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East Village Co-op Needs a Velvet Rope and Bouncer

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It's an old nightclub tactic to build buzz: Make people line up outside long into the night, letting only a slow trickle of customers inside even if the place is half empty. Increase the demand, limit the supply. Can the same strategy be successfully applied by real estate brokers? A Curbed tipster points us to the listing for a 700-square-foot 1BR, 1BA co-op on the fifth floor of 87 East 2nd Street, asking $599,999. It's not the listing itself that is funky, but rather the circumstances surrounding it. When our tipster inquired about the place, an e-mail was sent in return outlining quite a list rules. "Maybe I'm just naive about the market," he writes, "but it seems a bit over the top. Is this place so desirable they've really received 'multiple offers, sight unseen,' requiring pre-approval just to view it, only 3 showings, 1 person allowed at a time, etc? It's piqued my curiosity about the place, the pictures of which look pretty nondescript." Piqued your curiosity? Success!

Here's some of that e-mail:

As I explained in my prior email, we are limited to just three showings. Those showings will be: 1. Friday, 19 February at 8:30 AM
2. Monday, 22 February at 8:30 AM
3. Monday, 22 February at 7:00 PM

Since we have had more than 50 requests for showings, I want to reiterate your request must acknowledge that only one person will be allowed to view the apartment and that your request be accompanied by the following:

1. we are asking that only one person per party will be allowed to initially see the apartment;
2. when replying to this email to request an appointment you must include a REBNY Financial Disclosure Statement;
3. if you require financing, you must include a pre-approval letter from a local lender.

Again, we apologize in advance for these requirements. We feel they are necessary since we are limited to the number of showings we will be allowed this month.

We also want to let you know that we have received multiple offers, sight unseen, from perspective buyers and their brokers, and will ensure that those buyers have priority to choose a time to see the apartment.

Unnecessary hoop jumping, or a sensible way of telling non-serious buyers to bugger off when a quick sale is needed? Either way, there's a bigger unit in the building with private outdoor space also on the market, and we can only imagine what promises we'd have to make regarding our first born son to get in to see the place.
· Listing: 87 East 2nd Street #5D [Corcoran]