no country for old FSBOs? no Manhattan lofts above $1mm

Manhattan sellers pay to sell

It has been quite a while since I parsed the NY Times online Manhattan residential real estate listings for brave for-sale-by-owners of lofts (last was December 13 no loft FSBOs for the Holidays; before that July 10, 2007  where have all the loft FSBOs gone? nary a two on ), but I did it yesterday.

Searching in the range of $1mm to $5mm, NYT has 742 Manhattan loft "listings" (more on that below), none of which are offered for sale by owner (other than one offered by a broker selling her own loft, which is not really a FSBO). Not one. Perhaps that is a sign that sellers appreciate that the market is a not more difficult for sellers, so that it is worth paying for some help. Or — given that none of the 677 lofts I searched in December on NYT were FSBOs — it just says something about there being few Manhattan FSBOs in general.

one flat fee listing, seller does the work
I thought I had one at around $1.5mm in Flatiron, actually, until I did some digging. Turns out that the NYT listing that looks like a straight FSBO is being marketed through a Century 21 affiliate that does flat fee "listings", as it is in our inter-firm database offering 3% commission to a buyer agent.

Not surprisingly, when I expanded the NYT search up to $10mm there 93 lofts listed but will still no FSBOs. But I did find 2 or 3 out of 305 listings for lofts from $500k to $1mm (2 are plainly FSBOs; one might be but sounds suspiciously like an agent is involved without the required legal disclosures).

1,140 lofts for sale in Manhattan? not so much
How concerned am I that last Sunday’s count of Manhattan loft inventory offered from $500k to $10mm (Manhattan loft inventory as of September 7) was ‘only’ 702 compared to the 1,140 found in the New York Times on line yesterday? Not very.

I talked about the fuzziness in counting "lofts" in the inter-firm data base in my May 19 post about counting inventory, but the difference between my 702 and the NYT 1,140 is less about problems with the inter-firm data as it is about problems with the Manhattan real estate business: my 702 is pretty reliably actual lofts actually offered for sale by agents with exclusive listing agreements, while many of the 1,140 in the NYT are for lofts that have already been sold, lofts that don’t exist (or are not really for sale), are real lofts offered for sale by another real estate firm, or are duplicate ads.



© Sandy Mattingly 2008


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