Gurney's Inn
October 24, 2007

Realty Takes

Time To Break The Money Addiction?

Time To Break The Money Addiction?

I do love to print your e-mails, especially when they say nice things about my column. Having said that, I do show the other kind as well.

"Dear Lona, you wrote an excellent, clear and informative column about co-exclusives. Thank you for putting it into plain language." Chris Chapin, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate, East Hampton

Then we have: "Lona, in reading your column in today's Independent, I would like to add some insight on figures we at Corcoran have been tracking. You quote an 'unnamed broker' as stating that the co-exclusive may be 'on its way out.' We are finding that to be the case. As the 'unnamed broker' says, while referring to us as the less-than-flattering '800 pound gorilla,' the 'consumers are becoming more and more educated' in making their listing decisions. There is a value in selecting the 'gorilla' for an exclusive listing.

"The listing will get broader exposure, professional marketing in many markets, a stronger Internet presence, and a larger sales force talking about the property (between each other and in their office meetings). Our mix of monthly new exclusive versus co-exclusive listings has increased from a ratio of approximately 7 to 1, up to a current 10 to 1 ratio over the past six month period. Is this a trend? Property owners on the East End are an intelligent and sophisticated group! I always enjoy your column, thanks for your observations." Rick Hoffman, The Corcoran Group, Regional Senior Vice President

And more still: "Hi Lona, thanks for the articles on co-exclusives. I'm using them when I pitch new listings and the owners ask about how to list. Love your articles!" Jackie Dunphy, LSA The Corcoran Group, East Hampton

In slightly different news, U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson said housing is likely to adversely affect the economy, but our own Paul Brennan, of Prudential Douglas Elliman Bridgehampton, said, "I don't believe it's the housing market per se. I believe it's the mortgage market that has negatively impacted this economy. How many times does the Fed have to loosen money and we all go on a refinancing binge, practically giving money away to anyone who can breathe, and then cut off the supply and expect everyone to pay the money back as if they are responsible borrowers? It's like giving drugs to a junkie and then wondering why you can't find him when it's time to get paid.

"The Fed has done this at least twice that I can remember in the past 29 years I've been in the business. It creates a false sense of economic well-being and a huge hangover when the game stops. Then the big institutions that have all benefited, but ultimately mismanage the billions of dollars they lent, get bailed out by the Fed. The U.S. taxpayers ultimately take the hit and we all cry about the state of the economy until the next cycle. Sounds like it may be time to get off the merry-go-round of money addiction to me."

Data from Long Island Profiles: 259 houses were sold in Suffolk County this week compared to 443 last year; foreclosures 45 this week compared to 33 last year. Median price for Suffolk County homes was down $5000, but as we all know, out here on the impervious East End, the median home price has risen. There should be to my mind a Peconic County for so many reasons.

So, East End real estate, clearly different and still a very strange business. But for how long?

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The New Listing of the Week is offered free to brokers on a rotating basis. Please submit a JPEG photo of the property along with a WORD document with the listing information to, attn: Rick. There is no charge for the placement.

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