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How to Buy

A New York City Apartment

If you find yourself competing for an apartment, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Offer all cash if you can. In today's topsy-turvy financing world, this eliminates a major element of risk that the transaction won't go through if you can't get financing.
  • Act interested. Wouldn't you rather sell your home to someone who is thrilled with it than someone pointing out flaws or acting blasé because they think enthusiasm will compromise their negotiating leverage?
  • Keep in frequent touch with the listing broker so you know when things change (for example, if another buyer changes their offer to all cash) and you can stay competitive.
  • Most people bid in round numbers. Try making an offer with an odd number, so you'll come in just above a close offer--like $753,000 instead of $750,000.
  • Put a deadline on your offer, like 48 hours, so you'll have a clear idea on when to expect a response. Additionally, the seller may feel more compelled to take your offer.
  • Get personal by writing a letter explaining who you are, your intentions, and why you love the apartment. In a close bidding situation, this may make all the difference to someone who has lived in a place for 15 years and has deep emotional ties to their home.
  • Accommodate a seller's special needs like agreeing to a quick close, buying furniture, or letting the seller stay in the apartment for a period of time after closing.