On Vanity Fair's VF Daily blog, Evgenia Peretz recounts the experience of a friend who recently went shopping for a Tribeca penthouse, only to be insulted by a broker and misled about a property. "Manhattan real estate agents are smarting that making a commission isn’t the cakewalk it used to be—and lashing out at precisely the wrong people," Peretz writes. Here's the setup:
About a year ago, a penthouse duplex plus roof deck plus 'wine cave' in 'prime Tribeca' was on the market at $7.9 million. As the economy fell apart (and with it the desire to collect Cheval blanc) the price was slashed numerous times—to the mid-six million range, to the high fives, to the mid-fives, to just under five. At which point the businesswoman stepped in and made an offer—a cool $4 million. It was their final offer, she told him, because it was all she and her husband could afford.
She was treated to a prompt reaming out by the slick young real estate agent representing the property. “This is an insult! You have no idea what kind of bargain you’re getting!” he said, blaming her for the downturn of both the market and his life. “See, let me tell you how this is done. You come to me with a number, the seller comes back with a higher figure, then you come back with another figure, and so on, until you meet in the middle."
Long story short: The $4 million offer was accepted, but after some flaws were discovered (overstated square-footage, light-blocking construction next door) the buyer walked. Lessons learned, end of story. But not quite!
"Surprise, surprise, that duplex penthouse plus roof deck plus wine cave in prime Tribeca is still available, and another half a million has been slashed from its price," Peretz writes near the end. Unfortunately for the broker and seller, the lowball-frendly penthouse is easily identifiable thanks to the price history and details given by Peretz. Plus, let's face it, there are only so many Tribeca apartments with "wine cave" clearly marked on the floorplan. The plummeting penthouse is at 111 Hudson Street, a 2BR, 2BA condo with a 3,000-square-foot roof deck complete with solarium. The asking price is now $4.475 million, but something tells us the sellers will agree to a price a bit lower. Call it instinct.
· Listing: 111 Hudson Street #PH [Sotheby's]
· Blaming the Buyer [VF Daily]