The Haggle

The Haggle: In the bidding for a SoHo studio, he who brings an architect loses

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Negotiation is the name of the game in New York City real estate, but sometimes it’s difficult to know how to make the correct moves. In a new BrickUnderground series, The Haggle, we’ll explore the anatomy of a New York City apartment sale. 

Every couple of weeks we’ll take a look at the machinations behind a recently closed apartment sale -- and all the prices that were offered. So when the time comes to buy, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect, and what to offer, too.
 
Today, we look at an alcove studio in SoHo listed by Ruth Sobie and Gloria Macri of Halstead Properties.
 
THE DETAILS
 
The studio, at 2 Charlton Street, is about 500 square feet. It’s in post-war co-op building with a 24-7 security attendant. The apartment was recently painted but needed new floors and extensive updating.
 
On the market: June 27
 
Contract signed: August 22
 
Closing date: November 1
 
 
HOW THE DEAL WENT DOWN
 
The seller had originally intended to list the studio for $425,000. Since the brokers saw a brisk selling season in the spring, they suggested their client raise the asking price to $449,000. He followed their advice.
 
After four weeks on the market, they received an offer for $395,000. The seller countered with $445,000, but the buyer wanted to bring in architects, which made the seller (and brokers) less than enthusiastic.  A visit from an architect is often a prelude to a revised, lower offer
 
The next offer, received just one day after the first offer, was for $437,500. Again, the seller counter-offered with $445,000. Sobie explained that the seller actually didn’t want to go above $445,000, out of fear that the apartment might not be appraised by the bank at higher than that, based on comparable sales in the building.
 
Around the same time, another buyer bid $390,000 in an all-cash offer. The seller came back with the usual $445,000, but this buyer also wanted to bring in an architect.  The seller balked, and continued negotiating with the second buyer, eventually accepting $442,000, about 1.5 percent less than asking price.
 
MORAL OF THE STORY
 
 In a competitive bidding situation, an architect can hurt your chances of getting the apartment.

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