The Real Deal New York

First dibs: Corcoran fires broker amid collusion rumors

Sandra Balan is now at BHS
By E.B. Solomont | July 08, 2015 02:10PM

Amid whispers that she employed underhanded tactics to rack up listings, the Corcoran Group fired longtime broker Sandra Balan. Sources allege that Balan, who is now at Brown Harris Stevens, paid Hallie Schneider, a longtime receptionist, to forward incoming cold calls to her. Despite being warned to stop the practice, the sources said, she did not.

Corcoran declined to comment on the specifics of Balan’s departure, other than to say it made a “decision to dissolve its relationship” with her on June 30. A Brown Harris representative said the firm “did not comment on the private matters of our brokers.” Reached by phone Wednesday, Balan said she was with a client and unable to speak.

Balan joined Corcoran in 1998 and worked out of the firm’s flagship office at 660 Madison Avenue – an office that houses Corcoran’s star brokers including Carrie Chiang, Leighton Candler and Sharon Baum.

On June 26, Corcoran fired Schneider, who was previously dubbed “the mellifluous voice of Corcoran.” In a 2009 interview with Schneider, which Corcoran posted on Facebook, the receptionist said her dream job was to do professional voice-overs. She joined Corcoran in 1989 and considered the firm to be her “second home.” Asked if she expected to be at Corcoran for another 20 years, she said, “I do.”

It’s unclear whether Corcoran plans to take legal action against Schneider or Balan. On Tuesday, The Real Deal reported that one of the firm’s top brokers, Noble Black, moved to Douglas Elliman.

To date, Balan has no recorded violations filed with Department of State or REBNY.

In 2014, she was among the top residential brokers nationwide with $68.4 million in sales, according to an annual ranking by REALTrends and the Wall Street Journal. Last month, she sold a $3.2 million co-op at 237 Lafayette Street to Mumford & Sons banjo player Winston Marshall.