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Charm School for Brokers; Stamford Dogs Seek House

Welcome to It Happened One Weekend, our weekly roundup of The New York Times real estate section...

1) Real Charming:
What's the next big thing in realty according to the trend-noticers at The New York Times? Charm school! Since we all know that real estate agents can often come off as deranged, manipulative sociopaths, many brokerages are now employing professional coaches to teach their agents how to project a personality that one wouldn't find at an asylum for the criminally insane. One coach, Dawn Doherty, teaches brokers "to present a more agreeable persona" and also "instructs brokers on improved work habits so they'll have more time to project this softer and gentler image to their clients." So in other words, you only realize you're getting screwed after the fact. ["Charm School for Real Estate Brokers"]

2) Every "The Hunt" column begins with the Hunters describing the apartment they want, and ends with them rationalizing whatever they came away with. This is The Hunt: Dreams vs. Reality:
The Hunters
A couple in Stamford, CT looking for a house for their dogs
Price
Dream: $600,000
Reality: $535,000
Neighborhood
Dream: Stamford
Reality: Stamford
Amenities
Dream: carpeting, outdoor space, dog-friendly, low traffic
Reality: fenced-in yard, outdoor space, split-level
Summary
This week's Hunters are literally having their lives dictated by their two dogs. They were living in a condo in Stamford, but due to complaints about their canine pals, they decided to start looking for a more suitable house, with lots of outdoor space and other dog-friendly features. With a budget of $600,000, they eventually found a nice split-level with a fenced-in yard and paid $535,000. The bad news? Their condo—for which they paid $470,000 eight years ago—only fetched $426,000. [The Hunt/"A Pet-Friendly Place in Stamford, Conn."]