Bizarre Times and Players in Manhattan Real Estate

In the immortal words of Poltergeist’s Carol Ann…"WHAT’S HAPPENING!?!!!"  The market she is a changin’ as tighter lending standards, more savvy consumers, and overly cautious co-op boards sculpt the new face of Manhattan residential real estate.  Here are examples some bizarre behaviors and the players that exhibit them in today’s marketplace:

  • Managing agent emails us this morning stating that the building in which we are representing purchasers will only accept 30 year fixed rate mortgages…NO exceptions.
  • First time buyer calls to ask if another co-op will accept 90% financing…good luck even finding a bank much less a co-op that will these days.
  • A buyer signs a contract after a 3 week negotiation and informs his attorney of his arrest record.  The attorney wants to make the record part of the contract so that WHEN the board turns her client down, he would not be considered in default…moving on to the next bidder.
  • Bank calls client and informs them that they will no longer be lending them the money they promised in the commitment letter because they can’t repackage the loan and sell it.
  • Buyer contacts my seller directly in an attempt to strike "a better deal by eliminating the brokers." Buyer also bids and asks to put down $5000 contract deposit on a $2M property (standard is 10%).  Seller explains that commission must be paid regardless so she should reach out to me.  She then reaches out to her own agent whom she also circumvented.
  • Above buyer’s attorney is a litigator and spends most days in court unable to respond to seller’s attorney.
  • Managing agent takes 5 weeks to process a Board application.  If you think this is typical, then you need to hire Hoffman Management and work with Gordan Noah who can turn a package around in 24-48 hours.  He’s a stud!
  • Many buyers asking for mortgage contingencies and sellers remain reluctant to accept this.
  • 6 contracts fall through on one property for a variety of bizarre reasons none of which have anything to do with the property or building itself.
  • Simultaneously, bidding wars take place and multiple properties go to contract significantly over the asking prices.
  • Agent uses horrendous photos of property from 7 years ago to market a very high end property.  Despite my client’s and my better judgement, we view the space anyway only to find it is a STEAL with glorious views (not marketed as such) and has been completely renovated. 

So it is indeed a bizarre environment in Manhattan residential real estate right now.  Deal flow continues but not without sometimes very odd challenges along the way.  Navigating all of this provides a wild ride!  My head hurts!

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