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

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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.


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