The bidding war behind three hugely popular New York rentals

Photo: Nikola Strbac, courtesy of The Corcoran Group

Renting an apartment in New York right now is, by all accounts, quite a daunting task. According to a recent Streeteasy report, there was a “record drop” in rental inventory (the fourth quarter of 2021 had about 50% fewer units than the same period in 2020). Which means that when a desirable remote apartment (a decent location and maybe a fireplace or an updated kitchen) hits the market, it’s met with a barrage of pushy New Yorkers willing to do what they can. to close the deal. Realtors report terse bidding wars (some resulting in apartments going over nearly $1,000), extremely personal letters to the landlord, lineups at open houses, and absolutely no pushback on brokerage fees by 15%.

We spoke to the listing agents behind three recently let apartments, each of which has been listed at least 400 times on Streeteasy.

The West Village apartment with arched windows

Photo: Courtesy of The Corcoran Group

Registered for: $3,800
In fact, I went for: $4,595 (not the highest bid)
Total number of requests: About 600
Total projections: Eighty-five dates on a 2-hour open house on a Saturday, which had a long queue to get in all the time – a scene which went viral on ICT Tac. The open house, according to Corcoran listing agents Alexandra Newman and Ron Pamposa, was filled with “desperation”. Newman says she brought in people who said, “I’m Ben, please remember my face.” I will do anything I can to get this apartment – that’s my story.
Total applications: Over 20 harvested before the “best and last” noon deadline the following Monday. Agents received the above three offers before they even officially sent out the applications.
Who got it: Foreigners who came just for the weekend to view apartments. “They were constantly texting us; in this case, the squeaky wheel definitely picked up the oil,” says Newman.

The Chelsea Walk-Up with a massive skylight

Photo: Nikola Strbac, courtesy of The Corcoran Group

Registered for: $3,650
In fact, I went for: $3,750 (not the highest bid; there were several in the $4,000 range)
Total number of requests: At least 100 in the first 12 hours
Total projections: Forty appointments over an open day of an hour and a half. “People who passed by said they had already lost other apartments,” says Etie Khan, listing agent for Corcoran. “There was a sense of urgency. There was no setback on the 15% fee. It was almost as if people were happy to pay the fees.
Total applications: Thirteen (the owner’s first three choices then had the opportunity to bid higher).
Who got it: A candidate who recently moved to the city from Germany. “For this owner, the most important thing was to have someone who he felt would be approved by the co-op’s board,” says Khan. “So the owner ended up doing Zoom interviews with the last two candidates.”

The East Village Corner Condo Overlooking Tompkins Square Park

Photo: VHT Studios

Registered for: $3,400
In fact, I went for: “Hundreds of Requests” (this was the highest bid)
Total number of requests: Over 100 immediately. “That was all I did for days,” says Melissa Bolotow of the Clinton Stowe team at Compass.
Total projections: Twenty meetings spread over two 2-hour open days. The first open house took place on January 29, the day of the blizzard. One person canceled and 35 people were waiting to take that spot. There were two additional fully booked open days which were later canceled after an offer was accepted.
Total applications: “Multiple” (several bids were above demand).
Who got it: An East Village resident who had been looking for a while. “They understood how competitive it was and took a big step forward,” Bolotow says. “We didn’t think it would go any higher than that.”

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