Listing For Sale by Owner in NYC is a straightforward process if you have patience and spend some time learning about how the FSBO process works.
In this article, we offer NYC FSBO sellers an overview of how they’d go about selling For Sale by Owner in NYC.
Why should I sell For Sale by Owner in NYC?
To figure out why it makes sense to list For Sale by Owner in NYC, let’s first figure out exactly what ‘value’ is added by your typical NYC listing agent.
A listing agent’s value-add can be broken down into the following elements:
Listing Syndication Software
NYC listing agents have the ability to post your listing onto the local broker database called RLS. This is a very important marketing tool for your listing, since over 75% of buyers are represented by agents who almost exclusive use RLS to search for properties.
However, as a For Sale by Owner seller in NYC there’s no need to pay 6% in commission just so your home can be listed on RLS. Our NYC Flat-Fee RLS package will list your home on the RLS and over a dozen sites like StreetEasy for zero percent commission.
An experienced NYC listing agent will presumably have some basic knowledge about your building and area. It’s nice to work with a knowledgeable agent, but is that worth paying over $100,000? A typical home owner and For Sale by Owner seller in NYC will have significantly greater knowledge about his/her unit, building and neighborhood than a listing agent who may only have one other listing in your area!
Your typical NYC listing agent will have plenty of time to show your home to prospective buyers and buyers’ agents, even on short notice. But one of the key requirements of selling For Sale by Owner in NYC is that you, the seller, have time to show your apartment. Therefore, it makes very little sense to justify paying 6% on the grounds that the NYC listing agent will have time to show your property!
It’s true that any experienced agent will have good experience in the art of negotiation between buyers and sellers. However, is the benefit of having an experienced ‘negotiator worth paying $100,000 in commissions? It’s not exactly the case that buyers/sellers overpay or underpay in today’s market. Supply and demand ultimately set your listing’s sale price. It’s highly unlikely that ‘negotiation’ will give you a tangible benefit worth over $100,000.
Not to mention, if you are fortunate enough to be a NYC home owner surely it must mean that you are a successful individual who is somewhat skilled in negotiating as well!
Board Package Assistance
It’s true that board packages (purchase applications) in NYC, especially for coops, can be rather complex. At the same time, filling one out is not rocket science. They may be long applications (in some cases 40 pages or more), but the information they ask for is not exactly like taking the SAT verbal section. Most of the application involves transferring numbers and information from other sources, like financial statements, onto the purchase application.
Is it worth paying a broker $100,000 just so they can fill out an application for you. Not to mention, if you really need some assistance on the board package you can just pay a broker by the hour to help you with the application.
What are the steps for selling For Sale by Owner in NYC?
Step1: Homework - Pricing, Cleaning/Staging, Market Knowledge, Building Policies
The For Sale by Owner process in NYC begins with a bit of homework for sellers. Any FSBO seller in NYC can easily take care of these items on his/her own:
It comes as no surprise that most NYC FSBO sellers are very hands-on individuals. As such, most if not all of them have been studying the market and comparable sales for quite some time before officially deciding to sell.
If you’d like a second opinion on your pricing, one great strategy is to contact a few of those listing agents who have been sending you post cards over the years. They will prepare a CMA for your property. Ask each of them to send you a pricing analysis of your home.
This is one area where many unsuccessful ‘old school FSBO’ sellers of the past have stumbled. Cleaning and property staging your home so that you can take professional photos is one of the most essential parts of the For Sale by Owner process in NYC.
There’s a reason why every single listing by a traditional agent has impeccable photos. A picture is worth a thousand words. Your listing will be competing against all of the agent-managed listings in NYC which have world class real estate photos.
We’ve seen far too many confused NYC FSBO sellers forget say no to professional photography so they can save a few hundred dollars. It comes as no surprise that many of these FSBO sellers fail. They ultimately end up hiring an agent, who promptly drops the price and pays for professional photos. The listing eventually sells, however the financial damage to the seller (lowering price & paying 6% commission) is astounding.
FSBO Market Education
A home sale is one of the most important financial transactions of a person’s life. Therefore, it should be treated as such. No For Sale by Owner seller in NYC should ever begin the process without having learned more about how the market operates. Our blog has a wealth of knowledge about how the real estate market in NYC actually works.
By educating yourself about the process, you will be able to more easily debunk the common lies told by real estate agents, properly set your expectations, and be prepared for every step of the process.
For condo and coop FSBO sellers in NYC, it’s also important to educate yourself about your building’s policies for sales and also request the relevant documentation which you will need to provide prospective purchasers.
Many coop buildings have specific policies regarding unit sales. They may include any of the following:
Providing the board with advanced notice of your intent to sell
‘Quiet Hours’ whereby showings or open houses are prohibited
Blanket restrictions on open houses
FSBO sellers will also need to have the following documentation/policies on hand to provide potential buyers:
Management Contact Information
Building Financials and/or Offering Plan