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Ouch — Selling at a Loss

Selling at a “loss” is never easy. It brings up a whole host of different feelings; I know because I am in that position myself.

Six years ago, I went into contract to buy my current apartment at Hudson Yards. The completion date was two years away and coincided with my girls heading to college, leaving my rental nest empty.

I LOVE my apartment and being part of the expansion of a neighborhood that offers exciting, convenient, safe, and clean urban living, but my needs have changed, so it’s best for me to move. The problem is it will be at a loss, not a huge one, but a loss, nonetheless.

How could that be? Of all people, I am losing money on a piece of NYC real estate!

For a long time, I was in denial. “It only takes one buyer,” but the reality is the market has changed. I must face that fact if I want to move.

So once again, being in the position of many of my sellers can be very helpful.

Daily I meet with sellers who know their apartments are worth more than the number from today’s market or, like me, bought higher than the property will sell for today.

Luckily, most are not actually “losing” money, even with the transaction costs. They still have a profit, but less than they thought they would get. I have heard how hard that is to face, but I now can empathize in a whole new way.

When it’s your home, it feels more personal. If I bought Amazon stock, which has dropped by over 50%, I wouldn’t feel as stupid and defensive.

Realizing that I could have lost WAY more money in the stock market has helped me. I also would not have gotten to live in such a great apartment. I can choose to beat myself up or accept that I made the best choice at the time. Given my track record of making money on other real estate investments, I am sure I will offset this loss with another gain. You win some, and you lose some—the reality of life.

That said, it’s not easy, but I’ve got a great broker representing me (ha ha!), and I look forward to the next chapter!

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