A home, as it comes to be, reflects the lifestyle of those living in it. So it only makes sense that both buyers and sellers become well versed in the home buying process from the very beginning. Having been in real estate since 1993, Stephanie Cullum has seen many different markets. The associate broker and manager at Coach Realtors notes that the current market is particularly interesting because today’s real estate audience is among the most informed of sellers and buyers.
“The internet as an information highway has educated sellers and buyers to understand the basic home values and trends in their particular market area,” said Cullum, who sees this as a positive thing for realtors as buyers and sellers want to work with the best professionals in their area who can help them translate this information. “More informed sellers and buyers certainly raises the bar for our industry.”
Similar to any professional search, statistics show that the greatest percentage of sellers and buyers ask their associates/friends for a referral as to who represented them in their real estate transaction and were they satisfied with their service. Cullum states that clients also know the market they want to be in as they have done their homework and know what their expectations are.
“Garden City, for example, is a desirable market to be in as are various towns in Nassau County. Buyers have a knowledge of the area they are going into and it is all about location, location, location, but also important is the condition and market value,” said Cullum, noting that a great school district, convenient shopping, a desirable dining scene, active community life and commute to work are some of the factors people consider when purchasing a home.
As far as interest rates go, Cullum says they have stabilized, but rents have risen dramatically in most urban areas, causing buyers to look at all of their options more carefully. While there are some who prefer the traditional Georgian-style brick home and all of the classic architectural and interior design that comes with that era, younger homebuyers prefer the contemporary and modern tastes of today.
“Many buyers are two-income households and a property that has been updated is often the most important condition because they don’t have the time to renovate,” she said of homeowners who no longer place putting their own stamp on a home at the top of their wish list. “Buyers are looking less for the traditional colonial and want a floor plan that they can work with and create spaces more conducive to today’s less formal life style.”
It is the responsibility of a professional Realtor to help both buyer and seller fulfill their living plan. Although times have changed and more people are looking to build their relationships and careers before buying a home, Cullum believes that is still an important goal.
“Lifestyle today is very different than it was years ago,” she said. “But I still believe the dream of most Americans is to own their own home.”