- Make sure you have a pre-approval letter with a mortgage lender that is familiar with the market
- Disclose to your broker your present financial situation and any impediments to purchasing (i.e. if you need to sell your current residence or if you cannot purchase until the end of the year, etc.).
- Be prepared to move quickly – the market moves quickly and to be competitive you need to be prepared to purchase.
- Focus on buying an apartment – do not take the process casually.
- Be realistic about the market and have a good idea of what you want.
- Always communicate with your broker – remember, they are on your side and they can only help you if you are in touch with them. Promptly return all phone calls and emails as you would expect the same courtesy.
- DO NOT work with multiple brokers. It is best to find a single broker whom you trust and are comfortable with. If you begin to work with multiple brokers, no single broker will put in the 100% effort required as the broker will believe (correctly) that you are not committed to him/her.
- DO NOT view 20 apartments only to decide that you are not ready to move. Brokers spend a substantial amount of time scheduling viewings and do not get paid for this service. If you are unsure of whether you are ready to buy, disclose this to your broker (along with the reasons for your uncertainty) and your broker/agent will be able to help you accordingly. The agent will be less inclined to help you if you do not disclose this until after the process has begun.
- DO NOT submit very low bids. Though every apartment is negotiable and every transaction should be negotiated, there is a certain point at which a low bid can be embarrassing to both you and the agent/broker. If you are contemplating putting in a very low bid because you cannot afford a higher bid, please make sure your broker knows this and he/she can then find more appropriate apartments for you.
- DO NOT obsess about getting a “great deal”. Buying an apartment is not about getting a great deal – it is about finding an apartment that you’ll look forward to coming home to every evening. As we all know, New York can sometimes be a pain and being able to escape it all by coming home to an apartment you love is priceless. As far as we are concerned, that is the definition of a great deal.