I remember the difficulty we faced when The Chelsea Mercantile conversion first came onto the market. Being a conversion property, as wide as a city block, there was a huge amount of “dark interior space” that couldn’t be designed (or sold) as a bedroom. Quite a few buildings faced this dilemma.
No light and air = no legal bedroom.
As marketers, we sold these spaces as home offices. And buyers loved them. They were outfitted with desks, bookshelves and tons of knick-knacks that truly made them an office within the home.
But now, I think we’ve entered a new age. (yes, I know it was only ten years ago)!
It seems to me, thanks in large part to Apple, WiFi and devices that seem smaller and more powerful, that the home has become the office.
Case in point: I’m sitting on my couch, in my living room, writing this post on my handy-dandy iPad. I seem to spend more time working in other parts of my home than in my home office, and I have windows! (The operating system, AND the ones that look outside).
I guess those big rooms could always be used for something else…
Almost every seller I have ever met believes that their home is valued above what the market will bear. Don’t be one of “those” sellers. This will only hurt your chances of finding the right buyer who will pay top dollar for your home. When you overprice a property, it can have an adverse effect on the marketing effort by alienating buyers, and discouraging brokers from showing it.
You probably feel your home is worth more because you have lived in it and are aware of all its attributes. Remember this – a future buyer won’t get to know these things as intimately as you until they live there. You need to take an objective view.
If your concern is underselling – make sure you have an agent on your team who is doing all the right things to market your home, and the market will dictate your home’s value.
My advice to you, BEFORE you list your property, is to get educated:
1.) Have your broker give you a comparative analysis of homes recently sold, in contract and currently on the market.
2.) Take 2 hours to go and see what the competition is.
3.) Ask your broker to bring in a few more agents to get their opinion on the value of your home.
Chapter 1 for Buyers:
Why on earth do you want to move?
Not many sane people want to pack, relocate and uproot their current home, their nest, unless they have a good reason to! If home is where the heart is, then moving is not for the faint of heart! Trust me, I’ve moved a couple of times in my life!
Real estate is one of those life necessities. Everyone needs shelter, and even though we are a first world country with abundant resources, there are approximately 3.5 million people homeless in the US (In South Africa, my home country, 60% of the 45 million people living there are without electricity, 16 million have no access to clean water and 22 million people lack adequate sanitation). A little perspective is always refreshing! So, if you have a nice home and are happy in it, then you need to make sure there’s a good reason to move.
Of course, almost every mortgage broker and real estate broker wants to convince you to move. And who can blame them? That’s how they make their living so they can pay for their housing. There are certainly a number of compelling reasons to move. A large part this country’s notion of “The American Dream” is that everyone can own a home and Uncle Sam actually does a lot for us in that regard. Having just come out of the “era of irrational exuberance”, the fundamentals of home ownership have never been more scrutinized than they are right now.
Having sold thousands of apartments, I’ve become intimately familiar with the top ten reasons real buyers buy. They are:
1.) I’m relocating for my new job.
2.) I’m getting married.
3.) I’m getting a divorce.
4.) We’re expecting another child and five people in a studio won’t work.
5.) My children have moved out and we don’t need so much space.
6.) I’m tired of making my landlord rich, rates are low, I’ve saved for my deposit, and I want to build equity.
7.) I can’t walk up these stairs anymore after 50 years. I need an elevator and a doorman.
8.) My grandfather just passed and he left me this amazing 7 room co-op.
9.) My commute to work is killing all my time with my wife and family.
10.) I can’t afford to live here anymore.
Here are the top ten reasons NOT to buy:
1.) Look at the Jones family! (Google “keeping up with the Joneses”)
2.) The guy over at the bank said he can get us a cheap loan for a bigger house. (Reminder: That’s what got us into this mess)!
3.) We stumbled upon this open house and loved the views.
4.) My broker said we could make bank on selling our current home.
5.) I’d like to live in a building with a putting green on the roof or a triathlon training facility.
6.) There’s a great club across the street that I frequent.
7.) I could be a part time flipper and make a small fortune.
8.) The most recent “housing report” says it’s a “good time to buy”.
9.) I received an unsolicited bid on my home, so now I need to move.
10.) It would be cool to live in a (insert “starchitect’s” name here) building.
Most of this seems to be common sense, but I have found that when it comes to buying things, small or large, common sense is not always that common.
The New York Times “Appraisal” column is the most widely-read column in the newspaper’s real estate section. In this week’s “Appraisal”, John B. Gomes and Shaun Osher are quoted stating that the staging of an apartment has become increasingly important in order to sell homes and referenced the successful rebranding of The Cammeyer as an example. Buyers are more likely to purchase a property if they are able to envision the space as their home. You can read more about their insights and expertise on this matter here.
A: IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR.
It’s that time again. All the responsible communicators of our industry analyze the “quarterly reports”, and educate the consumer about where things are……supposedly. The problem is that none of them reflect the same parameters of information.
CORE is the first company that started a Realtime Report that reflects CONTRACT SIGNED data, and not CLOSED SALES data. Simply, this means we reflect data from a specific time in the market when deals are being consummated, not data from a broad time period from months (or years) ago on negotiated deals that happen to close in the same period. This is why we see a lot of data that trails the market by as much as a year or more, and remains inconsistent to what brokers, buyers, and sellers are experiencing in Real Time!
Here’s this past Quarter’s Realtime Report.
Hindsight is not always 20/20………. and it’s amazing how quickly things turn. For better or worse.
It has been 2 years since the sub prime mortgage industry credit crunch rippled through the globe.
It has been 18 months since the collapse of Bear Stearns.
It has been a year since the fall of Lehman Brothers.
The Manhattan residential market has lost almost 50% value in some sectors since its peak in 2007. A drop that came quicker and more dramatically than ever before. Yes, even more than Black Monday 1987.
Crains’ Amanda Fung covered a story yesterday about the recent activity over the summer. My opinion is that the value of the market has levelled off, and once banks start lending again (hopefully soon), the velocity of deals will pick up.
Next year this time, there will be a number of people who will be saying “I could have…………. I would have……….I should have!”
The weather channel predicts a gorgeous Summer weekend in the city. Here’s our weekend open house schedule for Manhattan and Brooklyn. We’d love to see you stop by. Click the links below for a complete list.
This morning I spoke with Erika Schnitzer from Multi-Housing News and gave her my opinions about where the market is, and might be going. Read the story here.
On January 11th, 2007 I predicted that West 19th Street in Chelsea would become the most architecturally distinct block in Manhattan. The Real Deal was there to cover a guided tour we gave of the high line and our project. (See video above).
It is extremely rewarding to see the dream and vision of all the architects, developers, builders and marketers become a reality. The project Core represented, 520 West Chelsea, is sold and closed, but for one unit (which has a contract out). I consider it the most successful project to date, in a neighborhood that has evolved into a worldwide destination and desirable residential address.
I tip my hat to John and Keith Jacobson for being visionaries, and delivering 26 elegant, understated new homes. I thank Annabelle Selldorf (who I sat down with and had a conversation with) for designing the most gorgeous building in the neighborhood. I also thank the entire brokerage community for embracing this project and helping us successfully sell this building.
Looking back over the past six months of market activity, it is clear to see that we are in a stage of absorption recovery, yet further price weakness. This has been the fastest market adjustment we have ever seen in the city and it is clear that Manhattan has not been immune to the effects of the national housing market and weakened global economy. The last three months of 2008 had the lowest deal volume for decades, and perhaps historically. Even the post September 11, 2001 market activity decline was brisker than the decline we are currently facing. January 2009 had fewer than 200 new contracts signed in Manhattan, but since then, the deal activity has consistently increased across the board. June had more than four times the volume of new contracts signed than January. On average, the market is selling close to 40% lower than its highs from 18 months ago. In the past six months, we have seen new contracts being signed at consistently lower prices. The weakest part of the market continues to be the luxury market (3 bedrooms and larger) and even though we see a slight increase in contract prices, there are still very few larger units purchases being negotiated. There are small signs of a recovery, but it is unclear if this is seasonal, pent up demand from no activity, or buyers starting to recognize that this is clearly their market, and they are beginning to taking advantage of the opportunities that exist. As prices have continued to decline, there is a sense that we are nearing a bottom, although the timing of a turnaround is uncertain. Thanks CNBC for taking note. (more…)