The Selling Process

Among the first steps in selling your loft, penthouse, townhouse, condo or co-op is to select an agent experienced in NYC real estate. (It is very unusual to find very high-end properties such as townhouses sold in Manhattan as a For Sale by Owner or FSBO). It is important to select an agent who not only provides you with the most professional and sophisticated service and achieves the highest selling price for a transaction, but also one you feel comfortable interacting with on a regular basis.

Properties can be made to look their best with only minor improvements. Money spent on such improvements is often recovered several fold when the home is sold. Staging can range from cleaning and repair, to de-cluttering or full scale renovation.

The agent you select should provide you with all the pertinent information regarding recent sales in the neighborhood, current competing listings, most current market trends, etc. The agent establishes a selling price (using the recently sold comparable properties) that he or she is comfortable achieving, and that you are comfortable obtaining, based on your specific time parameters.

The market ultimately determines the price your property will sell for (either higher or lower than the asking price). It is therefore extremely important to select an agent who has access to the most far-reaching marketing systems that will expose your listing to the widest possible audience. Maximizing exposure creates competition, which drives the price higher.

Your agent should obtain all the relevant information on your property, and share the listing with all other brokerage companies, so that every professional agent is aware of the listing. The vast majority of residences are sold with the co-operation of two agents (co-brokers).

Your agent should immediately “co-broke” your property with the entire brokerage community. They should also target and contact agents who specialize in the appropriate marketing segment to solicit wide interest from qualified buyers.

Your agent should have professional photographs taken of your property and post them on the web, along with a floor plan. The agent should prepare a description of your property that accompanies the photos, floor plan and other key pieces of information.

Your property should be advertised regularly in various high-circulation media, including print and photo publications. The selection of media venues is based on the unique aspects of your home.

Selective, well targeted advertising is the key to a successful sale. Your agent should identify all available options and discuss the most appropriate ones for your property. Pin-pointing the right audience is key.

Your agent will show your home by hosting open houses, broker’s open houses or private appointments. Private appointments are the most common method. Your agent will create marketing materials to be used in conjunction with the showings.

Your agent targets townhouse owners and brokers focused on this market for mailings (hard copy and online).

Your agent will keep you informed of economic developments and market conditions that impact your property. They will provide continual feedback on web hits and showing activity. Your agent will recommend changes in pricing strategy as appropriate.

Your agent’s negotiating technique can affect the selling price. Your agent will orchestrate a meeting of the minds between the seller and the buyer. Your agent will also need to understand the financial status of the prospective buyer(s) as a strong offer from a financially weak buyer does not often lead to a successful sale. This is one stage of the process where an experienced agent is especially important.

Your agent will coordinate the attorneys for both the buyer and the seller to assist in the full execution of a contract. Your agent will assist in any appraisal required by a buyer’s mortgage bank and schedule an engineer and building inspector.

The closing is normally held at the seller’s attorney’s office. The closing is attended by the buyer, buyer’s attorney, the seller, seller’s attorney, the lender’s attorney (if financing), the title company’s closer and the real estate agents(s) involved in the transaction. Your attorney will explain all documents that require your signature at the closing, and afterward provide you copies of all the fully executed agreements.

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