My advice would be to move on and hire a buyer's agent for the next apartment. If you wanted the apartment rather than "following it" you should have made an offer when it was for sale when you saw it. If it sold a few weeks ago it was probably in play a couple of months ago.
Apartments are not stocks. Following it? What were you waiting for?
You snooze you lose. Now your chasing the market.
In my opinion you need to be alert, prepared, ready, willing and able to purchase next time you see an apartment you like. The market in Manhattan and Brooklyn is on fire and moves fast.
Bidding, bidding wars, highest and best offers are now the norm but they take place before the apartment is sold.
The Corcoran Group
In the future, you need to be prepared. If you need financing, get a pre-approval from a lender, now. Put together your financial statement. When you see something you like, submitting all the documents that will convince the seller that you are the person they should go with is important! Get a good broker to represent your interest. The commission on the transaction has already been negotiated between the seller and their broker, therefore, you will get very little and lose a great deal.... Literally, if you do not have the help and ammunition you need.
Unfortunately, the time for you to have made an offer on this apartment would have been when it was still on the market.
Someone just purchased it. Why would they want to sell it? You say you can make a generous offer? If that were me you would have to offer triple or more for what I paid for the apartment in order for me to sell and be inconvenienced. And if I really loved the apartment, why would I want to sell?
Best advice, as you've also received below --- move on, find a good buyer's broker and when you see the apartment you love -- don't wait. Make the offer and sign the contract!
There is little inventory available and the marjet is moving very quickly. Find yourself another apartment and be happy!
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Member of Real Estate Board of New York
770 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10065