How to get a rooftop Cabana and save thousands on a New York Real Estate Purchase

As a New York City Real Estate attorney, I saw the decline in the market a few years back, and many of my clients were now in a position of power. Want a rooftop cabana in your new condo purchase? Used to be 20k, now theyll give it to you. Want a parking spot? Sure, free. Sponsors were bending over backwards to unload unites, and purchasers (usually first time purchasers) were winning in the process. So what happened? Many sponsors pulled back and said “the markets going to recover” or “We can rent these units instead.” With this new attitude, purchasers, once again, began to become complicit and not ask for things that they wanted to. Closings in the past few weeks have shown that, as is always true, when you as a purchaser speak up, the seller will almost always listen.

We had one closing where we needed to close way before our mortgage expired. There were just some pretty serious circumstances surrounding the purchasers personal lives, and they needed to get in there. Initially, I just didn’t think it would happen. Contract stated that there was plenty of time to close. But, to the credit of my clients, they didn’t give up and they kept pushing and pushing and pushing. Sellers initially said “No”, but they finally got into the unit in the time period they needed. Squeaky wheel. Sponsors and sellers dont want to deal with that. Most of the time, if you complain loud enough and long enough, the sellers will in fact give in, or at least meet you half way.

Same thing happened on a similar deal last week for a new construction in Williamsburg. Sellers didn’t want to throw in the paying of transfer taxes (literally tens of thousands of dollars). The Purchasers basically threatened to walk. They meant it. This wasn’t so much of an emotional deal for them as it was a financial one. Purchasers complained and said everyone in the neighborhood had the sponsors pay transfer taxes. You know what? They got it. Sponsors ended up paying.

So the lesson here is (and it was also a lesson for me): Don’t stop being aggressive just because you think the seller is in a position of power, because typically they are not. Sellers still need to move units. They still need cash. The market is still WAYYY in the favor of the purchaser. Be aggressive. Have your lawyer be aggressive. It helps if your lawyer also wears pocketsquares, because that screams “aggressiveness” (even silk ones). The things you think you have no shot of getting are those very same things the seller will likely throw in if you make enough of a fuss.

Springtime is coming. People will start buying real estate in New York again. Make sure you get what you need from the purchase.