The real estate market has been especially volatile over the last year, making it difficult to navigate for first-time buyers and sellers on Long Island. Cory Knopf of the Hal Knopf Team held a seminar at the Oceanside Library on Saturday to help local residents navigate the market along with Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. and several legal and insurance experts.
Knopf and Marsha Welikson opened the seminar with an overview of buying and selling in the current environment, advising attendees to start by assembling a team – including an agent, lender, attorney and inspectors – to assist them on the way to the contract table. “New York state does real estate differently,” Knopf said. “When you accept an offer as a seller, you are not bound to that offer until you sign a contract. Knopf explained that having a team is essential because buyers can pull out last minute in New York.
According to Knopf, buyers should have the home inspected by a qualified company within a day or two of the sale. Jim Rupert, an inspector at Safe Harbor, explained how inspections could help sellers get out ahead of potential issues with their homes. “I would say probably half of the houses that we look at have some sign of termites,” Rupert said. He suggested that sellers call extermination companies as part of their inspection efforts to make sure they have no issues with the home that could ruin a sale.
Oceanside-based Allstate agent Andrew Mallor lent his expertise in the area of flood insurance. Mallor taught the audience about new policies in flood insurance that began on Oct. 1, including cost to rebuild a home, height of the first level of the living area, distance to a flooding source and number of floors, among other factors.
In a seller’s market like today, Knopf advises that sellers use an agent to get the best return for their homes and to help in the rollout of introducing their homes to market. “You don’t put your house on the market with no pictures,” Knopf said. “Digital is the number one place where buyers go.”
Marie Limpert and Annmarie Brogan, the authors of “Beyond Tidy” and owners of Organize Me! LLC offered their advice on decluttering a home for potential buyers. Both Limpert and Brogan explained how staging a home neatly could subliminally hint that buyers can quickly make a home their own. “You want to limit the number of personal items you have on the shelves and walls,” Brogan explained. “The benefit is that the buyer comes into your home and they can imagine themselves in your home.”
The Knopf team also distributed statistics packages for areas all over Nassau from fellow real estate firm Compass. Oceanside was one of the very few areas where the number of single-family homes sold increased from this October to last.