Scanning open house listings a couple of Sundays ago, I noticed that one broker had exclusively listed several co-ops in the same Upper West Side building simultaneously.
There were a 400-sf studio listed for $279,000 in December, a 250-sf studio listed for $299,000 in April, a 310-sf studio listed for $315,000 in March, another studio listed for $325,000 in May of 2011, a 385-sf studio listed in August at a price now reduced to $340,000, and a one-bedroom unit listed at $850,000 in April.
Each of two other brokers has three listings in the same building, which contains more than 200 apartments just east of Broadway.
These are not isolated cases. In another Upper West Side building, this one with more than 300 units on a corner of Broadway in the low 100s, one broker had four listings out of the 14 on the market when I checked. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, how does 29 percent sound?
I don’t understand how brokers can represent the best interests of sellers who are trying to unload similar apartments at the same time. Although it is true that different properties will appeal to different consumers, it also is true that a good listing broker can tip the balance of a purchaser considering on which of two units to make an offer.
To me, the listing brokers’ conflict of interest can be avoided only in theory.
Tomorrow: Illegal improvements
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022