NYC celebrity broker shares tips for relocating to the Five Boroughs

NYC skyscrapers. Photo Credit: iStock / Getty Images / Xavier Arnau

Amy Herman Schechter is a leader in the New York City real estate community and was recently named one of New York City’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents by the Wall Street Journal. She is a top producing agent at SERHANT, an NYC based real estate firm.

Schechter has worked with A-list actors, sports stars and on-air TV talent for all their real estate needs including relocating to New York. She has amassed over $500M in sales while closing hundreds of high-profile deals all over the city and is best known for selling high profile properties all over Manhattan.

Right now, the real estate market in New York City is intense, Schechter said. Transactions are happening fast but inventory is relatively low. 

Schechter shared her top tips for buyers and renters relocating to New York City. 

Amy Herman Schechter

Know your priorities, be prepared and organized, have a list of top buildings, hire an organizer, a moving company, a designer and a realtor and find a way to stand out from other buyers, Schechter said. 

Figuring out your top priority when relocating is key to having a happy move, Schechter said. 

“Make sure that you understand the different neighborhoods and you know what each one has to offer,” Schechter said. Re-locators should be sure to consider if they would rather be close to work or their friends and favorite restaurants and other cultural things they might enjoy.  

After recognizing their priorities, re-locators should consider what is important to them in a home, Schechter said. Think of things like the safety of the building, if the building has a doorman, how loud the area is and if there is outdoor space, she said. 

Understand the building you are moving into and have a list of at least five buildings you would be happy to live in, Schechter said. 

“Definitely hire a realtor,” Schechter said. The realtor will walk re-locators through the strengths of renting versus buying. 

“I often tell people, let’s rent for a year,” Schechter said. “Rather than pushing them into a sale, they come to me and I say, ‘Depending on your needs, if you don’t have everything aligned for the sale or purchase, then I think we should try renting, make sure you like the neighborhood and make sure you’re very happy with where you are. And then go from there.’”

Schechter said re-locators need tools. She recommends having a design partner if you’re not moving your whole apartment, or your whole house with you. Especially since furniture is on backorder, thinking about how to furnish the new space and when to get started on that is a key tip, she said.

Re-locators should also consider hiring a moving company and an organizer to help throw out unneeded things, especially when relocating to New York City where a buyer or renter might not have as much space. 

Since the market does not have that much inventory, Schechter suggested buyers and renters write a personalized letter either to the owner or landlord. It should include a bio, a little bit more about your life, and might even incorporate photos, to really set yourself apart from other people in like a very intense marketplace. 

“Especially if you’re relocating, I would just have like, extra love in your documents, make sure you have your letter from your employer or a glowing letter from a former landlord,” Schechter said.   

Schechter said these tips will make relocating much easier. 

“That’s very important to me, that people feel it’s seamless,” Schechter said. “It’s not just about the apartment, it’s about everything falling into place.”

A good time to buy 

Now is as good a time as any to move to New York City, Schechter said. 

“We’re in the hottest marketplace we’ve seen in 30 years,” Schechter said. More apartments sold in the third quarter of 2021 than at any other time in the past 3 decades.

“Because so many people are transacting, there’s a lot of movement in the marketplace, which makes it an exciting time to buy,” Schechter said. Adding, “I don’t expect anything to be quieting down right now, I think we’re in the thick of it in a good way.”

Transactions are happening fast because interest rates are still low and many people are still looking for a home due to the lack of inventory.

“I think what happened during COVID is that a lot of people felt uncomfortable, or they didn’t love where they lived,” Schechter said. “And I think when that happens, where a whole movement of people feel this way, whether they needed more space or less space, we see all of these transactions happening.”

But Schechter said the ideal strategy for re-locators who plan to rent would be to wait to move in about three months, more toward the middle of winter. 

The rental market can be tricky right now because there is a total lack of inventory in the rental market, she said. Having a broker or someone who understands the market and the neighborhood can help renters find apartments they may not find otherwise. 

The lack of inventory in the rental market has caused prices to skyrocket, she said. As the city reopened amid the pandemic, people started to move back and new people started to move in.

“And everyone came back at the same time, which caused a very big apartment shortage and prices to basically go up because, obviously, supply meets demand, and there’s very high demand right now,” Schechter said. 

In this market with low inventory and fast transactions, buyers and renters need to be prepared and organized, Schechter said. 

“I think it’s the most exciting thing on earth to move to New York City,” Schechter said. “I mean, it is becoming again, the city that never sleeps, and how exciting is that?” 

Schechter is regularly sought out for her perspective on industry wide-trends and has been quoted in The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post and Crain’s New York Business. Schechter has been featured, on multiple occasions, on Bravo TV’s Million Dollar Listing New York and has appeared as a guest lifestyle expert on NBC’s New York Live.