226 W 150th st.
45 W 139th St
40 Pinehurst Ave.
Photo By: Mathew Henry
By Bohemia Agent Michaela Morton
Two weeks ago today, news came down the pipeline to me: girl gotta move.
As real estate agents and actors go, I'm the least nomadic you'll find. I feather, I nest, I plant my feet in and root. But, I'm still a real estate agent, and moving is, legitimately, what I do.
So I thought it might be useful to take you through the process of what a NYC realtor does when she needs to get going.
Keep the parameters in mind: I'm a pro looking for a room, not a full lease, unless it's an extraordinary studio, and I've got time to work the system. If the circumstances were reversed and I needed a lease -- if I had money, not time -- I'd call a (trustworthy) real estate agent, promise them loyalty and a fee, and let them take the whole hunt off my hands. Cause remember: a broker is a person who works for you, like your financial advisor, and their fee covers a streamlined search, guidance, advocacy, and negotiation in the application process -- all the good stuff, not just turning keys. But if you don't yet have the resources to cover a fee, you can be like me:
1 - Email every-damn-body you know. Do this first. Don't even start looking at "listings" until you've exhausted the resources of your community.
2 - Sign up for All The Listservs. Professional, religious, hobby-based, and social. Give yourself a dedicated time daily to review new postings.
3 - Talk to your neighbors. You know who knows if someone's got an extra room or is about to move? The woman next door, who's been in the building since '96. Your super. The corollary, if you're not moving yet or you're just moving in, start talking to your neighbors as soon as you meet 'em.
4 - Talk fast. Don't assume that you have time to get back to anyone. It's actually less stressful to communicate immediately when you see that message / get that phone call / are tagged in that Facebook post. And unfortunately, even if you've decided on an official check-in time with a potential sublessor, there's nothing stopping them from sealing the deal with another interested tenant who is ready to go. Don't jump the gun or override your gut, but as soon as you know where you want to live, speak up. And if it doesn't work out, move on. You're not going to go homeless.
5 - Decide that this story ends well. This is a lil hippy-dippy, but hang with me -- I firmly believe that taking your plot twists in stride is the difference between shutting off possibility and being able to see the next good opportunity when it comes.
Real talk: this week, I found out my landlord will charge me a fee to move within their portfolio -- that makes staying put in my current neighborhood a no-go. Then I found a 1BR in Inwood, a place I loved and was ready to take, and I got scooped at the last minute. No special circumstance for this realtor. But there is special market knowledge -- I've seen hundreds and hundreds of apartments, and I can recognize a good thing fast -- and a special history. Because I've also seen my clients in the pit of despair, hanging on through three fall-throughs, or kicking themselves for not having grabbed what they wanted -- and yet, again and again, I've fought for them and seen good come from the disappointments.
Want the scoop? Keep your eyes open. And yeah: get your paperwork ready.
If you want to know more about the process or are ready to get on the hunt with a good agent, give me a call or shoot me an email anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org // 336-577-1379. We'll talk like humans, and we'll keep hope alive until you're home sweet home.
An actor, writer, and fluent French speaker, Michaela has a knack for connection and loves nothing more than making friends of neighbors and neighbors of friends.