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How to Sell

A New York City Apartment

STEP 4: Pricing your apartment

Find out how much your apartment is worth in the current New York City real estate market

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As brokers are fond of saying (at least, after the listing agreement is signed), your apartment is only worth what someone else is willing to pay for it.

Accordingly, the best way to estimate market value is to put your apartment on the market and see how much buyers offer for it.  The problem with this approach is the almost universal tendency to overestimate the value of one's apartment...and then let it linger without appropriate, quick price cuts until it gets stale and ultimately fetches less than it would have if priced correctly.

To estimate market value as correctly as you can before listing your place, find a recent sale in your building and line (look up your building's sales history on StreetEasy) and then adjust for variables like views, floor, condition, etc.    There are lots, and lots, and lots of approaches—and mountains of guesswork--when it comes to comparing sales. This article delineates some of the nuances and variables. It may also be helpful to attend open houses of comparable apartments in the neighborhood to see how yours stacks up, so you can make the appropriate price adjustments.

"Pre-marketing" your co-op, condo or brownstone can be a more accurate way to determine what your apartment is worth.  In this scenario, sometimes referred to as a "whisper" or "pocket" listing, a real estate agent quietly spreads the word among their network of buyers but stops short of publicly listing your apartment on websites.   If you price it too high, you can adjust it quietly, without the drop appearing on listing sites as numerical shark bait for lowball offers.  New York City real estate brokerage Triplemint (a Brick Underground partner) has built an entire data-driven pre-marketing platform that provides a way to test your asking price and your marketing strategy discreetly via feedback from actual qualified buyers. There's no charge to participate and no obligation to enter a traditional listing agreement at the end of the pre-marketing period if your place hasn't sold. (Click here for more information.)