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We all know it’s smart to sell a home in a sellers’ market, which is usually out of our hands and influenced by the economy.  But selling involves other factors, particularly in New York, a city with its own rules when it comes to real estate. Specifically, timing and selling conditions could make or break the sale of your NYC apartment or townhouse, so consider these circumstances before you list your property.

The Worst Time to Sell New York City Real Estate

November-December, the holiday season

Potential homebuyers stay busy during the holiday season, just like the rest of us. With the array of seasonal activities such as shopping, cooking, wrapping, spending time with family, not to mention travel, real estate is usually the uttermost thought at this time of year. We’re too busy getting lost in the magic of the lights and window decorations to worry about moving unless we don’t have a choice; e.g., our landlord has raised the rent so high, it’s cheaper to buy. Overall, the New Year is usually more appropriate for a new start, which includes shopping for a New York City co-op or condo.

August, end of summer

We New Yorkers take advantage of the last hoorah of summer during August and spend little time in the city. If we’re not traveling abroad, we’re probably getting in the final days of beach time in the Hamptons or at the Jersey Shore. Most often, open houses won’t be as busy during this month. Also, few of us think about purchasing when the kids are preparing to start another school year, or when we’re attempting to chill out one final time before the hectic NYC lifestyle returns in September.

When you have competition in your building

Some experts might disagree and say that a comparable listing in your building doesn’t necessarily lower your chance of selling quickly and at your asking price. If your apartment is in better condition, with say, a better view, or completely renovated, chances are, your listing price will also reflect this. A potential buyer will most likely look at your apartment and your neighbor’s. Know that their budget and taste control the decision as to which unit they’ll purchase if they purchase at all. It could come down to details, like the paint colors, or brand of refrigerator, or which apartment is prettier and shows better. Any way you look at it, another unit for sale in the same line on a similar floor is competition, so your apartment might take longer to sell.

The Best Time to Sell New York City Real Estate

Spring and fall

Weather affects so much in this city, including our moods and desires to socialize or be out and about. During the middle of a polar vortex or snowstorm, I assure you, we’re less likely to frequent Sunday open houses because we’re intentionally stuck inside our apartments wearing flannels and fuzzy slippers. And when the temperatures and humidity pass 90, we’ll sit in a movie theater or an air-conditioned bar, and probably not roam the city perusing apartments.
Spring and fall, however, are glorious in New York City. You can barely contain any of us, as we want to get out of our apartments and feel that infectious energy in the city we love. Everything looks better in New York when the weather is lovely, including real estate.

When comps are high.

For obvious reasons, if you own a one-bedroom and an apartment with the same square footage and amenities in your zip code sold for a record price, that comp should be taken into consideration when you price your home. Record sales prices might even motivate you to list your apartment. Comps run the gamut, however, just like apartments, so even if you price at what you think is well within the market, you’re apartment will have to appraise for the offered price.

Your neighborhood is booming.

There’s always a next “hot” neighborhood in New York, but if you happen to live in the new “it” spot where everyone else wants to live, you might consider selling. Usually, you’ll know this because of the trendy shops and cafes (and Starbucks) that have recently opened, not to mention new residents who might have moved in over the past year or two. If you’ve dreamt of owning a country house, now might be the time to cash in on your NYC apartment to make another real estate dream a reality.


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