You’ve fallen in love with a property for sale in New York City. Based on the best information you have, you made a strong offer. Your strongest, in fact. But the seller didn’t accept it. Now what?

Throwing eggs at their window probably isn’t a good idea. But let’s be honest, you’re probably angry, or at least frustrated and annoyed. You started imagining making a life in this space and now that little dream is dead.

However, all hope is not lost! Here are the three steps to take to get back on track during your homebuying process.

1. Don’t take it personally

The first step is acknowledging that buying a home in New York City can be a stressful process. We’re dealing with a lot of money and people’s homes, on both sides of the deal.

That being said, it is important to understand that no decision is a personal one. Once you’ve processed the initial desire to scream into your pillow, you’re ready for step two.

2. Evaluate why your offer wasn’t accepted

Once heads have cooled, you and your broker should take a close look at why this didn’t work. It’s possible that you were dealing with an isolated incident in which the person on the other side of the deal was just totally unreasonable and nothing you could have done would have made this deal happen.

It is more likely, however, that there is something that, if addressed now, can make the difference in the next deal. Here are some real-life examples of things that can go wrong and what to do about them:

Offer was too low

Negotiations are always part of the buying process. However, aggressively low offers are more likely to offend a seller than get them to work with you. If this is the case, use comps to distinguish what a reasonable offer should be.

An experienced NYC real estate agent should also be able to provide more information about what would be a good offer. Remember, the goal is to get yourself into a home you love, not to find the property that will give you the biggest % off of their ask.

Insufficient or borderline post-closing liquidity

As you’re probably aware by now, coops like to see a certain amount of funds available in cash or cash equivalents, usually 24 months of mortgage and maintenance. If you’re short on that or just on the threshold, this may be a point in which the seller has to make a hard decision.

First off, you and your broker should explore gifting options. Secondly, you may need to expand your search to properties that will allow for more cushion when the board looks at your assets. This means lower maintenance, lower price, and sometimes different neighborhoods. For example, if you’re in the UES looking on 5th, Madison and Park, you may do well to expand your search east.

A non-real estate attorney was on the deal

Your broker will help you put together a team to get your transaction done successfully. A very common issue we run into is when a buyer client wants to use their Aunt Susie who is a divorce attorney on Long Island. In most cases, they’re FANTASTIC at what they do. However, like any branch of law, real estate law has common practices and nuances that are unique.

So when you’re picking the team to represent you in your purchase, it’s crucial to make sure they’re an expert in their field. Like you, the seller wants to get the deal done. So they also want to be sure that you have a team to get everybody to the closing table, regardless of what comes up. Look to your broker to make recommendations, as they should know at least a handful of great mortgage bankers and NYC real estate attorneys.

3. Get back in the right mindset

Now just because you know what went wrong, that doesn’t mean you’re 100% in the clear. There are almost ALWAYS bumps in the road when buying a home in NYC. It’s inevitable.

I always tell my clients that finding and securing the right home can be like a marathon. You have to be prepared to get winded once or twice. It’s so important to keep your eyes on the finish line which, in this case, is investing in a home.

Take whatever lessons you can from any deal(s) that didn’t work out, work with your broker to monitor market activity, and stay as flexible as you can, where you can. Happy hunting!


Are you looking to purchase an apartment in New York City? Contact Lucas Callejas, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at Triplemint!