So a gym buddy asks me whether it’s time to sell

Hell, I don’t know.

But I can think of several reasons that Tom, who lives on Riverside Drive on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, should consider the possibility:

  • He also wants to buy, and buying and selling in the same market usually is a wash.
  • Two reasons that selling may not be a wash is that he also is trading up:  1.  Apartments above $1 million tend these days to go for deeper discounts than those at lower prices; 2.  If the percentage discount is the same for both properties, the dollars saved on the bigger apartment will be more than those lost on the smaller unit.
  • Prices may or may not fall farther.
  • Even if prices reach some bottom and start to move up, mortgage rates likely will rise and a buyers’ monthly cost of housing will tend to push down sale prices.
  • When all those sellers who are holding back sense that the bottom has arrived and that prices are rising, they’ll leap into the market, cause increased competition and put a brake on sale prices.
  • In addition to the so-called shadow inventory of re-sale apartments, any number of condos in new developments that now are being held off the market will surge into the market and add even more to competition.

Tom’s decision – a balancing act that I don’t envy – will depend on his assessment of the conditions outlined above and how eager he is to change his lifestyle.  From what he told me, he’s no hurry.

Time will tell whether he has any regrets or whether he can enjoy gloating to me, “I told you so.”

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
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