Numbers are in for the third quarter of 2016, and they show that the current sales market in Manhattan is still very active despite a recent dip in Q2. Across Manhattan the average sales price has increased 13.5% from last year and 2.3% from last quarter. Days on the market is down from 14.3% from last quarter although it is 9% higher than this time last year. Depending on the price segment you are in, Manhattan may be a buyer or sellers market but overall we are seeing the tides turn into a more equal playing field. For a more detailed breakdown of the different segments of the market, feel free to download this market report that we have attached here: Market Report – 3rd Quarter 2016
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Trying to up your apartment’s worth before it hits the market? Here are five factors to consider when you’re trying to plan the effect of your renovations on the sale of your apartment. In a lot of ways, the renovations and areas you choose to renovate can dramatically change the Return On Investment (ROI) that can be seen in the sale.
- Make sure the basics are taken care of
- Check the market value of your neighborhood
- When making serious renovations, stay in the bathroom and/or kitchen.
- Avoid strong personal touches, especially those more permanent
- Room additions go very far
Make Sure the Basics are Taken Care of
Most buyers go into an apartment or open house expecting all appliances to be in working order. While potential buyers may not initially notice any problems with the apartment, you are obligated to disclose any problems to a buyer at the time of the sale. It is easier to get any small but crucial issues out of the way before risking turning a buyer away at contract signing. Before you begin focusing on cosmetic changes in your home, make sure that the basic framework of your apartment is fit for a sale. Your sale may fall through at the last minute if it comes up that there are certain problems such as a faulty dishwasher or Air Conditioning system that does not work properly. The functionality of basic appliances can be a deal breaker right before contract signing or closing if they are not taken care of.
Check the Value of Your Neighborhood Before Making Drastic Changes
Before going ahead with renovations, be sure that the degree of your upgrades creates a home comparable in price to the surrounding apartments in your building and neighborhood. You would not want to end up putting your home at a value that buyers are not expecting from the area, leading to a potential price decrease to below market value.
For example, if you currently live in a building whose price is in line with the median price per foot in the neighborhood, you would want to make mid-range renovations on the apartment. Alternatively, if you live in a building in which the apartments are valued significantly higher than the median price per foot for the neighborhood, you will want to invest in higher end appliances. According to experts at Zillow, those who employ high end kitchen and bathroom finishes in a building whose apartments match the median price for the neighborhood are often only able to recoup around 50% of the money invested in them. Most buyers have certain price ranges in mind depending on which neighborhood or blocks they are looking at, so you need to consider that regardless of the price of your renovations, your apartment will typically sell within the range seen on your block.
When it comes to renovations, proceeding with caution and under-investing in finishes seems to be a more prudent investment than overdoing the renovation. A good tip: HouseLogic stresses “refacing instead of replacing,” mentioning cabinets, drawers, etc., pointing out that less expensive cosmetic upgrades to your rooms can be more cost-effective for your sale.
Bathrooms and Kitchens are High on the List
HGTV states that a kitchen and/or bath remodel tend to be a “sure-fire investment, often returning more than 100 percent of the cost.” These are the two locations in your apartment in which an updated feel is key. Bathrooms that haven’t been updated can give off the impression that the home needs more work than it actually does. New and clean bathroom appliances and accessories make a big difference in apartments, especially since these rooms are integral to all of the members of the household. Prospective buyers will be relieved to see that they do not need to make any immediate changes in the bathroom or kitchen of a potential new home.
In terms of kitchens, renovations give them a sharper look all around. Stainless steel is a buzzword in many apartment descriptions for a reason – it lasts, stays clean and continues to appear modern and attractive. As the kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas in the home, the lasting power of stainless steel is a solid durable investment that pays off and is attractive to buyers.
Be Careful About More Custom Renovations.
Your personality may shine throughout your apartment, however your personal touches may be distracting to your potential buyers. Buyers may wish to steer clear of the stylistic choices you have made that may be permanent or too difficult to change. When looking through your apartment as an outsider and potential buyer, it is important that the apartment is able to take the form of a blank slate when it comes time to show it. You may have made permanent renovations throughout rooms that are stylistically dated and may make the space inaccessible to others. Be careful when making serious changes to walls, ceilings, and floors, because these changes could cost a fortune buy may not change the value of the apartment.
Room Additions Go Very Far
Room additions will give you the very best ROI if they are possible. If you live in an apartment and there’s a way to add a bathroom or bedroom, the price per foot tends to increase. If you can properly get permits and plans to file new rooms with the department of buildings, you could market the apartment as a one bedroom vs. a studio, a three-bedroom vs. two, etc. Often times these renovations can be simple if your apartment has the space, so they will gain you a great ROI. The most recent market report issued by Keller Williams for this quarter noted that the median sales price for a studio in a Manhattan condo was $635,000, in comparison to the median price of a one-bedroom which was $1,082,500. Additionally, this past quarter’s median sales price for a two-bedroom in Manhattan was $2,290,000. Naturally the price per square foot of a two bedroom is higher than a one bedroom, so marketing it that way may yield a return. This chart was created to display the price per square footage of a studio, a one-bedroom, a two-bedroom, and three+ bedroom.
One technique for achieving a substantial ROI is buying a next door neighbor’s apartment (giving you two one-bedroom apartments, for example) and combining them to make a spacious three-bedroom, ultimately producing the largest return adding both bedrooms and bathrooms. We’ve seen, with proper layouts, the value of these joined apartments go up 50% when they reach the market. This will truly offer adequate space for groups and families, and will open you up to a whole new client base.Read More »
Market Reports are out for the first quarter of 2016, and they have shown that the current sales market in Manhattan is thriving. The reports indicate a strong increase in sale prices across the board for Manhattan properties, as well as a decrease in time an apartment spends on the market. Condo sales in Manhattan showed a dramatic increase since this time last year, with their average sales price rising 32% and median sales price rising 36%. Co-op prices remained steady, while days on the market dropped to 54 days displaying an 11% decrease from this time last year. The one segment of the market that is seeing a a decrease in demand is the ultra luxury market ($5M+), with much of the new development pipeline falling within this category. Downtown Manhattan remained the highest selling region of Manhattan, and Upper Manhattan remained the lowest selling region. There were a few notable increases in median sales prices during the past year: Median prices for one-bedrooms in the Upper East Side saw a $147,741 (+21.4%) increase since Q1 last year, and median prices for 3+ bedroom apartments downtown increased a whopping $936,790 (+20.1%) since Q1 last year. For a more detailed breakdown of the different segments of the market, feel free to download this market report that we have attached here: Q1 2016 Market Report.Read More »
Clean / Repair the following
- Kitchen so it sparkles
- Bathroom so it sparkles
- Replace broken windows & mirrors
- All signs of water damage
- Litter boxes & odors
- Clean & re-grout bathrooms
- Dust light fixtures
- Towels in bathroom
- Make sure beds are made
Remove the following
- Children’s and pet’s toys
- Excessive clothes in closets
- Personal items such as photos
- Excessive books & props on shelves
- Excessive wall hangings / furniture
- Existing wallpaper
- Bicycles (place in storage)
- Excessive / old foods in refrigerator
Appeal to the senses by
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- Enhancing light with new bulbs
- Increasing light by opening blinds
- Using air fresheners to neutralize scent
- Repainting walls in neutral colors
- Polishing all wood surfaces
- Turning off TVs, computers & radios
- Placing light foods in kitchen
- Setting the temperature to between 72-79
- Generally organizing the apartment
A case study on how we achieved this with a listing
We all know that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but what if it’s also worth $10,000 more in your pocket? An independent study published in the Wall Street Journal found that professional property photos for a property increase the final sales price by thousands of dollars vs. those without it.
At KW all sales exclusives use a professional photographer to best showcase your property and bring in a higher sales price. However, sometimes even the nicest apartments need some help unlocking their true potential. That’s when virtual staging makes your home more attractive.
We had one listing that was on the market for three months at $625,000 with no offers. This one bedroom unit was owned by a mother in her 40s living with a 10 year old that shared her room with her.
We knew the buyer would be a foreigner or bachelor as that was the target demographic showing up at open houses.
I commissioned a designer to digitally remove the furniture in the apartment and replace it with furniture that ‘fits a younger demographic in a feng shui style’. A week later we had a bidding war between 4 people. The buyer ended up being a single 25 year old from China who paid $10,000 above our final asking price.Read More »
If the website and photos are outfits that make you stand out from the crowd, then think of these smaller marketing pieces as the accessories that make you shine.
From “Just Listed” post cards that spread the word to “Show Sheets” that bring home the details, our comprehensive and uniform print strategy hits all the right points to make our property look its best.
Most agents won’t even bring marketing materials to most of the showings that they are doing. We store them in your kitchen cupboard and present them right at the door for agents and their clients to take.
Why is it so important to offer these? With the typical agent in a race to show their clients the next property, we need a way to stay on top of the game. After each showing we call these brokers, remind them of the property and ask them to follow up with their client using your property’s features. We remind them of our show sheets your clients took with all your apartment’s info on it.Read More »
88% of home buyers begin their search online
How to get your home listed on 300+ websites
When you list with us, we’ll have access to the Keller Williams Listing System, or KWLS. This proprietary exclusive system enables us to market your property online 24/7 through our vast strategic network of the most popular and highly-visited websites. Each listing is syndicated to over 300 online partners targeting local, national and international markets.
According to the National Association of REALTORS, 88% of buyers begin their search for a new home online. Your home will be perfectly positioned to reach the largest pool of potential buyers from day one, and KW ensures this to all exclusive listings.
Web Traffic: According to compete.com, one of the leading online consumer behavior insight companies, Keller Williams web traffic on kw.com is more than four times greater than that of established and nationally recognized Manhattan real estate websites.
This includes corcoran.com, prudentialeliman.com, halstead.com and citi-habitats.com.
By utilizing our National platform we are able to provide unsurpassed exposure to our listings and get your home in front of more buyers.
Niche Websites: Real estate has become hyper-local and home buyers are increasingly looking for agents that specialize in a neighborhood or building. They want to know that they can reach out to those that know their area.
Over the last couple years I have built numerous niche sites including UpperEastSide-apartments.com to help my sellers capitalize on these searches on Google.Read More »
According to the StreetEasy Condo index, prices in Manhattan have seen increases of 9.63% in quarter four of 2013 vs. quarter four in 2012. However, some neighborhoods have seen higher increases versus others.
According to data provided by UrbanDigs.com, the neighborhoods with the highest gains in median price include East Harlem with +143%, Soho / Noho / West Village with +73%, and Gramercy / Flatiron with 30%.
The neighborhoods with the biggest losers in median sales price this quarter were Harlem / Hamilton Heights with -17%, and Washington Heights / Fort George / Inwood, Upper East Side, and Midtown East all with -6%.
For a complete breakdown of the market in Q4 2013 take a look at the stats below showing the different size apartments, the median sales price, and their activity. Data in the table below is provided by OLR.
The data compiled here is from Q4 2013 and not Q1 2014 due to the three month lag from when an apartment sells to when its price is recorded.Read More »