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Serious Buyers On The Way

Originally Posted: August 22, 2008

Lona Rubenstein

Property listed with The Corcoran Group.

Well, it's not just our visitors who take their holidays in August. So many brokers have "we're away" messages on their emails. This occurrence, however, is not necessarily market related. In the past, August was the getaway month before the rush of "serious" September buyers as opposed to the July "really want a ride to the beach" lookers.

Nevertheless, Prudential Douglas Elliman's star broker Lori Barbaria, took the time to say she "has had an interesting and well balanced summer, tons of showings; open houses are abundant with buyers, non-stop calls off of signs, you would think we were in the green. Contracts out? Well, there are some for sure but not to the level we are used to. What is going on? It does not appear folks around here are of scanty finances; you can tell from their cars and attitudes, they are just fence sitting."

(Realty Takes has heard that from several sources; they are going to buy, but when they are ready and think they have the best deal and value out east).

Barbaria goes on to say, "There is an underlying intensity, a hawk like watching of who will go first, are they doing the right thing, could they be missing something? So here is my consensus. Prices have come down, there is more inventory and what is available is getting really good. There are places you can get in on the waterfront and on the golden ocean at a better price. The Hamptons is a destination, a commodity, and still a place of investment opportunities. I expect as the prices continue to correct to where we were at the worst two years ago, which at the time was still considered a bubble market, we in the real estate community should have a very busy winter."

Lori adds, "A rich Southampton gentleman said on Plum TV, [that] the wealthy are lucky and should be grateful for their positions. They have a responsibility to the community to give back and support the markets - I guess secure people don't buy into the fear thing; these are the days you can tell the men from the boys."

I don't know about that, not sure what the "mark" is for telling the "men from the boys." Boots Lamb once told this writer that the wealthy are wealthy because they "have a high regard" for their money. That is to say, they keep it close.

From Barbara Feldman, BFDesigns Home Stager and Realtor with Coldwell Banker Prestigious Properties in East Hampton - "I'm seeing a lot more 'In Contract' signs; things seem to be picking up. As summer wanes, I think many people are getting into that 'I don't want to leave the Hamptons' frame of mind, and that, coupled with the feeling that prices are starting to level out and oil prices (except at the gas stations in our neck of the woods) are coming down, may be starting to move the market."

I asked Joe Kazickas last week where he and his partners found the name for his new real estate firm Rosehip Partners? Kazickas answered - "Always tough to find an original name. I wish the story was more interesting but my sister-in-law blurted it out during a dinner brainstorming session, and it seemed to hit the right chord." That's interesting! Let us know when you launch that special Hamptons Rental website, as well.

For those asking about reverse mortgages, here's news from a firm called Senior Lending Network, that may have some answers you need. They say they are dedicated to "building the reverse mortgage industry by fostering deep partnerships with originators and by providing outstanding consumer education. The company educates millions of Americans about the important benefits of reverse mortgages and then links interested consumers to qualified and experienced originators who have access to Senior Lending Network's wholesale reverse mortgage products, technology and education services." They have both a website and an 800 number if readers want to know more.

The Corcoran Group held its annual mid-year awards ceremony and company meeting on Aug. 7. The event, held at The White House in Hampton Bays was hosted by President and CEO Pamela Liebman, Executive Vice President, Director of Sales, Tresa Hall, and Regional Senior Vice President, Rick Hoffman. Agents from Shelter Island and the North and South Forks attended a formal breakfast and expo that included booths manned by Hamptons.com, Plum TV, LIRB, Manhattan Mortgage, Skyline Title, Xpressdocs and various departments within the Corcoran Group. The venue invited agents to learn about new marketing and advertising opportunities while networking with fellow agents.

Below are the Corcoran Group's 2008 award winners:

 • Rookie of the Mid-Year - Kate DiGregorio (Southold)
 • Most Rental Units Mid-Year - Cee Brown/Jack Pearson (Sag Harbor 155/Bridgehampton 1,936)
 • Top Exclusive Agent Mid-Year - Susan Breitenbach (Bridgehampton 1,936)
 • Most Sales Units Mid-Year - Diane Saatchi (East Hampton 20)
 • Top Sales Agent by Sales Volume Mid-Year - Gary DePersia (East Hampton 51)
 • Top Commercial Sales Agent Mid-Year - Lee Minetree (East Hampton)
 • #1 Team Mid-Year - Cee Brown/Jack Pearson (Sag Harbor 155/Bridgehampton 1,936)
 • #2 Team Mid-Year - Evan Kulman/Gene Stilwell (Bridgehampton 2,405)
 • Employee of the Mid-Year - Nancy Lazar (Senior Graphic Designer-Operations Center)

Congrats to all!

In a recent column I wondered about the epidemic of market reports by real estate firms when there were those services available (free) and performed by professionals in that field. I pondered that real estate firms are formed, after all, to sell real estate - knowing the market in depth is an absolute necessity for any professional agent. Nevertheless, more and more firms were doing their own reports and promoting them.

There was a response suggesting the point of my question was a "firms'" bias. While that may or may not be an interesting issue, after all they do have a stake in the outcome, it was not the question raised nor any judgment we had in mind.

Our question was more pedestrian, and it had more to do with duplication of work, therefore the double or triple expenditure of time and energy, and, unless, it was an analysis of that particular firm's experience in the market, and so identified, what was the point when there were those trained for that specific undertaking who would do the work for you in their published reports? And do it free?

So any quarrels the analysis pros might have with the broker reports and conversely are best handled directly among them or perhaps in Letters to the Editor I suppose. Because, we must admit, East End real estate is a very strange business.

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