Do apartments sold fast mean changing market?

After period of stability, an upward trend in volume is inescapable. (Source: UrbanDigs)

Something seems to be happening.

I’ve visited dozens of open houses on the Upper West Side over the last month or so, and each of the apartments that had been recently listed enjoyed heavy traffic.

Not only are folks looking.  They are buying as well.

Although properties in the second quarter were taking more than five months to sell (and that’s from their last price), I’m finding Continue reading

There is only one right time to buy a new home

See you next week.  Enjoy the holiday weekend!

One of my favorite posts.

In an uncertain market, the question on every buyer’s mind is whether it is the right time to get off the fence.

One buyer recently answered that question in an e-mail quoted by the Observer. His response is worth noting in part because of the credentials that he and his wife possess.

Robert Frank is the wealth reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of the best-selling book, Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich. His wife is Rebecca Patterson, global head of foreign exchange at JPMorgan Private Bank.

Smart people, right? They recently spent Continue reading

Land-lease building should be your last resort

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

The phrase “land lease” often strikes terror in the hearts of co-op and condo buyers and brokers alike.

It should.

That’s because a land lease means that the building sits on land it doesn’t own. Someone else holds title to the property and rents it to the building. Continue reading

This was not the liveliest showing of my career

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

In an online piece that turned up yesterday in the Real Deal, a clutch (flock, bevy, herd?) of brokers related some horror stories from open houses, among them:

  • “How about a five-year old breast-feeding?”
  • “A half-naked, sleeping couple.”
  • “When the listing broker invited my client and myself into an open house, showed us around the apartment and when we go to the master bedroom, the seller and his girlfriend were in bed — awake [and] reading the paper [with] no clothes on.”

Such accounts are demonstrably livelier than mine, which concerns an experience I had a few years ago Continue reading

When selling, don’t check reality at the door

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

Sellers tend to learn the hard way.

That’s the message of a piece in today’s New York Times, which chronicles the bad decisions that some sellers made when they listed their homes.

Among a few anecdotes, the newspaper quotes a couple who ignored their broker’s advice to ask no more than the prices of houses near their 4,000-sf place in suburban Houston:

You’re emotionally attached, so you think your home is worth more. I had a landscape service and a Sub-Zero refrigerator and an icemaker on every floor, but buyers don’t care, they want deals.

Listed originally for $825,000, the house being sold by Michel and Rick Shanks underwent four price reductions and eventually sold for $605,000 after 10 months on the market.

Well, doh. Continue reading

Do you pick your. . . feet in Syracuse

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

If memory serves, that headline is a reasonably accurate, if obscure, reference to the The French Connection, which starred Gene Hackman as the questioner.

What prompts the memory is a recent post by one of my favorite blogs, BrickUnderground.com. They asked the people behind Virtual Doorman – which provides remote monitoring and doorman services to more than a hundred co-op and condo buildings in Manhattan and Brooklyn – what they’re spying in elevators.

“You’ve got a combination of exhibitionist types and people who don’t think,” says Ralph Stein, the director of business development for Virtual Services, which owns Virtual Doorman.

Elevators are no long a safe site for private dancing.

Elevators haven’t been a safe site for private dancing for some time.

He notes that men and women behave differently in front of the mirror.

Guys are more worried about the things they’re going to get called out on, like checking their fingernails, straightening their ties, checking their nose hairs—I’ve even seen guys check out their chest hair, like opening one button or two,” says Stein. Continue reading

In fact, brokers as a group get no respect

SUMMER DAYS DRIFTING AWAY

One of my favorite posts.

The Harris Interactive Poll below proves what any self-respecting real estate broker already knows: When it comes to viewing prestigious occupations. . . well, there’s solace in assuming that at least used-car salesperson must rank even lower. Continue reading