Thursday, October 19, 2006

I'd Like A House And . . .


In the Long Island real estate market, with buyers playing hide and seek and new sellers joining the fray every week, builders, sellers and real estate agents alike are getting very creative in their marketing of homes. The boom years for building, recent enough in our memory to almost reach out and touch, have given way to unsold homes in significant numbers, prodding developers to come up with ingenious ways to set their properties apart. As reported by Newsday, Steven Klar is offering a $52,000 Mercedes as an inducement to buyers, hoping they'll choose one of his model homes in Locust Valley, Manorville or Huntington.

Homeowners have offered to pay for one year's mortgage payments, or vacations, or even package deals. Buy the house and get . . . In the last major downturn we often had sellers contributing to closing costs or absorbing points to pay down the purchaser's mortgage but more aggressive tactics are called for in these times.

Agents, accustomed to providing lunch, lottery tickets or theater tickets to their peers at Broker Open Houses before the market went crazy, are now having to come up with far more exciting fare, especially if they represent higher priced houses. The events they sponsor are costly, but the hoped for reward of a viable buyer spurs them on.

In Nassau County, as of August 2006 there were 10,041 homes for sale, up almost 67% from the same time last year. Suffolk County's statistics are similar with 13,999 homes on the market, up over 59%. So if you want it sold this year, you'd better get your creative juices flowing.

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