Archive for June, 2009

Rebounding North Fork Homes Sales in April and May 2009! Tips for sellers on how to profit!

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

For all who follow my stats on contracts signed -most current, least delayed snapshot of the market on the North Fork- great news!


April and May 2009 were better than April and May last year in number of homes going into contract.  May showed 4 remarkeable high end transactions on the North Fork. Yes: multiple offers are back when homes are priced right. But make no mistake – the market remains value sensitive: buyers are looking for value. And asking prices may show further adjustments down. That’s still all good news!

Overpriced homes remain on the market but priced-right properties sold quickly, days on market for contracts signed are dipping below 150 days! Overall, the damage to home prices remains very limited on the North Fork. Some of the sales over $1 Million were so quick and so good that it appears for special properties there is no recession.

But in my opinion, a lot of asking prices for inventory hanging around need to come down a bit further to be able to sell.

Buyers will come off the fence a lot easier now when a home is perceived as value as interest rates are starting to inch up. It helps that on Thursday, June 11, CNN at 10AM mentioned that it is now a great time to buy, followed by Channel 12. The market psychology is changing.


Bidding wars again. Can you believe it? You’d better. Your home’s not selling, even now? Seller take notice:

Tip 1: when deciding on a selling price with your agent look at homes that actually sold, not at asking prices. Asking prices mean nothing. Price your home a bit -10% -below the most recent comparable sale. And I mean RECENT. Within weeks, not months. Remember what you paid for your house and do not look too much at high bank appraisals when you refinanced before September 08 for an indication of what your home is worth.You’ll be very pleasantly surprised how good your investment in real estate looks compared to any other investment over the past 5 years, even when you price it to sell. Do not be greedy in this market.

Tip 2: More important than ever now is a seller’s task to take away negatives: clean and well maintained homes sell, the discount expected by buyers even for slight imperfections and lack of maintenance is disproportionate. So give that wall a fresh coat of paint, make sure the lawn is at least mowed, and make it easy (and I mean EASY) to show the house. Rather than lower your price $20K, fix problem areas of the house for $5K if you can and take negatives away. Listen to your broker and bring in professionals where needed. Make sure your online pics are GREAT and show the special things why you bought the house originally. Same will attract today’s buyers.

Tip 3: The day of the protective broker who is not giving a home the needed exposure trying to keep the transaction in his own hands are gone. Although some agents have not yet gotten that message, they will have to. Sellers, make sure your home is all over the internet and MLS as soon as possible, and do not allow your agent to restrict exposure and/or showings. That is never in your seller’s interest.

Tip 4: Find a solution for cats and dogs so they do not impede showings. Leave your home when it is shown.  Always. Do not hang around. Your buyer will not be comfortable. Always have some fresh flowers -from the garden is fine, make sure the beds are made and laundry organized at all times for unexpected sudden showings. A bit of an effort with great profits.

Tip 5: 75% of consumers (Pew Research) say now’s a great time to buy. 85% when you add money and education to the respondents. Give the buyers what they want and are looking for, make it possible for them to buy your home. Counter aggressively and take EVERY offer seriously. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate and be prepared to accept a lower bid than you ideally would have liked. One bird in the hand is better than ten in the sky. Be honest with your broker. Trust him or her. You will save money for every month you do not own your home anymore. Don’t ever consider offers "too far apart".  Stress the strengths of your home, but be reasonable and open-minded. Remember that if your home does not appraise, which it might not, the bank will not give the buyer money to conclude your deal.

Any further questions: call any local area specialist at Town and Country. Or email me at

We will help you sell your home.


Sunday, June 14th, 2009

image from

The Netherlands America Foundation (NAF) and the Henry Hudson 400 Foundation are preparing for a year of celebrations of Dutch American heritage, specifically surrounding the founding of Nieuw Amsterdam (AKA New York - Manhattan) by Henry Hudson for the West Indische Compagnie (WIC) from Amsterdam. As already mentioned by John Nickles (HANFRA President), the purchase of Manhattan by Peter Stuyvesant is truly one of these deals any Realtor ™ would have wanted to be a part of!

In September a visit by the the Prince of Orange, HRH Prince Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and his beautiful Argentine wife, Princess Maxima, and a flottilla with a copy of the Halve Maen, the ship commandeered by Henry Hudson in 1609, will be the crowning event for these celebrations, not to be missed.

The Dutch origins of New York,  as sometimes master paintings are also painted over other original works, still clearly show their contours in current day New York, no matter how much history has been re-writen by the English puritans of New England.

New York still stands for business, free trade, diversity, tolerance, and freedom. Just as did the original Netherlanders who founded Nieuw Amsterdam, after years of religious freedom wars against the Spanish inquisition. A great book about the early days of Manhattan and the still strongly felt Dutch influence on today’s Manhattan Island was written by Russell Shorto & my friend Charles Gehring "Manhattan, island at the center of the World" a must read for any New Yorker!

For any information call me at 631 765 0500 or email


55th annual North Fork Strawberry Festival – Mattituck

Friday, June 12th, 2009

One of the signs that Summer’s almost here: the 55th annual Mattituck Strawberry Festival which will be held June 19-21 at Strawberry Fields in Mattituck: take a drive with the kids – they will love it! A uniquely North Fork event!

And for our South Fork Friends: check out what your dollar can buy on the North Fork and let us show you some homes before the Fireworks at Strawberry Field… call our North fork offices in Mattituck (631 298 0600) or Southold (631 765 0500) or visit