Tag Archives: Selling

When should you adjust the price of your Manhattan property?

So you list your Manhattan property and are imagining bidding wars and cash offers. What happens if you do not receive offers or have a dearth of showings? At what point do you adjust your price and how much do you adjust? Normally, within the first month you like to see showings and perhaps an offer, this is the best time to capture someone off the initial marketing/interest. If however, you have very few showings, an adjustment might be needed. But how much?

Often times, I will see price adjustments of $20,000 on a $3 million property or $100k on and $8 million property. These types of adjustments will not move the needle at all. Generally speaking analyze the data of showings of your property with your real estate broker and compare it with traffic of recently sold and comparable listings that are for sale and you can see how far off you are on your pricing. If you are getting showings but no offers what that means is the market is willing to come see your property but not offer on it. In this case 7-8% might be enough. However a total lack of showings and a declining market are a bad combination. If that is the case an adjustment of 10% or more depending on what the competing properties are offering. Communication is very important here with your real estate broker. I use a project management site to communicate directly with my clients so that if they want to know about showings and feedback from buyers in real time they can receive these updates directly in their email box or on their phones. You need to get that feedback to understand what the buyer market mindset is.

Recently, on a Battery Park City listing that I had,  we had to reduce it twice from $1.5 million to $1.35 to eventually $1.2 million. That was due to an extreme case where the common charges and taxes were unusually high.  In this case, two very strong negatives were dragging the price down but thankful the seller adjusted and was able to get a buyer before the market headed down even more which it did especially in that neighborhood.

So as far as price adjustments, be aggressive with them especially if after the first month you are getting zero or a very low amount of showings. Be less aggressive when you are getting showings but no offers. And adjust your expectations when the market is heading down and there is more inventory coming to market to compete with your property.

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.

What time of the year is the best time to sell a Manhattan apartment?

Many times, I am asked this very question by potential sellers and the answer is it depends. Right now we are heading into the holidays and the coldest part of the year and a shifting market. As the market shifts more heavily in the favor of buyers, starting to sell an apartment in late November,December is like riding a CitiBike uphill with a cold wind blowing in your face. It can be done but it might be better to pursue a different strategy.  I have already advised a couple of potential sellers to start late January or February. The reason is that the holidays will be past and that timing will be just prior to the Spring selling season.

Typically, also starting right before a major holiday is not ideal like Memorial Day, July 4th or Labor day. However, in those cases you can start right after the holidays as potential buyers return from their vacations or long weekends.


Thinking of selling your NYC apartment?

With the current NYC real estate market moving more towards a balanced market in all price points, 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.

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!