Like many a NYer, I dream of owning a townhouse (and if my Mega Millions ticket pans out, my dream could be a reality!). It’s fun to imagine my own front door, a backyard, and never hearing my upstairs neighbor walking around in high heels. I conveniently forget about the roof leaking, the trash needing to be taken out, and oh, the significantly higher property taxes. The grass is always greener . . .
Recently, a broker who uses Buyfolio reported that a few townhouses weren’t showing up in a search he was doing for a client. His search parameters specified a “3 Bedroom or more” condo, co-op or townhouse, but the townhouses he knew were on the market and fit the criteria, weren’t appearing as results. As we looked at the townhouse data more closely, we were surprised to see that most brokers did not specify the number of bedrooms in townhouses. I’m not sure if this a conscious omission or an accidental one, but I’d hope that on a $4+ million dollar listing, the broker would enter as much information as possible. The missing townhouses were in the client’s budget and desired neighborhood, but because no bedrooms were listed, they were excluded from our search results.
Once we knew the problem I wanted to see how others approached it. I ran a search on StreetEasy for Houses for sale in Manhattan and came back with 273 results. Next, I ran the same search with Bedrooms equal to or greater than one, and got only 174 Results. Clearly there aren’t 100 residential homes for sale in Manhattan that don’t have a single bedroom! But anybody that has # of Bedrooms as a part of their search parameters is going to miss out on roughly 40% of the available townhouses on the market.
We don’t want our users to miss out on any property that could be their dream home, so this morning we made changes to how we include townhouses in our search results. For townhouses only, we now ignore the number of bedrooms and bathrooms during a search. We’ll still look in your price range, your requested neighborhood, and obey all of your other parameters (i.e. doorman, garden, etc.). If townhouses are part of your Buyfolio search, when they appear in your results be sure to look at the floorplan to determine whether it meets your needs.
And finally, if you are a broker listing a townhouse, please include information on bedrooms and bathrooms in your listing. You’ll get more exposure to more buyers, and that’s never a bad thing!