Low Inventories Prompt Agents to Go After More Listings

February 13, 2013

Inventories of for-sale homes are so tight in some markets that some agents are writing home owners letters or even going door to door asking if the owners would be willing to sell. They’re also looking at reviving expired listings. 

A shortage of New York City apartments for sale is prompting agents to take such actions, The New York Times reports. In Manhattan, about 5,160 apartments and townhomes were on the market at the end of last year -- the lowest number on record, according to the appraisal firm Miller Samuel, which has been tracking that number for about 12 years. 

As such, some agents in New York City are sending letters to two-bedroom owners to try to persuade them to sell due to high buyer demand for two-bedroom units. They’re also sweet-talking the doorman to discover new leads. 

Jarrod Randolph, a broker with CORE, told The New York Times that he discovered a $4.1 million three-bedroom apartment about a year ago for his client after a chat with the doorman. Randoph says agents shouldn’t ask for a unit number or be too aggressive in their approach in chatting up the doorman, but leaving your business card and asking the doorman to pass it along to the sellers may suffice. 

“I might come back a week later at the same time and on the same day, assuming the same doorman will be there, and I might bring him coffee and cookies,” Randolph says. 

Real estate professionals are also trying to keep on top of lifestyle changes of past clients. For example, if someone is becoming an empty nester, they may be looking to downsize soon, or if a family is expanding, the client may want to upsize. Some home owners have no clue how much their home is worth right now with demand up, agents say. They may discover it makes financial sense for them to move. 

Source: “Dear Owner: Please Sell,” The New York Times (Feb. 8, 2013)

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