The Market

Get it right the first time: basic tips for apartment buyers and sellers

By Jennifer Laing  | August 25, 2014 - 3:59PM

Buying or selling an apartment is a huge undertaking with equally enormous stakes. Needless to say, you want the job done right. AOL Real Estate, by way of Business Insider, has a good roundup of basic ways to avoid making a major error. We pulled out a few that New Yorkers should keep on their radar:

For buyers:

  • Check out the neighborhood thoroughly. You don’t want to move in, possibly with a family in tow, to find the schools suck, the nearest subway is a dozen blocks away and there’s no bodega nearby.
  • Know what you can afford. Homeownership goes beyond simply paying off a mortgage. There’s maintenance, renovations, decoration, etc. Just because you can buy a really expensive home, doesn’t mean you should. Likewise, a down payment of under 20 percent will subject you to private mortgage insurance and bigger monthly bills.
  • Look at the bones, not the decor. Puce walls? Pink tile? That’s easily changed. And don’t go getting all attached to a place because of its stunning stainless steel kitchen.
  • Get an inspection of your would-be purchase. A couple of hundred dollars is a relatively teeny price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing the place you intend to buy is in solid shape.

For sellers:

  • Pick a fair price. Just because you want a certain amount for your home, doesn’t mean you’re going to get it. Check comparables to set a realistic price.
  • Set the stage. A well staged home (devoid of clutter but filled with a smartly-edited selection of furniture that clearly demonstrates the purpose of each room) will help buyers envision themselves in your space.
  • Open house? Make yourself scarce. Buyers can’t be honest about a space with the seller lurking. Do everyone a favor and get out before the buyers come in.


Staging snafus that can hinder a sale

Top negotiating mistakes of buyers

6 first-time buyers on what they'd do better next time

10 first-time renovation mistakes even New Yorkers make


Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.