Congratulations on your recent retirement! Now it’s time to downsize in square footage and upscale in affluence and culture. So, you’re probably wondering how to sell your house fast in New York City if you want to move on up to the Lower East Side. Especially if you’ve got your eye on a two-bedroom in that ultra-luxe glass tower along the East River.
You can already see yourself entranced by New York Harbor’s deep blue hues as you cycle in the cardio room. But before you’re off for a spa day in the tranquility garden, you have to sell your family-friendly three-bedroom in Glenwood first. And you’ll have to do it quickly if you want to snag that dream condo before they’re all gone. Westchester Woman talked to the experts and delved through all the data to get you these fail-proof tips on how to sell your house fast in New York City.
1) Price Your NYC Home Properly
Erin Wheelock, a top-selling NYC agent with a decade of experience who sells homes 35% faster than the typical area agent, says that the average New York City home sells in about 67 days. This will vary in different neighborhoods. But the price needs to be right to sell your house fast in New York City. Neighborhood Scout lists the median NYC home value at $1,276,314.
According to Wheelock, Gotham’s newer developments sell at higher prices. Yet, 42.7% of New York City homes were built before 1940. That leaves everything to LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Here’s what the median home real estate prices look like in Time Out’s 5 hottest NYC neighborhoods:
- SoHo, Manhattan: Urban sophisticates in this neighborhood pay a median price of $3,965,305 for a home. They flock to South of Houston Street for its luxury boutiques, galleries, and highly rate restaurants.
- Dumbo, Brooklyn: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, a.k.a. Vinegar Hill, boasts cobblestone streets, eye-catching architecture, artsy independent shops, and Brooklyn Bridge Park for a median home price of $2,698,839.
- Greenwich Village, Manhattan: The birthplace of the beatnik scene and LGBTQ Movement, “The Village” is home to bohemian mecca Washington Square Park and plenty of fun restaurants and bars. Its median home price is $2,470,823.
- Red Hook, Brooklyn: The median cost of a Red Hook home runs about $2,118,045. It’s known for its “tight-knit feel of a small town small town” with a beach, an IKEA, and views of the Statue of Liberty.
- Gowanus, Brooklyn: This industrial neighborhood has become a draw for families with its multifamily homes and townhouses, which have a median price tag of $2,100,443.
Not selling in one of NYC’s “cool” neighborhoods? Buyers will still pay more for the following:
- When many New Yorkers look out their window, they see a brick wall. Appraisal firm Miller Samuel says folks will pay 10 to 25% more for unobstructed views.
- Living close to a good school is paramount for parents clamoring to get their kids into prestigious schools like Battery Park City School.
- Crowds rushed the doors when the new Trader Joe’s opened on the Upper West Side. Cult-favorite stores like Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods are a big draw.
Many factors come into play when pricing your home. An excellent place to start is with a preliminary price check from HomeLight’s Home Value Estimator tool. It combines publicly available data, recent comparable sales in New York City, and the most recent sale price for your home, giving you a real-world home value in under two minutes.
2) Get Yourself an All-Star Agent
Hiring a result-oriented agent is a no-brainer if you want to sell your house fast in New York, NY. According to HomeLight transaction data, New York’s best-selling agents can get your Upper West Side prewar duplex off the market 1.6 times faster than the average agent and for 7.5% more.
“I think one of the biggest reasons for hiring an agent is because you’re bringing in an outside expert who has knowledge of the area, knowledge of the building, but also knowledge of the product,” Wheeler explains. “This is New York City. We’re not just selling homes. We’re selling lifestyles.”
Agents know what New York buyers want.
And what they want is convenience. You might not think twice about fitting in a workout before hailing an Uber to work. But a good NYC agent knows it’s an absolute must for many NYC buyers. They’ll take a buyer’s concern of not being able to squeeze a Peloton into your Chelsea one-bedroom and expound on the amenities of Equinox High Line down the block.
“We need to be the middleman who is taking critiques that the buyer is saying spin it into a positive or help the buyers see the product a little bit differently,” Wheeler says.
Agents can air traffic control you through the red tape
That wall you threw up to create a third bedroom in your chic Greenwich Village flat might require some paperwork before it’s copacetic with the NYC Building Department.
A good NYC agent will be apt to act as an intermediary between you, inspectors, and buyers already at your door when similar issues arise.
Having that person on top of everything, and continually updating people on all sides of the transaction so that everyone is in the know, just helps the process be much smoother,” says Wheeler.
Let an outperforming agent help you pad your pockets
HomeLight reports that top-selling New York City agents can sell your historic Murray Hill co-op for 103.9% of the list price compared to the average seller negotiating 96.5% for the same listing. Working with a premier NYC real estate professional can score an average of $60,504 more per sale.
3) Sell New York City Lifestyle to Make Your Listing Shine Like Times Square
To start, your listing should have all the basics and be error-free if you want to quickly sell your house fast in New York City. A Wall Street Journal study found that listings with complete sentences and correct grammar and spelling sold three days faster and were 10 percent more likely to sell over the listing price.
But New York City is a vibe. Using your listing to portray your home as a bright light in the Big Apple is an excellent strategy to sell your house fast in New York, NY.
“It’s absolutely a lifestyle. You’re selling the lifestyle of ease,” says Wheeler.
Tell your New York City story
Buyers want to know that the laid-back buzz of Hell’s Kitchen can be felt from the window of your two-story walkup. That their day can begin jogging through Hudson River Park, and end with some world-class ethnic cuisine on Ninth Avenue. That everything is one of many subway stops away, and visiting the in-laws is as easy as walking a few blocks to Penn Station.
Keep it 100 with your listing
“You need to give buyers an accurate story, so when they come in they’re happy with what they are seeing. Maybe even a little bit surprised,” says Wheeler. “Otherwise, you just ruin their expectations. Now they’re not even open to seeing the possibility and potential in the unit.”
Prattling on about the Michelin-starred restaurant on the corner when it closed a month ago will only disappoint. Wheeler says you should also prepare the buyer for the scaffolding they’ll see on the mixed-use high rise next door. Reference the construction end date in your listing and spin that year of jackhammering into rising neighborhood property values and a future stop for morning coffee.
Make your NYC home picture-perfect
The Washington Post reports that professionally photographed listings sell 32 percent faster and command a 47 percent higher asking price. Just make sure the photos accurately portray your home.
“When photographing the property, be careful not to make it look much larger than it is. This is especially true in this city. There is nothing worse than setting up high expectations for a buyer on a photo only to disappoint them when they see it in person,” says Anne Kenney, a multiple award-winning New York City real estate stager whose expertise has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times.
4) Stage Your Home Likes It’s a Broadway Production
New York City is a highly sophisticated real estate market. Staging is crucial if you want to sell your house fast in New York City. A Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. survey found that homes spend 73% less time on the market once it’s staged.
“Over the past decade, staging has become an essential element of property marketing in the city, a best practice,” says Kenney. “Given the large divide between staged and unstaged properties in the city, unstaged properties are automatically inferior in the eyes of buyers to those that are strategically staged for sale.”
When strategically executed, staging works to elevate the perceived value of a property. Most buyers are happy to offer 1 to 5% more for a staged home. Staging allows buyers to see the property at its highest potential.
“The majority of buyers are simply unable to make the leap from a vacant, highly personalized furnished, or super cluttered property for sale, to a home in which they may envision themselves,” Kenney says, whose staged over 1.5 billion in real estate that often sold at record-breaking prices.
Here are some staging tips to make your home look irresistible to NYC buyers:
- Despite being called “The City That Never Sleeps,” city buyers want as many bedrooms as possible. Buyers know they can turn a room into a home office or a gym. But they don’t know what size bed will fit if they opt to use it as a sleep space. Place a bed in an empty room or consider a day bed/office hybrid to aid in visualization.
- Not everyone living in the concrete jungle is within walking distance of green spaces like Bryant Park. Give buyers a breath of fresh air by bringing nature inside with well-placed flowers and plants.
- Whether teeny or sprawling, NYC outdoor space should be staged to the max. Place a bistro table and chairs topped with a bottle of wine and glasses so buyers can envision themselves enjoying their private outdoor oasis.
- Compete with Manhattan’s new multimillion-dollar developments by adding richness to an older bathroom. Create a restorative spa experience with big fluffy white towels, plants, stone or wooden accents, candles, and spa accessories.
A professional stager will also know how to draw attention away from that brick wall or scaffolding outside your Soho townhouse window. But when it comes to selling your New York City home fast, maximizing square footage is key in this space-sparse market.
Check out are Kenney’s tips for creating the illusion of larger space in NYC’s tightly packed and often odd-shaped or angled rooms:
- Strategically place mirrors to expand the perception of space and depth. Over a couch or dresser is a great place to start, especially if it reflects a window with a view of the city skyline or body of water like the East River.
- Light creates a perception of more space. Natural light is very sought after in NYC’s window scant spaces. Take down those heavy drapes and let in as much natural light as possible.
- Dark colors eat up light. Older city properties can compete with new luxury developments by painting the walls in neutral colors in warm whites and light greys.
- If your closets aren’t professionally outfitted, use bins or baskets to organize the contents. Leave at least 20% empty space to create the perception of having more than enough closet space in a market where it’s precious.
5) Sell It to a Real Estate Investor
Your two-bedroom in Washington Heights could make an attractive investment property renting to students at Columbia Medical School or nurses working at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. An investor will also see value in your single-family Midwood home for families with students looking to attend Midwood High School, a top sought-after NYC high school.
If speed is paramount, one of the most immediate ways to sell your house fast in New York, NY is to find a real estate investor. Selling to an investor cuts down on the estimated 47 to 50 days it takes to close with a buyer who is financing the purchase with a loan.
A cash purchase also cuts down on any unforeseen circumstance that could put the kibosh on a buyer’s expected loan bringing the seller back to square one. The National Association of Realtors reports that cash sales grew 7% in 2021 and make up about 23% of home sales. That extra cash in your pocket could be exactly what you need for a winning offer on that dream unit in the Lower East Side tower.
Selling to a reputable investor also gets you off the hook for holding open houses, cleaning and staging your home, and engaging in costly and time-consuming repairs and renovations. Your investor will handle all of that after the sale, but they will likely make offers below market value.
Pricing your home properly and finding a great agent, along with properly staging and marketing your home are surefire ways to sell your house fast in New York City. It will also get you top dollar for your home. And real investors are always looking to scoop up prime property. With these tips, you’ll have no trouble selling your NYC home in a New York minute.