The Long Island real estate market continues to be a study in that most basic of economic principles: supply and demand. Less of the former than the latter is a driving force of home sales from Manhasset to Montauk. And with that, other factors have become to move the local markets like never before. As we come into spring and ever-new definitions of the new normal, we invite Jane Clifford of Signature Premier Properties to join us on Long Island HOME: The Podcast to discuss the current state of real estate, new buyer behaviors, advice for sellers and more.
“It’s a healthy market for sellers, no doubt,” says Clifford. “We’re in desperate need of inventory, so it’s driving the prices up. I’ve been doing this a long time, I’ve ridden those ups and downs, and I’ve never seen anything quite like what’s happening now.
“Coming out of COVID, you would think the market wouldn’t be quite like this. But with the lack of inventory, people are so desperate for housing, so I definitely see it’s a very healthy market for sellers right now, and unless the inventory picks up, I think it’s just going to stay this way.”
For a number of months now, observers and insiders alike have been pondering when the tide might turn, or what could at least bring about a hint of change.
“Honestly, unless we start seeing that inventory pick up, I don’t see much of a change,” Clifford says. “Interest rates going up may put a change in the market, [but] it’s hard to say, are buyers going to go, ‘Oh my god, interest rates are coming up, we need to get out there—but there’s still nothing for them to buy. It’s such a Catch-22. It’s really amazing. Every time we list a property, it’s gone that first weekend.”
So other than moving quickly, what’s the best advice she can offer buyers right now?
“I work with buyers and sellers, but when I’m working with a buyer I have to give them the same advice: You need to come to the table prepared. You need to have that preapproval ready. You need to have that preapproval ready. You have to have what’s going to set you apart from the 25 other offers that are coming to the table. And for the first time, I think we’re starting to see things that we would never have done 15 years ago. We’re seeing buyers say, ‘Okay, it’s not contingent on the appraisal. I don’t care what it appraises for, I’ll pay the difference.’
“It’s unheard of. We’ve never seen this before,” she continues. “We’re seeing buyers starting to waive home inspections—‘Just send the contract, I’m ready to sign.’ And I would never recommend a buyer to forego a home inspection. But we’re starting to see buyers become a little more creative—“How am I going to set myself apart from all these other offers?’ And a seller will look at it and go, ‘Oh, no home inspection. It doesn’t matter if they’re paying $55,000 above the asking price and it doesn’t appraise, they’ll come up with the extra dollars, they can’t get out of the contract.’
“It’s crazy. A lot of interesting things are starting to take place as buyers become a little more desperate. So they have to be prepared, they have to have those preapprovals, they have to be willing to set themselves apart in some way, shape or form.”
Hear more from Jane Clifford on Long Island HOME: The Podcast, Presented by Maidenbaum: