Numbers tell only part of the story. At the end of each quarter, we’re showered with statistical reports that require us to consider the macro and the micro of our market. Yet each neighborhood and even each building has its own contextual history. To best serve buyers and sellers, agents need to dig deeply into quarterly reports and then plough even deeper into individual comps, examining both sold and current properties to scrutinize every factor that influences a sale including condition, staging, monthly carrying charges, price drops, time on the market and extenuating circumstances.
With the click of a mouse, homeowners today can obtain instant quotes on the value of their most significant asset: their homes. Banks, insurance companies, real estate brokerages and even media companies offer computer generated property valuations using formulaic software based on publicly available metrics such as square footage, number of rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms and recorded neighborhood sales. These computer-generated estimates, however, lack elementary inspections, critical market perspective and professional intuition, so they fall grossly short of the mark
With the exception of well priced apartments under $2M which continue to attract multiple competitive bids and top sales dollars, price increases of Manhattan homes have abated. Sellers have relinquished their upper hand as buyers find more balanced footing in a market that seems to be heading back slowly to equilibrium. Throughout this year, new development options have come to market steadily yielding more than two and a half times as many choices for buyers than in 2014: approximately 6,500 units in 100 new buildings compared to roughly 2,500 units in 59 buildings last year. At the ultra high end, sales are stalled. In 2015, Manhattan’s residential real estate market shifted in more ways than one.
In the current market, do you sell first? Buy first? Or sell and buy at the same time? A lot depends on your financial situation and stamina for risk, disruption and chance.
If you sell first, as conservative traditionalists recommend, you’ll know precisely how much additional money you’ll have to spend, but it may take some time before you’re able to identify a suitable next home, so you may have to rent or move in with family in the interim. Don’t expect to be able to make your sale contingent on finding suitable housing.