The Times missed the real story in their Open House Smackdown report: the action is in the halls. A Curbed reader writes about an open house last month at The Sequoia (222 West 14th St., apt. 4H):
As we walked into the building we overheared a broker on her cell phone to the effect of "you're going to love it, make sure to get here before 1pm; I would recommend bidding at least $410-$415 first round." This picture (above) was taken at approximately 11:40. The broker Marta McLoughlin had just come out and said that prospective buyers would only be allowed in as other prospective buyers exited the apartment?which was already packed. Inside the apartment, the broker stated she was accepting first round bids until Tuesday (though she encouraged bidders to get numbers in ASAP, including giving out the phone number of a mortgage broker friend who worked on Sundays) and on Wednesday bidders would be notified if they would be invited to participate in the sealed bidding process. To make it to the second round you had to bid at least asking price. Comments were made to the effect that the apartment would likely go for over $500k (even though asking was $399k). There were 218 bids. I don't know the final results, although the other studio apartment also in contract in the same building went for approximately $475k a few weeks earlier (listed at $425k, slightly larger in sq. footage, but not as nicely renovated).
· 222 W. 14th St. Listing (In Contract) [Corcoran] [In the trenches of your own apartment search? Tell us all about it?and what the hell, send along your digital photos, too. Email tips at curbed.com. Anonymity guaranteed.]