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Should I try to sell my apartment this summer as NYC reopens?

If the city begins reopening this month, it could be a good time to list your apartment.

Austin Havens-Bowen for Brick Underground/Flickr

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Question:

Should I list my apartment this month? Once the city re-opens, will there be enough pent-up demand for apartments? Will we have a busy summer season?

Answer:

It's always difficult to time the market just right, especially now, but if the city moves forward with reopening, June could be a good time to list your apartment, our experts say.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that New York City will begin Phase 1 of reopening on June 8th, which would allow for the resumption of certain nonessential services; Phase 2 will include the reopening of real estate services

"If the real estate brokerage community is allowed to physically show apartments as anticipated, I would think that we will see a release of pent-up demand as consumers are better able to explore other options," says Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel. "Showing apartments has been severely restrained by current shelter-in-place rules and therefore true 'price discovery' has not been allowed to occur," he says, referring to how markets set prices. 

 

Pro Tip:

Unsure what your apartment is worth in this market? Before you list your place publicly, test your price quietly among real-life, qualified buyers via the pre-marketing program at New York City real estate brokerage Triplemint. There's no charge to participate, nor any obligation to enter a traditional listing agreement if your place doesn't sell during the pre-marketing period. Click here for more information.

This means it's unclear what kind of summer to expect for NYC's real estate. In May, the number of contracts signed in Manhattan was down by 84 percent compared to the same time frame last year, so it is possible that sales will surge when the city is reopened and buyers and sellers can resume normal activities. 

On the other hand, two million New Yorkers have filed for unemployment, and the Department of Labor predicts it will take as long as four years for the city to recover from the economic toll of the pandemic, which will surely have an impact on real estate. 

Some real estate experts predict the summer will be slower than usual, while others do expect a surge in activity as pent-up demand is released. But for now, uncertainty lingers. 

"There is really no way to know what will happen," says Deanna Kory, a broker with Corcoran. "There is bound to be pent-up demand, and yet it is coupled with those who will want to see if there are bargains to be had. The best advice is to come on the market when you need and want to sell."

Keep in mind that if sales prices plunge, you may take a hit on the sales side, but find discounts when you go to buy a new apartment. 

"Timing the market is risky one way or the other," Kory says. "If you feel you can wait and want to see what happens, there is no way to tell you that will be wise or unwise. Unfortunately, uncertainly rules at this time." 


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