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Are Amenity-rich Condos Shifting Focus Away from Traditional Prewar Homes?

Prewar apartments have long been prized for the quality construction and charming details that are absent in most postwar buildings. Along with plaster walls, hardwood floors, elegant details, and gracious layouts, prewar buildings are associated with impressive lobbies, desirable locations, and landmark status. The finite quantity of these buildings has only made them more desirable in the minds of some buyers.

But times and tastes change. Once developers began to offer amenities reflecting lifestyle trends such as gyms, party rooms, roof decks and garages, these amenities proved so popular that they are the new norm. In response to demand for these popular amenities, many prewar coops have created gyms and roof decks of their own for residents, yet also to enhance the value of their buildings. But keeping up with the marketing muscle behind new development projects isn’t so easy. Condo developers continually raise the bar by offering an even broader and more refined choice of up-scale amenities to attract buyers – especially to slightly out of the way locations. This helps set their buildings apart from others on the market, and can also be used to justify higher prices. Since buyers already expect gyms and roof gardens, many developers now offer a multitude of newer features such as wellness and spa facilities, media rooms, wine cellars, pet spas, basketball courts, bowling alleys, rock climbing walls, and golf simulators to name a few.

Some boutique condos have a smaller selection of facilities, but offer amenities with a more personal touch, such as shopping perks at certain high-end stores, educator-designed children’s playrooms, and art curators for the buildings’ public spaces. For super lux developments, the newest wrinkle in marketing to high-end buyers is to offer concierge services on par with five-star hotel living. With a quick call to the downstairs desk residents can order up a birthday party, last-minute anniversary gift, or walk around the block for Fido.

What does this mean for prewar coops?

It means that for some buyers, prewar buildings are no longer as attractive a lifestyle choice.  And as a result prices are not increasing but are at best stable. Along with new condo developments’ buyer-friendly and more flexible purchasing options, their large menu of amenities has helped shift attention and sales to the newer buildings and the mid- and downtown neighborhoods where so many of these developments are located. The prime “Parkside” environs of the Upper East and West Sides and their prewar cooperative buildings will always have appeal but now have to compete for attention from the many buyers now drawn to amenity-rich buildings in formerly non-traditional areas of the city.

All the best–
Deanna

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Become an Expert Buyer: Negotiating Tips

Become an Expert Buyer: Negotiating Tips

Negotiating to purchase a home can be an daunting process, especially in New York City – which is one of the most competitive places to live and work. The competition in Manhattan to purchase residential real estate can be fierce! However, if you find yourself in a situation where you have to negotiate against multiple offers to purchase your ideal apartment, remember the four P’s: be Prepared, Plan, be Proactive, and Personable.

Even though it may be tempting to negotiate on your own behalf, most people feel uncomfortable doing so because of lack of expertise and objectivity which may undermine your effectiveness.  For this reason, I recommend using an experienced broker who has a good track record in and understands the nuances of negotiation.  This usually is a crucial part of the purchasing processes of a home where you can feel satisfied and pleased with your purchase.

Be Prepared

  • Have your professional members who would be involved in the purchasing process ready including: real estate brokerattorney, and mortgage broker.
  • Have your papers in order: a completed REBNY financial statement and mortgage pre-approval letter, should you need a mortgage.
  • Know what’s on the market and what has been sold recently – with this knowledge, you’ll be able to establish a well-educated value and its relevance to your intended purchase.
  • Learn as much as you can about the seller: their profession, age, cultural orientation, marital status etc. More often than not you can find much of this information online which can greatly enhance your understanding of the negotiating style of the seller and help you negotiate much more effectively to reach a mutually beneficial deal.
  • Ascertain the seller’s motivation which gives you a much better sense of how flexible he or she may and how eager they want to sell which would have a direct effect on the ultimate purchase price. A cautionary note, do not assume that anything about the seller’s motivation to sell unless you can verify that, because the wrong assumption may prolong the negotiating process and could end up in failure.

Plan

  • Planning any negotiating process require special skills and extensive experience. In order to negotiate effectively and arrive at the best possible price you need an experienced broker who would develop a negotiating strategy.
  • You should ask your broker to share with you his/der negotiations strategy and show you why and how he or she are taken this or that negotiating strategy. This would include the number of moves, the objective behind each move, and how this process of give-and -take will eventually lead to a meeting of the mind.
  • Remember that even under the best of circumstances no broker, however skilled in negotiation, can gage exactly how the negotiations would evolve. That said, a negotiating strategy ought nevertheless be developed to provide you with a better sense about the process and why, for example you might have to pay more than you expect or how and why you might even pay less than anticipated.
  • Finally, if you happen to be a skilled negotiator do not dictate to the broker how to proceed with the negotiations a step-by step, particularly because you are not in direct contact with the other broker who is representing the seller. You certainly can make some suggestions but let your broker utilize your ideas as he or she sees fit.

Be Proactive

  • When buyers are circling around a well-priced and desirable new listing be aware that the first person who makes an offer can have an advantage over others. Waiting is not always the best choice especially if you know the apartment is priced well and is a good deal when considered against other comparable unites.
  • While the strongest offers are all cash, most buyers cannot afford this option. The next best option is to make an offer which is not contingent upon financing.  This suggest to the seller that you are confident to secure a mortgage which is often treated as if you are an all cash buyer.  Needless to say, you should check with your banker prior to making such an offer because you need to be comfortable with the risks involved.
  • If you are financing, and would like a financing contingency, a pre-approval letter or commitment letter from a bank will be necessary. You can sweeten the deal for sellers by also putting down a larger down payment and end up financing a lower amount.
  • Other terms that can aid in making a deal at the price you agreed to pay are related to:
    • CLOSING DATE: If it is possible, make sure to offer to close the sale at the seller’s convenience.
    • QUICK CONTRACT SIGNING: Another competitive posture is to agree to sign a contract within a short period of time and to facilitate that you would need a proactive attorney.

Be Personable

  • Make a good impression on the seller’s exclusive agent by taking the time for a friendly chat when appropriate to give the broker for the seller a better sense of your sincerity. Seller’s broker often conveys his/her impression of the prospective buyer especially when they feel that the buyer is solid and enjoys a good reputation.
  • Some buyers shy away from letting the broker or owner to know how much interest they have in a property believing that it puts them at a disadvantage. In fact, letting the broker about your interest and even enthusiasm about the prospective purchase works to your advantage as well as it demonstrates your level of commitment to buy that particular property.
  • In a written offer, be sure to compose a personal letter and attached to your offer. In so doing you convey to the owner how happy you are at the prospect of purchasing his/her home. Given that most owners have deep sentiment and attachment to their home, they would want to sell their property to someone who appreciate the property and ‘loves’ it as much as they do. Writing such a letter is especially important under a competitive bidding scenario.
  • If for whatever reason your offer isn’t chosen, let the seller’s broker know that you remain interested and ask that your offer is kept as a backup.

If you want to learn more about Negotiations or becoming an ‘expert buyer’ of Manhattan residential Real Estate, contact me for a meeting or for a free copy of my complete New York City Real Estate Buyer’s Guide by emailing info@deannakory.com or calling 212-937-7011.

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Your Home Team Part 3: How to Find the Right Mortgage Specialist

Your Home Team Part 3: How to Find the Right Mortgage Specialist

This series features advice on how to build the best team of professionals who will help you with the buying or selling of your Manhattan home. Assemble your Home Team by also reading Part 1: Real Estate AgentPart 2: Real Estate Attorney, and Part 4: Professional Renovator.

To find a good mortgage broker for your Home Team, start your search by asking your real estate attorney, real estate agent, or personal network for recommendations of a mortgage specialist: either a mortgage broker or banker with whom they have had a great one-on-one experience. There are three different types of mortgage specialists you can choose from:

  • Registered mortgage brokers have relationships with a wide variety of banks and sometimes other lenders. They’re often paid part of what you would normally pay in origination fees, because they provide certain banks/lenders with the initial underwriting/processing for the bank – rather than the bank doing this work in-house.
  • Bankers work directly for a bank or lender. They sometimes have limited mortgage and loan products offered by their institutions. Some will offer discount rates or processing fees if you have a relationship with the bank or as an incentive to establish a relationship with them.
  • Private bankers sometimes have a bit more leeway on rates and products; in some instances, they can match other offers you have been given.  In most cases, a private banker will want you to begin a significant banking relationship with them and/or their financial institution.

In my experience, people prefer to use a banker with whom they have a relationship or they explore a few options to see where they can attain the best possible rate.

Like the rest of the service providers on your “Home Team”, it is important to have a mortgage broker or banker who is pro-active and will follow-through on calls and emails, as no one wants to spend time chasing a mortgage broker, especially when they are responsible for one of the most important elements in a real estate transaction.

A mortgage broker or banker will ask you for detailed financial information and documentation. Many mortgage brokers can issue a pre-approval letter with just your signed financial statement and permission to run your credit report. Having a pre-approval letter early on in the purchase process is something I highly recommend if you plan to finance a purchase. Since a good apartment can attract more than one offer, having the letter or confidence in your ability to get financing can add strength to your offer, making it more competitive.  Additionally, check with the mortgage specialists on the time it takes for the bank to issue a commitment letter to you.  The commitment letter is the lender/bank’s general commitment to lend to you a certain percentage of the purchase price.

Having a sense of how long it will take for a commitment letter is important for a few reasons:

  • In a competitive bidding scenario, the quicker you can attain a commitment letter, the faster you will be able to close.  That could be important to you and some sellers.
  • If you want a mortgage contingency, most sellers will place a time limit on your ability to attain a commitment for a mortgage, so knowing timing helps here as well.
  • If you are buying in a co-op and/or in many condos, a board application will be required, and in most cases, the managing agent will not accept the application until the commitment is received as it is a requirement for the building review of the application.

If you’d like to know more about what to look for in a mortgage specialist or any other recommendations in the buying or selling process, please email me at info@deannakory.com or call 212-937-7011.

All the best–
Deanna

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Market Report: November 2017

Market Report: November 2017

The Manhattan real estate market continues to be beneficial for buyers for the remaining weeks of this year.  It is difficult for many sellers to appreciate why, with the record high stock market and strong economy, sellers are not reaping the benefits.  The answer is that the stock market and real estate market do not always move in tandem.  In fact, there are many cases that point to the exact opposite (as is the case now), when the stock market is strong and the real estate market is weak….and vice versa!

There are other factors that influence the real estate market conditions, many of which are unnerving to potential buyers. Global markets are gaining strength and earnings are still looking good, but many are concerned because we are in the 8th year of growth within a traditional 7-year recovery cycle.  Fear and uneasiness persist as many worry that an economic “shoe” will drop, which will affect their personal finances as well as the real estate market in general.  This continues to paralyze would-be buyers, especially those who do not need to buy immediately, and prevents them from making offers to purchase a new home.

If the stock market maintains its strength through year-end, there will be some potential buyers receiving higher bonuses. Those who benefit from these strong bonuses often buy a new home – especially in such a buyer’s market. There will also be savvy investors who understand that the time is now to jump in and invest in a home.

Currently, I hear buyers saying that the market will continue to drop and that they are waiting for it to go even lower. As with any market, trying to time a “bottom” can result in missing the actual bottom of the market.  It is important for those buyers to appreciate the fact that a) interest rates are still low and history shows that, and b) buying in a market where there is a lot of fear and pessimism often turns out to be the best time to buy.

As for sellers, now more than ever they should be aware of market conditions and the importance of pricing properly, especially when a listing first hits the market. Historically, a listing that is priced too high at the outset often sells for a lower price than if priced realistically when first listed. At the present, sellers and brokers are having a difficult time establishing the proper price which feels like a good value and at the same time, leaves just enough room to negotiate, allowing buyers to feel they are making a good deal.

As I said in the past, it is impossible to generalize about the entire Manhattan market as each segment of the market operates somewhat differently. It is important for a seller to work with a seasoned broker who can conduct a thorough research on comparable properties that are currently selling and historical sales to establish the proper listing price based on the listing’s location, as well as the amenities and attributes that may be unique to the building.

If you have any questions regarding the market or concerns on the pricing of your property, please contact me at info@deannakory.com or call 646-665-4961.

All the best–
Deanna

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Be an Expert Seller: The How and Why of Pricing a Property

Be an Expert Seller: The How and Why of Pricing a Property

Pricing a home is both an analytical and emotional process. Sellers are often approached by brokers vying to represent their home with market data that shows comparable listings and recent sales.  To establish an asking price, the broker analyzes the data based on those listings and their knowledge of the market; subsequently they recommend a price to the seller. A seller can largely do the same, however they should recognize that their valuation of their home is often biased. This mindset is normal: influenced by their emotional attachment, sellers tend to think that their property is worth more compared to other homes.

The first thing I would stress to sellers is that a good broker is more in tune with the market conditions, more knowledgeable about comparable listings, and knows what’s selling today at what price.  Properties on which contracts were recently signed are the most relevant listings to consider.  However, because of the nature of the market, contract prices are not public record – and the sales prices only become known when the property closes 2-3 months later.  A good broker will try to ascertain the contract price by speaking with the exclusive agent and others familiar with the listing.

Closed sales are important, but an experienced broker will understand that a listing which closed in June was signed into contract 2 or 3 months earlier, reflecting market conditions in March or April.  In our current “transitional” market, coupled with the seasonal cycles, pricing and values can shift within 3-5 months even as much as 5-10%!

I know what a personal hurdle it can be for a seller to land on a price point, because I myself recently sold a family home in Miami – a market where I am not an expert. I loved my home and was convinced that it was worth a certain dollar amount, which was not realistic in that market at the time.  However, because I didn’t listen to the advice of local agents, I initially priced it too high and ended up selling it for 20% less than my original asking price. Even seasoned agents are not immune!

Given my recent experience, I truly understand how hard it can be for a seller who has a specific price in mind to accept a price consistent with market conditions. Because sellers are often swayed by agents who set a high price on a property to get the listing, be wary of what you hear.  Many brokers do not do their homework or take the necessary time and effort to research the market to come up with the suitable price. They should show you their research, be honest and direct with their findings, and suggest to the seller a price that reflects the market value while still taking into consideration the sellers’ position and circumstances behind their decision to sell.

I have watched as sellers choose the agent who promised an unrealistically high price, only to see such properties come down in value and just like my family home, sell for far less than what it could have sold if priced properly at the outset.

If you have any questions regarding pricing a property or current market data, please contact me at info@deannakory.com or call 646-665-4961.

All the best–
Deanna

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In Defense of Co-ops: A Response to Brick Underground

In Defense of Co-ops: A Response to Brick Underground

Earlier this month, Brick Underground posted an article “Why I’ll Never Buy an NYC Co-op Again” that narrated the woes of one individual’s experience living in a co-op apartment. There are over 7,000 co-op buildings in New York City and it’s unfortunate that the writer’s negative experience brushes over all of these great residential opportunities. Given that the article now has hundreds of shares on Facebook, I find it necessary to remind real estate readers why co-ops are one of the most financially beneficial investments for Manhattan living.

  • Co-ops are an Excellent Value: Overall, co-op apartments offer more space for less money. The price per square footage for co-ops can be between 10-50% less compared to condo apartments. This is a huge price difference: a 1-bedroom condo on the Upper West Side could cost $1.2-1.6M, while a 2-bedroom co-op in an equally nice – if not nicer – co-op building in the same location could be similarly priced, perhaps even lower.
  • Knowing your Neighbors: The Brick Underground article states that the writer isn’t concerned about the finances or personal lives of the neighbors, but buyers of co-op buildings like to have the comfort knowing that their neighbors are vetted financially and personally, and will make good and responsible fellow residents.
  • Issues can Arise. In a condo, a buyer can spend $6M for a home and unknowingly become saddled with neighbors who a) are not friendly or respectful, b) frequently host rowdy parties (although there are rules in condos as well), or c) may be more apt to lending out their apartments to friends. These potential inconveniences may make a buyer’s purchase a regrettable investment and uncomfortable home. Because co-op board reviews and interviews are necessary to become a resident shareholder of the building, owners in the building have a great deal of confidence that their neighbors are good, friendly people who are personally and financially responsible.
  • Overall Living Experience: When a buyer invests their hard-earned money into a home in Manhattan, a co-op building offers security for a comfortable living community. The exclusivity of co-op buildings and the preparation involved for a co-op board interview may be too much for some people to handle, but they are necessary for co-op shareholders to vet tenants that will maintain a comfortable lifestyle for their neighbors and offers protection for an owner’s investment in their home.

Co-ops may not be for everyone, but they are a wonderful opportunity for people who want to buy a home in Manhattan and know that they are paying for a spacious residence at a great price, in a well-run building with good neighbors as well.

If you have any other questions regarding co-ops, the co-op board application process, or to find out more about my co-op listings, please contact me at info@deannakory.com or call 646-665-4961.

All the best–
Deanna

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Your Home Team Part 2: How to Find the Right Real Estate Attorney

Your Home Team Part 2: How to Find the Right Real Estate Attorney

This series features advice on how to build the best team of professionals who will help you with the buying or selling of your Manhattan home. Assemble your Home Team by also reading Part 1: Real Estate AgentPart 3: Mortgage Specialist and Part 4: Professional Renovator.

Whether it’s buying or selling an apartment, you’ll want a reliable real estate attorney on hand. Your real estate broker focuses on searching for the perfect apartment for you as a buyer or preparing a comprehensive marketing plan for your apartment as a seller, as well as develop a negotiating strategy and the terms of purchase or sale.  To that end, you will need an attorney at the ready to begin the contract process or purchase of sale. If you are purchasing a home, the attorney will perform due diligence on the property you wish to purchase and negotiate the contract of the sale sent by the seller’s attorney. If you are selling, your attorney will draw up and negotiate a contract of sale. At the end of the process of buying or selling, it is the real estate attorney that sets up the “closing” of the sale which occurs when you officially purchase or sell your home. So how do you choose a good real estate attorney?

Ask friends to recommend an attorney they have had a good experience with, who managed the process successfully to their satisfaction. Your real estate broker might also know an attorney who is skilled in residential real estate transactions. When you’re ready to call or meet with the attorney candidate, have a list of questions that you want to ask them.  Those questions and considerations may include:

  • Do you only handle residential transactions or are those just a part of your practice? If residential transactions aren’t their only practice, ask how many residential real estate transactions they have handled.
  • What’s their fee structure? Some attorneys charge per transaction while others charge by the hour (which can get costly). Find out if there’s a different fee structure in the case of a deal falling through.
  • As a seller, it’s important to know that a contract goes out almost immediately upon a negotiated sale, so look for an attorney who is responsive and acts quickly. Don’t hesitate to ask how fast they can produce a contract once they have a summary of the deal terms. If it is longer than 24 hours (not including weekends), ask why it would take that long.
  • If you’re purchasing, you’ll want to be certain that your attorney commits to the due diligence required for the building and negotiate the contract quickly. Often the time it takes to finalize a deal is critical. Therefore you should ensure that they are set up to conclude the process in just a few days.
  • Ask them if they would be available for urgent phone calls on evenings and weekends. There are real estate attorneys who give out their cell phones when the deal is time-sensitive or when there is a concern about a new and urgent matter. In an active market, issues pop up more often than you might think!
  • You should feel secure that they know and are familiar with the customary real estate practices from beginning to end. If you’re dealing with co-ops, you’ll want to know that they’re familiar with the practices of co-op boards and the entire application process.

Some of top qualities you’ll want in a real estate attorney are:  

1) Solid experience with residential transactions

2) Someone who can review or send out the necessary documents quickly – even on short notice – which is important for many buyers/sellers

3) Someone you like well enough on the phone or in person, who communicates and responds clearly and with whom you feel comfortable working.  After all, the process from contract signing to closing could take 3-4 months or longer so it is helpful that you trust and have the the attorney you chose!

For more advice on finding a real estate attorney or other real estate questions, please contact me at info@corcoran.com or call 212-937-7011.

 

All the Best—
Deanna

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Become an Expert Buyer: Making an Offer in 4 Steps

Become an Expert Buyer: Making an Offer in 4 Steps

Once you have researched the market, viewed many apartment & home choices, and assessed what is important to you, there comes a time when you are ready to place an offer on your favorite home.  Here are four steps in preparation for the process of making your initial offer.

 

I. Determine the Value and How Much You Will Offer
Research and review with your real estate agent:
–Market conditions
–Similar sales activity with both current listings and recent & past sales in the neighboring area and within the building
–The property’s pros & cons and how that might affect its value.

II. Establish the Terms of Your Offer
Important components of an offer include:
–Terms of a sale include closing date, any inclusions (i.e. window treatments or light fixtures) or special terms (i.e. seller pays the flip tax), all cash sale or the amount of financing, and whether the sale is contingent on obtaining a mortgage. An offer that is either all cash or not contingent on financing is a considerably stronger offer and can sometimes aid in achieving a lower sale price.
–If you are financing, discuss the financing contingency with your broker and lender to find out whether waiving it is possible without taking undue e risk. In a seller’s market, a higher percentage of buyers often waive the mortgage/financing contingency when they feel certain that they will attain a mortgage.

III. Submit a Written Offer
It is a good idea for you to send your offer in writing to your broker to avoid any misunderstanding.  It can be simple.  Your broker will then submit the offer preferably verbally at first to gage an initial reaction from the broker or the seller and follow it with a written offer that would include the following:
–Offer Amount
–Closing Date
–Financing details

Special terms, including basic employment information including recent employment history, job title & income, and overview of your finances.

Along with the offer letter, your broker includes your REBNY or other personal financial statement, mortgage pre-approval letter if you are financing and, if the offer is on a co-op where board approval is required, personal information about the buyer which is relevant to the purchase.

There may be times when you will be asked to submit the first two pages of your last two years federal income tax return and/or more detailed personal and professional information. In some cases, a direct personalized introductory letter from you as the buyer  can be a distinguishing factor especially at the start of a negotiation.  If carefully written,  is often well received and aids in the negotiating process.

IV. Negotiations Begin
Once you or your broker place an offer, there is an inevitable back and forth that takes place. Every negotiation is different depending on circumstances, motivation and market conditions. In most cases a reasonable offer will elicit a counter-offer from the seller. It is common that offers and counter-offers take a place a few times until a price and terms of the deal are mutually agreed upon. A skilled broker will guide you during the negotiating process and work to secure for you the best terms especially the price.

With these four steps, you now have the basic information of what you need to make an offer on your next New York City home.

To learn more about the insider secrets and nuances of making an offer, contact me for a meeting or for a free copy of my complete New York City Real Estate Buyer’s Guide by emailing info@deannakory.com or calling 212-937-7011.

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Market Report: October 2017

Market Report: October 2017

As I indicated last month, the Manhattan real estate market over the summer and September was steadily chugging along and leaning towards a buyers’ market. However I had started to sense a slight shift toward sellers again. This is in large part because the economy was stable and many sellers had begun to lower their prices, becoming more realistic. It seems that this slow shift may be continuing: in these early days of October I feel a definite uptick of energy in the real estate market. Maybe it’s the energy of people finding their rhythm in their offices and classrooms now that the transitional months of summer and September have passed, but in my experience, it’s mostly due to the subsiding anxieties related to the stock market. Many market watchers have been waiting for a “shoe to drop”, for there to be an “October surprise” – but given the steadiness of the markets, others have begun thinking that the markets will remain stable for the rest of the year.

In my many years of experience, I have seen various market crashes, including the 500 point drop in 1987, when America became involved in the 1990 Kuwait Invasion, and the 2008 collapse of the Lehman Brothers. Historically these events all happened by the second week of October; and if we follow the same pattern this year and avoid a “surprise”, we will likely experience a more active and thriving market.

Critics have been saying that the stock market has been overvalued and that the federal government will be increasing interest rates any day now. There are various articles warning of real estate market bubbles worldwide, but readers should research carefully to see if the headlines that they are seeing apply to their immediate situation.

Broad statements about Manhattan real estate are rarely 100 percent reliable. It is important to understand that the New York City real estate is incredibly segmented; not just by type of real estate: condominiums, co-ops, and townhouses and their neighborhoods, but also by building quality, price range, location and a myriad of other factors. An investor reading of condo pricing trends in the Upper East Side and Midtown should recognize the same does not hold true if that investor is looking for a townhouse in Greenwich Village.

If you want to know more about the current NYC real estate market or are looking to sell or buy a property, email me at info@deannakory.com or call 212-937-7011.

All the best–
Deanna

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Your Home Team Part 1: How to Select a Real Estate Agent

Your Home Team Part 1: How to Select a Real Estate Agent

This series features advice on how to build the best team of professionals who will help you with the buying or selling of your Manhattan home. Assemble your Home Team by also reading Part 2: Real Estate AttorneyPart 3: Mortgage Specialist and Part 4: Professional Renovator.

Manhattan sellers have the option of choosing a broker from thousands of licensed real estate agents to help represent their home; this task can seem daunting. After all, parting with your home is an incredibly personal experience, so it’s imperative that a seller knows how to find a real estate agent that’s right for them.

The first step in approaching your real estate agent search is to narrow down your choices to agents who are familiar with your building or neighborhood. Experienced brokers who have great track records of closing deals within your price range in your vicinity are going to be more knowledgeable of the area and as such, you’ll have more confidence in their performance.

The next step is to interview at least 3 candidates in person, because the rapport you have with your real estate agent can be as important as their successful track record – if not more so!

When meeting with those real estate agents who you have vetted, you will want to know the following:

• Is this the person you’ll like working with? You’ll want to feel that you get along with that person, that the person who will represent your apartment that reflects how you’d want it to be seen. The gut, visceral reaction will often prove to be an important element, but you’ll also need to know…

• Is this agent reliable and communicative? Not all sellers like being immersed with the real estate procedures, but I think most sellers want to be involved and prefer hiring agents who will keep them updated on the process. After your initial meeting, take note of how the agent follows up with you. Do you feel like a priority?

• Do they have an effective marketing strategy? Ask your agent what their approach is for marketing and how their plan had played a part in selling. Are they able to reach the right audience? Is the marketing plan budget financially sound?

• Can you trust this agent with negotiations? Many agents will pride themselves on the number of closings they’ve done or their marketing approach, but it’s critical for a seller to know that their agent is experienced and savvy with negotiating. At the end of the day, it’s not always the mailed-out listing announcements or elaborate open houses that will get you the extra dollars when you sell, but it is the ability of your agent to negotiate effectively to attain the highest possible price.

These are important initial considerations for sellers when searching for a real estate agent. A seller may have other concerns or preferences when hiring, but knowing the track record of your real estate, what they have to offer in terms of marketing and experiencing your initial rapport with them are the first steps in finding the right agent to sell your home.
If you’d like to know how I could be the right real estate agent for your home, email me at dek@corcoran.com or call 212-937-7011.

All the best–
Deanna

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