I’m absolutely embarrassed that I have not blogged since February 25 and this is without a doubt the longest dry spell since this blog’s inception. No coincidence that it is also the most challenging market that I have seen in my almost 17 years and I think complicated market dynamics are the root cause of my blogger’s apathy. I have chosen not to add to the doom and gloom media reports of a crashing real estate market although with prices down in some areas as much as 40% in such a short period of time, I’m also not going to pretend that all is rosy.
The focus of TrueGotham has been and will always be on integrity and maintaining an honest voice that is broadcast from the trenches of the Manhattan real estate market. That said, here is what is happening in my business right now.
- Marathon Negotiations: Buyers and sellers are playing a game of cat and mouse to see how far each side can push the other in relation to bending on terms. A meeting of the minds can take weeks and even a month and a contract signing may take even longer with attorneys often suggesting term changes that have already been agreed upon by the parties involved. Creative terms are getting deals done…stubbornness is not.
- Value is Key: Buyers are willing to step up and purchase in today’s market only if they truly perceive value. Many are putting down large chunks of cash in order to take advantage of historically low mortgage rates for the remainder of the purchase price within FHA guidelines.
- Sellers are Listening: We have reached a point in the real estate market where the seeming majority of sellers are willing to price aggressively out of the gate or make big price adjustments within weeks of bringing to market.
- No Deal is a Deal Until Closing: Co-op boards seem to be more discriminating of employment and financial status for obvious reasons and banks are taking FOREVER to generate commitment letters and loans because both the refi and new purchase markets are flooded due to low rates.
- Testing the Market is a Waste of Time: Pricing remains the single most important factor in determining whether or not a home sells. For those with inflated asking prices hoping for the "right buyer" to come along, "stop wasting your time." Also consider the occasional case where an agent just wants your home to generate buyers for other properties. Most of us are in the business of selling homes, not listing them.
So that’s what I’m experiencing right now. So basically ,the time, effort, and energy required to sell Manhattan real estate (for me) is inversely proportional to the desire to blog. But I promise to try harder in the coming weeks.