Sometimes we get carried away and get a little melodramatic. Sometimes we overstate in our marketing. River Views! Incredible Ceiling Height! Best Location! You know the drill.
But in the case of our recent closing along Riverside Drive, we weren’t exaggerating. The lobby is incredible. The views were extraordinary. The ceiling height was surprisingly lofty. And the space would accommodate at least four bedrooms, a massive kitchen and three full baths. The building was built in 1909 by well-known developer Schwartz & Gross.
In a regular world, this apartment would be worth AT LEAST three million dollars. But we just sold it below $2.7mm. What gives?
We agonized about pricing with our sellers and our colleagues. Some thought it was worth $3mm. Some felt perhaps we go to market around $2.9mm. The apartment needed a significant renovation. No one cared about that. No one cared that the trash needed to be brought to the basement. No one was overly concerned whether central a/c could be installed or not. Their only concern was whether washer/dryers were permitted.
So we were conservative- or so we thought- when we went to market at $2.895mm. We had forty inquiries in the first few days. Some very eager buyers HAD to get in right away! Things were looking up.
Not So Fast
However, as soon as buyers or their agents learned that washers and dryers were not permitted, they ran screaming for the hills. In a large apartment, the typical buyer is doing a lot of laundry. In today’s market, it has become such a necessity that not having it is a real liability.
About 45 days after going to market, we had one low offer, but nothing of substance. What would make people overlook the lack of laundry?
Apparently, $150,000 was enough to garner a buyer. When we lowered the price to $2,750,000, we got a deal almost immediately.
My math was this. We could have sold it for $3,000,000 with a washer/dryer hookup. And it sold just under $2,700,000. By my calculations , the washer/dryer was worth about $350,000.
Isn’t this crazy? Would it be in a building’s best interest to allow them to be installed? It immediately adds value to each apartment- and makes units that much more saleable.
The time of the maid in the “maid’s room” is long past. We do our own laundry now. And cooperative buildings who do not allow them should take note. We begged this building to allow them. We pleaded our case. It may take a few more years before they come around- but when buyers are plunking down millions on a property, they should be able to wash their clothes at home.
Do you agree? -Scott