The Real.Est List
The Haggle: Making the best of a lowball offer
This week, we go behind the negotiations for a small Upper East Side one-bedroom co-op listed for $300,000 by Shari Cohen of Citi Habitats.
The apartment, at 188 East 75th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues, was less than 400 square feet. Cohen had actually sold the unit two and a half years ago. Now those same owners (parents who had bought the apartment for their child) were looking to sell it with Cohen. It was a direct sale, so Cohen represented both the owners and the buyers.
Pros: The location is centrally located and the apartment was recently renovated.
Cons: The apartment is very small, and at $818 a month, the maintenance was high. Plus, it's on the ground floor.
On the market: March 8, 2011
Contract signed: June 14
Closing date: August 17
HOW THE DEAL WENT DOWN
Cohen recommended that the apartment be listed below $300,000 because of its small size, but the sellers were anxious to recoup some of the money they spent (they bought the apartment for $307,000 just two and a half years ago) and listed the apartment at $300,000.
Three weeks later, with no bites, the sellers brought the price down to $285,000. Recognizing that the maintenance was high, the sellers agreed to pay the recent monthly maintenance increase ($38.94) for a year, bringing the monthly maintenance down slightly to $779.06 per month for the buyer for the the first year.
Cohen showed the apartment a lot, but many people were turned off by its size.
A couple of days later, the buyers came back with an offer of $210,000 cash. The next day, the sellers countered again, this time with $255,000. Two weeks later, the sellers lowered their asking price further to $225,000.
MORAL OF THE STORY
While a 25 percent price cut was undoubtedly difficult on the sellers, the $225,500 cash offer was the best they could get in this particular economy.
The Haggle explores the anatomy of a recently closed New York City apartment sale in which the closing price was less than asking price...so that when the time comes to buy or sell, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect.