Buyers Guide

Your greatest investment should be the one you call home.

Let’s get started…

The Hamptons are one the most unique and competitive real estate markets in the world, and I understand that making a decision to buy a home here can be  particularly overwhelming. Whether you are a seasoned renovator or a first time homeowner, things don’t always go as planned and emotions can run high. Being well prepared and clear on your plan of action is critical for sanity’s sake.

Phase I

Outline your Objectives

  • MOTIVATION: Full time residence? Summer home? Weekends Year Round? Flip or Speculative Project? Investment property only?

  • INVESTMENT: Long term hold? Or shorter term profit gain? The difference between these in your search is significant.

  • KNOW YOUR BUDGET: Be clear on what you can and want to spend. Time is money and you’ll be only wasting your own if you aren’t realistic about this from the very beginning.

Planning Ahead

  • EXPECTATIONS: What is your ideal timeline to close?

  • FINACING: Purchase with cash or using a lender?

  • A CASH DEAL: Will certainly help the deal move along more quickly and your offer will hold more weight. Be prepared to verify assets before going to contract.

  • MORTGAGE CONTINGENT: Being pre-approved is essential, Once your offer is accepted your lender will order an appraisal, you'll need your survey before the seller can update or obtain Certificate of Occupancy. Loan commitments generally take 45-60 days. 

  • CLOSING COSTS: Your expenses outside of the purchase will include attorney, local taxes, new or updated survey, title insurance, property insurance. This can affect what your working budget to purchase will be.

Phase II

Property Search

  • CALL ME at 631-871-6104. I’ll guide your search and do all the heavy lifting.

  • RESEARCH your ideal location: Be flexible! Have 1st, 2nd and 3rd favorites.

  • LIFESTYLE: This will decide a lot about where you should be focusing your search. Near Ocean beaches? Bay beach activities? Boating, Kayaking, Paddle boarding? Walking distance to a village, markets, restaurants? Tennis Player? Horse Country?

  • MARKET FORCES: Investigate Buyer’s Market vs. Seller’s Market. Inventory Surplus.

  • ONLINE LISTINGS: Trust your agent who already knows the properties and the nuances of the neighborhoods but do your own search too. You know what you like but be open to suggestions - the listing photos don’t always tell the full story.

  • SCHEDULE SHOWINGS: Are you local? You can benefit from weekday showings. Plan several visits if you are out of the area. Locating your dream property can take time and is best when not done in a stressful timeframe.

  • OPEN HOUSES: Go even if its above your budget, you can learn a lot about what an area offers, and which home components are ‘must-haves’ and which are just ‘wish-list’ items. Be sure to let the Listing Broker know you have an agent already!

Phase III

Finding the Right One

  • IDENTIFY: When you think you have found that right property – act decisively.

  • VALUE: Analyze the Value vs. Listing Price with your agent. Review comps and what external expenses such as renovation/landscaping/ new pool will cost.

  • OFFER: Strategize your opening bid carefully. In this highly competitive market being foolish can cost you your ideal property. Your agent will present the offer along with all terms of the bid including, any contingencies, financing, and closing timeline.

  • NEGOTIATION: This is where things can get stressful. Keep you head and consider both sides of the deal by trying to imagine the other position. Unreasonable demands are rarely welcome. Keep the dialog open with your agent.

  • ACCEPTED OFFER: Hire an attorney. Best to work with a locally based attorney who specializes in Hamptons property sales. Your attorney’s job is vital to protecting your interests; therefore you want one who is familiar with local land use and zoning regulations. Schedule an inspection – either a home inspector or a structural engineer to provide you with details about your home and water quality and termite tests.

In Contract

  • MEMO OF SALE: Your attorney will receive a Memorandum of Sale with terms of the deal detailed.

  • Purchase Price

  • Amount of Down Payment (usually 10%)

  • Terms of Financing Contingency

  • Approximate Date of Closing

  • List of any exclusion to the transfer of property

  • Responsibilities of Buyer and Seller

  • CONTRACT: Your attorney will represent your needs and go over the terms of the contract with you. Any concerns from the inspector’s report will be addressed and outlined if necessary in the contract for the Seller to remedy before closing. An ‘as-is’ deal means just that- you have agreed to accept the property in the condition you found it in.

  • SIGNING CONTRACT: When the contract negotiation is complete the Buyer signs and delivers a contract deposit to be held in escrow by Seller’s attorney. Seller's attorney now returns to your attorney the fully executed contract. 

  • MORTGAGE: With a fully executed contract now you start securing a loan commitment. Your lender will schedule to appraise the property.

Phase IV

Steps to Closing

  • SURVEY: Typically your attorney orders a new or revised survey. Please allow 2-5 weeks for this process. The land surveyor will provide you with an accurate depiction of your properties boundaries including all structures, hardscaping and clearing calculations of your property. The new survey is certified to the new owner so this cost is the Buyer’s responsibility.

  • C of O: In most cases, especially if a lender is involved, the Town or Village where the property is located will issue a new or updated Certificate of Occupancy. A building inspector will need access to the home to certify that all structures comply with local codes. Usually this is the responsibility of the Seller.

  • TITLE INSURANCE: A clean and clear title insures that you won’t have any unclaimed ownerships of your new home. A one-time fee at closing covers you and your heirs as long as you own the property. The title company will conduct a comprehensive search and it’s representative is present at closing to prove documentation that they have not uncovered any unwanted surprises.

  • UTILITIES TRANSFER: You will need the necessary utilities transferred to accounts in your name before closing. Connect with your agent and attorney to get a list of service providers These will include Electric (PSEGLI), Fuel (independent oil providers or National Grid for Natural Gas), Suffolk County Town Water, Cable/Internet (Optimum) and various other house and home caretakers. Account balances will be reconciled at closing between buyer and seller.

  • WALK-THROUGH: Arrange with your agent to visit the property within 24 hours or on the day of the closing to verify that any contractual contingencies have been remedied, that the overall condition is as when negotiated, and that the seller has vacated and left the home “broom clean”.

  • CLOSING DAY: Wire transfer of purchase and closing costs. If a lender is involved there will be a lot of paperwork to sign. The seller pays the listing and selling brokers’ commissions. At the end you will get a set of keys and if you are not tearing the house down you are free to move in and celebrate!