What are the chances this co-op ever will sell?

To answer the question posed above, I would say the likelihood is zero. The possibility isn’t even close to zero.  It’s zero.

This terrace, which is next to a schoolyard, shows up far better in a photo than in person.

The listing demonstrates beyond a doubt that any broker can fail to price, market and sell a property through sheer stupidity or greed. The stupidity would be taking the listing from an obstinate owner. The greed would be “buying the listing,” as in promising the owner a higher price than the broker can deliver.

It happens that I saw this place maybe a year ago when doing my open house rounds to keep abreast of the market and write the Out and About section of my free biweekly e-newsletter.

I was reminded of the basement apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side yesterday when I received a mass e-mailing about it.  I vividly remember its numerous defects, not least the unit’s access via a shabby staircase, the tomb-like interior and the repellent terrace.  That bleak terrace has all the charm of a parking lot and no potential for significant improvement, with or without potted plantings.

A long-standing precept in real estate is that any property will sell if the price is right. The price of this property never has been right, and the pricing proves that chasing the market just cannot work.  The apartment’s price gyrations simply boggle the mind:

August, 2008: $997,000

October, 2008 (after Lehman): $899,000

November, 2008: $799,000

April, 2009 (new broker): $829,000

May, 2009: $799,000

June, 2009: $769,000

July, 2009: $749,000

Yet another new broker put the apartment on the market again the other day.  The price: $899,000.


There’s an open house on Sunday.  Do go and ask the brokers whether they’ve lost their minds.  Just e-mail or call me, and I’ll give you the address.  Or you could decide not to waste your time.  That’s my plan.

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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

Web site

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