Somewhere between $300K and $500K you can find a perfect little house—if you’re quick enough. –by Marcia Lerner
A nice, snug house, with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a convenient commute in a safe and welcoming neighborhood. Doesn’t it sound great? But if you’re looking for a house on Long Island, you already know that it’s not easy. “They go so quickly!” says Lina Lopes, associate broker at Douglas Elliman. These houses, which can be found from $300K to $500K in some areas, are the sweet spot of Long Island real estate. Whether you’re looking to buy one or sell one, here’s what you need to know.
Advice for Buyers
For buyers this is a tough spot, but you can find what you need with the help of a strong agent and a lot of hard work. Keep these pointers in mind:
Be prepared: According to Annette Mina, licensed broker associate for Douglas Elliman, having your documentation and other support, including not just a pre-approval from a reputable lender but an actual commitment before you bid is the key to success.
Be quick: Mina has steered clients through the heartbreak of finding a house they loved only to lose it because they weren’t fast enough. “Have your inspector ready to go at a moment’s notice,” Mina says.
Get help: Align yourself with a good, experienced broker. Brokers may be privy to listings you might not find searching the web. “If you’re waiting for something to come online, sometimes it’s three, four, five days old by the time it hits the website and you have already missed out,” Lopes notes.
Be persistent: Staying the course is your best chance of finding a home you love. “Don’t stop five minutes before the miracle,” Mina counsels. “You’ll stop and that house will come up, so you have to stay vigilant.”
Advice for Sellers
The experience is different for sellers because the market favors them at the moment. If you’re selling, you can still take steps to improve your chances of getting a great price. Here’s what you need to know:
Increase your reach: To stand out in the internet marketplace, you’ll need professional photography, video and maybe even a social media campaign. “A lot of Millennials now want listings to come up on Facebook or Instagram,” Lopes says. “So try to find different avenues to reach buyers rather than waiting for them to find you.”
Make it pretty: Tried-and-true selling advice still holds, regardless of the market. That means declutter and make the rooms in your home as light and bright as possible. “A little staging is not bad, but you don’t have to go overboard,” Lopes says. “Not in today’s market.”
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