Prioritizing Property Features

I just returned from a marketing presentation this morning in which I was reminded of how important it is to hire a knowledgeable and well-seasoned real estate agent.   In this particular instance, the seller (referred to me by an attorney with whom I do a great deal of buisness) of the property has been wotking with a large, reputable firm and an agent with this firm who is her friend.  The property is NOT seemingly overpriced but over 100 people have visited with no offers.  The current agent’s response to the seller is "I just don’t understand why it’s not selling."  Now I would be lying if I pretended that I have not uttered these same words to some of my clients.  In fact, I have a 1050sf loft priced at $660,000 (forgive the plug but if you’re not interested, don’t click on the link) that has elicited these words from my lips all too often in my seller’s opinion.  That’s not the point of this post though.

The point is that for 6 months this property has been marketed featuring the wrong attributes that would appeal to the largest pool of  relevant buyers.  You see, this is a 300sf Upper West Side studio apartment.  The current agent has featured it as an Emory Roth starter apartment that needs TLC.  I’m sure all of you studio buyers are just chomping at the bit to have a look see at this one!  In my humble opinion, the current agent has completely missed the boat and here’s why:

  1. Many of those who would be buying a starter apartment have no clue who Emory Roth is.
  2. Suggesting it as a starter apartment "discriminates" against the masses who may be seeking a pied a terre, a better located studio, the desire to downsize, or any number of other reasons for wanting this space.  
  3. Whether or not the apartment needs TLC is relative and completely up to the prospective purchaser.  I have often (no longer unless I’m asked) spewed my "opinions" about how a space could be changed only to discover (after removing my foot from my mouth) that the prospective purchaser likes the space exactly the way it is.  In this instance, the bathroom is in very good original condition with an enormous soaking tub and original subway tiles.  The kitchen may need updating but that is the buyer’s decision as it is totally useable and clean in its current state.
  4. Finally, in my humble (not so) the agent has neglected to point out the most important factors of the property.

Here’s what I would highlight and feature about this apartment should I be selected as the exclusive agent to sell it:

  1. Sweeping open protected views of the Upper West Side.
  2. One of Upper West Side’s best blocks sandwiched between Riverside and Central Parks and steps from The American Museum of Natural History, Zabars, Fairway, the new Equinox (coming in 18 months), etc. (I could go on)
  3. Pied a terre friendly building that also allows parents to by with children (Guarantors).
  4. And finally, an Emory Roth building with an explanation of what this means.

I’m truly surprised that the current agent has chosen to ignore these very important aspects of this property but it reminds me that knowing who your buyers are is one of the most important factors in marketing to them.  If 100 people have seen this place and no offers have been made, one of two things is wrong:  either the price or the type of prospective purchaser visiting the home.  In this case it seems like the latter. 

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