Solid Advice for Buyers and Sellers from Fortune

Ellen Florian Katz of Fortune magazine has some very solid real estate tips that are up now at CNNMoney.
The piece gives advice for sellers, buyers, and those who plan to stay where they are in this cooling market. Here are some of my favorites:
Not a Time for Short Term Speculation
On the top of my list of favorite points is this piece of advice for speculators: Katz suggests “don’t do it” and I couldn’t agree more.
This is simply NOT a market to buy and expect to flip for a profit after a very short hold.

Sellers: Hire an Experienced, Professional Agent–and Price Aggressively

Of course I strongly agree that you should hire an agent (are you surprised that I also think you should pay the agent 6%?). But I also agree that the agent you hire should have a significant history and a proven track record in the industry. Pricing is the most important aspect of selling in a cooling market and I would suggest pricing in the bottom 20-25% of similar properties on the market (not a novel idea but a good one… it works).
Buyers: Make an Offer
For buyers, Katz smartly suggests not to let the asking price be your guide. Make sure you are working with an agent who understands the current market (at least as well as any of us can) and can at least help you formulate an offer on a property based on current market indicators.
Many NYC properties are still over-priced, so MAKE THE OFFER. Those that aren’t are still selling quickly.
You have nothing to lose and stop worrying about insulting sellers.
An Opportunity to Upgrade at a Savings
I would also add that if you are thinking of selling your current place to upgrade to a larger place, a cooling market could very well be your best friend as your decreased gain on your current apartment will most definitely be less than the decreased price on the larger apartment.
Consider a More Stable Mortgage
And finally, for those who are staying put, it is suggested that you keep your cool and watch that mortgage. It may be a good time to have a conversation with your lender or mortgage broker to discuss the options of getting into a more stable mortgage product. Otherwise, stay calm and ride out the storm.

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