Real Estate Roundtable: The Best East End Market Advice

Everyone is always looking for quality advice when it comes to buying and selling real estate in the Hamptons and on the North Fork. The market out East is unique, with its own set of rules and protocols, so we asked our roundtable of local real estate experts…

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given regarding dealing with the East End real estate market? 

“Know where you are and play their game. This is particularly true because the East End is comprised of so many different municipalities (villages and towns) and they each have their own local rules for the game of land use and transactions. So, a strategy or practice that may work in NYC often is not permitted here and while NYC is one place in terms of laws affecting real estate transactions, the East End has many different little places with their own sense of sovereignty that each set their own rules for the game.

To illustrate a trap for the weary, the tiny Village of Quogue requires transacting parties to have a new Certificate of Occupancy issued within three months either before or after a change of ownership. How does one know this stuff? It’s simple, beyond using local professionals, local rules can be found at: generalcode.com/codification/ecode/library. Get familiar with the rules before getting involved in the East End Transaction Game so that when you’re finally ready to deal in East End Real Estate you already know how to win.”—Andrew M. Lieb, Esq., MPH, Lieb at Law, P.C.

“The best advice I received regarding East End real estate was given to me by a broker, Joe Gaites, 30 years ago, when he told me ‘it will be the best investment you ever made.’ What more can I say?”—Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates.

“The best real estate advice I’ve received is ‘A deal is not a deal till it’s done.’ So many real estate agents think that once contracts are signed, they’re done. There are many variables that come into play before a closing. One, for example, is updated certificates of occupancy. A good listing agent will make sure there are no “open” building permits or worse yet, construction done to a home without a building permit. The old adage of “do and then ask for forgiveness” works to the disadvantage of the seller and can, in some cases, delay a closing by at least six months. Not good for some people looking to buy in the spring and wanting to be in the home by the summer.”—John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of The Hamptons. LLC.

“To answer your question, what does everyone want: to buy low and sell high. Did I make you smile? The reality is finding the right broker who understands you, your needs plus wish list, and who isn’t going to give you a song and dance or wears too many hats. They build, sell and design etc.—too many motivations.

I’ve had customers who have taken three years to find the right property or project and others who have purchased within a few weeks. I never would have said this years ago, but if you’re buying, find the right broker and let them represent you as a buyer’s broker. The money is the same money, it’s just who cuts the check—it doesn’t cost you more. It should be someone you believe in, who will tell you their sincere opinion. My philosophy is treat people the way you would want to be treated.

If you’re selling, don’t go for the broker or agent because they tell you what you want to hear. I’ve pitched many listings, which I have lost, and two or three years later the home is priced where I recommended initially. They may not want to hear it, but in the end you only hurt yourselves.”—Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

“The best real estate advice I’ve received is ‘Don’t take it personally!’” —Maz Crotty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Nest Seekers International.

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