REALTOR RAP Bottom Lines


Let’s face it – when it comes to buying or selling a property, everyone has his or her own ‘bottom line’ number that will make or break the deal. This is especially true in 2018, as we face changes in the new tax laws, the prospect of rising interest rates and the shrinking inventory of affordable homes on the market. 

Historically, the bottom line number in the minds of sellers is often based on their desire for a lifestyle change, a need to downsize or to capitalize on the equity they have accrued in their home. And with prices in our neighborhood rising rapidly, homeowners who decide to pull the trigger and list their home for sale can expect a flurry of activity, as agents hasten to bring their best and most qualified buyers to first showings. Even homes that are priced at the top of their own respective market value will be looked at, but as always, those properties that have been either staged or properly prepared for the market will garner the highest offers in the shortest amount of time.

A buyer’s bottom line is often dictated more by their income and financial obligations than their visions of buying their dream home. Many first-time home buyers will find themselves priced out of the market in 2018 and may turn to areas that present better investment opportunities. Buyers may have to lower their expectations and make compromises in their list of ‘must haves,’ and the prospect of interest rates rising are also a worry as some experts have predicted up to three rate hikes in 2018. The dwindling inventory has given many buyers time to become more educated about the entire process. They can delve into the market more seasoned and knowledgeable than ever before.

One of the more challenging roles as a realtor is to bring these opposing sides together to a ‘meeting of the minds.’ A bottom line that both buyer a seller can live with, all the while keeping the deal alive through the potential pitfalls of inspection disputes, financial issues and closing time tables. Emotional concerns and housing needs aside, isn’t the bottom line almost always about money? Where the Rockaway real estate market is headed this year is the million-dollar question on everyone’s mind.  No one can predict the future with any certainty. Those buyers who are on the fence about making a move and sellers who may be taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude could find they have made a costly mistake by procrastinating.

As the spring 2018 season begins to open up, we should consider the facts. Mortgage rates are currently still very reasonable. The market is strong and robust.   Properties on the entire Rockaway peninsula are in demand as more and more people have discovered and decided to live in this beautiful community. We can ponder the ‘ifs, ands and buts’ and try to guess what will happen in the future, but the facts are undeniable and that’s the bottom line!

Barbara Ferguson is an Associate Broker with Rockaway Properties. She can be reached at Office: (718) 634-3134, Cell: (917) 623-8985.

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