WASHINGTON — Selling a home can be stressful. So can selling other people’s homes — especially when those people are unrealistic and those homes are multimillion-dollar Manhattan apartments.
Ryan Serhant is no stranger to real estate sales. On the Bravo TV show “Million Dollar Listing New York,” Serhant and his co-stars move some of the city’s most expensive properties while managing some of its biggest personalities — all while balancing their personal lives.
But Serhant’s career in real estate hasn’t always been so posh and polished. For starters, he jumped into the business in 2008, right as most were bailing out.
“In hindsight it was probably the best time to get into the business because it was really hard for everyone, not just me,” he said.
Serhant moved to New York two years prior as a recent college graduate to pursue acting, but never caught a break. A friend recommended real estate, so he gave it a try and quickly became addicted to the industry’s “numbers game.” Plus, it meant he didn’t have to claim defeat and move back home.
“I think a lot of people who end up being really successful at something are kind of almost forced to do it at the beginning,” Serhant said about never having a backup plan.
In 2017, his team sold more than $830 million in real estate and was ranked the No. 1 sales team in New York City. Serhant recently published his first book, “Sell It Like Serhant,” and stopped by Westlight apartments in Northwest, D.C. to promote it. That’s where WTOP caught up with him to discuss his top three tips for selling your own home.
Before you worry about anything else, Serhant said you need to price your home appropriately.
“It’s interesting to me that in real estate sales in the United States, it’s the only market where the seller gets to dictate what price to put things out at,” he said.
“So you have to pick the right price to actually go to market with, otherwise you’re not a real seller. If you just want to put a lofty price up there, you’re doing more harm than good.”
When you go to sell, it’s important to stop thinking about your home as your home. Instead, present it as someone else’s.
“The last thing you want to do is not declutter, not clean up things, and just say, ‘Well I have a great home that should sell for X,’ because all you’re going to do is let people walk into your home, instead of letting them walk into their potential future home,” Serhant said.
If you need a little design inspiration, he suggests picking up a magazine, and styling or arranging your space in a similarly staged fashion.
If your home is priced right and presented nicely, all you can do is list it and wait — and a little patience goes a long way.
“It’s a weird, weird marketplace, all the time — whether it’s going up or it’s going down. Don’t be freaked out if your home doesn’t sell in a day; sometimes it just takes time,” Serhant said.