Condo in luxe high-rise heads to city’s auction, other properties have much lower minimums

This condo at 401 E. 60th St. is one floor below unit to be auctioned and may be slightly smaller.

This unit at 401 E. 60th St. is a floor below one to be auctioned and may be slightly smaller.

A condo in the Lenox Hill neighborhood will be offered with a minimum bid of $1.2 million at the first city auction of Manhattan properties since June.

Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin scheduled the sale of 13 properties from the Lower East Side to Inwood for March 21.  Minimum bids range from $45,000 for an income-limited studio in Harlem to the East Side condo’s $1.2 million.

The estate of one Ronald Cohen, the four-room unit 24C in Bridge Tower Place, a full-service 1999 building at 401 E. 60th St., is advertised as having 1,130 square feet with common charges of $1,400 monthly and annual taxes of $21,000.  Active listings in the building average Continue reading

Tribeca loft goes for $3.15 million in city auction

The Ice House, 27 N. Moore St. in Tribeca.

With only a single competitor, a Long Island man won a two-bedroom, two-bath condo at 27 N. Moore St. for the favorable price of $3.15 million at the city’s auction of nine apartments in Manhattan today.

Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin had set the minimum price at $3 million for the more than 2,000-sf loft, which had been owned by one Veronica Lee in a building called the Ice House.  According to, Lee paid $774,000 for the unit in 1999 and died owing JP Morgan Chase $1.9 million left on her mortgage.

“I feel good,” successful bidder Mario Montoya told me after the auction, adding that he had been prepared to offer “a little more.” Continue reading

Confession of a listing broker. That would be me.

The building where I have a listing.

A friend asked me last May to list a one-bedroom apartment in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan.

Reluctantly, I agreed to his selling price of nearly $250,000 and went about marketing the place in every way that made sense.

I had the condo cleaned, photographed the apartment, created a glossy show sheet, displayed the listing on OLR (the database to which virtually all brokers and have access), placed ads weekly on Craigslist and paid for insertions in the New York Times online.

In addition, I held numerous open houses, sometimes on Saturday and other times on Sunday variously in the morning, afternoon and for several hours by appointment.

I frequently traveled to the condo in the northern reaches of Manhattan to show the place to a number of buyers, several of whom seemed seriously interested and a couple of whom never arrived.  Without a serious offer for five months, I became discouraged.

When I made those subway excursions, I invariably found work to do in the vacant apartment: Water the plants, clean up dead foliage, throw away flyers slipped under the door, scrub the toilet, wipe window sills and other horizontal surfaces, and so on.

Finally, while I was in bed with a bad cold, a broker who happened upon the listing in the OLR database, called to say that he had a customer from Chicago who had to relocate and was ready to make an offer for the right price.

The broker, Tony Lara (who happens to be affiliated with the same firm as mine), went all out.  He came to my apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, picked up the keys and showed the unit in my absence.  He went to the trouble of returning the keys the next day.

Next came his buyer’s offer, which led to an acceptance for $10,000 more, and Tony and I are hoping to close on the sale later this month.

I have to confess that none of my marketing initiatives beyond the routine OLR listing resulted in the sale, though it’s true that my many showings demonstrated to the owner that the price had to be lowered, to around $225,000, after a few months on the market.  The contract price, which is below the reduced price, does, I believe, reflect fair market value.  I’m not so sure the seller shares my opinion, however.

So much for all my attempts to market the listing beyond putting the information in OLR.

A sale doesn’t always prove to be so frustrating and a range of marketing, so fruitless.  Still, I have no intention of scaling back for any of my future listings.

That would be stupid.  And venal.

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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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