5 tips to sell your NYC apartment

Here are 5 tips that can help you to sell your NYC apartment. Even in today’s market where are inventory levels are very low, some properties sit on the market for several months without selling. When market values are increasing, this may not seem so bad because prospects of selling become more likely as time goes on but in a transitional market like what we will have in 2015, it can be disasrous. So here’s 5 tips to  help you get the property sold in a reasonable amount of time and for the most money.

1- Choose your real estate broker carefully. One idea might be to choose the most well known, top producing agent who gets results. Many times depending on your property if you choose a real estate broker with many listings, you will likely be given over to an assistant who while capable has considerably less experience. You want to choose a representative who has a plan so understanding their marketing proposal for your property can be critical. Here are a few questions you can ask. I think most are self-explanatory except for e and g. Some buildings have an entity like the sponsor who owns more than 10% of the total shares/apartments and this can create financing issues so it’s best to make sure your broker understands which banks will finance in your building so as to not waste 60 days in contract only to find out the buyer will not get financing. As far as question g, many brokers will get an accepted offer and not follow up after that. I think that’s a mistake and leaves the door open for surprises.

a- How long have you been full time in the real estate brokerage business?
b- What is your marketing plan for my property and how does it incorporate social media?
c- How will brokers schedule appointments and when will you be able to show my property?
d- Have you sold any property similar to mine in this building?
e- Are you aware of any financing issues in my building?
f- Will you have professional photos and a layout drawn up of my property?
g- What is your follow up  with lawyers and banks after an offer is accepted?

2- Price your apartment correctly from the beginning. Many sellers make the mistake of incorporating what they paid or what they will pay for their next apartment into the price of their current property. The best and most accurate way to price your property is to look at what the most similar properties have sold for and adjust for view, floor, and condition among other factors. Generally, 1% adjustment is made for each floor and a view can add up to 5% value of a non-view. Additionally, a renovated unit can be worth the cost of the renovation over the value of a non-renovated apartment if it was done recently. These are the same adjustments that appraisers use which is another reason why it is critical to get the pricing right. If the property is overpriced and someone wants to purchase it and will get financing, then the  deal may fall out as a result of a “low” appraisal.

3- Choose your attorney carefully. Make sure to get a recommendation from your broker or a good friend who has had a recent experience with this attorney. You always want to make sure that the attorney  either does just real estate transactions or does a lot of them. If you choose someone who is not an expert in the field, you might have an issue later with some part of the transaction. Typically, the seller’s attorney’s duties include preparing the contractor, discussing proposed changes with the buyer’s attorney and reconciling values at closing. Hopefully, if your transaction is a simple one, there is not much other than that but since you never know, it pays to have an attorney well versed in NYC real estate in your corner. Real estate attorneys will charge from about $1700 and up with the avergage in Manhattan being close to $2500.

4- Decide to stage or not stage home with your broker. If your apartment is vacant, discuss with your broker the value of staging it to sell. Since many buyers have difficulty visualizing elements of the apartments, a professionaly staged apartment can bring in a faster sale than one that is empty. At the very least, discuss with your brokers ways to declutter your apartment so that it is ready to show. Removing pictures of family members and eliminating all clutter will definitely make  your property more ready to sell and ensure a higher price/faster sale.

5- Get all helpful and necessary paper work to your broker. This will include:

a- Last two years financial statements
b- Initial offering plan aka The Book
c- Maintenance bills
d- any information of pending projects or current assessments
e- purchase application- Most times the broker will get this themselves
f- Copy of stock and proprietary lease if a coop

The more that you get this paper work to your broker from the beginnning, the less delays there may be when this is needed at the time of an accepted offer. Since buyers can be fickle, any delays in the contract process may be cause for them to reconsider. Once you get a buyer,  you will want to lock them in as quickly as possible without delay.

Here are 5 very basic tips when selling your NYC apartment and hopefully they will help you to sell for the most money and in the quickest amount of time. Please let me know if any  questions or comments.


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