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Schedule A Complimentary Buying Consultation

30 Minutes is all it takes to get started finding your next home. We can go over your needs, timeline and any items that are important to you. 

Image of Sean David Turner, Real Estate Agent, Brown Harris Stevens, NYC, Upper East Side, Lenox Hill

about Sean

Born and raised in New York, Sean brings his clients over 30+ years of building, design, finance, and negotiation skills.

Discreet, patient, and with an eye for anticipating issues before they arise, Sean consistently works with top-tier investment, real estate, legal and design professionals to make sure his clients have access to the most up-to-date options and information available. Equally adept at handling the unique needs of high-profile entertainment, finance and sports figures as helping first-time buyers negotiate their first home.

Picture of Sean David Turner, Real Estate Agent, Brown Harris Stevens, NYC, Upper East Side
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I can't speak highly enough about Sean. He is a family man, who understood our needs in the city as we searched for the perfect Manhattan apartment for ourselves. Sean was patient as he worked with us for months during a pandemic. He was always diligent in making sure we knew about every available listing as soon as it became available. Sean was never pushy, he was realistic and now truly a part of our family. I would recommend him without hesitation and would rate him even higher if I could.

-Narmeen C.

Sean has been great to work with, very pleasant, responsive and knowledgeable. He was always available to guide us and answer all our questions, from the first showing to the closing. I highly recommend him without any reservations. You will not be disappointed.

-Jen K.

Sean was extremely proactive and responsive right from the start. He was patient and extremely helpful, giving honest feedback and advice rather than pushing any sales. He didn’t try to rush the process but rather truly tried to understand what was important on my list of requirements and was always willing to dive deeper on any of my questions/concerns. He has a can-do attitude that makes him very easy to work with. I would recommend him to anyone in search of nyc real estate.

-Meghana C.

Sean is a great guy. Very knowledgeable about the market in Manhattan. He has an attention to detail and showed me a number of apartments that met my needs. He made my closing easier and handled the negotiation on price. I highly recommend him.

-Larry S.

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  • What are the added costs to have a Buyers Agent? Do I need a buyers agent?
    Great questions. Costs- There are NO additional costs to use a buyers agent in NYC. And you don't need to sign any commitment to work with me. In NYC sellers who work with REBNY members agree to co-broke when they list, which means the commission has already been carved out by the seller to be split between buyer and sellers agents. This allows you to have an agent that is responsible to you and your best interest- not the sellers. Your agent gets paid when they find you a property that is best for you. Do I need a buyers agent?- With all the information available online, many buyers start the buying process feeling that they can represent themselves and while the process of making appointments, coordinating showings, etc can be done by buyers themselves- there are a few (5) often overlooked reasons successful home buyers work with an EXPERIENCED agent- at no additional cost! What you can expect when you work with me- Loyalty & Objectivity-The Sellers agent will always be working for them- not you. Although New York State Law requires sellers to sign a Property Condition Disclosure Statement to buyers, many buyers do not realize this form is not required in the sale of condominiums or cooperatives. What you don't know can hurt you! Trained Negotiator- specific to the items in real estate that you may not realize are negotiable. Board Application Prep-experienced with board and making sure your application is presented in the best possible light. Access to All Listings+ Off Market and Future Network of Reputable Vendors
  • How are New Development purchases different from re-sales?
    Purchasing a new development property in real estate differs significantly from buying a resale property. New developments refer to properties that have recently been constructed or are still under construction, while resale properties are pre-owned homes. New developments offer the buyer the opportunity of being the first owner, in a typically cutting edge building, often with modern amenities and energy-efficient features. However, they can be costlier upfront and may have longer and unpredictable completion timelines. In a re-sale the occupancy date is generally know and much more predictable. Besides the move in, there are expenses that make the buying process much different: - Supers unit- typically each new owner in the development will contribute to a fund that buys a unit for the buildings super. -Transfer taxes- typically aid by the seller in resale deals, in new developments sposnors often try to get the buyer to pay- which means you will pay them twice, once when yu buy- and again when you sell it on what will then be a 'resale' transaction. -Sponsors attorney fees- although negotiable, sponsors often try to work into their deals that their attorneys fees are paid for by the purchaser. *Key point- everything is negotiable. Your agent should be able to tell you where the current market is on all these and whether they can be negotiated.
  • What is 'local law 11' & why should buyers ask about it?
    The NYC Facade Inspection Safety Program (FISP), known as Local Law 11, requires NYC buildings taller than six stories to have their facades inspected and repaired every five years. The law was recently enhanced in order to protect New Yorkers from falling debris after several deadly accidents occurred. Why should buyers ask about it? It's one of the items that can cause a building to announce an assessment to cover the expense. Nobody likes unexpected expenses- especially new buyers.
  • What is a 'Sponsor' Unit?
    Understanding Sponsor Units in NYC Apartments 1. Definition of a Sponsor Unit: - A sponsor unit refers to an apartment that has not been previously sold on the open market. There are typically two scenarios for such units: A. The apartment has been retained by the building corporation since the conversion of the building from rental to condominium or cooperative ownership. B. The unit is part of a new development, owned by the developer as sponsor units. 2. Advantages of Buying a Sponsor Unit in Co-ops: - The primary benefit of purchasing a sponsor unit, especially in a co-op setting, is the streamlined acquisition process. As a buyer, you are exempt from the rigorous approval procedures standard in co-op purchases. This means no need to prepare an extensive co-op board package or undergo an interview process. 3. Important Considerations: - Rental Restrictions: Ownership of a sponsor unit does not automatically grant the right to rent out the apartment. It's crucial to verify the building's current house rules regarding rentals. - Equal Treatment Post-Purchase: While the initial purchase of a sponsor unit allows you to bypass the co-op board approval, this privilege is exclusive to the first transaction. As a new owner, you and any future buyers of the unit will be subject to the same rules and obligations as other residents, including the board approval process for subsequent sales. Purchasing a sponsor unit presents a unique opportunity, particularly in co-ops, by simplifying the buying process. However, it's essential to understand the limitations and responsibilities that come with ownership, including adherence to house rules and the standard procedures for future transactions within the building.
  • What is a Condop?
    A condop, short for "condominium co-op," is a unique hybrid real estate arrangement primarily found in New York City's real estate market. This innovative concept combines elements of both condominiums and cooperative apartments. In a condop, residents own individual units within a building, just like in a traditional condominium. However, unlike typical condos, the condop also functions as a cooperative, with a corporation owning the entire building. Residents of the condop purchase shares in this corporation, granting them the right to occupy their individual units. Condops often come with a board of directors, similar to co-ops, which can have specific rules and approval processes for prospective buyers. This dual structure provides residents with some of the benefits of both condominiums, such as property ownership, and co-ops, such as a sense of community and control over building management. Condops offer a unique and flexible housing option for those looking to navigate the complexities of New York City's real estate market.
  • What is a 'land-lease' building, and what are the potential issues?
    A land-lease building is a building that doesn’t own the land it sits on. Instead, the building rents the land from a separate landowner, who retains ownership of a parcel of land but leases the building constructed on it. Land-leases are typically around 100 years in length at their inception. In the event the lease isn't renewed, the building may be seized by the landlord. Understanding the lease and the renewal terms is essential to properly evaluate a purchase. The biggest benefit? More square footage for the price. The potential issues? Lease renewals can be contentious and expensive- you need to know how many years left, who is the landlord, and what are the terms regarding the renewal. Typically have higher monthly expenses Lower resale value
  • What is a co-op and what are the benefits?
    Understanding Co-op Apartments in NYC 1. Nature of Co-op Ownership: - A co-op, or cooperative, represents a unique form of housing ownership. When you purchase a co-op apartment, you're actually buying shares in a corporation that owns the building, rather than the physical apartment itself. Despite listings indicating a specific apartment, the transaction involves share acquisition. 2. Mortgage Tax Relief Benefits: - Since the purchase involves shares rather than real property, co-op buyers are exempt from the Mortgage Recording Tax. This tax is typically 1.8% on mortgage amounts under $500,000 and 1.925% on amounts over $500,000 in NYC, which encompasses both New York City and New York State's recording taxes. New York State also imposes a general mortgage tax rate of 0.5%. 3. Affordability of Co-ops: - Cooperatives are often more affordable than condominiums or houses, offering a lower entry price for buyers interested in living in NYC. 4. High Owner Occupancy: - Co-ops usually have high owner occupancy rates. This means that fellow tenants are also shareholders who are equally invested in the maintenance and well-being of the shared spaces and the building as a whole. This commitment fosters a strong sense of community and ensures long-term housing security for residents. Choosing a co-op apartment in NYC offers financial advantages such as tax relief and lower purchase prices, alongside the communal benefits of high owner occupancy, making it a distinctive option for homebuyers.
  • What should I do first?
    Home Buying Preparation Checklist 1. Establish Your Budget: - If financing, obtain a pre-approval to understand your financing options and overall budget. Consider this alongside the maintenance costs of properties you're interested in to gauge affordability. 2. Select Preferred Areas: - Identify the neighborhoods you're interested in living in. Dedicate time to explore these areas on foot to discover which specific blocks appeal to you the most. 3. List Your Must-Haves: - Determine your essential requirements, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as desired amenities (e.g., washer/dryer, gym, elevator, doorman). 4. Create an Ideal Timeline: - Consider any time constraints you may have, such as current lease obligations or work and school schedules, to establish a feasible timeline for your move. 5. Understand Your Restrictions: - Be aware of any personal circumstances that may influence your purchase, such as financing requirements, pet ownership, receiving a monetary gift, making a co-purchase, or intending to use the property as a pied-à-terre. *Important Consideration for Co-op Buyers: - Remember that purchasing in a co-operative (co-op) building may involve specific restrictions related to financing, pets, and usage. Work closely with your real estate agent to identify buildings that accommodate your needs and preferences, ensuring you do not waste time considering unsuitable options.
  • 1. What should I do first to prepare?
    1. Determine the Optimal Timeline: Understand that time directly impacts financial costs due to monthly carrying charges. It's crucial to consider this aspect as it is a primary source of stress in real estate transactions. 2. Establish the Expected Price Range: Utilize recent sales data from your building, neighborhood, and city as benchmarks. Be aware that the figures from published sales may be dated. Consulting a local real estate agent can provide insights into the current market trends. 3. Define Your Criteria for a Successful Sale: Decide whether your priority is achieving the highest possible price, securing a quick sale, or finding a balance between the two. 4. Select a Specialized Agent: Choose an agent with expertise in your specific area or building. They can offer valuable advice on pricing strategies and highlight features that are currently appealing to buyers in your locality. Additionally, they can guide you on the feasibility and benefits of renovation work. 5. Plan Any Necessary Renovations: Collaborate with your agent to determine if undertaking renovation projects is advisable and whether it aligns with your sale objectives. Your agent's experience can help gauge the potential return on investment for such improvements.
  • 2. DIY/Staging- What improvements can I do myself?
    1. Declutter Your Space: Start organizing for your move by decluttering your home. **Pro tip:** Consider renting a storage locker to store seasonal items or extra furniture, making your space look more spacious and inviting. 2. Conduct a Deep Clean: Pay special attention to carpeted areas to ensure a pristine and inviting environment for potential buyers. 3. Depersonalize Your Home: Simplify the personal touches, such as reducing the number of items on bookcases and minimizing wall artwork. This helps buyers envision themselves living in the space. 4. Address Any Unpleasant Odors: Strategically place unlit scented candles near the entryway and bathrooms to create a welcoming aroma. 5. Apply Fresh Paint: A coat of white or neutral paint can significantly enhance the appeal of your home to a broader audience. Focus on updating the entryway, bathrooms, and any rooms that appear outdated. 6. Update Light Switches, Outlet Covers, and Light Fixtures: Replace old or dated fixtures to modernize your space. These small changes can make a big difference and are often inexpensive, especially if your building's superintendent or a handyman can install them. 7. Decorate with Flowers or a Fruit Bowl: Use simple replica arrangements to add a touch of color and freshness to each room. To avoid overwhelming the space, limit yourself to a maximum of two arrangements per room.
  • 6. Closing costs- What do I pay as a seller in NYC?
    This will depend on whether you are selling a co-op or condo. Your attorney will be able to prepare a detailed list, but use this PDF to get a sense of what the items will be-
  • 5. Timing- How long does it take to close once I have an accepted offer?
    Understanding the Timeline After Signing a Contract of Sale 1. General Timeline: Once a contract of sale is signed, the closing process can vary significantly in duration. It may complete as quickly as 2 months or extend up to 4 months. The timeline can be further influenced by specific factors related to the property and the parties involved. 2. Impact of Property Type: If the sale involves a co-operative (co-op) apartment, the board approval process is a crucial step. The duration of this process largely depends on the responsiveness of the co-op board. Additionally, during the summer months, vacation schedules of board members may introduce further delays. 3. Financing Considerations: For transactions requiring financing, the bank's underwriting process is a critical factor. This process adds an additional layer of time to the overall timeline. 4. Buyer's Current Home Status: The timeline may also be affected if the buyers have not yet sold their current home and need to do so in order to proceed. In such cases, buyers may intentionally or unintentionally delay the process. 5. Strategies for Timeliness: Working closely with your real estate agent and attorney is essential for setting realistic timelines and establishing incentives for the buyers. These professionals can help navigate the complexities and ensure a smoother process. 6. Expectation Management: Although a 2-3 month timeline can be expected under optimal conditions, it is wise to prepare for potential delays. Having a contingency plan (Plan B) is prudent, as transactions often take longer than initially anticipated.
  • 3. Renovations- Which offer the best ROI?
    1. Paint: Painting is a budget-friendly upgrade with a high ROI, chosen by 36% of sellers, according to Zillow. A neutral paint refresh appeals to buyers; traditionally, white is considered a safe bet, but gray is also a popular and safe choice for a modern, attractive look. 2. Reglaze Tubs and Sinks: For an approximate cost of $500-$1,000, the reglazing process can be completed within 1-2 days. This upgrade will make your bathroom fixtures look bright, clean, and rejuvenated, significantly enhancing the appearance of a tired bathroom. 3. Update Older Appliances: Without embarking on a full renovation, consider replacing outdated appliances with mid-range, stainless steel options. This provides a clean, modern aesthetic that can refresh the look of your kitchen without a substantial investment. 4. Refresh Kitchen Cabinets: A cost-effective alternative to a full kitchen remodel is repainting cabinets and installing new handles. This simple update can dramatically improve the appearance of an older kitchen, making it feel contemporary and functional, especially when paired with updated appliances. 5. Finalize Unfinished Repairs: Address any pending repairs to present your home as a complete, well-maintained property. Completing these tasks reduces potential projects for buyers, making them more inclined to offer a higher price due to the perceived value and readiness of the home.
  • 7. Pricing- How do I know if it's a buyers or sellers market?
    While national economic stories and macro trends matter- ultimately all real estate pricing is locally driven. To stay on top of the market, I suggest looking at three things: Supply- I use our Monthly Inventory Report- it tells us how much supply is currently listed versus the numbers of sales happening. Demand-Weekly Contracts Signed Report. This tells us how many buyers have committed to new purchases in the last week. Macro Trends- I use Greg Heym's Last week in Research report for a rundown on everything happening in economics and real estate. Supply: Demand:
  • 4. Showings- How should I prep for my showings?
    Pre-Showing Home Preparation Checklist Kitchen: 1. Remove all garbage to ensure a clean and fresh environment. 2. Run the dishwasher to clear any dirty dishes and maintain tidiness. 3. Put away removable counter items to reduce clutter and enhance the sense of space. 4. Wipe down countertops and sinks for a clean and hygienic appearance. Living Area: 1. Straighten and tidy up couches and chairs to create a welcoming and orderly space. 2. Perform a quick vacuum or dusting to ensure the area is clean and inviting. Bathroom: 1. Conduct a quick clean of the toilet and ensure the lid is down—this detail matters. 2. Wipe down the shower area to present a clean and maintained bathroom. 3. Organize toiletries into a caddy and tuck them away to minimize visual clutter. Bedroom: 1. Ensure the bed is made and pillows are fluffed for an appealing and cozy appearance. 2. Tidy up the room by putting clothes away and maintaining a neat environment. 3. Put away personal items to depersonalize the space, allowing potential buyers to envision themselves in the home.
  • *Bonus* Professional referrals- Do you have a recommendations for lawyers, contractors, movers, etc?
    Yes! If needed I can refer you to- lawyers, decorators, contractors, movers- pretty much anything related to property and life in NYC in general. One of the benefits of working with an agent is having someone to call when you don't know who to ask. From pets, to property my network is yours when we work together.

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Buying an Apartment | Selling an Apartment
Sean Turner NYC
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