The Market

Own a place in a desirable NYC nabe? Expect brokers to come courting

By Virginia K. Smith  | July 7, 2014 - 12:59PM

As if any further evidence were needed that we're squarely in the midst of a seller's market, well, we've got some further evidence. The above letter came across our desks last week, an unsolicited inquiry from a Brown Harris Stevens broker prodding an Upper West Side apartment owner to sell (or at least think about selling). 

Here's the full text:

"I'm writing to you because there is a severe shortage of apartments on the market currently. I rarely take this extra step of sending out personal letters, but because there is a huge vacuum in the market in terms of inventory and a backlog of buyers looking for the right property, I think you would be very surprised at the value of your apartment today.

"If you'd like more information, I would be happy to provide a confidential market evaluation of your home at your convenience, no strings attached."

Of course, this kind of inquiry has become standard practice in recent years, so much so that hunting down off-the-market apartments has become the mark of a good broker. On the other end of the spectrum, it's also part of a pattern of harassment in gentrifying neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, where longtime residents are often pushed to sell their homes for less than their market value to facilitate a flip.

If you do happen to be thinking of selling, you'll want to do some research to make sure the broker's legit. And if they're not? Chances are there are dozens more who'd line up to work with you. Make no mistake: they really, really want you to sell.


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