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.

313 West 138 street Harlem townhouse enters the market

by  Brian Silvestry

An 8 family home has entered the market just outside the Striver’s Row historic district. The building is 17.5 wide by 51 and has a lot that runs just shy of 100′ deep. There are 5 studios and 3-1 bedroom apartments. The cap rate is 5.1 % for this rent stabilized building located around the corner from St.Nicholas Park and the B,C subway stops. There is plenty of upside as nearly every tenant has been in place for at least 4 years. One apartment will be delivered vacant.


Full listing details



372 Central Park west Building profile

by  Brian Silvestry

This 19 story Upper west side condo sits at the corner of 97 street and Central Park west and originally featured studios to 2 bedroom apartments. Some combination apartments are even larger. One of the main reasons that buyers choose the Vaux condo is because of the low monthly charges which are approximately $1 per square foot. Additionally, the building features a concierge, live-in-super, on site management, gym, childrens’ playroom, plenty of outdoor seating areas and parking! Parking is on waitlist which is currently about 3 years.

The Vaux condo as seen from Central Park west. Corner apartments are 2bd/2ba with terrace
The Vaux condo as seen from Central Park west. Corner apartments are 2bd/2ba with terrace
Currently there is one studio for sale in the 400 plus unit for sale at just under $700k. A combination unit needing work 11XY which was asking $2.195mm is in contract. It is a combination of a large 1 bedroom and a large studio apt.
Currently there is one 1 bedroom available for $1,350,000. Two other properties are in contract.

Continue reading 372 Central Park west Building profile

To buy or not buy that NYC apartment?

by  Brian Silvestry

6 tips to help decide to buy a NYC apartment or not

Keep in mind that these tips are just a guide. When making a large purchase like a Manhattan apartment, entering into it with your eyes wide open can only yield better results. I chose not to include obvious factors like views, condition of the apartment and overall affordability. These will be addressed in another series.


  1. Building Financials- Generally speaking Manhattan buildings deal with their capital improvements and repairs in one of three ways: a-They raise the maintenance b- They assess c- They budget and pay out of the reserves. Obviously, this 3rd category of building is one that you would love to find but given the dearth of property for sale, it may not be feasible to limit yourself. However, after your CPA or your attorney takes a look at the building financials, you can get an idea of what the history of the building is with regards to maintenance or improvements. Also, your attorney will be able to advise you if there are any major projects planned. You can also find this out by talking to the seller’s agent who may have first hand knowledge. The $2000 maintenance you have right now may very well be headed to $3000 or higher shortly, depending on what’s planned so this should help to distinguish between a well managed building and a building that is constantly running a deficit. Keep in mind even though you may be able to pay the higher maintenance figure, the increased maintenance will be a drag on appreciation.
  2. Are there any negative issues that will be an impediment to selling? My first NYC apartment was on the first floor of a doorman building and inventory back in 2004 was also tight so I was happy to grab it before others. However, in 2010 when I was selling, everyone was complaining about it being on the first floor. When the market is hot people scoop up 1st floor apartments and walkups but when the market changes, these are hard apartments to sell. Also, an apartment with a negative view is a major drawback. Even though, you may not mind looking out the window at the dumpster in the alley, the next purchaser probably will
  3. Amenities- You may or may not want a doorman but generally a doorman building will fetch at least 5% more than a similar apartment. Other amenities like a gym, laundry room, and roof deck all add value. I would also included in the amenities the pet policy. You might not want a little furry friend making a mess on your Brazilian wood floors, but one of the most searched items online is pets allowed. So limiting pets may limit buyers down the road all things considered.
  4. Rental policy- While you may think that you will leave in that 400 sqft studio for your entire life, there’s a chance that you will outgrow it or even you might get a job transfer. If you buy at the top of the market 2014- present, it might be unrealistic to expect that you can flip your aparment for a profit so having the ability to rent it out for a few years can be helpful in case that transfer to Sao Paulo comes through. Also, lesser known fact is that rental policies like pet policies can be changed.
  5. Building financing issues- Are there any pending lawsuits or does any one entitiy(Sponsor?) still hold at least 10% of the apartments? Are they a high proportion of rental units in the building? Any of these factors can restrict financing options which will impact you and also future purchasers as well.
  6. New construction- Obviously if you are buying a Related or Extell product, you are probably pretty secure in your purchase but are you planning to buy from an unknown developer. There are plenty of cases where after buildings were built, there were issues. So caveat emptor here with an unknown developer. What looks good new doesn’t always stand the test of time. Do your research on the developer.

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!

New Cleaners to open on Central Park West

In one of the only retail locations on Manhattan’s Central Park west, a cleaners has just put signage for a soon to be opened store. The location was previously rented by a CPA that was there for many years. The cleaners will be two doors down from a new deli that opened last year on Manhattan’s upper west side near West 100th street.

In between the two stores, there is one more empty storefront.


New apartment building coming to Amsterdam ave and 99th street

by  Brian Silvestry

An Upper west side Church has begun developing the lot next to them on Amsterdam avenue on the western side of the street. The building will rise 14 stories and include market rate rents and a commercial tenant on the ground floor according to

Across the street, there is a building on the corner of West 100th street which has a 7-11 and still some empty spaces as this is not a very busy retail corridor. Over on Columbus avenue, you have the Columbus Square development which has a Whole Foods, Michael’s and TjMaxx.