This Week in Comments

Agents see the strangest things at open houses
1. None of these have anything on me… try getting a large-caliber gun pulled on you when trying to show a rent-stabilized fifth-floor walk-up where the tenant was an illegal holdover living there without a lease.
2. I was hosting an open house where the tenants of the owners were complete slobs. I had to hide the dirty jockstraps and gay porn before the open house began and you couldn’t get into one of the bedrooms because it was filled up with dirty clothes.
3. I found a stripper pole in the middle of a studio once.

Free rent? No broker’s fee? Not so fast.
Only in New York City do you see this kind of nonsense. The owner should always pay the fee, period. The renter-paying-the-fee business model is totally from another era and does not need to return. Landlords: learn how to use Craigslist and start using it. It will make everyone in the transaction happy.

Manhattan residential market shows signs of recovery
1. Prices [are] still unrealistic so price drops only serve to give an illusion of value whereas the reality is that prices appreciated at double historic norms for over decade. This rate of appreciation was brought on by Bubble Man Alan Greenspan only to be continued by Helicopter Man [Ben] Bernanke.
2. Price cuts are meaningless with regard to market conditions absent knowing whether the initial prices were realistic or unrealistic to begin with.

Chetrit pays $35M to complete purchase of old Standard Oil Building land
Owning the underlying land makes the property much easier to sell in the event of any default. It may be a perfect example of where a senior lender putting in more money makes sense.

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Pending home sales index down, NAR says
You have to remember that it takes an average of three months to close a deal. That means that most of these home sales were initiated during a slow summer.

Cutting out the broker as middleman
1. This is wave of the future. Hopefully sellers realize this too and list FSBO. Especially for high-end condos — who wants to turn over a fat 6 percent to the brokers when all buyers are putting in low-ball offers. Sellers are leaving so much on the table having brokers involved.
2. Who really has that much time to do all of the research — setting up appointments and doing the negotiations to buy property in Manhattan? It would be foolish to not use a buyer’s broker, buyers are not paying their fee, so what is all the fuss about?

“Fire sale” at 30 Lincoln Plaza prompts lawsuit against Milstein
The tenants who purchased at insider prices did so because the sponsor and his agents verbally promised them that non-tenant transactions would occur at listed or higher prices. The educated bet that the tenants made was in the event the market collapses, the sponsor will stick to his word, and tenants would get their deposit back. The sponsor backed out [on] his word and sold the units at a 60 percent discount. This lack of respect for the tenant buyers is not something tenants should have expected when they bought their units. That the attorney general’s office finds nothing wrong with this goes to show how hand-in-glove the sponsor and AG’s office really is.