Brick Underground’s best advice for how to sell a NYC apartment

This two-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath condo in Turtle Bay is for sale for $2,995,000.

Douglas Elliman

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Even though we’re currently in a buyer’s market, and conditions are tough for sellers, you might need to unload your apartment right now, rather than wait for the market to turn around. Or you’re thinking about getting ready to sell sometime in the near future.

In either case, it’s good to be prepared when putting your place on the market, so we’ve gathered our best advice on what you need to know about how to sell a NYC apartment—starting with how to get your best price in a buyer’s market.

Basic prepping for the sale

A smart seller doesn’t just list the apartment, you’ll likely spend months prepping the place, and probably start with decluttering and downsizing your possessions. Here’s what else you should do when getting ready to sell your NYC apartment.

The appraisal is also key, because once it’s reported to your lender, it’s difficult to challenge. Here are three ways to make the most of your NYC apartment appraisal.

Does time of year matter? Of course it does. But most important is making a well-priced new offering. Still, experts discuss when is the best month to put your NYC apartment up for sale. Also covered: whether you should take your apartment off the market for the holidays.

Pro Tip:

Pricing your co-op, condo or brownstone correctly is both critical and challenging in a transitional market like this one, where buyers have more leverage than in recent years. To get it right, consider "pre-marketing" your place before publicly listing it.   The pre-marketing team at New York City brokerage Triplemint provides an easy, no-risk way to quietly test your asking price and marketing strategy among real-life, qualified buyers shopping for an apartment like yours.  There's no charge to participate and no obligation to enter a traditional listing agreement at the end of the pre-marketing period if you haven't found a buyer.   Learn more >>

If you own a co-op, it can seem hard to compete with condos on the market, especially since so many are new and come with high-end appliances and finishes. But here are four ways co-op sellers can give new condos a run for their money.

You’ll also want to figure out if you want to use a broker or go it alone. Most people find it useful to go the broker route. If you choose to do that, don’t miss our best advice for working with a NYC real estate broker, including how to break up with one who isn’t doing the job for you.

Should you renovate?

This issue comes up a lot. You don’t want to leave money on the table, but a renovation is difficult in NYC, even under the best of circumstances. Plus, if you’re in a co-op, you have to go through the board approval process. And you’ll want to figure out that right formula for maximizing your sales price without putting in too much investment.

One of the first things to do is check out the competition, either in the building or nearby area, and figure out how to make your apartment stand out.

At a minimum, you’ll want to give the place a new coat of paint. Check out the best shades of white for painting your apartment if you’re trying to sell it.

Considering a bathroom renovation? How will putting in a shower in place of a tub affect your property value?

What if you’ve already renovated, but the job was done badly. That’s covered, too.

Skipping the reno

So you’ve decided to forego the headache of a renovation. What do you need to know to sell an apartment “as is”? You also may have inherited a co-op or condo that hasn’t been updated in quite a while (like more than 20 years), and you prefer to just unload it. Here are tips for selling an estate-condition apartment.

Other challenges

What if you’ve had the listing out for a while and the apartment just isn’t moving? Here are 12 tips for selling a NYC apartment that’s been on the market for too long.

There could be issues beyond your control, such as construction going on in your building at the time you want to sell. Read about five major challenges would-be NYC apartment sellers face, and how to deal with them.

Ever since Hurricane Sandy in 2012, people have worried about living in a flood zone. Find out what it means to live in a flood zone, and what you can do to make sure you can still sell your apartment if you do. All is not lost.

Staging know how

Most brokers will tell you that how you stage an apartment is one of the most important elements for how your place will be perceived in the market. Professional staging doesn’t come cheap, but it can bring in big returns. Read this round-up of the best advice for staging your NYC apartment.

Should you go the staging route, do so with knowledge, and avoid these 10 apartment staging mistakes that can cost you a sale.

And don’t forget that staging an apartment, and other sell-related expenses might be tax deductible. Read this Q&A on it, then talk to your accountant.

Open houses

Do you know if your agent picked an optimal time slot? Is advertising in the right places? Will your broker show up, prepared? There’s a lot to fret about with open houses, but here’s a guide for covering open house timing and advertising. There’s also insights for how to set the scene. Finally, here’s a round-up of best-advice practices so you know what your agent ought to be doing on the big day.

And should it rain (or snow) that day? Do not cancel. Read why here.

Multiple contracts

You want to cover your bases, and buyers, especially in NYC, can be fickle. Find out if it is legal to send out multiple contracts when selling a NYC apartment.

Taxes, and after the sale

Don’t be caught off guard by any last-minute surprises: Estimate your closing costs and transfer tax. And note that some co-ops have a flip tax. Read this closing cost guide.

Taxes are good chunk of the closing costs. Read about how to offset capital gains taxes and other ways to reduce your tax bill when selling your NYC apartment.

Sometimes you might not be ready to move right away after selling. It happens. Maybe you don’t want to change the kids’ schools. Or there is a delay with your new place being ready. Here are tips to negotiate post-closing possession agreement for a temporary stay after you sell your apartment.