Many New York City brokerages expand in attractive vacation locales, but Stribling & Associates has gone via Italia.
The luxury residential brokerage best known for its high-end Manhattan homes now represents about a dozen multimillion-dollar properties in some of Italy’s most sought-after locales, including Tuscany and the Umbria region.
The Italian project took off after the brokerage reeled in a big client: the president of Rolls Royce. The head of the luxury carmaker listed his Italian property with Stribling three years ago, encouraged by a friend who had sold through the brokerage. From there, “it kind of snowballed,” said Barbara Evans-Butler, a senior vice president with Stribling. Today, Evans-Butler said, the company has listings ranging “from a monastery to a castle.”
Evans-Butler, who is also a Manhattan specialist, and Irene Grassi, who is originally from Italy, are at the helm of the brokerage’s burgeoning Italian portfolio.
Real estate in Italy is a different game, the brokers said, particularly the attitude toward pricing properties.
“[Buyers in Italy] really are quite negotiable. … The difference between the asking price and the closing price is [often] quite substantial,” Evans-Butler said. “The pricing process doesn’t have to be as meticulously researched.”