The Two Faces of Residential Real Estate

I’m two-faced!  That’s right, I said it.  But now let me explain. 

In today’s very bizarre world of Manhattan real estate where everyone is trying to make sense of the market’s conditions and direction, I am finding myself sending mixed messages depending on whom I’m representing in a transaction.  

For my sellers, I am careful to price their homes fairly for today’s marketplace and I arm myself with the comps and the documentation to support those asking prices.  So when a colleague or prospective bidder submits a bid of 30-50% below the asking price (yes as much as 50% below ask) with a grocery list of reasons why they think their bid is "solid," I’m finding it both aggravating and frustrating.  That said, current market conditions often require that these bids are considered for counter offers.  The irony here is that I am also at times that irritating low bidding agent.

For my buyers, I provide in depth analysis of current market conditions including comps, perception of market health and direction, as well as consideration of a buyer’s level of qualification to purchase.  In some cases, this analysis results in me submitting bids as much as 30% below asking prices on behalf of my buyers.  

So navigating today’s Manhattan real estate market is indeed challenging.  The role of the real estate agent has become even more important as both a defender of price and/or offers and an interpreter of a home’s value based on current market conditions.  So although it appears that I may be sending mixed messages, the single message is very clear: each specific property negotiation requires independent analysis. 

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