It’s a mantra that’s been repeated every year since the economy started to recover: “Now’s the time to sell!” But the Fed is likely to raise interest rates again, which means mortgages are going to get more expensive. That simple rate increase could push some people toward smaller, more affordable homes, making them in demand this year.
“I think despite what we’re expecting with the interest rates escalating slightly, we’re still going to have a very vibrant market,” said David Lucas, the broker/owner of D Lucas Realty and president of the Multiple Listing Service of Long Island. “Particularly because there’s very little inventory available, buyers are scrambling to find properties quickly before prices go up.” These variables indicate 2016 is going to be more of a seller’s market. Buyers are still looking for homes, but now they’re going to pay more for them, which is great for sellers.
As always, the key to effectively selling a home in this market is to price it right. “I think as long as they’re realistic about their pricing, it’s an excellent market for sellers,” said Cheryl Grossman, a broker associate for Realty Executives North Shore. Grossman added that when listing their homes, sellers need to see what similar houses in their area sold for, not just what they were listed for. Often times, the final sale could be considerably lower than the original price. “We’ve all had the experience where you price a house where you think it should be and then friends and neighbors say it’s too low. But you have to look at what the facts are and that’s in the sales,” she said.
Communities in both Nassau and Suffolk are looking to be hot sellers this year. Grossman said that homes in the Town of Huntington sold well in 2015 and she expects that trend to continue this year. “That’s always been a great area and we have a variety of prices. You can find a home in Huntington,” she said. In Nassau County, Lucas said he believes the South Shore is going to pick up as the recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues. “Baldwin, Freeport and Valley Stream have multiple bids on housing. There are lots of bidding wars going on in Valley Stream. I think that the whole South Shore is going to be very vibrant. I’m seeing that myself, and I’ve heard other realtors speak of it.”