Category Archives: Real estate

How to negotiate the best price on Manhattan property

When trying to negotiate the best price for a Manhattan property, there are some items that you can control/interpret yourself and some that you will need an experienced broker to assist you.

For starters, you want to have the below info

1- days on market
2- previous offers
3- current market conditions
4- owner’s motivation
5- nearby construction that will affect light and views

Armed with this information, you at least have a starting point but you will need your broker to interpret the following:

1- recent sales and how they compare with the Manhattan property you are considering
2- adjustments for view, light, condition,
3- how the market conditions affect this particular unit

With your basic information plus your broker’s input, you can make your offer. To negotiate the best possible take the below approach.

1- Start with a reasonable offer. If you start too low, likely the seller will not counter. In some cases, when the DOM is high like 300 days or more, you may be able to make an offer than is lower.
2- Have your broker explain to the other side how you calculated the offer price that you gave.
3- Be willing to either walk away or wait if the counter offer is not to your liking. If you wait long enough a price reduction 1-2 months later may be even lower than the counter offer that you received.

Usually, when a listing is fresh, the seller is less likely to discount the price but as time goes on and reality sets in, they may be more willing to negotiate.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.



First time buyer in Manhattan?

Here are some basic steps in purchasing a Manhattan apartment for the first time.

1- Decide on a Manhattan neighborhood

2- Get a pre approval

3- Co-op or condo?

3- Find a buyer broker

Also I would add to choose your real estate attorney well. Usually your buyer broker can help you with that. A real estate attorney usually chages around $2500 or so but some that do excellent work can be found for as little as $1700 depending on the price range of the property.

Additionally, beyond getting the pre approval make sure that the bank will finance in the building that you choose. Some buildings have sponsors that still own more than 10% of the shares(co-ops) or the apartments(condos) or a higher than usual percentage of tenants. This can complicate financing and is an area very often overlooked by many real estate brokers. This as a buyer can cost you time and money and add stress. So vet the building with your lender to avoid all of that! What are your tips for a first time buyer?

Closing costs for Manhattan property

by  Brian Silvestry

For the Seller:

Coops,Condos,residential 1-4 family
Brokerage Commission negotiable typically 6%
NYC Transfer tax:
1% of price for purchases up to $500,000
1.425% of price for purchases over $500,000
NYS Transfer tax
$2 per $500.00 of sales price
Attorney fee $1500 and up
Flip tax (depends on building) 0-5% COOPS*** Continue reading Closing costs for Manhattan property

What you should know before buying a new development condo in Manhattan

by  Brian Silvestry

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has a buying guide for purchasers of NYC co-ops and condos. Highlights include:

1- The offering plan and why you should read the entirety

2- New construction and what guarantees are mandated by law

3- Recourse in case the actual apartment is different or if there are issues on your final walkthrough

4- What to do on your final walkthrough

Click the link below the read the AG’s guide to buying a NYC co-op or condo and good luck.


I do not recommend to walk into the sales office of new development in Manhattan without an experienced buyer broker. Sales have slowed for new development and make sure you choose a buyer broker is proactive in being able to negotiate on your behalf as well as to give advice as to other buildings that will be going up nearby that may affect views and quality of life. It’s not always a given that there will be no negotiation on price/terms considering current market conditions in Manhattan especially in a buyer’s market.

How to sell your Manhattan apartment guide

by  Brian Silvestry

What must a seller do to sell their apartment right now and for the most money? Follow through on these 5 musts and you will be well on your way to a successful sale.

1-Price right from the beginning. If you are going to sell your Manhattan apartment now, you need to look at the latest sales and with an unbiased eye come up with the right price and perhaps be a little aggressive. When you move past the initial marketing period it becomes harder to sell an apartment and listings can go stall. In order to price right from the beginning, look at the similar apartments preferably in your building and adjust the values. Typically appraisers will adjust 1% per floor. So if you own 10F and 15F was sold then it was worth at least 5% move. Appraisers will also adjust for view sometimes 5-10% of value. Apartments that are renovated versus not renovated often carry a premium of cost of renovations plus cost of the inconvenience. So, a buyer might need an additional 100k to renovate an apartment but what about the time and hassle? That factors in as well. So consult with your broker to arrive at a market price.

2- Consider staging or at least organizing. Apartments that are staged sell for more and quicker than vacant apartments. Two years ago I sold a loft that was basically a large one room (1000sqft-93m2)studio.  By staging it, we were able to define for the buyers where the living room, bedroom, and dining rooms should be. To stage an apartment of around 1100 sqft, will typically cost around $10k but worth every penny. There are less expensive alternatives around as well which range from virtual staging to systems that cost in between. If you can not stage then at least remove the excess clutter, put away the dirty dishes, and family photos. You really want a buyer to be able to visualize themselves in your home. If they can not do that, they will not buy.

3- Make sure to have professional photos and a video done of the space. Your broker will handle this but only a small percentage will do a professional video that can be shared on social media and used as a tool to qualify buyers. If there is a professional video available, a buyer can see it before the showing/open house. Take a look at the below video example.

4- Choose your broker carefully. Some simple questions that you can ask to distinguish one broker from another:
a-  How long have you been in real estate in Manhattan?
b-  What is your marketing plan for my property?
c-   Who will handle the showings? Yourself personally or someone on your team?
d- Will you follow up with the attorneys, bank and help to coordinate closing?
e- Have you sold other properties like mine?
f- Do you live in this neighborhood?
g- How many listings do you have right now? This is a key question because if the agent has too many then you are just going to be one of many of their clients.

5- Once you have selected your broker, and chose an appropriate price, you will want to make showings as easy as possible. By giving your broker a key and allowing showings even on short notice, you can make your property one of the favorite listings for buyer brokers to show because they know that they can get in easily. You never know who will be the buyer. It only takes one.

Uses these basic steps to position your Manhattan co-op, condo or townhouse appropriately in the market and you will maximize your chances of selling. Good luck!

Clock is ticking for Extell’s sales at Central Park Tower

by  Brian Silvestry

Extell developement, the developer behind the One57 condo on Billionaire’s Row in Manhattan was able to secure financing to go ahead with their newest development on West 57th street. The building is a projected $4 billion sellout. With the market for super luxury slowing in the last couple years, one of the terms of the lenders is to have $500 million in sales by 2020. Central Park Tower will have 179 units and 20 of those units will be asking $60mm or more. The price per square foot will be just north of $7k psf.

The building will have a Nordstrom’s at it’s base and will rise 1550 feet.

Full Story

Which two nabes show most rental appreciation?

by  Brian Silvestry

Currently, the rental market in most of Manhattan is declining in terms of price and a record number of apartments are being rented with concessions either of free rent or other incentives. However, two neighborhoods in Manhattan saw increases in rent year over year. One was the Financial District and the other was Yorkville, the northern edge of Manhattan’s upper east side adjacent to East Harlem.

See report here from Curbed NY

Manhattan residential market data analyzed

by  Brian Silvestry

Industry pros weigh in on several market segments and take a look ahead to 2018 in the latest edition of the Cooperator. As previous reported here, the luxury market is in a buyer’s market and less expensive properties are still holding with similar price per square foot year over year.

This is confirmed by more personal experience where some sellers can be reluctant to adjust to a changing market and instead insist on their price which holds firm the price per square foot.