When is the best time to list your apartment in NYC?
Our clients often ask us when is the best time to list their apartments in New York City. There is the simple answer: the spring season is always the busiest and most active. However, while there are usually more buyers in the spring, there are also more sellers. With more sellers, comes more competition.
If you have an amazing apartment that is broadly appealing, we believe it is best to list in a busy market, as this will help drive up the price despite other, lesser competition. If your apartment has challenges (most do, even if you don’t want to believe it), then maybe it is better to list when the pickings are slim, especially in a seller-friendly listing environment. There are almost always buyers out there who have to buy and will settle for less than what they want because they don’t have the luxury of time.
Similarly, there are sellers who don’t have the luxury of waiting to list their homes. If that is you, it is ok to list when you need to list. You might not be timing the market perfectly, but if you are priced properly, your apartment will sell.
Generally speaking, buyers are out of town or not focused on real estate between Thanksgiving and New Years and in the month of August. We usually tell sellers not to list during those times unless they have to. However, the type of apartment you are selling will dictate how dead these months really are for your type of property. For example, if you are selling a family sized home, you probably want to avoid listing over long school holidays, as many buyers are traveling. Alternatively, if you are selling a studio or 1 bedroom co-op, it is less likely that buyers will be gone for extended periods of time during the summer.
At the end of the day, if you price your property properly, it will sell no matter when you list it. Depending on market conditions, it just might take a bit longer than you would like.
What does the real estate market look like today in New York City?
In today’s low inventory, low demand, high interest rate environment, it is not a great time to be a seller.
almost Everything is taking a long time to sell
In Manhattan today, the median days on market is 88. Brooklyn is fairing a bit better with median days on market being 65. In good times, we see median days on market hovering closer to 30-45. Sellers need to understand that their homes are not going to move immediately, even if they are priced well.
Inventory is lackluster and low
One thing working in seller’s favors is low inventory. Low inventory has prevented prices from dropping even further. Otherwise would-be sellers are staying put, basking in their sub 3% interest rates. Why trade in for a new place with double the interest rate unless you have to? It will be interesting to see what happens in the spring if inventory jumps up like it usually does. Will there be more active buyers? If not, will it put more downward pressure on pricing? If so, and inventory remains low, this could lead to a faster recovery, with properties moving at a quicker clip.
Not only is inventory low, but a lot of it is not great. In a market where buyers have control, they aren’t going to make moves on properties that are not perfect. We are seeing on both the sell side and buy side, buyers loving apartments but not making offers because the property is not perfect.
Pricing properly is key
Prices are down in NYC 8-10% off the last peak. This makes sense in a market where buyers are scarce. We need more active buyers to bid on properties to help drive up prices. In the meantime, sellers will continue to reduce their prices to attract buyers and, ultimately, unload their listings. Sellers need to be nimble and react to the feedback they get from the market. If nobody is coming through the door, you are likely priced too high. If constant feedback is that your apartment is priced too high, you need to drop the price if you are a real seller. Being willing to listen to what the market is telling you is imperative for a successful sale. If not, it is probably better to rent your apartment in today’s market and wait for sunnier days.
Digs Realty is a residential real estate brokerage in NYC that provides full service at a discount. The Digs Mission: Saving you money without compromising service. We give our home buyers up to 67% of our commission and charge our sellers up to 67% less than traditional brokerages.