Sellers await a better offer only at their own risk

It isn’t often that initial offers and subsequent contract prices are made public.  However, one transaction that recently surfaced demonstrates an important point.

When Alex Reyfman, former head of credit derivatives research for Bear Stearns, sold his co-op at 245 West 107th St. to William H. Ulfelder, who became the Nature Conservancy in New York’s director earlier this year, the price was $1,555,000.

This is what $1.555 million buys.

This is what $1.555 million buys.

The listing says the apartment has three bedrooms, a chef’s kitchen, a walk-in pantry, a 54-bottle wine refrigerator, a library, a 26.5-foot-long living room and white oak plank floors.

After four price cuts, came the coup de grace, an offer that the seller realized he could not refuse:

“We initially had an offer higher than this sales price—almost right off the bat,” the listing broker, Lori Huler Glick told the Observer. “Things just went south so quickly.”

Mind you, the property was listed after the collapse of Lehman.  And although the seller could have trimmed his expectations, he should have known better than to have priced his apartment unrealistically.  Then, he should have known better than to have chased the market, an ineffective tactic that I have called “death by a thousand cuts.”

In residential real estate sales, it’s axiomatic that the first offer almost always will prove to be the best one.  Of course, “almost” is the slender thread on which sellers hang their hopes.

And thus themselves.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201


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