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Real Estate

Tips for an FSBO in the current NYC market

The key to selling your home yourself is

The key to selling your home yourself is lots of research. Photo Credit: iStock

So you're thinking about selling your home without a broker.

With sellers' brokers typically charging about 3% commission, which is then coupled with the 3% buyers' brokers also take, it's financially understandable why you would take that route.

But the New York City market is a tough one. Like everything else in this city, real estate transactions happen quickly, and market conditions can change month to month.

To help prepare you for a "for sale by owner" (FSBO) this summer, we spoke with experts about what you need to know right now.

List properly

One of the biggest mistakes a homeowner can make when doing a FSBO is only listing their property in one place, "because only a certain amount of people are going to see it," explained Doug Perlson, founder and CEO of RealDirect, a listings site and brokerage.

"You want to reach the biggest pool of buyers possible," he said.

You could list your property individually with The New York Times, StreetEasy, Trulia, and anywhere else, and pay all the fees individually, Perlson said, or you can post it to which will list it everywhere for you for $395 a month.

Another tip: Hire a photographer so you can advertise your home with professional photos.

Know the market

While studying the New York City real estate market might not be the most fun way to spend a day off over the summer, it's crucial to do so, according to StreetEasy data analyst Alan Lightfeldt.

"If you are selling your unit this summer, it is important to know what direction the market is going in order for you to be realistic about your asking price," he said. "Do your research, scour reports."

From what he's observed at StreetEasy, Lightfeldt said there are plenty of buyers available in New York City this summer. He said Manhattan condos listed in April sold within an average of 48 days.

However, Perlson said the opposite. His team has seen a 30% decline in showing requests, meaning less people are asking to see apartments, which indicates a decrease in the buyer pool.

Price accordingly

Even if you study the market, our experts exemplified that you may get different information depending on where you look.

Regardless, you need to use your research to help you price your home accordingly. See what similar homes, particularly from your neighborhood, sold for.

"Look at what's been in contract because homes that are in contract are the closest indicator [for a sales price] that you're going to get," Perlson noted. "Homes that are priced right and are highly desirable, there's still a ton of demand."


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