweaking, a little paint, decorating, adding your own personal touches can really make a home feel like your very own.

Homes that need major renovations are sold during the summer months, because they can’t be ready for the season. The buyer will need to work with the architects to review ideas and building plans prior to getting started, while still trying to enjoy the summer.”  —Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman Real Estate

“In the past, winter was a time when things slowed down. People would gear up after the New Year to buy a home to be in it by the summer. It was also a time when it was advantageous for the buyer since you had fewer buyers looking and this made for some good deals. However, that has changed. I just had an offer and acceptance on one of the coldest days of the year. There is a flurry of activity. The selling season has not slowed down. Buyers need to know they are not alone.”—John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens.

“Buying a home in January/February can have price advantages – some homes that were on market for previous summer and fall are ready to move and sellers may have adjusted their prices already and be more open to offers – in some cases regretting offers that in hindsight they should have considered and would now accept. Since many buyers’ primary focus is to be ready in their new property as the season begins, it is a great time to get out and see what is available.”—Maz Crotty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Nest Seekers

“The winter is historically a slow time for real estate in the Hamptons. The ground is frozen, the trees are bare and our beaches are empty. The cold keeps the buyers in their homes and only the hardy come out to buy. Yet there are always sellers that have to sell and cannot wait for the temperatures to rise. So if you are a serious buyer put on your warmest clothes and bring your checkbook. You may obtain the house of your dreams at a bargain price. Good Luck.” —Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders and Associates

“First and foremost a buyer can be sure to be in their prized purchase before the start of the season. Often real estate transactions are delayed due to legal issues that are outside of everyone’s control, like locating an old mortgage holder to obtain proof that the mortgage was paid off umpteen years ago. By acting in the off season, the pressure of needing to close before Memorial Day is lessoned and everything can be addressed in proper order. Plus, buyers can fix the property to their liking, get a rental permit and recoup some of their money by renting their pad for a month or two during the summer by listing in the prime rental months throughout the winter.”—Andrew M. Lieb, Esq, MPH, Lieb at Law, P.C.

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