Top 5 Things You Need to Know When Selling Your New York City Apartment

June 30, 2022

With the New York City housing market finally starting to make a comeback in 2022, you might be thinking that now is the perfect time to cash in and sell your lavish New York apartment. 

It's true that compared to other areas across the country, many New York neighborhoods have done surprisingly well. Manhattan and Brooklyn continue to be highly sought-after areas. In fact, in the third quarter of last year, over a quarter of all sales in Brooklyn ended in bidding wars. 

But selling your New York City apartment is easier said than done. While the market continues to be fueled by low inventory and pent-up buyer demand, preparing your apartment to sell still might require a little bit of effort.

If you are considering selling your New York City apartment, here are the top five things that you need to know when putting your apartment on the market.

1. Hire the Right Real Estate Agent

Selling real estate is no easy task, even when the market favors sellers. Going at it alone can cost you both time and money. Alternatively, consider employing the services of an expert real estate agent.

Data shows that around 90% of all sellers seek the assistance of a realtor to help with the sales process. Similarly, owners who tried to sell their home themselves ended up selling for less compared to those who used a real estate agent.

But don’t just settle for any old agent off the street. Make sure to employ the services of a broker who is an expert in New York City real estate. Your agent should have the background and industry acumen to properly market your property and get you top dollar for your apartment. 

Consider interviewing potential agents to grasp their level of expertise. Ask tough questions like how they would market a condo versus a coop, or what’s their track record for closing deals where the offer was above the asking price. 

2. Decide the Best Time to Sell

Home prices can be extremely seasonally meaning you might want to be strategic about when you list your New York City apartment for sale. It may benefit you to list your property starting at specific points in the year.

Usually, real estate follows a seasonal pattern. In the winter months, sales activity traditionally slows down until about early spring. But even around springtime buyers might be shaking off the cobwebs and warming up to the buying season.

Nevertheless, March through July tend to be the powerhouse months in which buyers are on the prowl to buy real estate. Strategically listing your home around this time can prove beneficial.

3. Know the Closing Costs

Whether your apartment is a condominium or a co-op, it's important that before you list your apartment, you know how much your profit will be and what the associated expenses are. 

While costs can change throughout the sales process, there are several items you should consider that will eat into your profit. Keep in mind you have more control over certain costs than others.

For instance, when hiring a real estate attorney, you have a choice of which firm to represent you, many of which have varying costs. On the other hand, the fee for stock transfer stamps is a much more predictable cost. 

Other costs to consider are taxes to various agencies. You have city and state transfer taxes which will vary depending on the sales price of your unit. It's also important to factor in any real estate capital gains tax that you may need to pay on the profit you make from the sale of your apartment.

4. Understand Your Board’s Approval Process

In New York City, around 75% of apartments are co-ops, not condominiums. If your unit is within a co-op, it's important you understand your co-op’s board approval process for prospective buyers. 

Knowing the rules and criteria for which the co-op will approve a buyer to purchase a unit is essential because it can help weed out prospective buyers that may seem underqualified. Prior to listing your apartment, find out whether the board allows pied-a-terre, purchasing for children, and a sublet policy so you don’t have issues down the line. 

Co-op boards have a lot of flexibility and can be a lot more stringent when reviewing applicants. Buyers will need to go through an interview process where your co-op board will question them on everything from their friends and family to work history. 

This is to make sure the buyer is a good fit as both an owner and neighbor. It's imperative to communicate these standards upfront with prospective buyers to manage their expectations and ensure your deal has a better chance of closing.

5. Getting Your Apartment Ready

If you made the smart move of hiring a real estate agent, then they should advise you on what type of preparation is required before the listing photos are snapped, and long before your first showing, to ensure your apartment is in tip-top shape. Some of the things you can do to get your apartment camera-ready can include:

  • Decluttering
  • Deep cleaning
  • Fresh Coat of Paint
  • Fix any minor repairs 
  • Stage it (or worse case Virtually Stage it)

You want to give buyers the best impression of your home so dialing back any tchotchkes, pulling back drapes to let in additional natural light and focusing on neutral colors will give the space a warm but open feel. 

Staging your property is equally important so that buyers get a feel for its lived-in features and flow. It can also help you net more money when you get to the closing table. If you can’t stomach the cost of a full-on staging, ask your agent about digitally staging the listing photography. 

 

Interested in learning more? Check out Randy's youtube video below!

 

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