With the last two weeks of the summer season into full swing, the activity in the real estate sector has gone from very busy to a fever pitch, with many customers aiming to view properties before their vacations have ended.
Scheduling has always been a challenge in real estate, but summertime requires more finesse. This time of year, sellers and their families are utilizing their properties for what might be the last summer before they sell, or properties are rented and tenants are not inclined to allow showings, despite terms of their lease.
In addition, real estate agents from off the island who are showing properties here sometimes do not allocate adequate time for travel and for showing each property, which can result in a log jam for other brokers. There are real estate brokers unfamiliar with a listing their customer wants to see, cannot make the trip to the island, but want the listing broker to meet and educate their customer and do the showing, then fork over half of the total commission. And there are brokers from other areas of New York State who interject themselves after properties have been introduced by a Shelter Island broker, expecting half a commission because of past times and gasoline they invested in a particular customer.
Tenants in residence at rentals are enjoying the beach and pool, with only a few small blips, thankfully. Some tenants with a view toward planning for 2017 request to tour other rentals before leaving the island on Labor Day. Inasmuch as forward-thinking tenants are respected by landlords and real estate agents, tenants occupying rentals do not feel the same way, making it incredibly difficult to show, and very often landlords do not know their plans a year in advance.
On the subject of rentals, the Shelter Island Town Board met on Tuesday to continue the topic of regulating short term rentals.
The Shelter Island Association discussed the outcome of a survey concerning short term rentals they sent to their membership with 325 individuals responding. 45% of those who replied are full time, 32% are part time, and 22% are weekend residents. 74% respondents indicated that they have noticed increased activity on the island due to short term rentals, 77% have not been affected, 47% believe there is a possible effect on their personal security, 61% support owner occupied short term rentals, and 55% believe living next to a short term rental has a negative effect on their life. The majority of respondents support the Town instituting restrictions. The Shelter Island Association membership is, according to its website, open to “any resident of Shelter Island and any owner of real estate in the Town of Shelter Island” although its trustees are limited to property owners who are a part of an organized association. There was discussion at the meeting of the absence of input from property owners in areas that do not have associations, including the center of the island, among other regions. The Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce also sent out a survey to its membership, comprised of local businesses, but their results were not complete.
This week, a client who has had a career in legislation in another locale, commented to me that they wonder why the Town of Shelter Island has not discussed “putting more teeth” into two existing regulations, Group Rentals and Noise, adding “who is currently enforcing these regulations, and would the proposed short term rental regulations be enforced by the same party?”
Looking at the calendar with 11 days to go until Labor Day, there are three closings scheduled, all of which are transactions that commenced at the beginning of the summer season. There are serious, optimistic buyers shopping real estate on Shelter Island who may want to tour your home, if it’s listed, so preparation and readiness are imperative.