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A Broker’s Response to Zillow’s Alleged “Buyer’s Market”

by | Sep 23, 2014

Dear Zillow,

Last week, you released an article stating that New York is in a “buyer’s market.” Unfortunately, I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

When I think about a buyer’s market, I think of abundant supply and options for apartment seekers. I think of negotiable prices and plenty of time to make a decision. I think about sellers crying themselves to sleep as they take a loss on their real estate investment.

However, it is hard for me to fathom such conditions because it has been about two years since it actually existed, and my memory of that market is pretty much completely gone.

I don’t know if there has ever been a market that is as much of a seller’s market as the one we are in currently. The inventory in Manhattan is non-existent and the prices are absurdly high. I have watched sellers get 50-100% returns again and again in the last year. Just to be clear, that is a pretty standard return – not a rare lucky seller. The comps hardly matter. Sellers list high, and within a few days of being on the market, they are choosing from multiple all-cash offers over the asking price.
Meanwhile, my buyers can’t catch a break! I have cash buyers who are offering $100k+ over the asking price… and being rejected left and right. They put forth the most generous offers, pretty much getting on their knees and begging for an accepted offer, only to be laughed at.

So I ask you, Zillow, where is this New York City buyer’s market you speak of? I have a barrel full of buyers who would love to participate.

Confused Broker

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