Louisiana agent describes some buyers as ‘toxic’

(Flickr photo by Rainforest Action Network)

There are the hobbyist, bucking bronco, family man, armchair expert and, yes, hemorrhoid.

So says Doug Rogers, a real estate agent in Pineville, La., who characterizes each type of client as “toxic” in different ways.

Although I think he goes somewhat overboard to describe such clients, I also found his blog post to be mildly amusing, somewhat over-reaching and not a little discomfiting.

In his view, the hobbyist is Continue reading

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Out and About: Beyond sow’s ear, a silk purse

Silk purse, a co-op near Central Park.

Silk purse, a co-operative apartment near Central Park.

Indiana Jones comes to mind.  Imagine the challenging and unsavory conditions he had weather on the way to the treasure he was hunting.

So it would be for buyers in search of a new home as they approach the building where an 800-sf apartment awaits them in the very low 100s of a Central Park West block.

When they spot the building, a pet-friendly 1900 low-rise with no elevators and no amenities beyond private storage, they undoubtedly will note Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: March of rents in May, skyscraper wars, all-cash offers, inventory, continued rate increases, £2 million trailer

Manhattan rents gain substantially over year ago, two reports show, but Brooklyn’s median drops

Another report details continued upward march of rents in Manhattan and Brooklyn

Columbia think tank cites need for small city of new housing to accommodate population growth by 2040

Mayor outlines $20 billion storm protection plan one day after FEMA releases new flood maps

Then Bloomberg proposes major change in building code to enforce additional safeguards

Skyscraper wars dominate new developments

O’, the heartbreak of broken relationships among leaseholding couples

Borrowers rarely can utilize VA loan program in NYC

Outdoor flea, food market begins in Long Island City

He aces sale of of beachfront Malibu home for Continue reading

Why aren’t real estate brokers like travel agents?

Brad Stone

You would think the Internet would have doomed the real estate industry by now.  Or, as it has done with the travel industry, at least wounded its denizens.

A long piece on the Bloomberg Businessweek site explores the phenomenon, which has defied most expectations.

Headlined “Why Redfin, Zillow and Trulia Haven’t Killed Off Real Estate Brokers,” the article by Brad Stone notes that the kind of electronic marketplace that has decimated classified ads and taken the swagger out of car dealers “hasn’t dented the fortunes of real estate brokers.”  He continues: Continue reading

Brokers can offer rebates legally to their buyers

Eric Schneiderman

There has for some time been confusion about the permissibility of brokers giving part of their commissions to their buyers.

The money obviously can be perceived as an incentive for the buyer to ask for representation by a broker.

One reason that brokers may demur, however, is the New York Real Property Law, which declares the following: Continue reading

State admits to limited policing of us brokers

(Flickr photo by Metropolitan Police)

Real estate brokers in the state number 52,855, nearly half them in New York City.

Number of complaints filed with New York’s Department of State last year: 952.

Those figures were reported by the Real Deal in a piece about how hard will be enforcement of new advertising rules.  (I reported on the changes previously.)

Given what most consumers think of real estate agents and the number of times that I alone have observed violations of state law, those numbers just don’t square with reality.

There’s a simple explanation. Continue reading

Out and About: A sad tale of two kitchens

Brownstone kitchen

What is the antithesis of a “chef’s” kitchen?

One kitchen, in a townhouse floor-through in a Central Park block of the high 80s, fills a nook off a hallway.

The second kitchen fills, overwhelmingly, the living room of a three-bedroom duplex in Lincoln Square.

Both of them are stunning — in the first case because it is so inadequate and, in the second case, because it is so out of scale. Continue reading