I’m pleased to share this page with my new superstar team member John Gill.
Much has been made in the press of late of the shifting New York real estate market. Although buyer’s decidedly have the edge today, all is not lost for sellers. If you are in the fortuitous position of trading up to a larger property, while you may not do as well as you would hope for on the sale, you will more than likely make up for that deficiency on the buy. In this current climate, two important strategies can boost sales: pricing realistically and doing your best to convert that first offer into a sale.
Despite widespread price reductions, overpriced listings remain an issue throughout the city. One does not need to look very hard to find an abundance of attractive properties, in every price range, that languish on the market for 9 months, with some even celebrating one or two year anniversaries (or even longer). At the same time, similar properties are moving to contract much more expeditiously. One of the first questions buyers ask is “How long has this property been on the market?” When days on market pile up, more questions ensue: What’s wrong with this condo/coop? Are the building’s finances shaky? Is there too much inventory nearby? Are the neighborhood’s school ratings down? Nine times out of 10, however, the answer is a very simple one: the property is overpriced.
We are no longer in that seller’s market of 2014. Nonetheless, many sellers are still refusing to acknowledge current market conditions affected by tax code changes, over development, rising interest rates and myriad macroeconomic concerns. In a changing marketplace, it is essential to listen to your agent especially as it pertains to pricing. He or she will conduct extensive market analysis to arrive at a realistic price, reviewing recent sales as well as properties currently in contract, along with available competition. When our team reviews comparable properties, we not only compare condition to the subject property but also factor in time on the market and the number of price reductions. Overpricing is deadly in this market; it’s just too easy for the buyer to move on to other more realistically priced options.
“Your first offer is often your best offer.” I’m sure you’ve heard this adage before. With 15 years of experience in the real estate business, I have seen this to be true time and time again. When faced with a “low ball” bid, a seller’s initial response is almost always emotional: how insulting, just reject it! While this may provide momentary satisfaction, you very well may have alienated the one individual willing to pay you the most for your property. I always encourage my clients to counter, even low offers, to signal good faith in order to continue the bargaining dialogue.
Bottom fishers aside, most bidders have an emotional investment in their offer. They may already be placing their furnishings and decorating their new home, envisioning life in their new neighborhood. Instead of a flat-out refusal, many times a deal can be struck eventually with a thoughtful counteroffer backed up with data. By removing emotions from the equation and relying on an effective negotiating strategy, a satisfactory outcome for the seller can oftentimes be the result.
Keeping both of these points in mind will serve sellers well in this challenging market.