For buyers of Manhattan luxury apartments, there are many ways to get leverage when it comes time to make an offer for a condo. Knowing the tricks of the trade is essential, because there are numerous ways to tell if a price is negotiable, but if you don’t know the subtleties of the Manhattan condo listings and real estate market, you may miss out on saving money. We want buyers to know the basics when it comes to knowing if a price is negotiable, plus we want them to know how to behave at open houses so that they don’t hurt themselves once it comes time to make a deal. Luxury real estate in Manhattan is scarce these days and the competition is tough, so even the slightest edge matters. Here’s how to make it happen.
Besides using a buyer's guide to get ready, the biggest factor in negotiation is observation and behavior in an open house. When you visit an open house for an apartment for sale, gaging the probability that sellers will be more apt to negotiate is easy if you know what to look for. For instance, is you can tell that the seller no longer lives there, chances are that they’re eager to sell. Same goes for someone whose belongings clearly don’t fit in the apartment, or someone whose other bedrooms besides the master bedroom are clearly underused or empty. Also, try to use clues to conjecture if it’s an estate state, because if it is, sellers are usually eager to move the property. Typical signs of an estate sale are older furniture and an inordinate amount of clutter or dust.
Another key to negotiation is to understand the etiquette when visiting a Manhattan apartment. First rule: no dogs. Don’t break this rule under any circumstances, even if it's a pet-friendly building. Brokers say that they’ve seen fights between dogs and accidents. Plus, some sellers are allergic and will not appreciate the presence of your dog no matter how cute it is. Next rule: if you bring your kids, don’t let them run around, especially if they have snacks. Unattended kids have been known to break antiques (among other things) and leave crumbs everywhere. If you bring your kids, keep them closeby. Also, if you bring a stroller, ask if you can bring it inside, don’t just assume that it’s ok. And finally, leave all food and drinks at the door. Spilling coffee on the seller’s couch or carpet definitely won’t help your case.
The last key to negotiation is researching the apartment's history and the context of the sale. Get online and find out all the relevant details about the apartment. If it has been on the market for a relatively long time or undergone previous price reductions, chances are that you have more leverage. Plus, if there are a lot of comparable units in the building or in neighboring buildings, the seller may be nervous that setting a high price may cause potential buyers to look there instead. Also, look at recent sales in that Manhattan neighborhood, especially for apartments that are comperable in size, configiration, views, condition, etc. These are just a few of the things that you should find out before it comes time to negotiate a price. In today’s competitive market, don’t neglect to do everything you can to turn the odds in your favor.