Top NYC Agent Shares Savvy Tips for Sellers Going Into 2023’s Changing Market
Let’s be real, in most markets, sellers have had it pretty good for the past two years. At one point, buyers were scrambling to nab homes the day they listed or even making strong offers just based on pictures, sight unseen. But, a new era is dawning and sellers need to keep their wits about them as the market changes.
To give you an edge if you’re thinking of selling this year, top-producing NYC agent Scott Harris is sharing hot tips with us. Harris can claim transactions totaling more than $1 billion to his credit over his career thus far and has navigated many momentous industry changes. As we step into 2023, here is the advice he has for sellers to help you maneuver the shifting market with optimal success.
1. Keep an eye on mortgage rates and the stock market. Buyers will start getting excited if mortgage rates continue to soften and they will get accustomed to a slightly higher rate environment—and lower prices than 12-18 months ago. For sellers, there’s no point in waiting for the market to recover to those levels, because it will take longer than you want it to. With this in mind, pay close attention to rate drops—and stock market upward moves—as a cue to “catch the wave” of buyers. Go to market on the heels of one, or both, and you’ll see more buyer interest, according to Harris.
2. Stop comparing your home to new developments. Sellers tend to compare the newest and shiniest buildings nearby to their homes and think that these buildings’ prices will rub off. Even if your property is elegant and beautiful, a 30 to 40-year-old co-op building will not compare to a condo; the prices are completely different. Bottom line: Don’t get caught up in the hype of what’s new. You’ll be disappointed in the price difference. Use accurate comparables instead.
3. Get comfortable with a small haircut if you bought between 2014-2018. The time of 2014-2016 was considered the “last peak” of real estate in New York City. Harris is seeing, with few exceptions, properties purchased during that period are not worth now what they were then, absent of considerable renovations or unique circumstances. The market is lower, and so you should be pricing with that in mind.
4. Study your market segment like a hawk. Proper pricing is more important now for a couple of reasons. Negotiability is directly correlated to the amount of time a property sits on the market. The longer your home sits on the market, the more flexible you’ll have to be.
5. Hire an agent who knows the brokerage community. Confidence in a market like this directly correlates with trust. Buyers can easily lose faith in a purchase today, to the extent that if your agent has strong relations across the broker community, complications can be avoided and skittish buyers will make their way to the closing table.
6. Prepare your property for showings long before you go to market. Expert brokers like to be able to show properties before they go to market. And, being deliberate about when to bring a property to market means having your property photographed well in advance. This allows agents like Harris to quietly market to the broker community and other interested buyers. Additionally, if there’s an opportunistic moment to go to market earlier than planned, then you won’t miss it. Situations can change quickly, so it’s good to be prepared.
7. Tastes have changed since the COVID lockdown era. So, ensure your home is attractive to today’s buyer. While outdoor space was seemingly the wave of the future during the 2020 COVID lockdowns, only now can we see that what has actually endured is the work-from-home experience. Buyers continue to prioritize their ability to work remotely, and preparing your home with these types of buyers in mind is a great course of action.
8. Brand your property to attract your target buyer. Before Harris goes to market with a property, he spends a significant amount of time with the seller to understand why they bought the property and what made them like the location or the building, as it helps create a real idea of who the target buyer is. This isn’t about space or the latest kitchen appliances, but how you send messaging that explains how the property is special to the kinds of buyers you want to draw in.