I usually convey this information to all of my client sellers when they are considering putting their home on the market. There are a multitude of reasons for understanding the concerns and attitudes of their current and future purchasers. Many times sellers don’t realize or aren’t aware of how a buyer(s) may view their home and how particular they may be when analyzing all there is to know when making their purchase in the current market where home prices have excelled to the highest level in history.
In Great Neck alone, as of my most current analysis last week, over 95.4 percent of all listed homes were at more than $1 million. Ten years ago it was 84.2 percent, so I can’t blame any buyer(s) for not trying to figure out and ascertain how they can be able to afford a home at somewhat of a reduced selling price, when so many homes have been selling at asking and, in some instances during a bidding war, way above asking.
It’s unfathomable when I realize how much the monthly carrying costs are to be able to afford to live a comfortable lifestyle and not even lavishly on Long Island. But those who have the income can, while others are either struggling paycheck to paycheck or are leaving and abandoning NYS to other lower cost localities in other states.
This has been the norm over the last number of years dating back to 1987. I had mentioned this in a previous column when I ran for the Town of North Hempstead supervisor against Ben Zwirn, John Kiernan and the Right to Life candidate. Back then in Manhasset, I told a large congregation of people that the “brain drain” was happening and that so many were leaving New York for more affordable states and that something needed to be done, but as usual, it fell on deaf ears. Prices were even two to three times lower then than today for a similar four-bedroom, two-bath home!
Right now with all that has been going on with the pandemic the last 18 months, it has exacerbated the exodus from large populated cities by families and individuals who want more open space, privacy, etc. They are more health and safety-conscious than ever, draining our city population to go to less congested areas to homes with more interior space to enable people to work remotely. This has been a huge selling factor for homes that have additional rooms for office space in 2020, as well as space for children, when schools were closed and classes were done via computer.
The pace at which people have exited New York City since March 2020 has been 425,000-plus and high as well. Other crowded cities have been greatly affected due to Covid-19 as well as the Delta Variant adding insult to injury and the 753,926 U.S. deaths as of Nov. 4, 2021, in the U.S., adding to the 5.05 million who have died globally.
So, sellers, you must be even more critical than your eventual purchaser, who with their home inspector will usually find things that will cause the potential renegotiating of the previous agreed and accepted sales price. To avert and avoid this from happening, I suggest that if your home is at least 20 years old that you have a pre-inspection completed by either a home inspector or engineer. Have them go over your entire home from the roof, chimney, (whether it needs pointing or new flashing to prevent leaks), gutters and leaders, right down to your basement, e.g., all the utilities, electrical service breaker panel and wiring, the heating (boiler and hot water heater), and the plumbing. Also, all your built-in appliances, including your refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, washer and dryer should also be checked.
The exterior condition of your home, including your windows, structural integrity of walls and foundation, landscape, patios, decks and sidewalks will also come into play in your pre-inspection. It is extremely critical to repair those items in advance when it will be less costly to take care of them than waiting until your buyer finds those items. Invariably, buyers will reduce your price by more than it will cost you, if you aren’t proactive in your approach in taking care of those most important items.
Although demand is still historically strong with very low inventory and interest rates, it still would make a lot of sense as a homeowner to order a pre-inspection. The report that will accompany it will detail all the good things about your home and all those items that will either need fixing and/or upgrading that are within your current affordable budget. Otherwise it just might cost you much more later on, when your future buyer does their inspection and adds up those needed repairs and wants to change their offer.
But then again, some homeowners will just sell in “as is” condition and take their chances for the best outcome.
Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck. He has 40 years of experience in the Real Estate industry. For a “FREE” 15 minute consultation, a value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] Just email or snail mail (regular mail) him with your ideas or suggestions on future columns with your name, email and cell number and he will call or email you back.