The Real Deal New York

CORE star Michael Graves jumps to Elliman

Departure follows recent defection of Vickey Barron
By Katherine Clarke | August 12, 2013 12:00PM

Michael Graves, a top-producing broker at CORE, has joined Douglas Elliman after a four-year stint with Shaun Osher’s Chelsea-based firm, he told The Real Deal exclusively.

“I wanted to better serve my clients and customers wherever they are, including the Hamptons, in Miami and abroad,” Graves said in a statement. “Elliman’s size, strategic presence and partnerships nationally and internationally afford me a unique opportunity to do far-reaching business. [The company] has some of the most exciting new projects on the market right now.”

Graves’ move comes just two months after the departure of Vickey Barron, another top Core broker and new development pro, to Elliman.

A spokesperson for the firm declined to comment on Graves’ exit.

While at CORE, Graves brokered more than $150 million in deals over three years, breaking the price per square foot records at several exclusive buildings, including 7 Bond Street and 240 Park Avenue South. On Bond Street, he sold the penthouse apartment earlier this year for $9.2 million, or $700,000 above the initial asking price of $8.5 million, after listing it for a mere 23 days. He sold the ninth-floor unit on Park Avenue South for $8.3 million.

At Elliman, Graves will continue working on resales as well as new development, he said.

“Michael is the real deal. He’s savvy, knowledgeable, and he knows the New York City market inside and out,” said Elliman CEO Dottie Herman in a statement to The Real Deal.

CORE is, by design, a small boutique firm, while Elliman is an industry behemoth. CORE had 55 agents and $334 million in listings, according to The Real Deal‘s most recent brokerage ranking in May, while Elliman had 1,599 agents and $2.2 billion in listings.

Graves, a classical guitarist and Minnesota native, became a broker in 2009 after pursuing a career as a music composer. His father, Jim Graves, founder of hotel company Graves Hospitality Corporation, came close to ousting Tea Party figurehead Michele Bachmann from her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in a tightly contested race last year.

Graves’ listings at CORE included a $17.5 million New Jersey home at 105 Chestnut Ridge Road, which he was co-listing with Osher, and a $7.25 million apartment at 45 Walker Street in Tribeca. When asked if those listings would move to Elliman with him, Graves declined to comment.

  • dontstop

    The exodus continues. Good for Graves. I have worked with Michael in the past and he is a true pro and a pleasure to do business with. Elliman seems to get the best from CORE starting with Eklund and Gomes, then Rundhaug, Barron and now Graves. The million dollar question remains: What is going on at CORE?

    • Truth

      There are are two sides to every story…

  • Michael Raphael

    I wonder if he is as good at the classical guitar as he is a broker.

  • Luxury buyer

    I’m so happy for graves. He is the most professional, intelligent and interesting person in the RE industry. He is a total pleasure to work with and a huge rising star. Wishing him all the best!

  • jon

    Why are all the top brokers leaving CORE???
    WHY is the question…Hmmm something is not right when all the power brokers leave for other firms and in this case for some reason Elliman lately.
    Is Osher going mad?

  • Oouch

    Osher was a Douglas Elliman creation. That’s where he originally came under Vicky Barron’s spell. CORE was Osher’s boutique reaction against DE. He brought DE agents mostly with him. The others attracted to CORE were seasoned pros who didn’t realize the cult dynamic the Osher embodies, and they were the first to leave other than Eklund and Gomes who were in direct competition with Osher over time spent before the mirror preening. Ever since the spinoff has been from the agents who just got fed up with the silliness and opted to earn their rightful due. There may be ‘two sides to every story’ – but, we’re coming back to the same punchline over and over. No doubt about it Barron’s leaving was a trauma that left a lot of reverberation in the house of Osher.