While New York City is a desirable place to live, some listings linger. This is the case no matter the market’s condition. The key, from the buyer’s perspective, is whether or not there are valid reasons that have scared off buyers. You may swoop in and purchase the unit at a bargain price. However, this warrants caution since there are pitfalls.
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High monthly costs
A co-op or condo charges shareholders and owners a monthly fee. Co-ops refer to these as maintenance fees, and a condo calls it common charges. If these are unusually high compared to other buildings, buyers are likely to balk. This could suppress demand, causing the listing to linger.
You have to decide whether you want to bear a higher monthly cost. All else equal, the answer is obvious. However, if you can purchase the unit at a low enough price, a lower mortgage payment could offset the higher monthly charges. However, you should investigate why the common/maintenance charges are higher than other buildings. If the board of directors has mismanaged the finances, it is best to stay away.
Condo and co-op boards may impose a special assessment to fund a major project. These include replacing the roof or boiler. A board could have a reserve fund, or it could impose a charge to unit owners and shareholders for a specific period of time.
You need to think about whether you want the extra expense. If the assessments occur irregularly, you can have more confidence that the board will not impose another special assessment for some period of time.
The seller is not serious
There are sellers that are not serious. Often, people think buyers are the ones being too casual and not ready to make the purchase. However, there are sellers that push the process beyond reasonable limits. In this case, potential buyers may have made offers, but the seller turned him or her down.
Sellers have their motivation for doing so. Perhaps he or she is stubbornly sticking to a certain price, unwilling to budge. Alternatively, it is an emotional process, and there are certain people who are not ready to sell.
Your exclusive buyer’s agent can help you. He or she knows the market and has an ear to the ground. Additionally, your agent can talk to the listing agent to uncover if the seller is not serious.
In any case, the best advice is likely to stay away from these situations once you realize what is happening. Otherwise, you will end up frustrated and having wasted your time.
Priced too high
If a listing price is too high, the unit is likely to sit on the market. Sometimes, sellers are swept up in the moment, or perhaps misinformed by press clippings that have not yet reflected the market reality.
Some sellers ignore the market. He or she is unwilling to see the lack of demand meaning that he or she priced the unit too high. There are many reasons this might happen.
In this case, you might bargain with the sellers for a lower price. It depends on how long the property has been on the market and the seller’s level of motivation. You can certainly try to put in a reasonable offer, but back it up. Including recent comparable sales will help your case.
Sometimes, a listing agent has done a poor job marketing the unit. Perhaps this is due to inexperience. For instance, a poorly staged apartment could turn away buyers. In this case, once you get past this initial impression and use your imagination, you can use the lingering listing to gain a bargaining advantage.
If there are significant issues with the building or apartment, you should probably not bother going forward. The unit/building could have plumbing or electrical problems, for instance. Of course, if the issue is minor, such as a paint job, then you may wish to make an offer.
If buyers are having trouble getting a mortgage due to issues with the building, you should turn away. You don’t want to waste your time in these situations.