Pulling comps is a given when you decide to sell your apartment, but a host of other factors come into play when you’re pricing your unit. Any competent buyer’s agent should do his or her due diligence and research the history of your building and apartment, as well as know the ins and outs of the neighborhood in which you live. It wouldn’t hurt for you, as the seller, to do a little legwork as well.
Before you agree on a listing price, take all of the below factors into consideration, as well as what comparable homes in your area have sold for in the past six months to a year.
If you own a tiny unrenovated apartment on Park Avenue, chances are, you might get more for the unit based purely on location. Know, however, that the same apartment in an area of the city with higher crime, probably won’t sell as quickly or for as high a price. In which case, you’d be better to start off with a lower asking price rather than a price reduction.
Proximity to Public Transit
New Yorkers live their lives around the New York subway system, so a building that’s more than a few blocks from train lines is not only inconvenient but will surely affect its real estate prices. Unless you can attract a buyer who works from home and will rarely commute on public transit, you might need to list your property for less than a similar apartment adjacent to the subway.
Again, your broker should be aware of any violations against a building in which you’re looking to buy an apartment. Violations could include leaks, mold, malfunctioning elevators or boilers, etc. Some violations are more serious than others, affecting an entire building rather than several apartments. You can check a unit’s or building’s violations on ACRIS.
A Dark Past
No one wants to think about something awful in his or her home’s history, but if a violent crime was committed and it’s public knowledge, you could have a tough time selling at market value or selling at all. With the exception of death by natural causes, legally, you’ll need to disclose any tragic event that took place in the apartment.
Major Construction Projects
New York City is a town of construction, particularly in Manhattan. But living next to or across the street from a major construction project that could take years to complete is a downright deterrent for the potential buyer. Persistent noise and unsightly streets will make your immediate area less desirable, at least for the duration. If you find that you must sell your apartment while a major construction project is going on, know that you might not be able to get the price you had hoped for.
A perfect example is the Second Avenue Subway. The project began in 2007 (I lived a block away), and it still isn’t finished. Although the past eight years have been a wise time to buy near Second Avenue –– there has been a slew of units listed at bargain prices –– some people (including me) won’t stand for the jackhammering sounds and war zone-like neighborhood just to score a real estate deal.