A friend asked me last May to list a one-bedroom apartment in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.
Reluctantly, I agreed to his selling price of nearly $250,000 and went about marketing the place in every way that made sense.
I had the condo cleaned, photographed the apartment, created a glossy show sheet, displayed the listing on OLR (the database to which virtually all brokers and Streeteasy.com have access), placed ads weekly on Craigslist and paid for insertions in the New York Times online.
In addition, I held numerous open houses, sometimes on Saturday and other times on Sunday variously in the morning, afternoon and for several hours by appointment.
I frequently traveled to the condo in the northern reaches of Manhattan to show the place to a number of buyers, several of whom seemed seriously interested and a couple of whom never arrived. Without a serious offer for five months, I became discouraged.
When I made those subway excursions, I invariably found work to do in the vacant apartment: Water the plants, clean up dead foliage, throw away flyers slipped under the door, scrub the toilet, wipe window sills and other horizontal surfaces, and so on.
Finally, while I was in bed with a bad cold, a broker who happened upon the listing in the OLR database, called to say that he had a customer from Chicago who had to relocate and was ready to make an offer for the right price.
The broker, Tony Lara (who happens to be affiliated with the same firm as mine), went all out. He came to my apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, picked up the keys and showed the unit in my absence. He went to the trouble of returning the keys the next day.
Next came his buyer’s offer, which led to an acceptance for $10,000 more, and Tony and I are hoping to close on the sale later this month.
I have to confess that none of my marketing initiatives beyond the routine OLR listing resulted in the sale, though it’s true that my many showings demonstrated to the owner that the price had to be lowered, to around $225,000, after a few months on the market. The contract price, which is below the reduced price, does, I believe, reflect fair market value. I’m not so sure the seller shares my opinion, however.
So much for all my attempts to market the listing beyond putting the information in OLR.
A sale doesn’t always prove to be so frustrating and a range of marketing, so fruitless. Still, I have no intention of scaling back for any of my future listings.
That would be stupid. And venal.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022