Why 12 broker teams have tried, and failed, to sell this UES townhouse

After 15 years on the market, brokers are at least within the realm of a reasonable price

(Credit from back: Douglas Elliman, Kenneth D. Laub & Company)
(Credit from back: Douglas Elliman, Kenneth D. Laub & Company)

This 1872 townhouse has had a rough go of it of late as it’s been pulled on and off the market.

Owned by long-time commercial real estate broker Kenneth Laub, 79, the property first hit the market 15 years ago asking for $35 million.

Since then, at least 12 different broker teams have tried to sell the house–and work on Laub to lower the price. Today, Laub’s still looking for a buyer, but asking for just under $20 million, according to the New York Post. Laub originally bought the house in 1986 for $4 million.

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The 15-room home at 163 E. 64th St. has been called an “architectural masterpiece,” “Versailles in Manhattan,” and “unsellable,” according to the Post, but for the first time, the new team of brokers–Douglas Elliman and Corcoran both have the listing–the price is now no longer so outlandish.

One anonymous expert told the Post, “Initially, [sellers] have aspirations, and they want to ask 15 or 20 percent more than what it’s worth. If you linger, then [you’re] not a real seller, or you’re so far off from where the market is.”

After the house’s first two years on the market, Laub seemed to be sporting a Devil-may-care attitude, telling the Observer in 2009 that “If I’m overpriced then so be it. If someone feels that the house is worth what I think it is worth, then they’ll buy it. And if not, then they won’t. And it’s not the end of the world one way or another.”

Nearly a decade later, Laub seems to be singing a different tune this time around. [NYP]Erin Hudson