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2017

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9.2.17
8.12.17
7.7.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
Congratulations (Again), Wendy!
Wall Street Journal
7.5.17
7.5.17
7.5.17
6.29.17
6.28.17
6.27.17
6.20.17
6.14.17
6.13.17
Warburg And Wallack Partner
CityBizList NYC
6.12.17
6.9.17
6.8.17
6.8.17
6.8.17
6.7.17
5.23.17
5.19.17
5.18.17
5.18.17
5.17.17
5.17.17
5.12.17
5.10.17
5.9.17
5.4.17
4.23.17
4.21.17
4.21.17
4.20.17
4.19.17
4.18.17
4.18.17
4.18.17
4.17.17
4.17.17
4.14.17
4.12.17
4.7.17
4.7.17
3.10.17
3.10.17
Prewar Is So Last Year
New York Times
3.2.17
2.21.17
2.7.17
2.6.17
2.2.17
1.31.17
1.20.17
On the Market
The New York Times
1.11.17
1.5.17
1.4.17
1.1.17
1.1.17
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2016

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12.29.16
12.13.16
12.13.16
12.6.16
12.1.16
11.30.16
11.28.16
11.27.16
11.22.16
11.18.16
11.18.16
11.9.16
11.4.16
On the Market
The New York Times
11.4.16
10.31.16
10.31.16
10.30.16
10.28.16
10.7.16
On the Market
The New York Times
10.4.16
9.30.16
9.25.16
9.23.16
9.19.16
A Water Skier Seeks Higher Ground
The Wall Street Journal
9.13.16
9.9.16
Where to Live? Ask an App
The New York Times
9.1.16
8.5.16
8.2.16
8.2.16
7.27.16
7.21.16
7.19.16
Kowalczuk and Compton join Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
7.11.16
7.1.16
6.24.16
Once and Always a New Yorker
The New York Times
6.16.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
6.16.16
6.10.16
Industrial Elegance in SoHo
The New York Times
6.1.16
6.1.16
Living Large in Manhattan
CASTLES Magazine
6.1.16
5.26.16
5.26.16
5.25.16
5.17.16
5.16.16
5.13.16
5.13.16
Priced Out of My Childhood Home
The New York Times
5.6.16
The Golden Mean
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
5.6.16
Featured Property: 150 Reade Street
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
Soiree at 150 Charles
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
Best in the West: 150 Charles, M9
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
5.1.16
5.1.16
5.1.16
4.13.16
4.12.16
4.11.16
4.8.16
4.8.16
4.6.16
4.6.16
4.5.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
3.31.16
3.31.16
3.30.16
3.30.16
New Listing: 30 West Street
Real Estate Weekly
3.28.16
3.25.16
Fusco joins Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
3.23.16
Who’s News: Mary Anne Fusco
Real Estate Weekly
3.23.16
New Listing: 39 Vestry Street
Real Estate Weekly
3.17.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.16.16
3.15.16
3.10.16
3.10.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.8.16
3.8.16
3.7.16
3.1.16
3.1.16
NYC Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
3.1.16
Deeds & Dont’s
New York Cottages & Gardens
2.26.16
Executive Moves
Crain's
2.24.16
Sugar Hill condos hit market
Real Estate Weekly
2.18.16
2.17.16
New Listing: 475 Park Avenue
Real Estate Weekly
2.17.16
2.17.16
2.16.16
2.12.16
2.12.16
2.11.16
2.10.16
2.9.16
2.5.16
2.5.16
2.5.16
Big Ticket
The New York Times
2.3.16
2.3.16
2.1.16
2.1.16
1.29.16
1.27.16
1.22.16
The Art of Home Staging
The New York Times
1.20.16
Unfailingly Vibrant in The West Village
Private Air Luxury Homes
1.15.16
1.15.16
1.13.16
1.12.16
1.10.16
Something about a quick deal
Luxury Listings NYC
1.10.16
Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
1.10.16
Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
1.8.16
1.6.16
1.5.16
1.5.16
1.4.16
1.1.16
The interest rate upshot
The Real Deal
1.1.16
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2015

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12.23.15
12.22.15
12.22.15
12.21.15
12.21.15
12.18.15
On the Market
The New York Times
12.18.15
12.10.15
12.10.15
12.10.15
12.1.15
Haber inks a book deal
The Real Deal
12.1.15
12.1.15
12.1.15
11.30.15
11.27.15
11.25.15
11.25.15
11.24.15
11.18.15
Symposium
Metropolita
11.18.15
New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
11.17.15
11.13.15
11.12.15
11.11.15
11.9.15
11.9.15
11.4.15
11.3.15
11.3.15
11.3.15
11.3.15
11.2.15
11.2.15
11.1.15
11.1.15
11.1.15
10.28.15
10.25.15
On the Market in New York City
The New York Times
10.23.15
10.22.15
10.22.15
10.21.15
10.21.15
10.20.15
10.16.15
10.14.15
10.12.15
10.6.15
10.6.15
10.2.15
10.1.15
In their words…
The Real Deal
10.1.15
9.30.15
9.23.15
9.22.15
9.14.15
9.11.15
9.11.15
9.9.15
9.3.15
9.3.15
9.2.15
9.1.15
8.28.15
8.21.15
8.21.15
8.21.15
8.21.15
8.20.15
8.18.15
8.18.15
8.14.15
8.13.15
8.13.15
8.11.15
8.7.15
8.7.15
8.7.15
8.5.15
8.4.15
8.1.15
8.1.15
Win now, decide later
The Real Deal
7.28.15
7.27.15
7.24.15
7.23.15
7.21.15
7.20.15
7.13.15
7.12.15
7.8.15
7.7.15
7.6.15
7.6.15
7.5.15
7.3.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
6.29.15
6.28.15
6.26.15
6.25.15
Fishman joins Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
6.25.15
6.24.15
6.23.15
6.22.15
6.22.15
6.19.15
6.18.15
6.18.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.16.15
6.16.15
6.16.15
6.12.15
6.12.15
6.12.15
6.9.15
6.5.15
6.5.15
6.5.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.2.15
6.1.15
6.1.15
5.30.15
5.29.15
5.28.15
5.28.15
5.27.15
5.27.15
5.26.15
Home Prices Continue to Climb
Wall Street Journal
5.21.15
$21.5 million Manhattan townhouse is a steal?
CNBC Secret Lives of the Super Rich
5.20.15
5.18.15
5.18.15
5.18.15
5.16.15
5.15.15
5.15.15
5.15.15
5.14.15
5.8.15
5.4.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
Manhattan Market Watch: Moving Tips
Mann Report Residential
5.1.15
5.1.15
4.30.15
4.30.15
4.28.15
4.24.15
4.22.15
4.21.15
4.16.15
4.15.15
4.14.15
4.13.15
4.12.15
4.12.15
4.3.15
4.3.15
4.3.15
4.2.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
3.20.15
3.19.15
3.17.15
Lauren Bacall’s Apartment
Top Ten Real Estate Deals
3.13.15
3.12.15
3.3.15
We Hear…
New York Post
3.3.15
3.3.15
3.2.15
3.1.15
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT IN 2015
Mann Report Residential
3.1.15
3.1.15
2.26.15
2.25.15
2.20.15
On The Market In New York City
The New York Times
2.19.15
2.17.15
2.11.15
2.5.15
2.5.15
2.3.15
2.2.15
2.2.15
Fixer-uppers gain appeal
The Real Deal
2.1.15
2.1.15
1.30.15
1.29.15
1.25.15
1.16.15
1.16.15
1.12.15
1.7.15
1.7.15
1.6.15
1.6.15
1.6.15
1.5.15
See More See Less

2014

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12.29.14
12.26.14
On the Market: Sutton Place
The New York Times
12.23.14
12.17.14
12.1.14
Prime Rates
Gotham
11.26.14
11.24.14
11.14.14
11.12.14
11.11.14
11.6.14
Houses of the Week
New York Post
11.5.14
11.1.14
11.1.14
10.31.14
10.31.14
10.31.14
10.24.14
10.24.14
10.20.14
10.17.14
10.15.14
10.14.14
10.9.14
10.1.14
10.1.14
10.1.14
9.20.14
9.19.14
9.10.14
9.10.14
9.4.14
9.1.14
Doubling Down On Cuomo
The Real Deal
8.26.14
8.23.14
8.22.14
8.8.14
8.8.14
8.6.14
8.1.14
7.28.14
7.23.14
7.14.14
7.9.14
7.3.14
7.2.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
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6.30.14
6.24.14
6.13.14
6.4.14
6.1.14
5.30.14
5.21.14
5.21.14
5.16.14
5.16.14
5.6.14
Profile: CLAIRE GROOME
New York Family
5.1.14
4.20.14
4.16.14
4.9.14
4.7.14
Dads of Real Estate
New York Family Magazine
4.7.14
4.6.14
4.1.14
3.30.14
3.28.14
3.26.14
3.25.14
3.25.14
3.25.14
3.12.14
Sales Updates – Harlem
The Real Deal
3.10.14
3.10.14
3.1.14
3.1.14
2.26.14
New Listings: Beekman
Brokers Weekly
2.20.14
2.14.14
2.5.14
2.1.14
2.1.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.27.14
1.14.14
1.14.14
1.3.14
1.3.14
1.1.14
See More See Less

2013

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12.30.13
12.19.13
12.4.13
Gotta get gund
New York Post
11.26.13
11.26.13
11.15.13
11.15.13
11.12.13
11.8.13
11.6.13
10.31.13
10.30.13
10.27.13
10.25.13
10.21.13
10.16.13
10.11.13
10.7.13
10.7.13
Park Manhattan is Sold Out!
Mann Report Residential
10.1.13
10.1.13
10.1.13
Sales in the City – Summer 2013
Residency NY Magazine
10.1.13
Sales in the City – Fall 2013
Residency NY Magazine
9.27.13
9.21.13
9.19.13
9.12.13
9.11.13
9.11.13
9.10.13
9.9.13
9.1.13
8.27.13
8.27.13
8.26.13
8.19.13
8.19.13
8.18.13
8.1.13
EVERYONE IN THE POOL!
Mann Report Residential
8.1.13
8.1.13
7.18.13
7.8.13
7.2.13
7.1.13
6.23.13
6.21.13
6.9.13
6.4.13
6.2.13
5.31.13
5.23.13
5.19.13
On the Market: Kips Bay Co-op
The New York Times
5.14.13
5.9.13
5.8.13
5.1.13
5.1.13
4.30.13
4.18.13
4.10.13
4.8.13
4.8.13
4.4.13
4.1.13
4.1.13
4.1.13
3.23.13
3.18.13
3.17.13
3.7.13
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.5.13
3.1.13
3.1.13
2.26.13
2.22.13
Houses of the Week
New York Post
2.22.13
2.13.13
Properties of the Month
Avenue Magazine
2.12.13
2.11.13
2.8.13
Dear Owner: Please Sell
The New York Times
2.5.13
2.4.13
2.4.13
2.1.13
2.1.13
2.1.13
Warburg Honors Top Agents of 2012
Mann Report Residential
2.1.13
1.31.13
1.15.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
See More See Less

2012

Show Press Hide Press
12.31.12
12.23.12
12.21.12
12.11.12
12.6.12
Who’s News
Brokers Weekly
12.4.12
11.27.12
11.26.12
11.1.12
10.10.12
Who’s News
Real Estate Weekly
10.1.12
10.1.12
Just Sold!
New York Post
10.1.12
9.24.12
9.12.12
9.12.12
9.4.12
8.24.12
8.21.12
8.20.12
8.9.12
8.8.12
8.4.12
8.2.12
8.1.12
8.1.12
Alicia Corpening Joins Warburg Realty
Mann Report Residential
7.19.12
Dream Homes
New York Post
7.9.12
7.1.12
6.22.12
6.21.12
Houses of the Week
New York Post
6.14.12
6.13.12
6.8.12
6.8.12
6.1.12
5.18.12
5.17.12
Dream Homes
New York Post
5.15.12
5.15.12
5.9.12
5.4.12
5.2.12
5.1.12
Pricey Co-ops Find Buyers
The Wall Street Journal
5.1.12
5.1.12
5.1.12
4.1.12
3.25.12
3.24.12
3.16.12
Have a Drink, Buy Some Art, Get a Condo
New Construction Manhattan
3.11.12
House of the Week
New York Post
3.8.12
3.1.12
3.1.12
3.1.12
2.28.12
Dream Homes
New York Post
2.26.12
2.22.12
2.2.12
2.2.12
2.1.12
1.22.12
1.18.12
1.4.12
1.1.12
See More See Less

2011

Show Press Hide Press
12.31.11
12.29.11
2011: The Year of the Turndown
The New York Times
12.22.11
12.16.11
12.7.11
12.5.11
12.2.11
12.1.11
Dream Homes
New York Post
11.23.11
Should You Buy a House?
Go Girl Finance
11.22.11
11.21.11
11.1.11
10.31.11
10.28.11
10.28.11
10.21.11
10.12.11
Celebrity Real Estate
Epoch Times
10.1.11
9.23.11
9.23.11
9.22.11
Sightings
New York Post
9.21.11
9.12.11
Bahamas’ Albany Continues to Grow
World Property Channel
9.1.11
Manhattan Market Watch: A FINE ROMANCE
Mann Report Residential
8.30.11
Living on the Park
Promenade
8.3.11
8.1.11
7.24.11
7.8.11
Trio Seeking Second-Time Chelsea Charm
The Wall Street Journal
6.27.11
6.14.11
6.14.11
6.14.11
6.5.11
5.27.11
5.26.11
5.23.11
5.12.11
Houses of the Week
New York Post
5.12.11
Emerging Neighborhoods
New York Times - Homes Magazine
5.10.11
5.8.11
5.1.11
5.1.11
4.28.11
4.12.11
4.6.11
4.6.11
4.6.11
4.1.11
4.1.11
3.20.11
3.17.11
3.15.11
3.14.11
3.10.11
3.8.11
3.1.11
3.1.11
3.1.11
Moving On Up
New York Family
2.28.11
Q&A with Deborah Lupard
Tribeca Citizen
2.27.11
2.22.11
On the Market
The New York Times
2.13.11
2.9.11
Uptown Upturn
New York Magazine
2.7.11
2.4.11
2.4.11
2.2.11
2.1.11
2.1.11
1.26.11
1.21.11
1.21.11
1.20.11
Ellington on the Park
Harlem Bespoke
1.19.11
1.14.11
1.6.11
1.3.11
1.1.11
1.1.11
What to expect this year
The Real Deal
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2010

Show Press Hide Press
12.14.10
12.1.10
11.1.10
10.31.10
10.28.10
10.14.10
9.10.10
9.3.10
Flip-Flopping on Flip Taxes
The New York Times
9.1.10
9.1.10
8.24.10
8.13.10
8.11.10
8.2.10
8.1.10
8.1.10
7.26.10
7.20.10
7.16.10
7.15.10
Houses of the Week
New York Post
7.2.10
6.25.10
Some Condos Avoid Shoals
The Wall Street Journal
6.23.10
New Appraisal Rules Irk Some Brokers
The Wall Street Journal
6.20.10
Caught in the Web
The New York Times
6.1.10
Manhattan Market Watch: ON NEGOTIATING
Mann Report Residential
5.27.10
5.23.10
5.23.10
5.9.10
5.7.10
5.6.10
5.1.10
4.29.10
4.28.10
4.16.10
4.12.10
4.12.10
4.12.10
4.9.10
4.2.10
4.2.10
4.2.10
Time to relist?
The Real Deal
4.1.10
4.1.10
3.29.10
3.19.10
3.17.10
3.9.10
Real Brokers of NYC
Brokers Weekly
3.5.10

Get Your Head in the Game: Psychological Tricks to Price Your Apartment Right

February 3rd 2015

Brick Underground

By Virginia K. Smith

With so few available apartments and so many over-eager buyers, selling a New York apartment right now might seem like a slam dunk—why waste energy strategizing about pricing when you can just sit back and wait for the offers to start rolling in?

But buying (and selling) a home is often an emotional process, and few people base their choices on sheer rationality—for whatever reason, homes with “777” in the address sell for 2.1 percent less than their estimated value, and places with a nine in a thousands digit (e.g $199,000 instead of $200,000) sell between four and seven days faster, the New York Post recently reported. Clearly, there’s more going on in buyers’ heads than a pure “cost-benefit” analysis.

All of which leads to an obvious follow-up question: when selling your apartment, how can you work buyers’ subconscious biases to your advantage? Read on for expert pricing tricks that can make the difference between a stagnant sale and an over-ask offer:

Heed the all-important search brackets

Mind games aside, your biggest priority is to make sure that as many interested buyers as possible see your apartment. And given that most people apartment hunt online, that means fitting the price into the right search categories.

“You have to look at where the price break brackets are,” says Warbug Realty broker Jason Haber. “I know the ones on StreetEasy by heart—they go up every $250,000” between $1 million and $3 million.  If you price right at or slightly above $2 million for what is really a $2 million apartment, “you’re going to lose the people who are looking for under $2 million.” In other words, think about how people actually search—which is usually within a small range on either side of their target budget—and price your place accordingly.

Take your cue from the 99 cent store

Which brings us to the oldest trick in the sales playbook: setting the price just below the next big number to create the illusion of a cheaper deal. (As Roger Sterling put it on “Mad Men,” “You know what brilliance in advertising is? 99 cents.”) “It’s just like when you go to buy a flat screen and it’s $799 instead of $800,” says Haber.

“Instead of $1.5 million, I’d rather price something at $1.49 million,” concurs Urban Compass agent Howard Spiegelman, though he notes, “I’d prefer $1,995,000 instead of $1,999,999 for a $2 million apartment—I don’t like ‘999’ visually.”

It would seem other brokers are using the same strategy. We asked StreetEasy to look at the distribution of listing prices on the site from 2014, and they found that far more listings ended in $9,000, $90,000, or $900,000 than the less subtle (and higher priced) “999” ploy:
Know when a “mansion” is a bad thing

Whatever your particular preference, this trick is also key for important tax brackets, most notably the $1 million price threshold that qualifies properties for the so-called “mansion tax.” Miller Samuel data guru Jonathan Miller notes, “If the pied-a-terre tax on $5 million apartments passed, you wouldn’t see any condo sales for $5.2 million.”

For evidence of the mansion tax’s outsized influence, Miller updated his sales charts to zoom on  on residential sales under $1.1 million between 2006 and 2014. The strict adherence to the $1-and-under million mark is dramatic:

“It goes up in specific increments,” Miller notes, and “there’s a void between $1 million and $1.05 million,” since an apartment’s value needs to truly be above the $1 million mark to justify the mansion tax to buyers. Still, he notes, there are clusters around even numbers rather than just below. In other words, most apartments are selling for prices at or close to the incremental search brackets ($1,025,000, $1,050,000, etc.) you’ll see on StreetEasy and other standard listing sites.​

Set yourself up for a bidding war

It may be wise to think about pricing your place just shy of what you think it’s really worth to pique buyers’ interest and spark a bidding war that’ll drive up the price.  While that might sound blasphemous, you’ll run into a lot of brokers who use this trick (or at least try to talk sellers into giving it a go).

“If there’s a competitive listing that may be just as good as your apartment, you would price it a little less than that apartment because you’ll draw people over and you may end up pushing your price higher and selling faster,” says Haber. Looking at the other “comps” on the market—e.g. similar for-sale apartments that’ll be your competition—is always crucial, and in this case, you’ll use them as a benchmark to make your place look like a steal.

“In a market like today’s where there’s limited inventory, you could go 5 percent below, and end up 5 to 10 percent above,” says Spiegelman. “I’ve had incidents where buyers went $400,000 or $500,000 over the asking price because it got personal—they didn’t want to lose it to someone else.” Particularly with mortgage rates as low as they are, buyers might be more willing to go over their initial budget. “If someone spends $200,000 more than they’d planned, with 2.2 percent mortgage rates, they’re really only taking on around $450 extra per month,” says Spiegelman.

But seller beware: don’t let a broker talk you into this technique unless there are truly similar apartments on the market to use as your comps. Otherwise, how will buyers know that it’s a comparative deal?

“When you’re pricing slightly under, you really want to be building-specific, ideally—when you have exact comps, no one can argue,” says Spiegelman. “But at least be neighborhood specific, and look for comps that are condo to condo, co-op to co-op. You want educated buyers to show up—half the battle is getting people excited. In this environment it’s really about setting that first showing for the frenzy.” And this isn’t all just for an ego boost: people get suspicious of apartments that have been on the market too long, so it’s important to price in a realistic and enticing way that will draw in buyers right away.

“The whole objective is to create urgency,” says Miller. “If you’ve wildly overpriced a property, there is no urgency.” Based on his research, Miller says that the average listing is priced at around a three percent discount from market value—just enough to generate interest, but not so much that you risk selling at a loss. “Pricing within a few percentage points of market value does maximize the potential sale price,” he says.

Watch the clock

“There’s a difference between the ‘sell it in a month’ price and the ‘sell it in six months’ price,” says Bellmarc Realty broker Mark Neuwirth. If you’re looking to move something quickly, for instance, think about the recent sales in your building, and price below them. “If there hasn’t been anything under $1 million in a while, we’ll price something at $990,000,” he says.

On the other hand, you could bide your time and wait for what Miller calls the “one in a million buyer” who loves your place so much that they’ll pay whatever you want. But you may not find a broker who’ll go along for the ride, and if you do wind up having to knock your asking price down, that could make buyers suspicious that something is wrong with the apartment.

“It’s not the right signal you want to send to buyers in this market,” Neuwirth says. “The stakes are high. If you’re in a market that’s so tight and there’s a price reduction, it’s very hurtful.”

If you’re still on the fence about your (or your broker’s) proposed asking price, Haber recommends a thought experiment: “Think about what would happen if you priced the apartment at $1,” he says. “Obviously you’d get a few people offering $4 or $5, but once educated buyers saw it, where would the natural market come in?” Sometimes, there’s no better psychology than a reality check.

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