This Month’s Gem | 55 W. 17th Street

This month we are highlighting an appetizing new development, running the gamut of accessible to complete the dream.  Introducing 55 West 17th Street:

This Toll Brothers condo development sits between Fifth and Sixth avenues on 17th street and is a 19-story, 53-unit gem.  The apartments range from $1.6 to $15mm, which for NYC puts it in the accessible luxury category.  Our team considers it great value, both from a location and quality standpoint.  The development will boast a mere four apartments on floors two through 12, and shift to duplexes and full-floor residences on floors 13 through 19.  The condominium’s amenities are set to include on-site parking, bike parking, a gym, a children’s playroom, a rooftop swimming pool, and basement storage.  The neighborhood is bustling with the evolution of Flatiron and NoMad as a residential, technology and hotel-centric area. So while this development is in Chelsea, it’s more of a technicality as it relates to the vibe and feel of its location.  Occupancy is anticipated by the winter of 2016.

For all of the information you may not have heard, give us a call at 212.891.7193.

At The Core | Pricing Right

Pricing is always tricky when it comes to real estate.  It gets especially tricky, however, when the market is shifting.  The market velocity (how fast properties move) and slope of its appreciation (how quickly prices are increasing) are definitely on the move, and that means how sellers price their property is critical. Here a few insights you should know about.

Let’s get a few basic concepts out of the way first:

  1. Closed transactions are always a lagging indicator. In other words, properties that closed just yesterday represent an accepted offer that likely occurred 3 months ago or more. They also represent an initial pricing that’s 4-6 months old, which was derived from a full comps analysis of the market at that time … which, itself, was based on lagging closed transactions.
  2. In an up market, closed transactions will always underestimate the value of your property. Because of this lagging effect, transactions from the past will be priced lower as the market keeps appreciating.
  3. In a down market, closed transactions will always overestimate the value of your property. As a great example, in 2009, looking at 2008 comps was pointless, as the market had already shifted downward significantly. So seller’s brokers and appraisers, alike, had to revise those comps down to account for this shift.

What this ultimately means is that during a market that’s at an inflection point, as ours is right now, there’s a lot more analysis and strategy involved in the pricing equation.   This also means that insights reflective of today’s dynamics won’t show up in the data until months from now.

So what’s a seller to do?

  • Don’t just look at comps to price your apartment. Savvy brokers know to also consider active and in-contract listings as they look to set the right price in today’s environment.
  • Know which segment you’re in.   We often talk of “the market” as if it’s one, big, homogenous blob. But it’s not – it’s made up of sub-markets of price-points, each with their own dynamics – sometimes interrelated, sometimes completely independent of one another.  Knowing your sub-market’s dynamics is critical to being able to sell in it.  If you don’t know which segment you lie within, call us.  We would be happy to help you navigate the market  to help you facilitate the best possible return on your most important asset – your home.

Date Your City

Have you heard the latest secret in town?  The Met is expanding and we are thrilled!  In fact, we are inviting you (well, okay The Met is inviting you…) to come celebrate the opening of The Met Breuer on Friday, March 18th.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s modern and contemporary art program’s expansion will include “a new series of exhibitions, performances, artist commissions, residencies, and educational initiatives in the landmark building designed by Marcel Breuer [BROY-er] on Madison Avenue and 75th Street” (The Met, Breuer).  The new space will give the public the chance to explore the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  To get more information on the events held on March 18th, click here.


Apple Bites

We are salivating over the menu at Augustine, located inside the Beekman Hotel in the Financial District.   As one of the two restaurants slated to be located in the Beekman Hotel, this Keith McNally destination is looking to shake things up in the neighborhood.  Yes, this is Balthazar’s and Pastis’ restaurateur, Keith McNally, known for expanding culinary delights in neighborhoods before they become red hot.  Word has it that Augustine will be a French bistro, serving up dishes like a roasted porcini and marscapone tart, escargot, and a Petite Aoli (lobster, shrimp, and baby veggies). Hungry yet?

Team Spotlight

Last week, our team was honored at The Ellies at the iconic Radio City Musical Hall.  It was a memorable night, not just because the Rockettes kicked off the event, but we took home the highest honor – the Elliman Million Dollar Pinnacle Club award.  Being ranked for the 5th consecutive year was such a memorable experience and we are looking forward to earning the spot again in 2017.   Here are a few of our favorite moments at the Ellies.


The Ellie Awards - The Margolis Team  The Ellie Awards - The Margolis Team The Ellie Awards - The Margolis Team

Ask The Experts | How Do I Make Myself More Qualified?

You ask, we answer.  Here is the latest question from a reader of our blog: “Having lost three deals to date, how can I make myself more qualified?  How can I win the deal if I’m not an all-cash buyer?”

First, let’s review the pecking order of seller preferences when it comes to picking among buyers.

  • Cash is king, so it’s always preferred that buyers pay 100% of the selling price in cash; it’s fast, it’s easy and it’s provides for the cleanest closing.
  • Next comes the non-contingent offer, where there is financing involved but the actual purchase does not depend on it; whether or not the bank commits to the loan, and how much it commits to, will not affect the final sale.
  • Last comes the financing contingent offer, whereby the deal depends on the bank to issue a commitment letter and ultimately fund the loan upon which the purchase is made.

You may think that this is the end of the conversation … not so fast. There are “hard” aspects to a seller accepting you as the buyer and “soft” aspects.  The “hard”  ones are named above.  While there is a clear preferential order to them, they don’t tell the full story.  There are “soft” aspects of the deal that can make all the difference to a seller choosing you versus someone else.

Think about it and put yourself in a seller’s shoes. What do you care about most?  Your top concern as a seller is making sure that the buyer doesn’t back out.  The last thing a seller wants is a deal to break down, only to have to relist the property and start from scratch with more showings, open houses and buyers.

There is a lot of signaling you can do to assure your seller that you’re serious and committed.

  • Speed wins the day. Everything from the speed of your correspondence (how quickly you reply to the seller’s broker, lawyer or other team members), to your speed to sign the contract matters. It shows you’re on top of it and that you’re maintaining momentum to the finish line.
  • Make yourself look low maintenance. If you have a few questions or demands, pool them together in one shot versus asking them one by one over the course of weeks. The latter creates a sense that you’re asking for yet one more thing and you’re dragging your feet. Also, make sure that the narrative presented by your broker about you, who you are, and what you’re about, underlines the low-headache aspect about how you operate.
  • Yield where you can. If you only need a 60% LTV loan to make the deal happen, write the contract with that or a 70% contingency, versus an 80% LTV. (This blog post from Jerry Feeney explains the pros and cons of doing so.) If you are already well on your way with your bank and have a good relationship with them, shorten your commitment letter timeframe to 10-14 days from the time of signing, versus 30 days. You get the gist.

So, rest assured. Just because you’re not an all-cash buyer doesn’t mean that you can’t increase your chances of having your offer accepted.

We want to hear from you!  What questions do you have that you’d like answered on our blog?  Inquiring minds want to know –