SEVEN TIPS FROM NEW YORK EXPERTS FOR THE END-OF-SUMMER SALES MARKET
With the summer drawing to a close, the pressure can heat up to sell properties that sat on the market all season, especially before the winter cold sets in.
Fear not, however, as the opportunity to attract buyers doesn’t end with the passing of Labor Day. Here are some tips from New York-area real estate professionals to help sell homes that are leftover from the summer season:
1. Now is a great time to sell, or buy.
"Don’t be afraid to list your home for sale now. Many sellers believe that as summer comes to an end so do our buyers,” said Terry Thompson, an agent with Douglas Elliman. “In fact, the fall season, September through November, actually brings some of our busiest buying months. List your home, price it right, and we will sell."
The fall is a great season for buyers too, others said.
"I advise clients that, as the summer season ends, we are able to access homes that were inaccessible because they were either rented or being used by the homeowners,” said Palmer Gaget, also of Douglas Elliman. “As Labor Day passes, we are afforded the opportunity to list and sell homes for savvy buyers and or sellers who may need to buy before the year’s end for tax purposes, or just want time to personalize their new home. Buying during this time means that they will be able to make necessary changes for next summer, or enjoy the house during the off-season, which, as we all know, is a very special time in a very special place.”
2. Choose the right broker
“The first step once you decide to sell your property is to find the right broker. You need someone knowledgeable, experienced and with great negotiation skills. He or she can advise you on how best to present your property, how to price it and how to market it,” advised Warburg Realty Arlene Reed. “Make sure that whoever is representing the sale of your property is available. He or she should be totally accommodating in scheduling appointments to see it. Remember, buyers have lots of choices.”
3. Price wisely
“Advise your sellers to listen to the market. If no one shows up at open Houses and no once requests showings, you cannot sell your apartment,” said Warburg’s Susan Abrams. “More often than not pricing is the culprit. If your apartment is priced too high, buyers will overlook it.
“An overpriced property signals to a buyer that the seller is not realistic and therefore they reject the property,” she added. “Proper pricing is critical to make your home stand out. It’s OK to reduce the price. A reduced price is not a sign of weakness, but a sign that you are ready to sell.”
4. Staging is key
“Staging an apartment can go a long way,” noted Louis Adler, co-founder and principal of REAL New York. “We work with some great staging companies that, believe it or not, get the furniture from Target but the curation, aesthetics and color tones really go a long way in making it feel like a home; albeit at an affordable price.”
5. Small updates help
“You want a potential home to feel bright and welcoming, and this can be done in a few ways that are affordable, not time intensive, and typically overlooked,” explained Lisa K. Lippman, an agent with Brown Harris Stevens “For example, regrouting a bathroom. This simple trick will instantly make a bathroom look like it underwent a renovation. Since bathrooms also tend to not have natural light, swap out lighting fixtures to ensure top brightness. These two tricks make any bathroom instantly look clean, fresh and appealing.
“Having windows washed helps in any apartment,” she added. “It’s a relatively inexpensive way to make any apartment feel sparkling and brighter.”
6. Incentivize buyers
“Creative photos, interesting stories about the property, a video walkthrough, several open houses and special events at the property will all make a difference,” Reed said. “You might want to do a cocktail party or host a guest speaker at the property. Sending out e-blasts weekly and posting on social media will enable as many people as possible see your listing.”
Adler agreed: “Create programing inside the unit, for example we offered panels to speak at one of our listings to garner attention and get more exposure … Offer incentives to buyers and brokers for example a big screen TV or an Amex gift card to buyers that go in contract before a certain date or an increased brokerage fee to a broker who procures a client.”
7. Be patient
“In addition to having the perfect staging and the right price, it’s recommended that you also practice a lot of patience,” said Leonard Steinberg, founding vice chairperson of the New York Residential Agent Continuum, or NYRAC. “Patience when interacting with both buyers and sellers is an essential aspect for all brokers to keep in mind as real estate is not a highly liquid investment and should never be rushed, especially in challenging markets.”