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Three Questions to Ask when Bidding on a NYC Apartment

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

By: Deborah Miller, Brown Harris Stevens Agent - Harlem

NYC apartment building

Once you have found your dream property, one of the most important things to consider is how to make the best offer. Here are some questions to consider:

1. How does the property’s asking price compare to other properties that sold in a similar condition in the area within the past 60 days?

This answer will help you determine the closed sale prices of comparable properties in recent history.

2. Should I negotiate the price?

In the best-case scenario, you’re the only bidder and the seller is willing to accept your bid or reduce the asking price in favor of your counter offer.

However, if you are not the only bidder, consider that if another buyer bids at or above the asking price, you risk losing the property. In this scenario, ask yourself what price the property is worth to you and bid at that number without looking back.

Keep in mind that bidding is like trying on a pair of new shoes. It’s not for the broker to tell you what price is a good fit. The broker can tell you, by looking at a variety of statistics and comparable properties, how your bid stacks up in the market. But you, the buyer, must assess what that apartment is worth to you. This mindset is best for promoting long-term peace of mind.

When making a decision, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and consider broader circumstances. For example, if we were to go into another lockdown, will you have wished you had purchased while you had the opportunity? Or are you willing to bid site unseen?

3. What’s my post-bid timeline?

NYC co-op sales that involve a bank loan can take up to 4-5 months from accepted offer to keys in hand.

In New York City, an accepted offer is essentially a handshake and does not signify the end of the deal. Should someone come in with a higher offer before the contract is signed by both buyer and seller—referred to as a fully executed contract, or FEK—the buyer with the accepted offer is typically offered a one-time opportunity to match the higher offer in both terms and price. For example, if the disrupting bid is a cash offer and you are not a cash buyer, be prepared to say c’est la vie!

If you are extended the opportunity to match a disruptor bid, you should determine whether the apartment is still worth it to you at the higher price, and whether you can afford to match. If it is, then be prepared to move forward.

Deborah Miller is a Licensed NY Real Estate Salesperson with Brown Harris Stevens. You can see her current listings and connect with her here.


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