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How to Buy

A New York City Apartment

Consider working with a (good) broker if:

  • You're busy. You don’t have the time or inclination to manage your search, including researching available properties and comparables or setting up appointments with agents.
  • You are a first-time buyer.
  • You are new to New York City.
  • You're tired of being outbid, or you're not finding enough available in your price range or ideal neighborhoods  Applying data science to the ultra-competitive world of NYC real estate, at least one brokerage has begun using technology to intelligently mine publicly available records and make predictive guesses about who may be thinking about selling their place.  Triplemint (a Brick Underground partner) curates these "off-market" listings for buyers, meaning you can meet and deal with apartment owners before their homes hit the market.
  • You are unfamiliar with the neighborhood in which you are looking.
  • There are special circumstances about your qualifications, circumstances or desired apartment that will make your search particularly challenging. As in any business transaction, creative deal structuring can save the day. For example, while many co-ops will not approve a pied a terre purchase by parents who intend for their adult child to live there, some will approve a co-purchase situation in which all parties (parent and child) are on the proprietary lease and stock certificate.
  • You are buying in a difficult co-op: A good broker will be able to determine the likelihood that you will pass the board before you ever make an offer, which will save everyone substantial time, money and heartache.  Also, a good broker will be able to help you craft an application package that caters to the whims of the board so that your chances of being approved are higher.
  • You are buying for investment: A good broker with a solid understanding of investment properties should be able to help you develop your pro forma to model anticipated cash flows, cap rates, internal rates of return, and expected net profits. They will also be able to put you in touch with lenders and property managers that specialize in investment property and help you determine the market value of rents. They may also be able to help with leasing after you buy. (For more detailed info, see "Want to buy an investment apartment to rent out? Here's what you need to know")
  • You are buying from a developer: Because this can be much more complicated than the resale process, the sponsor/developer drafts their own purchase agreements (unlike the boilerplate contracts typically used for resales). That often leaves more issues to be protected against and negotiated that are largely unfamiliar to the typical purchaser. Also, a good broker should be able to provide you with some industry insight into the building before you submit an offer.