When a Broker Falls in Love with a Penthouse

When you do enough transactions in the real estate industry, the inevitable always happens… lost bidding wars, co-op board turndowns, and… well… um… uh… the expiration of an exclusive agreement before you have sold a property.
Let me tell you how this just happened to me this past weekend. For the last nine months one of my exclusives has been my pet project. It is an absolutely amazing penthouse duplex property that is located in a building that my wife and I called home when we had our first child.
Maybe it’s my affinity for the building, at 309 West 86th Street. Maybe it’s the fact that my wife and I miss the incredible people there. Whatever it was, something tainted my reasoning when it came time for pricing.
Whatever the reason, when I priced the apartment last fall, I truly believed that I could sell it for $1.995M. By January, I knew I was wrong.
And when we dropped the price to $1.795M, I believed then that we could sell at this price or better. Two failed contracts later… I was proved wrong again.
Still, I remained confident (perhaps even a bit cocky after an eight year booming market) and proceeded with a marketing plan that exceeded any I had done in the past. Again, I was wrong.
Although I “had a hunch” that the market was changing, I proceeded with the marketing of this property for the past nine months (yes, the sellers were even gracious enough to give me an additional three months to sell their place) the same as I would have during the “boom.”
I was wrong.
So today, as I sit writing this and devouring a most delicious (it’s a bit tart) piece of humble pie, I realize again that we in the real estate profession must continue to evaluate ourselves, our businesses, and the commitments and promises that we make to sellers regarding what is often their largest asset. This is no small task and is never to be taken lightly.
That said, even though this isn’t my listing any more, I’m still hopeful that I can help these sellers find a great buyer for their magnificent apartment. To further show my commitment to these sellers and the integrity of my industry, I am even going to tell you that apartment 12A at 309 West 86th Street is a very special property and if you or anyone you know may be interested in a 1500 square foot penthouse duplex with a south facing terrace and a wood burning fireplace in one of the friendliest co-ops I have ever had the pleasure of dealing with (an living in), you may contact the seller’s new broker, Lawrence Schier at Corcoran, at 212-875-2969 or click to go directly to his web page (the property should be posted in the next few days). For somebody out there, this is the perfect penthouse, and if I didn’t love it so much, perhaps it would have sold by now.

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