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Tips to Snag Your Perfect Home in a Competitive L.I. Market


Trying to get that perfect home in a competitive market? You're not alone.MetroCreative

We’ve all read the headlines. We know that although the Covid-19 pandemic caused a national recession, it miraculously led to a real estate housing boom. And the same was true on Long Island – brokers and agents saw a higher demand and lower prices, across Suffolk and Nassau County.

But what’s the state of the real market right now? And what does the future of the market hold as we move into the spring and summer seasons and the next phase of the new normal?

Real estate expert Kevin Leatherman of Leatherman Homes shares his insights into current trends, bidding wars and the drawbacks of crafting a “love letter” to a seller to nab a house.

L.I. HOME: As the first quarter residential sales wraps up in 2022, what’s the current state of the market? What areas are most notable and most surprising?

Kevin Leatherman: We still have a major inventory challenge on Long Island. Qualified buyers searching greatly outweigh the available inventory – I’m finding that there’s some extreme buyer fatigue. Some buyers are getting discouraged and are either extending their leases or deciding to stay where they are until things “calm down.”

Kevin leatherman

Kevin LeathermanCourtesy Kevin Leatherman

L.I. HOME: So, how does that impact you?

Kevin Leatherman: As a broker, it is tough to see buyers getting dismayed. Also, the strategy of how buyers have to look has changed. It’s a smart business decision for agents to work on signing listings to have a steady base to work from while servicing seriously committed buyer clients.

L.I. HOME: In this competitive market for buyers, what are some key steps that buyers, especially first-time buyers, should do to set themselves apart on getting a home? Any other advice for buyers who find themselves in a bidding war?

Kevin Leatherman: It’s difficult to answer the question because of this lack of inventory. What it comes down to is the seller’s motivation, their needs, and the buyer’s flexibility. If a seller needs a long contract period, buyers that can accommodate that will have a better chance of securing the property. And if a seller needs a post-closing possession clause, or some other accommodation, that will help if the buyer is agreeable.

Secondly, it’s about the buyer’s enthusiasm. I think that when a buyer moves quickly – or at the pace that a seller wants – it’s critical. If a buyer takes too long to book inspections, sign contracts and more, it may come off to the seller as a lack of motivation. Another more aggressive buyer could come in and secure the property during this period.

L.I. HOME: And we’ve heard about “love letters” to sellers…little notes to express appreciation of a home and make that connection with a seller. We’ve heard those should be avoided – why?

Kevin Leatherman: Yes. Not a great move. Buyer love letters leave you open to possible Fair Housing Violations, so we are advised by NYSAR legal counsel that we should not forward them to the seller – it can expose the seller and seller’s broker to possible legal liability.

To learn more, visit Leatherman Homes.