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Can This Market Be Saved?

How about new development? There’s a whole lot of it coming online right now.
D.C.: What was selling a year ago was envisioned three years ago. We’re now in a different world. It’s back to principles: location, access to transportation, quality building. Would you need a Wii room on the first floor? I don’t think so.
L.S.: You’re taking away the Wii room now? You took my coffeemaker in the master suite 
D.C.: Exactly. This stuff drives me crazy.

It sounds like sellers just have to be realistic. Don’t overreach; wait if you can.
J.M.: You have to be priced within 2 to 3 percent of what it’s actually worth for it to sell. If you’re priced higher than that, you’re wasting your time.
N.R.: Do not fall for the trick of working with the broker who promises the highest price. People bring in four or five brokers, and brokers have learned that if they offer the best price, they get the listing.
D.H.: That’s really not what happens. I just had a meeting to tell my brokers, don’t do that. They don’t do it.
N.R.: Well, you can’t babysit them.
D.H.: Here’s what happens. The seller says, listen, I’m not going to give it to you if you think this’ll work.
N.R.: Okay, well, it’s going to be counterproductive if you fall for that. Bids are not flying in; buyers’ confidence is down. So if you had to sell now, and you have a cookie-cutter apartment, no outdoor space, no views, you’d price 10 percent below the last comp, ahead of your competition.

What do you say to people who are eager for a slowdown, because they think New York is losing uniqueness?
D.C.: The only way cities survive is to rebuild themselves. I mean, do you want New York to stand still? Nobody wants that.
J.V.M.: I agree. Rushes have forces all their own; pauses have forces all their own.
L.S.: For all that you can say about a shiny development here or there, New York remains fabulously weird. I understand when a neighborhood loses something that it loves, and I also understand why preservationists fight as hard as they do, but I don’t see the city as having to become homogenized. New York can’t be homogenized.


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