Carol Staab
Associate Broker
Douglas Elliman
111 Fifth Avenue
New York , NY 10003

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How to Sell an Apartment with Flaws

Here is something that you need to know about all Manhattan real estate where 86% of the market are currently resales. It does not matter whether you are buying a tiny studio or a grand penthouse nothing is perfect!

However not all flaws are equal in the eyes of buyers. When I market my clients’ homes, I turn the quirks and objections into positives with the right spin and the right price. For example I just sold two condominiums that each had issues that were brought up many times as objections from buyers.

1049 Fifth Avenue #14A is a three bedroom- 3.5 bath plus library pre-war condo with two wrap terraces that make it feel like a penthouse. Many buyers came to see 14A however they passed on making offers due to the ceiling height that was lowered by the prior owner. I consulted one of my go to contractors Lee Stahl of Renovated Homes who gave me an estimate for raising the ceiling heights. However, the biggest hindrance to the sale of 14A was due to the appearance of the white brick co-op that partially blocked the Central Park view. 14A was the only unit in the building besides some penthouses that enjoyed great wrap terraces. I focused buyers’ attention on the rarity of the terraces and how the terraces made 14A feel just like a penthouse. As a result, multiple offers were obtained which resulted in an all cash offer that closed in 60 days. Watch the Success Story.

515 East 72nd Street #35D was a renovated three bedroom – 2.5 baths corner condominium with terraces , views of the East River and views of midtown iconic towers from every room. The building was so amenity rich it even had its own large private lawn that it felt just like a country club. However, buyers seemed to focus on its one perceived flaw that could not be remedied which was its standard 8-foot ceilings. I focused on the views, outdoor space and the fabulous amenities. Multiple offers were achieved which resulted in a sales price just shy of the asking price. Watch the Success Story.

What if your apartment faces brick walls! This was the biggest challenge that I faced t selling 1049 Fifth Avenue #6A a two bedroom – 2-bath condominium. The positives were that it was renovated and in a great prewar condominium on Fifth Avenue . Great staging and photos helped tremendously. I also tried to show it at specific times of day when it got some reflected light. That said I have sold this apartment three times over the years and each time for more money.
For truly challenged properties, it often comes down to price that can be the difference from a listing sitting in limbo or selling. Pricing correctly is crucial in markets where listings take longer to sell and listing discounts are steeper. In addition, resale apartments are competing with a growing share of newly built apartments. There can be a discount anywhere between 5% to 20% on apartments with flaws depending on their severity.

All flaws can be mitigated in some way with the right amount of benefits. You broker needs to highlight those benefits and find the right buyer audience when marketing your home. Price your apartment very attractively so it does not linger on the market luring “sharks” waiting on the sidelines for price drops. These tips will help you sell your home that has any quirks and obstacles with more ease and in a faster amount of time.