Pimps are not the only procurers in town

(Flickr photo by RedMorris)

There’s a phrase in the real estate industry that you hear in most housing markets outside of New York City.  It is “procuring cause,” and so arrested is my development that the words make me want to giggle.

But procuring cause is no laughing matter.

Nor is it as arcane as you might imagine.  Yet the only reference I could find in my 390-page text on New York real estate was its definition in the glossary:

The basis for a direct action that results in successfully completing an objective.

In common parlance relating to real estate, the phrase implies Continue reading

The High Road: Don’t pay your broker a cent!

What could be nicer for a real estate broker than to have a grateful client?

Many of us have had such a buyer or seller, one who wanted to express his or her thanks with money or a valuable gift.

That’s a thoughtful gesture!

There also are the rare clients who decide that there’s no reason for the broker to split the entire commission with the firm to which the broker is affiliated.  Continue reading

Out and About: All real estate is not only local

It is several months since I wrote about an expansive and expensively renovated condo in the 70s east of Broadway on the Upper West Side.

(flickr photo by Jude Doyland)

The combined 3,180-sf unit bowled me over in terms of extraordinarily sensible and stylish design.  My only complaint was the exposure from a low floor: the walls of the building opposite the apartment.

At the time, I suspected that such a deficit would be an obstacle to its asking price of $5.3 million when it was listed back on Feb. 16.  But I didn’t recognize how big a problem it would become.

It was only a matter of time before the price began to drop as the lofty apartment languished on the market.  Have a look at its history since it was offered for sale: Continue reading

In the world of real estate, ‘stale’ is a dirty word

Nobody likes stale peanuts, pastry or bread (except perhaps cooks preparing croutons or turkey stuffing).

Nobody is a fan of stale listings either.  (You knew I was headed there, I’m sure.)

Unfortunately, those buyers seeking a tempting apartment that has been newly offered on the Upper West Side will encounter, instead, a collection of co-ops and condos turning grey and grubby with age.

Employing statistics from the OLR (Online Residential) database — which many brokers use, including me — I arbitrarily checked time on the market of listings offered at prices between $450,000 and $1 million.  Continue reading

Public administrator schedules auction of 23 properties in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island

Multifamily building in Brooklyn with $604,000 minimum bid

An estate auction of a Brooklyn multifamily building, five apartments and 17 single-family houses will be conducted Dec. 13 starting at 11 a.m., according to an announcement by Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt.

Minimum prices range from $78,000 for a one-bedroom co-op in Jackson Heights to $$604,000 for an apartment building in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.

Four of the properties Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Rising condo taxes, foreclosure woes, price declines, ‘typical’ buyer, much more

Next week, I’ll have just one or two posts and hope that my readers have a very happy Thanksgiving.

Library is great resource for the history of your building

For $1,000 a month, an UWS apartment — uh, room or closet — can be yours!

Yesterday’s buyers in tax-abated buildings come to grips with tomorrow’s escalating costs

More folks moved to the city last year than left it for the first time in decades

A Times columnist tries out Airbnb in the city

City’s wealthy suburbs among nation’s hardest hit by foreclosures

Condos in unbuilt UES development boom as in times gone by

Pre-foreclosure filings in October down 20% from September and 39% from one year earlier

Brooklyn is friendliest borough to (wo)man’s best friend

What is the definition of ‘market value’

Nemo and Mickey join Department of Housing Preservation and Development

WestSideRag posts funny, cutting rant about broker babble

Unemployment rate ticks up, concerning at least one economist

He sees rich people for this Sun Valley listing

Fashion designer Continue reading

The High Road: With disclosure doubts, don’t ask

(Flickr photo by Auntie P)

Have you heard this observation before?

If you have to ask, you already know the answer.

Naive sellers may ask their listing brokers whether a certain defect needs to be disclosed.  The most sophisticated sellers know better than to ask their agent: They appreciate that the law obligates brokers to disclose defects of which they are aware.

At the same time, New York State is among the most permissive in the nation when it comes to seller disclosures. Continue reading