January Brighter Report. Transitions and Transacting

January 30, 2021

2020 taught us what are most important to us, so we prioritize our intentions.


Happy New Year. 
Transitions and Transactions
So here we are 4 weeks into 2021.  10 days into a new administration. 24 days after a failed coup.

New Year. New President. New Vaccines. New Outlook (hopefully).  

We have much work to do as a country, but we also have much life to live as individuals. Hopefully 2020 taught us who and what are most important to us, so that we prioritize our intentions, efforts and actions to the best of our ability.

My priority is to help you find your next property, whether it be your primary residence or an investment, so let's get to it!

January after Janus the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology. Original Calendar had only 10 months. January and February were added in about 450BC. So in many ways, January itself is an act of recalibration, beyond New Year's resolutions, inaugurations, and warming up from the coldest day of the year.

Looking at the Transition Bridge above, hopefully we are at the (new) Beginnings phase, as a country, and you, as buyers/sellers are at the Adaptation phase, because the landscape is continuously shifting, and you don't want to get left behind.

To that end, and with that transition. The market is warming up. Many people were waiting for a new administration and release of COVID vaccines to make a move. Others were waiting for the bottom. Others are still waiting for the 20% discounts they were promised by media pundits who don't actually sell real estate. Whelp. The bottom is pretty much here, and in some cases, we are already rebounding.
Looking at the chart above, you will see that Manhattan Pending Sales (units in contract waiting to close) matched pre covid numbers around November. As of December 25th, (ish, i'm just reading the graph,) Pending sales increased 20% as compared to the same period the year prior. 

As a point of reference, before covid hit, Q1 2020 was looking very strong as if it was going to be a high volume year, after a fairly sluggish 2019.


There were highs and lows for New York real estate this year. Sales records were broken, but the overall market hit the brakes, even as mortgage rates stayed low. Design took -webkit-center stage in many new developments, and Hudson Yards opened to great fanfare.

Q1 2020

The New York real estate market began 2020 with an unusually strong January, with surging buyer interest in a wide number of properties spanning all price ranges. This interest, which extended into February, demonstrated that price reductions, combined with continuing strength in the stock market and the overall economy, had lured buyers back into the marketplace. Throughout January and the first weeks of February, COVID-19 seemed distant, and our market was very active.

So right now in Q1 2021, we are looking to regain steam in terms of volume and volatility, despite the poor covid vaccine rollout, rising unemployment, and the ripple effects of the revelatory short squeeze on the Stock Market. So it's time to get off the sidelines or accept being benched, that is if you are emotionally, financially, and attitudinally prepared to get in the game. Respectfully intended.

I'm not gonna say you can't get 20% off, but I wouldn't expect it. You can expect 3-7% off, but you need to know what pain the seller is experiencing and the relative value of a speedy exit versus a vestigial gain. In negotiations, it really comes down to ego and understanding. I'm not gonna make predictions for the year, but I will tell you what I've learned this month and how it can help you.

I'm a pretty smart guy. If I don't know something, I don't pretend, I look it up. I learn and adapt. Quickly. I also communicate directly, although I'm clearly prone to being long winded because I want every nuance to be understood with as little left to the imagination as possible.

WIth that being said, I haven't read all of the books, blogs, or websites on negotiation nor do I know all the terms associated with the strategies. In looking for the lead-in image, I saw a lot of articles that mirrored my negotiation style, and that felt good. 

Here are some takeaways, you can click the pics/titles for links to the full articles.

The blog post linked below was written by a realtor, is simply stated and is industry appropriate.
A-team Image

Lesson #1: Ego
This isn’t about you. It’s about price, terms & conditions.


Lesson #2: Trust
If you find an agent you trust, and you are the sort of person who is good at delegating, then you will do well in real estate.

Lesson #3: Emotion
Real estate is naturally very emotional

Lesson #4: Credibility
You only get to bluff once.


Negotiation Basics: 8 Common Questions and Answers (ENTREPRENEUR)

This article is not industry specific but entrepreneurial in nature and focussed on a long term partnership. I'm gonna skip the 8 questions, you can click to read, here are the 3 takeaways.

  1. Never negotiate to the last penny.
  2. Always be fair.
  3. Don't do business with dicks.

The Secret Art Of Negotiating: Take Your Ego Off The Table (FORBES)
Keep The Discussion Results-Oriented
Be Wise, Not Smart 
Put Your Concerns On The Table

Now that I've gratified my own ego, let me instruct you on how to subdue your own and placate the other in order to win.

It costs a seller 8-10% to sell their property, just in terms of transactional costs. A seller is also emotionally shifting from one literal stage of their life to another during a time of extreme uncertainty, given all that is going on. 

For some, they have thrown the idea of profit during an economic downturn and global pandemic out of the window, but they definitely don't want to lose money.

For a seller looking to upgrade in the same or a cheaper market, taking a 2-5% loss will be worth it, so long as they get the same or greater dollar savings as a buyer in the same market. 

A seller that has a larger profit window may be willing to lose a pinky to save the hand, but that still isn't 20% off.

A seller that has a summer 2019 price in Q1 2021 will need to discount the property >10% in order to meet today's market. If the property has been on the market for more than 6 months, a 5- 10% correction will already be evidenced in the listing history. If it hasn't sold, there is still room, but not 20%.

As a buyer, you can likely push 3-5% more, UNLESS there is competiton at the time of your bid, OR the property is in scarce supply.

Yes the pundits talk about an excess of supply, but they are talking about 1.4M+ cookie cutter overblown luxury which is average only from a data standpoint, where 10k transactions happen a year in a city of 8+M people. ~3M housing units. 2/3rds of which are rented. So Average is well out of reach for at least 2m Households and roughly 5.3M people.

Perspective - Love is in my Tummy

When it comes to an investor friendly unit below 800k that won't take 2 years before you break even as an investor. Short Supply. 

A townhouse in good repair, that still needs work, but satisfies more than 80% of your desired criteria. Shorter supply. 

A condo/coop in a location you like, at a price you like, with renovations/upgrades to your liking, that happens to be on market because somebody decided to leave NYC after spending money on a custom reno. Shortest supply. You get my drift.

Leader In Me / Habit 4: Think Win-Win

Operating from a win-win stance, knowing that the listing is discounted from where it would have been pre-covid, that the real estate cycle has been reset, that you are likely buying at or near the bottom of the cycle, and factoring for the variables that will affect the length of your hold will lead you to "securing the bag*." 

*Ultimately achieving your goal of owning property whether it be:
  1. A future cashflowing investment vehicle and store of equity
  2. The forever (or for 15+ years) home for your family.
  3. or simply the place where you aren't "throwing money away on rent.
Thanks for reading this far. 2021 is off to a busy start. I have one condo closed, 2 accepted offers, one coop for sale, one condop for rent, and a couple of listings in the pipeline. I have room for 2-4 more, so LMK.

Oh, and if you want more detailed conversation about your search or my experiences in the market, pls hit me up. petercharles@kwnyc.com

I didn't get into the full details of each transaction, accepted offer, and closing, but each price point and property type provides different challenges, lessons, search criteria, market dynamics, broker representation, etc, so it's hard for me to put everything on wax so to speak.

Oh, and yes rents in certain sectors are down 20-30%, and some analysts say it will take 2-3 years for the market to recover, so maybe an investor loses a couple hundred a month for 2-3 years, but the discounted acquisition price combined with buying at the bottom of the cycle, should balance out over a 5-10 year hold. T..

Until Next time...
Peter-Charles Bright

82 Irving Place, 2B 
1 bed 1 bath Co-op
$575,000, maintenance $1050

This coop 1 bed property is renovated, the bedroom is large enough to accomodate a Queen Sized Bed, the living room can fit a Sectional Couch with room to spare and there is laundry in the basement. Most importantly, it is a 1 bed in the heart of Manhattan for under 600k. 

While you do not get a key to Gramercy Park, and the unit does not face the street, these features would cost you an additional 175-500k, for the same space. Location matters. 

Turnkey, move-in ready 1 bedroom in the heart of downtown Manhattan, enabling you to walk to work, and/or simply enjoy the amenities of one of the oldest neighborhoods in NYC. Gramercy Park. Union Square Park. Madison Square Park. Barbounia. Casa Mono. Pete's Tavern. L'Express. Within 5 blocks.

1200SF 2 BED 2 BATH $6495
Doorman Elevator, Gym, Parking

Serene and spacious this split 2 bedroom/2 bath apartment is located in the Flatiron District, steps from Madison Square Park. Whether working from home or commuting, the central location grants convenient access to work and play.

This spacious 2 bed 2 bath enjoys calm steady Northern light and a picturesque view of architecturally distinct neighbors characteristic of the corridor. The combination of wide windows and open layout really give this home a lofty feel, without the loss factor, unbalanced light, and lack of amenities generally inherited with true loft living.

Enjoy the huge windowed master bath w/ white marble throughout & soaking tub + separate standing shower, but make sure to draw the shades!! 

230 Ashland Place
Fort Greene

Repped the buyer on acquisition and on exit. 
$279/sf profit.
KW NY Tri-State/Manhattan Region and Project Destined (PD) are joining forces to empower a new generation of leaders in real estate, transforming Black and minority youth into owners and stakeholders in the communities in which they live, work and play.

Together, we are building a work-based education platform that provides a pathway to (home)ownership, entrepreneurship and wealth creation, by removing barriers to become a real estate professional and empowering students with the skills, confidence, experiences and network to launch their careers and a life as changemakers in their community.

In its pilot launch, the KW x PD partnership will provide 60 students, over three years, with:

-  TRAINING - 40+ hours of training in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and real estate

-  NETWORKING - culled from agent participation: (1) as instructors for the live learning component; (2) as dedicated mentors for students; (3) as speakers for the Executive Speaker series; and (4) as judges for the weekly competitions

-  EXPERIENCE - in pitching a live KW deal to KW professionals

-  FUNDING - to take the state pre-licensure course in residential real estate, upon completion of KW x PD program

-  ACCESS - to KW NY Tri-State/Manhattan Region market -webkit-centers and renowned training to launch their careers as KW NY Tri-State/Manhattan Region real estate professionals

Donations, if you are so inclined, are tax deductible. 

We cannot change the history of America, but this is our chance to alter its trajectory in a way that builds equity and opportunity in a real and tangible way. Won’t you join us in the endeavor?

How can I help you?
Buyers: 150k-15M. 
Sellers: 500k-5M. 
Renters: 1800-18k per month.  
Areas Served
All Manhattan
All Brooklyn: accessible by train, 1 fare zones
Queens: LIC/Astoria, Forest Hills, Jackson Heights
Bronx: accessible by train, 1 fare zones.

Property Types:
Rentals: Doorman, Walkup, Elevator, Loft, Townhouse
Sales: Condo, Coop, Condop, Townhouse/Brownstone
Commercial: Office Leasing, Retail Leasing, Investment Sales

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Brighter Real Estate Group
All rights reserved.

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