4 Search Tactics for Manhattan Real Estate

Anthony Guerriero, Jan 18, 2018 7:42:00 AM

When a foreign buyer is looking for Manhattan real estate for sale, one of their biggest concerns is ensuring they’re truly seeing the properties that are the best fit for them. In such a vast market, with so many properties listed and sold each day, a foreign buyer wants the confidence that their broker is directing their attention to the right opportunities, and has the connections and abilities to seek them out. If you’re considering buying property in Manhattan, but don’t live inside the United States, here are some search tactics you and a broker can use to help you find the perfect property from abroad.

1. Stick to One Type of Property


There are generally three types of real estate for sale in Manhattan: co-ops, condos, and townhouses/brownstones. Co-ops make up 70% of the Manhattan residential real estate market, but their strict ownership requirements and rules around subletting make them a less-than-ideal option for some foreign buyers. Condos offer more liberty, and usually make up around 25% of the Manhattan residential property available for purchase. There’s also the possibility of a condop, a condo in a mixed-use building that is managed similarly to an apartment co-op. Townhouses are more rare in the market, around 5% at any given time and very expensive.

Whatever property type is right for you, it’s important for you and you broker to maintain a focused search on viable opportunities. Don’t waste time considering compromise with such a large decision on the line. In cases of co-ops or condops, make sure you’ve clarified from the outset with your broker exactly what terms you’re willing to accept. That will stop you from building up hopes only to find thefine print is a deal-breaker.

 2. Have a Wish List 

 That being said, the contract isn’t the only place you should establish expectations. Whether you’re buying property as an investment, a pied-a-terre, or for future generations, sit down and make a list of what you expect the new residence to bring you. Also, consider what features are absolutely essential. If you need a certain amount of space at a minimum, dream of architecture and character, or want amenities at your doorstep, search for properties with these characteristics. However, take some time to divide your ideal list into wants and needs. If you can buy a three bedroom at a great price, does it really matter if the windows face east or west? Or, doesn’t have a terrace that you might use only a few months per year? Compromise may be required in some areas, but eventually the right door will open.

3. Look In the Right Place

 When searching for real estate for sale in Manhattan, it’s important to look in the right place, both physically and digitally. First, discuss with your broker what kind of area is appropriate for your residence. After all, the borough is a big place. Do you want a property that is on the verge of a boom, or one well-established with everything in reach?

Website like Trulia and Zillow don’t get Manhattan properties right, so forgo looking in one of these sites for NYC property. One of the best options for a search would be www.streeteasy.com. Until recently, it has been the “go to” site for NYC property seekers, but recently a number of brokerages have boycotted the site, so now it doesn’t include all inventory.  In addition, the www.nytimes.com and www.realtor.com are good options. Our own site includes all NYC listings: https://www.manhattanmiami.com/manhattan/search-new-york-real-estate#nestio-listings.

However, most of our clients prefer we do all the hard work and prepare a custom search based on their preferences. Simply fill out the info on our tailored search page and we will send you a custom search.  

4. Get Boots on the Ground

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it’s never a good idea to buy sight-unseen, although we have sold at least a dozen apartments this way. Instead, we suggest you get boots on the ground and start visiting some properties with your broker. Once you start seeing a handful of properties, your wish list might change a bit and your idea of what you want in a property will begin to solidify. You will need an experienced broker by your side at this stage. They will be the one to draw your attention in the right direction which may include off market properties and new development opportunities that are not public yet. In addition, they’ll also be a valued advisor when it comes to making an offer or choosing an attorney. All those steps and more are outlined in our Home Buying Guide. If you’re in need of a partner to help you in taking these steps to search for Manhattan residential properties for sale, contact Manhattan Miami today.

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