Selling Real Estate vs. Pulling Teeth

It’s no secret that buyer psychology has shifted to a more cautious perspective in light of the recent economic developments.  Although I remain busy, I must state that selling real estate in today’s market is often more difficult than pulling teeth.  That said, I’m not sure that "I want to be a dentist."

Here are 4 obstacles that I’m facing in today’s Manhattan real estate marketplace:

  • Qualified Buyers:  This definition has changed significantly as buyers who want to borrow must put more money down, have more money left in reserves after purchase, and must have a higher income (not bonus) than in the past.  Some of the offers we are receiving are from purchasers who are no longer qualified.
  • Asking Prices:  Asking prices are still all over the map from unreasonable to very aggressive and/or fair.  Despite how aggressively a home may be priced, most buyers remain reluctant to bid the asking price even when the home is priced below current market value.
  • Multiple Bidders:  In today’s market, more often than not, I’m finding that buyers would prefer to drop out of a multiple bid situation than consider over paying for a property.  Each offer must be negotiated individually and take into consideration all factors including most importantly, the ability to actually close on the purchase.
  • Co-op Boards:  The challenges of finding a ‘qualified buyer" don’t stop at the financing level as the presentation to the co-op board must provide a level detailed insight into the prospective shareholder that gives the Board a level of comfort that the candidate will remain gainfully employed and be able to afford any future projects that a building may have to take on.

These factors all contribute to a negotiation process that requires experience and finesse.  More focus must be directed at qualifying each prospective purchaser as well as providing market data supporting asking prices.  It is indeed a more challenging environment in which to sell real estate.

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