July 18, 2007
Funniest Real Estate Experience, Market Update
On a line I once coined for a political campaign, how do you move without moving?
Well, you can live in one place for 50 years – that should do it – less time, of course, if it's on the eastern end of Long Island where everything and everyone is exponential.
Or, for really fast-forward, 35 millimeter time, you can work in East End real estate and wake up one morning to find out your competitors, hundreds of them, are now your colleagues. So you have to keep changing. You figure out if you want to stay the same! (Do you know how many agents sign their e-mails 'formerly' so and so, 'now known as' so and so?)
So, it doesn't follow, but I had an idea. After reading (and writing about) that big East End firm's Buddhist monk meant-to-comfort and help you find your inner self blanket mailer to their brokers – the one about life, adversity and the relationship between suffering and strength – I thought, hey wait a minute, lighten up here; there's got to be something to laugh about.
Therefore, my across-the-board industry e-mail – with the subject line "Funny you should say that" – asked for the funniest real estate experience people have had.
First of all it's funny (funny/unusual) that I got only three responses! A broker, an administrative assistant and a client. That should tell you something about East End real estate or the level of humor thereof. Maybe there's nothing funny about making money.
OK, here they are without attribution.
"About 7-8 years ago I had an Exclusive Right to Sell listing in East Hampton. The seller knew someone who was looking and told her to call me to set up an appointment to see the house. When they drove up to the house and got out of the car her husband and I started laughing. Turns out he was on my high school wrestling team. We used to wrestle in practice all the time. I had not seen him in years. And by the way, they bought the house."
Yes, well! Don't give up your day job. (In fairness, maybe this was funny/coincidence.)
On the homeowner/client side: "Early on a Saturday morning, an agent with customers walked into my home while we were sleeping (ahem) in bed. Didn't she see the cars in the driveway? That cured me from giving agents a key to the house!"
From the administrative assistant: "An agent who I knew worked for a major real estate company here in the Hamptons and was the designated 'caravan' agent after one of their weekly sales meetings. Caravaning is when all the agents in the office go look at open houses and any new listings as a group. Well, this one agent was in charge of doing the caravan. The agent had to make arrangements to see the houses, print out listings and in some cases, bring a key. She asked another agent in her office if she would help her by making a copy of the key for one of the houses on the list. Caravan day came and when they got to one particular house, the caravan agent director asked the other agent for the copy of the key. The other agent pulled out a sheet of paper . . . a 'Xerox' copy of the key."
(The joke's on us, Bub. These people are making six or seven figures a year!)
Here's interesting (funny/perplexing) news from George R. Simpson, president of Suffolk Research Service, Inc. from his 2007 six month report: "The real estate market on the East End of Long Island is healthy and continues to increase in median price of single family residences for East End real estate. These increased 14 percent from $668,000 in 2006 to $745,000 for the first six months of 2007." (Median price is the middle price at which all houses sold are listed in order of price.)
"Home prices have grown dramatically since 2003 when the median price of East End homes was $412,000 – an 80 percent increase in five years. Overall, in the East End market, dollar sales of single family homes for the first six months of 2007 was unchanged over the same period in 2006 ($2.2 billion). The dim side of market stats show that the number of single family homes sold hit a five-year low in the first six months of 2007 for all five towns."
OK, can someone please explain this to me, what's the point of raising prices if no one is buying?
East End Real Estate maybe indeed be a funny peculiar rather than funny ha ha business.
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