Is Being the First to View a Property An Advantage?

With inventory still incredibly low in most parts of the Manhattan residential real estate market, eager buyers are hopeful that they and/or their agents will be the first to spot and view properties as they come on the market.  Being the first can indeed be an advantage but many factors come into play in determining just how strong that advantage may be.  Assuming you are the very first person to see a new property and you feel like you must absolutely have it, you must consider this:

  • How is the apartment priced? How does it compare to others like it and others that have piqued your interest in the recent past?
  • How do the features of the apartment make it stand out from other available inventory or recently sold and closed properties? Consider the views, light, condition, layout, size, building, location (not necessarily in that order).
  • What is your time line of ownership?  How long do you plan on living here? 
  • And now the mother of all questions:  WHAT IS IT WORTH TO YOU TO KEEP THE PROPERTY FROM BEING BROADLY MARKETED?

That question is indeed the most difficult to answer and will likely be based on your current experience in the marketplace both in comparing this property to others and weighing your experiences with multiple offer scenarios, gazumping, and lost bids.  Assuming that you have some experience losing properties that you felt were viable options for you, it may be time to step up and do what is necessary to prevent the same from happening yet again.  Don’t be surprised however when a seller balks at your attempt to preempt his/her marketing strategy.  Unless you dangle a very big carrot (asking price or better), most sellers aren’t going to feel very warm and fuzzy about selling to the first person who sees their property. 

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One Response to Is Being the First to View a Property An Advantage?

  1. avatar Bolder says:

    We were the first to view our current apt., (a few days before the first open house). It was indeed a special property (to us), so we immediately bid just over ask, but were prepared to go 10% over ask. As we expected, there were 4 other bids after the first open house, but since we were there, and ready to quickly counter, we were the winning bid (at least that’s what the seller’s agent told us.) The good thing about being first, IF you’re a serious buyer, is that you can get a lot of face time with the seller’s agent.

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