The High Road: Can brokers serve 2 masters?

(Image from Vectorportal)

Those of us brokers with more than one buyer occasionally have clients looking for an apartment or townhouse with the same characteristics.

The question is whether the broker can serve well two clients seeking, say, a two-bedroom, two-bath co-op on the Upper West Side in the 70s for under $1 million.  Certainly, no issues arise unless the broker finds an apartment that perfectly matches each buyer’s requirements.

At the point, the answer to the question I posed is Continue reading

Queens administrator to auction off 18 properties

2 South Country Rd., Westhampton

Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt has scheduled the estate auction of 13 houses and five co-operative apartments for June 13.

Included in the auction are properties in Little Neck, Westhampton and Monticello.

Minimum (upset) prices, which are set by Rosenblatt at 25 percent below the appraised value, range from $64,000 for an apartment in Jackson Heights to $675,000 for a house in Long Island City that was withdrawn prior to the administrator’s sales in December and March.

Below are the properties to be offered next month: Continue reading

Out and About: Live the impossible dream

Floorplan of Riverside Drive co-op “great for entertaining.”

The listing broker said the apartment would be great for entertaining.

I looked at her in wonderment, thinking she must have a dirty mind.

It turns out that she was referring to the kitchen.  But all I could focus on was the layout, which has the bedroom playing a dominant role.

There’s a good-size foyer at the entrance and then you’re in the living room with exposures so limited that it feels as though there are no windows.  Except. . . Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Surprising April statistics, persistently low rates, furniture trends. . . more

Have a great and memorable holiday weekend!

Please note: No new post until Tuesday

Viva les Français, some real estate brokers exclaim

Times tough for renters who smoke and even for well-heeled non-smokers

Condo developer says he’ll ask $1 million — no doubt ignoring publicity dividend — for Greenwich Village parking space

Going solar, River Arts co-op on Hudson saves lots of $$$

And developer renovating 6-unit Brooklyn brownstone expects net-zero energy use

Limiting search to no-fee listings may not be without cost or in renters’ best interest

One fifth of homeowners in wide area underwater

Sports figure’s Dakota apartment gets another down

Korean-American novelist proves that moving to Harlem townhouse is far from free

Emmy-winning son of Continue reading

There’s no good answer to a simple question:

What was the price?

There’s no question for which I would love to know the answer even more so than buyers of mine.

Whenever a similar property has an offer or goes to contract, I can count on a buyer asking me the amount of the sale.

But there is virtually no way to get the answer with any precision.

A listing broker would be foolish, indeed, to provide the amount in the event that the transaction falls apart.  Once the sale has closed, however, it is a different story.

The reason for a broker’s reticence is simple: Continue reading

True bidding war erupts at auction in Brooklyn

State Supreme Court Building in Brooklyn, where auction was held.

At an estate auction in Brooklyn that raised $7.225 million for New York City, a mixed-use Bay Ridge building went 76 percent over its minimum price of $1.6 million in a heated bidding war on Tuesday.

Not only was the competition for the property marked by the drama of late entrants bidding well into the final rounds, apparent handshake deals among the hopefuls and rare bursts of applause, but the auctioneer for Kings County Public Administrator Bruce Stein mistakenly called out the wrong paddle number when declaring the building sold at $2.82 million.  He then started to re-open bidding.

“You said it was sold!” many who attended the auction shouted as the actual winner strode in consternation from where he was seated in the back row toward the front of the courtroom in State Supreme Court, Brooklyn, where the auction was held. Continue reading

The High Road: Where in world has trust gone?

(Flickr photo by So gesehen)

I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised.

During my routine tour of open houses on the Upper West Side one Sunday, I saw two listed by the same seasoned broker in one building.  Although I wanted to photograph them for a future Out and About post, I didn’t have my camera with me.

A week and a half later, I returned with my camera and, naturally, asked for permission to shoot the living room.  That’s what I always do, and I can think of only one occasion in years that a broker declined.

Eyebrows arced, the listing broker — call her Faith — asked, “What for?”  Continue reading

Out and About: Get me outta here!

Do you wanna dance? Without the furniture, there’s plenty of room: That’s a grand piano at the far left and kitchen island near right.

Loved the apartment, hated the clutter.

This condo on a lower floor of a boutique building that is a stone’s throw from Lincoln Center in the mid 60s has a great deal going for it (though not views).

Among the pluses of this 1,586-sf unit are 10-feet-high ceilings, oversize windows, an elevator that opens directly into the apartment, terrific open kitchen with Viking, Pogenpohl and granite, small laundry room, and two lush baths that feature Italian marble, and plenty of closet space.  The living/dining room stretches 28 feet to the kitchen area and is 15.5 feet wide.

But oh Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Manhattan sales pace up, condo prices rise, inventory is tight, rates hit another new low, consensus on recovery is developing

Townhouse where Weather Underground dwelling was destroyed in bomb explosion is listed for $10.9 million

Mystery buyer pays $90 million for Midtown penthouse at One57, breaking price record for an NYC condo

Entering a tall-buildings race, New York could have 6 of the 10 tallest buildings in the country by 2016

Majority of respondents prefer smoke-free living in the city

Madison Square’s commercial identity has in places ceded to residential character in recent years

Developers now show reluctance to offer incentives to purchasers of condos

Asking prices, sales zoom in Continue reading

Staging can help sellers in an unexpected way

$5.65 million penthouse staged by Jill Vegas.

Rare is the prospective buyer who isn’t tuned into staging.

Approximately 25 percent of homes for sale are staged, up from fewer than 5 percent in 2007, according to Barb Schwarz, CEO of in a SmartMoney post related to open houses

She puts the average cost at $1,800 for a professionally staged property in the U.S.  In New York City, you can be sure that barely pays for painting a living room alone.

Although staging can make a buyer suspicious that something is wrong, something perhaps concealed, respected staging consultant Jill Vegas maintains that Continue reading