Monday, November 21, 2005

Making It Make Sense In A Changing Market

How often have we heard that history repeats itself, and that nothing is new under the sun. Yet, every time we find ourselves in a changing real estate market, the harbingers of doom and gloom gather on the horizon to predict that the sky is falling.

Housing trends, often parabolic in nature respond to external forces that are sometimes global, more often local. Let me say, as of this moment in time the oft touted "housing bubble" has not burst -- at least not on Long Island. It has definitely sprung a leak and pricing is reluctantly coming down off historic highs. Dare I say it's about time. Markets take time outs, and we're certainly in one of those.

This is not a time for panic, nor one for jubilation by a buying public searching for that steal of a deal. It is a time to take a deep breath and reflect on your personal needs. If you're making a move and need to sell your home, listen to the advice of a competent real estate broker. Price your home within a realistic range, take a dispassionate look at it as your buyers surely will and then get out of the way and let your broker determine the best marketing plan to bring you top dollar today. Sometimes that means getting rid of years of clutter and depersonalizing the space so your buyers can picture themselves living there. Other times a few simple fixes can mean the difference of thousands of dollars in your pocket.

If you're a buyer in today's market, do your homework. Research homes in the area on the internet or via local publications. When you find a REALTOR(r) you're comfortable with, take a look at available inventory in your price range and (this is the hard part) when you see a house you love make an offer. The biggest mistake buyers make is to feel that they found the right home too soon and that they might be missing something better out there. It doesn't matter if your palace of choice is the first property you've seen or the twelfth. You'll know when it's right. I can't tell you how many times in the past 19 years I've had people say they wished they'd bought the one that got away. Don't think if you wait, the price will come down. If you love it, chances are someone else will too.

Author: Geri Sonkin


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