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Let's get flexible: the seller's rule of thumb for a price cut

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Slashing the price of your apartment is never fun, but it can be an especially bitter pill to swallow when it seems like every morning brings news of condos with eight-figure price tags and lackluster co-ops getting scores of offers after a single open house. To take some of the pain out of the exercise, the best thing is to acknowledge in advance--when you first put your place on the market--that a price cut may be necessary, and to map out a plan that allows for wiggle room: 

  • “Once you and your agent choose the price that you feel is correct, I would list the home 5 to 10 percent higher,” says Martin Brady, an executive vice president at brokerage the Marketing Directors. “We are in an ascending market, so you need to consider upward trends and future values, not past values.”
  • If a flood of potential buyers shows up at your open house, you may wind up in a bidding war situation, which comes with its own challengesIf, instead, you aren't getting any bites, it's probably time to lower the price. Exactly when you reduce it will depend on how high you set it in the first place, but Brady suggests trimming it three or four weeks after you put it on the market or after 10 potential buyers have looked and moved on.
  • As for how much to knock off, that will depend on how quickly you want to make a deal, though a typical reduction is 3 percent to 5 percent of the asking price, according to Brady. “If you have already found a new home, you may accept 5 percent off,” he says. “If you are in no rush, you may hold out for 1 or 2 percent off.” If nothing happens after another 30 days, consider a second discount, he says.

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