Your apartment in NYC is a reflection of your lifestyle and your taste. When your apartment isn’t selling, it’s easy to take it personally. Plus, the stress of not being able to sell your home can cause tension and anxiety.
When your apartment is not selling, consider some factors below that might be keeping it unsold on the market.
Table of Contents
- Great Expectations and Price
- Homes that are Over Customized and Not Selling
- Owner’s taste isn’t in line with everyone else’s
- Too Much Personality
- Too Rich for My Taste
- Not just a problem in big homes
- You Don’t Realize It’s Dirty
- Not Properly Represented
- Is this only true in New York City?
- Final Thoughts on why your Home May Not Be Selling
Great Expectations and Price
The number one reason homes in New York don’t sell is that they ’re priced too high. Your home has been a labor of love since you first moved in. It’s not just the money that you’ve put into it, but the time and attention as well. When pricing your home, it’s easy to go astray, thinking what it’s worth to you or what you need to get for it to finance your next home.
However, the selling price of your home should be based on comparables in the building and neighborhood. Visit some open houses in your neighborhood to see what other sellers are asking. It gives you a better idea not only of the competition but of the actual value of your home.
Homes that are Over Customized and Not Selling
Part of the joy in owning an apartment comes with the fact that it is 100% yours. Gone are the days when you have to deal with your landlord’s ugly countertop choice or your landlord’s definition of “modern appliances.” When you own a home, you can ensure that everything is up to standard – your standard. However, keep in mind, perhaps not to your prospective buyer’s taste.
For the most part in New York City, this means that appliances with stainless steel, walls will be neutral colors, and toilets won’t have that old metal handle.
Owner’s taste isn’t in line with everyone else’s
This is something that we see more and more of, specifically in costly apartments. The more space an owner has, the more likely they are to customize it to their personality. Always wanted to bathe in a tub of gold? No problem. Want one-bedroom in a fiery red? That’s fine; there are four others.
However, when these owners are ready to sell, their pool of prospective buyers often doesn’t agree with the aesthetic choices – or, more importantly, the price tag behind the aesthetics.
A big misconception about property value is that any money a seller puts into a home will automatically translate into a higher sales price. But unless you find someone with the same style as you, you might have to factor in a cost for the new buyer to rip out your customized ideas.
Too Much Personality
When a buyer comes into your home, they’re trying to envision themselves in your space. If there is too much of you in your home, it can be difficult for a buyer to see themselves living there.
When you’re selling your apartment, especially if it’s been on the market for a while, consider taking you out of the equation. Personal photos should be taken down; walls should be painted a neutral color. Quirky accents should be removed. Make your apartment a blank slate so that potential buyers can more easily picture themselves at home in your apartment.
Too Rich for My Taste
For example, a listing in Soho recently hit the market showcasing a $140,000 customized gold bathroom, with everything from a gold-plated tub to a gold money sign on the wall. In all likelihood, no matter how technically expensive or high-end this is, a buyer is going to want to rip it out – unless this buyer has always dreamed of having their bath mimic a music video.
In Greenwich Village, an owner recently installed a 30-foot saltwater pool on the bottom floor of his townhouse on Cornelia Street. Most people don’t feel the need to swim indoors, so the owner needs to acknowledge that his home will likely take much longer to sell. He’ll have to find a specific buyer – one who wants to throw indoor pool parties.
Not just a problem in big homes
This fact holds even in a small apartment. Owners who buy an $800,000 one-bedroom and love to cook may go all out on their kitchen – Viking stoves with six burners, top of the line appliances, etc. While this is great, when the apartment hits the market, likely, the pool of buyers coming to look at a one-bedroom with a small kitchen is going to say “Well it’s pretty – but I’m not a chef, so I’m not willing to chip in extra thousands just for this appliance.”
You Don’t Realize It’s Dirty
If you’re selling your home, you know you have to clean. Anyone that’s ever watched HGTV will tell you that a home should be pristine when you’re trying to sell. But, everyday cleaning and decluttering is different from getting ready for a showing or an open house.
Hiring a professional cleaning service can be an essential tool in selling your apartment. Professional cleaners can get the spots you don’t see and give it a top to bottom shine that’s sure to get your home off the market.
Not Properly Represented
You hire an agent to help sell your home because they are a professional with an understanding of the market and because they have the resources to get your home sold. If homes in your neighborhood are selling while yours remains static, it may be that your agent hasn’t done everything he or she could to represent you and sell your apartment.
Take a look at your listing to make sure it’s represented honestly and professionally. Make sure the agent has used professional photos that highlight your space in the best light. Then ask yourself if your agent has initiative and is an excellent communicator.
When selling New York City apartment, you may think you’re doing everything you can. But if it’s sitting on the market, these few tweaks can make the difference between another week on the market and get your home sold.
Is this only true in New York City?
Once you leave the apartment world and head to the houses, the amenities only get crazier and crazier.
50 Cent’s home was recently showcased on Million Dollar Listing New York. In addition to being one of the largest houses based on square footage in the area, it also had a nightclub in the basement, complete with a stripper pole.
Slash’s home in Los Angeles was remodeled with a DJ booth, skate ramp, and a nightclub. Along with these amenities come wild stylistic choices like leopard carpets and light show effects – but the people who can afford to take over these homes often have more conservative tastes.
Final Thoughts on why your Home May Not Be Selling
If you go to sell and don’t have the time to wait for the “right” buyer who will appreciate all the house’s nuances, then you’ll likely be forced into a price reduction. So if you’re planning to purchase a home and make custom choices, make sure you have a reality check with yourself.
Are you going to hold your home long enough that customization is worth it? Or might you be looking to flip your home in a couple of years and regret pouring money into a retractable roof over your master bedroom?