The FSBO Diaries

The FSBO Diaries (Week 17-18): Competition

By Kathy  | July 21, 2010 - 11:03AM
for sale boxing.jpg

I often search Streeteasy for comparable apartments on the Upper West Side to keep tabs on the market. A couple of weeks ago, I found a "one bedroom" in my building that had been on the market for a day.

My first thought was "Oh, no."

But after taking a closer look, I felt that another unit for sale in the building might not be a bad thing.

The other apartment is listed at $459,000, $20,000 more than our apartment, and it's a studio in which the eat-in kitchen was converted into a one-bedroom with a 7.6 ft x 7 ft bedroom.  I am very familiar with that apartment, and it's pretty similar to ours.

The fact that it's priced $20,000 higher may help us because our apartment is less expensive and shows a bit better.

Also, so far, our competition has brought us extra traffic.

Because it’s represented by brokers, the other apartment is bringing more people to open houses than I could as a FSBO seller, and my doorman makes sure to tell everyone about our open house, too.

On the day of their first open house, we had about 20 people come to our place, double our usual traffic. (This past Sunday, the day of their second open house, we only had seven people come by, which is around the average for us now.)

Their brokers are also doing postcard mailings and print ads, which in theory will bring more traffic to us during the slower summer months.

Not that we are expecting too much. My husband and I decided that we're not going to expect anything to happen until September.  If an offer comes up, great, but we're not expecting any developments in July and August. 

We're not in a rush, but on the other hand, marketing the apartment is emotionally draining and costing us a big chunk of change each month listing our apartment on ($260) and Streeteasy ($200).

And frankly, we're perplexed. We have an amazing studio at a fair price, so why is it sitting?  Is it an exposure problem?

I hoped that writing this blog and getting picked up by Curbed numerous times would be a great way to market the apartment.  But to date, one person who learned about our apartment through this blog has come by.

So how do we tell more people?

And if brokers make the difference, why haven't we seen any brokers bring in buyers since we started offering a commission a few weeks ago?

We are definitely curious to see how the other apartment affects the situation.

Kathy is in the market to buy (from an owner OR broker) the perfect prewar 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment in Brooklyn with private outdoor space that's near the subways (the good ones).

Click here for the complete FSBO Diaries.


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