When is a kitchen not really a kitchen?

No one would mistake Julia Child’s kitchen for a typical one in the Big Apple.

Out-of-towners invariably know two things about New York City apartments: Prices are high and kitchens are small.

But how many consumers and brokers alike know what a kitchen is?  Yes, we have galley kitchens, country kitchens, eat-in kitchens and Pullman kitchens.

In fact, any space used for cooking either is a kitchen or a kitchenette, according to the city’s Administrative Code.

While a kitchen must contain 80 square feet, Continue reading

When is a bedroom not a bedroom?

Imagine solid walls on the left and right of the floorplan--they do exist.


How often have you walked into an apartment in New York City that is being marketed with more bedrooms than truly exist?

The fact is that the definition of a bedroom is not open to question, though you may well be excused for thinking otherwise. Continue reading

NAR aims to bar discrimination against gay people

The board of directors of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), of which relatively few Manhattan brokers are members, has amended its Code of Ethics to include a bar to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Final approval is slated for a vote in November.

The board  approved on Saturday a rule that bans Realtors from denying equal professional services to a customer on the basis of sexual orientation.

It amended Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, which addresses “duties to the public.” That part of the Code already prohibits Realtors from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Standard of Practice 10-3 also was modified to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any advertisements for selling or renting property.

The change, met with applause, was passed unanimously by the Professional Standards Committee earlier in the week. The measure will now go before the NAR Delegate Body for approval at NAR’s annual conference in November.

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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

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‘. . . will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate. . .’

Flickr photo by marttj

BROKER WARS: Tales from the Front

This is the final part of my series on broker ethics.  In Part 1, I gave examples of breaches that I have seen in the last year.  In Part 2, I described the minimum amount of training and education that a real estate agent must have to become licensed.  In this third part, I suggest a path for dealing with the issue.

To my mind,  a code of ethics that imposes compelling penalties must be instituted and enforced.

On the Web site of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY),  I tried to find anything at all about ethical standards, as I mentioned in my previous post. But the only information on the Web site had to do with class schedules.  Not a word on what the standards might be or what to do if a consumer thought they had been violated.

I’ve been told by a onetime sales manager in a now-defunct brokerage that it is possible to report an offense to REBNY.  (How continues to mystifies me.)  However, said the manager, nothing happens if you do so.

By contrast, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has a strong Code of Ethics.  Reflecting and greatly expanding upon state laws, it has teeth. Continue reading