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: If the place has to go on the market again, it is a mistake to disclose exactly what the seller was willing to accept.  That’s especially true if the owner had to accept less than the asking price.

Disclosing the information can lead to a costly downward spiral.

Since it can take quite a while for sold information to become available in public records, the best source of it at all stages will be the listing broker.

Sometimes buyers brokers can wheedle generalities from those other individuals, but the most they are likely to get before settlement is something to the effect that the price was “close to ask” or, say, “the seller is very pleased.”  Later on, hard numbers are easy to obtain.

So, dear buyers, the message is clear: Don’t ask.

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

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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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