There was a palpable shift in real estate activities this past week. Ensconced in rentals, tenants who have children preparing for school got in their last licks at summer vacation, and in between all their activities, toured listings for sale to consider, and dream of as the place they might call home in time for the summer of 2018.
Sellers, also trying to enjoy what might be their last summer in their homes on the island, scooped up their belongings and vacated for showings. During the summertime, many appointments are last minute, and sometimes occur early morning or early evening so that customers can enjoy the beach. On certain days, a mentality much like bidding on eBay was prevalent, with multiple offers submitted on listings that have been on the market for over a year. “I am infatuated with this house!” one customer exclaimed of a property that has been on the market for nearly three years and which she lost to a higher bidder. Some customers made offers on more than one property at a time to see which property could be purchased for the lowest possible price. Others placed an offer and, upon receiving a seller’s counter offer, “vaporized” or disappeared, much to the chagrin of all other parties involved.
On Saturday, after the previous week-long hustle and bustle of preparing their homes for showings, some sellers wondered why there was a momentary lull. “Not to worry, the day that the Shelter Island Crafts Fair is held has traditionally been a quiet day in real estate for some reason, so do some Christmas shopping at the fair,” I told one seller, “and please forget about real estate for a few hours.”
On Sunday, many people left the island to return to their primary homes with family and luggage in tow, and others moved into homes to enjoy the week leading up to Labor Day. The most popular category over the last two weeks has been the up to $1.6M inland home. There are farmhouses, contemporaries, modern, and post modern homes available with and without pools, which have been experiencing showings, interest and offers.
Some sellers wanting to sharpen their position for the week leading to Labor Day and for the autumn real estate season have adjusted their listed price with the hope that their homes will be more attractive to a customer who might be on the fence.
As the summer wraps up, many homeowners who have also been landlords with their properties on the rental market, in some cases for many years, wonder what will transpire with the legal action that has been brought by homeowners against the Town of Shelter Island surrounding the new Shelter Island rental regulation. Many Landlords continue to be confused by the regulation which one described recently as “complicated and contradictory to the Town Code.”
Some people who own property but do not rent their homes feel that the free market should prevail, while others do not want to see their neighbors homes become a mini-business venture. Whatever the outcome, this coming week signals the shift to the beginning of the Autumn 2017 real estate selling season and the Summer 2018 rental season.
Unlike the end of some things, real estate seasons do not actually end but are re-set and re-born. With resets, there is reason to celebrate, reflect, adjust, and begin again. On Shelter Island, where happily, little changes from season to season, many real estate gems are waiting to be discovered, appreciated, and then celebrated.