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In spite of a recent downturn in bidding wars for NYC apartments, it's still common for sellers to ask would-be buyers for their "best and final" offers in today's ever-competitive market. Thus, your (and your broker's) knowledge of how much a place is worth, as well as how much you're willing to pay, is crucial to submitting a solid bid.
To that end, DNAinfo put together a quiz prompting readers to guess how much five Manhattan and Brooklyn apartments recently sold for (all of them went for more than their original asking prices). In the event that you don't ace the test—I scored a disheartening 40 percent—the publication also has tips on understanding the nature of bidding wars, including:
- check out the "comps" to get an idea of value (which you can do with a broker as well as with sites like UrbanDigs)
- bid over the asking price when you can
- wait it out to see if the winning bid actually comes to fruition
- and hold off of bidding on apartments you're not 100 percent sure you want to buy.
If you do bite the bullet and jump into a bidding war, be sure to try some of our time-tested techniques, like showing your specific interest in the apartment ("negging" isn't a valid strategy here), offering as much cash up-front as you can muster, staying in touch with the listing broker, and being flexible with whatever timetable makes things easiest for the seller, which can be a boon if they're not quite ready to move out or looking to leave in a hurry.