So, you’ve decided to sell your home in New York City. Congratulations! While this is typically an exciting time, it can also be overwhelming as there is much planning and effort that goes into selling a home. Thank goodness NYC is among the most investor-friendly cities in the world for residential real estate, with homes perennially appreciating in value. This means you are likely to sell your NYC apartment at a higher price than you originally paid for it. Of course, market conditions do change from time to time, alternately favoring buyers or sellers. But the long-term trajectory is one of rising value.
Whether you are looking to start a family and need some more space, moving to another city, or simply moving from one neighborhood to another, the end goal is the same: get the highest price in the shortest time frame possible. Doing this effectively requires a smart strategy.
Following are the 5 Essential Steps to Sell Your Apartment in NYC, along with expert tips to help you maximize your sale:*
- Get a Good Team Together
While it is possible to market your property on your own (i.e, for sale by owner), research shows this is not a smart strategy, as it typically takes longer to sell and yields a lower price. Rather, the surest way to speed the selling process and command top dollar for your property is to work with an experienced broker and real estate attorney. Your broker will ensure your property gets maximum exposure on all relevant advertising platforms and within their own buyer network, as well as provide pricing and negotiation expertise. In fact, a good agent will give you expert guidance at every stage of the sales process. Your real estate attorney will handle any potential legal issues that arise. This could include any title claims against the property, outstanding loan payments that must be addressed, or sorting out any complicated paperwork. Your team is required by law to operate in your best interest at all times, which should make your home-selling journey seamless and worry free.
- Effectively Market Your Home
When it comes to marketing your home, nothing is more important than effective pricing. List your home too high and nobody will call, which in itself causes several problems. The longer your property is on the market without a sale, the less desirable it becomes and the less leverage you will have in negotiation. List it too low, and it could cost you dearly in return on investment. That said, the most common and effective pricing strategy is to list the home just slightly below its appraised value. This will help to generate a steady flow of prospective buyers and can lead to competitive bidding that raises the price considerably.It is also essential to stage your home for marketing photos and showings, including any simple renovations known to help attract buyers. Expert advice is critical here, as some upgrades are worth the time and money, while others are not. As a general rule, you’ll want to sell the home as is, but with more appealing decor. If you could only do one thing to upgrade your home … paint the walls. Nothing freshens up a home more than this. You will also want to declutter, remove all photos and other personal effects, and use very neutral but modern furnishings (which you can rent if necessary). You can learn more about effective staging here.Your agent will also help you get maximum global advertising exposure, including listing your home in the OLR database, StreetEasy, Zillow, Trulia, PropertyShark, the broker’s website, social media, email campaigns and more. Your agent will then help qualify buyers and conduct showings and open houses.
- Accept an Offer and Negotiate Contract
Once any offers come in, your agent will help you move the sale into the contract phase. Good real estate agents take their fiduciary responsibility seriously. They will not only try to negotiate in your favor, but will also use proven tactics to get it done. Strategies such as “price anchoring” and negotiating in person rather than on the phone are proven to yield better results. A good agent will have well-developed negotiation skills specifically suited for NYC real estate transactions. Moving to the contract phase is a significant step forward in selling your apartment, but it is not yet a done deal. Once in contract, a buyer will typically request a Home Inspection, which could affect the deal should there be any surprises. If the buyer will be taking out a mortgage, the bank will request a Property Appraisal, since they only lend money based on appraised value. This shouldn’t affect the deal, however, since most appraisals come in relatively close to the contract amount.
- Await Board Approval
The final hurdle to selling your home is awaiting your buyer’s Board Approval, which is required by both co-ops and condos (though co-ops are notoriously more stringent). At this stage, the buyer collects all the required financial documents (which can vary by property), including tax returns, proof of income, income-to-debt ratio, etc., and completes and submits the Board Package. If your buyer has been forthcoming throughout the process, this should go through without a hitch. Reasons for being turned down include such things as: the buyer doesn’t have enough money, they lied, they have a weak job history, or the deal itself is deemed unfair, among others.
- Schedule Closing
The Final Walk-Through and Closing are typically formalities. It’s a safe bet at this point that the deal will now close, although it won’t be official until the final forms are signed on closing day.The final walk-thru is the buyer’s last chance to see the unit before closing and confirm that nothing has significantly changed in the unit since they signed the contract. The Closing itself includes representatives in fancy suits, mounds of paperwork and lots of check signing, as this is when closing costs are paid and the deed to the property is exchanged. While there is typically a frenetic energy in the room, the day is not a stressful one. Rather it is typically exciting, relieving and joyful all at once.
Selling your apartment in NYC is a journey that can take several months to complete. By following these 5 essential steps, you’ll be well on your way to a successful sale.
For more information on selling your apartment in NYC, or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877