Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Tony Sargent

27 June, 2017 posted by: CORE

Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Tony Sargent‘s sale at 444 West 19th Street, PH2 is his best one yet.

I was referred by a Beverly Hills broker to the LA-based seller of this West Chelsea penthouse. They’d bought it only eight months prior at $2,995,000, and wanted to sell at a 21% mark-up without any additional work having been done to the property.

The average price per square foot in the building was in the low $1,300’s yet we were going to market this property for close to $2,400 per square foot before all the new construction in the neighborhood was announced. After showing the property for 60 days to many buyers, I took the feedback from buyers (except that it was overpriced) and proposed to the seller that we remove all of his furniture except for the master bedroom set and re-stage the whole property with new furniture.

Working with staging consultant Susan Goldstein and her assistant, I spent six hours in their Brooklyn warehouse hand-picking furniture to soften the glass and mirrored surfaces of this unit. I also connected with CLIC! Bookstore on Centre Street and they kindly offered to lend me large-scale photography of nature which I innately felt would bring this in-the-sky property a more earthy grounded feel. Choosing more classic-contemporary furniture than the modernist white leather look that was already in the unit, I transformed the property over the course of two days.

In addition to re-photographing the apartment professionally, I did in-depth research into the nearby new development projects that were yet to be announced, and created marketing which touted the growing upscale properties that were coming to the area on 10th Avenue, before most brokers and buyers were aware of them.

Up until the transformation of the marketing, my seller had not received an offer above $3,200,000. Within a week of re-presenting the property, we had four offers on the table and went with an all-cash offer of $3,600,000.  We had a full price offer but the seller chose the lower offer given its all-cash nature.

The best part? Delivering an over market price by creating a look and marketing plan for the property that drew in a new set of buyers and created new demand and showed the apartment and area in a way that appealed more to buyers. This strengthened my commitment to bespoke marketing and its potential to deliver more for sellers than the standard price-chop approach that traditional brokers have applied for years to get a property sold. Why go down when you can be creative and effective and deliver more money into a seller’s pocket?

Finally, a buyer who visited the property and fell in love with the custom staging hired me to help them buy an area property for over $8,000,000. To succeed and then also be recognized for the customized approach that I use in real estate is something I am grateful for. It’s why I do what I do the way I do it – for my clients and for their long term benefit.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Isaac Metcalf

23 May, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Isaac Metcalf‘s sale at 537 East 6th Street, 5 is his best one yet.

Six months ago, I was asked to represent the seller of 537 East 6th Street, 5. This unit is located in a small six-unit deregulated Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) building in the East Village. This was definitely the best apartment I ever sold, not only because the apartment was large and unique but also because it really challenged me as a broker since they wanted the market rate for a HDFC apartment that was also a 5th floor walk-up.

After a few weeks on the market, I had multiple offers from well-qualified buyers. As we negotiated with the potential buyers, we decided on one and positioned another as a back-up buyer. As the potential buyers were about to sign the contract, we found out that the purchasers were going through some legal troubles and were therefore unable to get financing. While this was happening, the back-up buyer proceeded with another purchase and it left us back on the market with nothing to show for it.

About three weeks later, we had another potential buyer come through and during the negotiations, NYC’s Housing Preservation & Development and the mayor were debating reinforcing sale and income restriction on deregulated HDFC properties.  A decision to reinforce these restrictions would make it very difficult to sell considering we wanted market rate for the property. Did I mention that all this is happening in real time? The purchase ended up falling through because of this looming information. Therefore, we now needed a buyer with low income and high assets (due to the looming income restrictions) who also didn’t mind taking the risk that the apartment could possibly become a full-fledged HDFC again.

Then, about a month later, that perfect person came through the door: a woman who had recently graduated college whose father was buying an apartment for her. She fit the buyer profile for 537 East 6th Street, 5 given her low income and high assets. With that said, I negotiated like a pro after the offer came in, and secured for them a deal at only 4.5% off the listing price. Next, we went through the grueling application process followed by an equally grueling board interview. We finally closed last week and that day ended with probably the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.

537 East 6th Street, 5 was the greatest sale I’ve ever done and has certainly reminded me why I love my job.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Keren Ringler

18 April, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Keren Ringler‘s sale at 115 East 86th Street, 52 is her best one yet.

Nearly two years ago, I was asked to represent the seller of 115 East 86th Street, 52. This was the best apartment I ever sold, not only because the apartment is a beautiful home, but also because it allowed me to use my varied skills and strengths as a broker, negotiator and stager.

The seller had many sentimental furnishings and had lived in the apartment for close to 20 years but understood the power of staging and presentation when listing an apartment. By working closely with a stager, I was able to minimize furnishings, repaint in some rooms to highlight the amazing natural light and emphasize benefits of other spaces within the home. Finally, excellent photography ensured we came to market with the apartment being superbly presented.

After one week on the market I had multiple offers from well-qualified buyers. As a team, the seller and I devised a selling strategy and I was able to negotiate with all of the potential buyers. I went to contract within 3 weeks and closed achieving the highest price paid for this particular line in the building. What made this even more fulfilling was that the results felt like it was a win-win for all parties involved!


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Matthew Cohen

04 April, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Matthew Cohen‘s sale at 77 Reade Street, 5E is his best one yet.

It is quite difficult to pick the “best apartment I ever sold,” as I love each and every one of my listings for different reasons. Every apartment has a story to tell, and I love using the details of each one to figure out how I am going to tell it. If I had to choose, I would say 5E at 77 Reade Street. I always enjoy selling lofts, as their living areas consistently generate a “wow” reaction out of buyers, but there is something indescribable about selling a manicured loft.

This is what 77 Reade is all about. Ever since the beginning of my career, I wanted to sell in the building because of the true conversion details. The developer who converted the building to condos wanted to mix the old with the new. Lofts that appeal to buyers who like open space and clean details. Nothing describes my personal and professional taste in real estate more: minimalism with a mix of pre-war and modern.

Everything from the exposed brick to the white Canova kitchen to the wall of windows, 5E is a property that will always have a special place in my heart. There is no better feeling than when the property’s story mixes perfectly with the energy of the sellers, therefore creating the perfect aesthetic. 5E made it very easy to come up with a story, the sellers are some of the most wonderful people on earth, which equated to a gorgeous apartment. I sold the loft over the asking price in only two weeks.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Adie Kriegstein

07 March, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Adie Kriegstein‘s sale at 17 Minetta Street is her best one yet.

It’s not easy to pick the “best apartment I ever sold” as each apartment I’ve sold truly holds a special place in my heart and has its own unique story as to why it’s also a candidate.  I pride myself more than anything on amazing customer service and looking beyond the paycheck to the relationship I have formed with my clients.  When my clients enjoy working with me, it ends up being not just one transaction but many. I often am introduced to their family and friends too, so I have many clients with whom I have sold everyone in their family homes. With that said, if I had to pick one particular listing as the “best apartment I ever sold” it would be the townhouse at 17 Minetta Street.

To be honest, I wasn’t even aware there was a Minetta Lane in the city but low and behold, like many hidden gems in the city, it’s something I had walked by more times than I could count.  It’s a charming meandering lane right at the edge of Greenwich Village and the cusp of the West Village. In fact, some walking tours stroll down the lane.

When I received the listing, the sellers, who were referred to me by another client, put their entire trust into me, to get the home ready to sell. They had bought the townhouse a year prior and knew they would lose money, so there was already an emotional component to this transaction for them. The sellers moved out and I brought in a team of painters to repaint the interior entirely white and a top stager to furnish the entire house including the roof as well as a team of landscapers to revamp the garden and roof deck terrace.

There was a lot of interest in this townhouse and eventually it went for highest and best to a direct buyer.  A family came in and I immediately hit it off with the wife, an artist. We ended up talking for 45 minutes without realizing so much time had passed – it’s safe to say we are kindred spirits. I’ve since attended one of her shows.  As such, once they were in contract on 17 Minetta Street, they enrolled me to help sell their stunning corner loft at 54 Bleecker Street.

Truly nothing pleases me more than making long-lasting relationships with my clients and often deep friendships.  Putting so much trust in another person’s hands isn’t easy and I see that as the largest compliment and my proudest achievement.  Since then the wife has introduced me to her neighbors who are selling their home – it goes to show you never know who you’ll meet out there!


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Patrick Mills

14 February, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Patrick Mills’ sale at 305 West 16th Street, 2H is his best one yet.

While I of course appreciate beautiful design and homes that make you say “wow”, I am motivated more by the relationships I build with my clients and sometimes even their dogs! With that said, when I reflect on the best apartment I ever sold, it’s no surprise that I immediately think about 305 West 16th Street, 2H and the people who sold and purchased it and of course, the dog that lived there.

Apartment 2H at 305 West 16th Street was my 60th transaction in the building and although beautifully designed and well decorated, I really connected with the newly married couple who were selling it. Furthermore, I also found a friendship in the couple who bought it and were just about to get married. And then of course there was Mousse, the sellers’ chocolate lab who was the mascot for this great Chelsea home.

The aesthetic of the apartment was very warm and worldly, decorated with pictures from the sellers’ travels across the globe. A certificate for climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was prominently displayed, and simply being in the space gave a sense that the sellers lived a very full life. On top of all this, Mousse, the sweetest chocolate Labrador you’ve ever met, brought the home to life and filled each room with love.

It was fitting that a lovely couple, just a few months from getting married, came to the first open house and immediately fell in love with the home and Mousse. There was no doubt that the pair felt the warmth and love the sellers had brought to the home. The couple wasted no time and quickly submitted a full ask offer. We closed 45 days later. Since then, the buyers have made this apartment their own and even brought a new mascot, their golden retriever, Bailey!

This was an extremely quick and easy transaction, but it was the people and Mousse that left a lasting impression on this seasoned broker.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Adrian Noriega

24 January, 2017 posted by: CORE

15 West 20th Street 9-B 01

Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Adrian Noriega‘s sale at 15 West 20th Street, 9B is his best one yet.

I think every property has an interesting story behind it or something that really stands out, but one of the “best apartments I ever sold” has to be 15 West 20th Street, 9B at Altair 20.  The moment I stepped into the residence, I knew it was special. The sellers’ design aesthetic was inspired by their affinity for Asian culture, resulting in a colorful and inviting space that reflected that region of the world. While it was exquisitely decorated, it was very specific to the sellers’ taste so I immediately knew that selling the property was going to have its challenges.

The bright colors throughout the home were so distinct, I predicted it would be a distraction for potential buyers as they walked through the space. For the most part, buyers would step off the elevator that entered directly into the residence and instantly comment on the bold colors. After several showings, I panicked on how I was going to approach my client who had just spent a significant amount of money decorating her “dream” apartment and ask her to undo it all. Thankfully, I didn’t have to.

After a few weeks on the market, we were presented with two strong cash offers and ultimately the buyer that won the property ended up buying most of the furniture because they, too, loved the design aesthetic. Our buyer appreciated the quality and craftsmanship of the fixtures, finishes and the inspiration behind the space. They said the ambiance of the apartment made them feel at home.

In short, I chose this as the “best apartment I ever sold” because I learned to not always be quick to react or adjust things. There are always a number of factors to consider when listing your client’s home. Each client should be approached uniquely because in the real estate industry, it is not a one-size-fits-all type of market.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Henry Hershkowitz

03 January, 2017 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Henry Hershkowitz‘s sale at 340A West 11th Street, 1 is his best one yet.

It wasn’t easy trying to decide on the best apartment I ever sold. After making a list of my favorites, I didn’t settle on the enormous penthouse or the property in a glassy new development with amenities galore, but instead on the tiniest apartment I ever sold.

Located in the heart of the far West Village, 340A West 11th Street, 1 is a charming one bedroom apartment located in a rare historic circa 1850 “back house.” This minuscule but truly delightful home sits on a serene “secret garden” courtyard with lush landscaping, unique architectural details and charming sitting areas – all shaded by a 50’ elm tree!

The seller had called me a year before she was ready to sell as she wanted to prepare the home for the best possible selling price. The apartment had great bones and old world details, but hadn’t been upgraded in years. She was willing to put in the work needed to sell this home, so I advised her on what needed to be done to make the place shine. I visited every few months to examine the progress and give her more advice on how to improve the home. When the time finally came to list the property, 340A West 11th Street, 1 looked picture perfect which enabled me to focus on marketing the home’s wonderful details. Priced properly at $625,000, I expected the apartment to sell quickly at close to ask.

In the end, we sold the home over ask at $825,000, which thrilled the seller and allowed her to buy her dream home in the country. I was of course also thrilled. While this was not a big dollar deal for me as a broker, my advice and effort paid off in such a big way for a client who also worked so hard to make this result.

While the above should be enough to constitute this being one of my favorite apartments ever sold,  the story doesn’t end there. The purchasers, one of whom is an artist, were down-sizing and asked me to sell their place.  I have since become good friends with them and one of her gorgeous 6’x 6’ works, unable to fit in their new little home, now sits over the couch in my living room, reminding me of 340A West 11th Street, 1 every single day!


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: John Harrison

06 December, 2016 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why John Harrison‘s sale at 32 West 20th Street, 5 is his best one yet.

One of my favorite transactions ever was selling 32 West 20th Street, 5, a 4,000-square foot-loft space in Chelsea. What made this particular space so unique was that it was the former home of an artist, the late Lenore Tawney, who spent her final days weaving a tapestry of her life through all of her works and the loft itself. With little more than a small corner of space to herself where she slept, Lenore devoted the massive loft to the stacks, arrangements and hanging of various forms of mixed media artwork.

The challenge in selling 32 West 20th Street, 5 was to present an entirely usable space for a person to envision creating their own renovation while intentionally echoing the artistic spirit that defined the loft for so many years.

Working with the estate we decided to remove only duplicates of some of the art that had been collected on site. The estate agreed to leave behind some of the more iconic works of art that represented Lenore as an artist and evoked her contribution to her craft.

As we ushered potential buyers through 32 West 20th Street, 5, they realized that the loft was not just a “gallery” that someone also called home but rather an amazing opportunity to own an incredible space that had served one person’s creativity and would just as easily serve the next.

Ultimately, we found just the right buyers that fell in love not only with Lenore’s vision but the possibility to create their own.

Selling real estate means investing in people’s stories: helping some share those stories, and helping others write the next chapter in their own. For this reason, 32 West 20th Street, 5 is the best apartment I ever sold.


Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Heather McDonough

15 November, 2016 posted by: CORE


Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Heather McDonough‘s sale at 427 West 21st Street, PLR is her best one yet.

When I reflect on all of the homes I have sold to choose my favorite, the contenders are the homes where the relationships or circumstances extend beyond that singular transaction. It’s not about the dollar value of a home or a commission, it’s the results. Proof of doing a job well done, adding or creating value for my clients and building lasting relationships are what’s most important to me.

My favorite sale to date has to be the gorgeous Parlor Floor at 427 West 21st Street across the street from the iconic Seminary on the best block in West Chelsea. This particular client has an incredible eye. His ability to capture a home’s inherent beauty in a way that transforms it into the quintessentially chic New York City dream home is something most can only aspire to accomplish one day. My client made my job easy in many ways, but he also had high expectations which certainly challenged me as a broker.

We met when I cold-called him as I had a buyer who was interested in purchasing his home off-market. The buyer was someone who missed out on another listing I had in that same building. We were able to put a deal together where both the buyer and seller were extremely happy. Furthermore, the buyer and her extended family have now purchased a total of five homes in the same building from us. After delivering a top-dollar sale on the first home I sold for him, I was awarded the listing at 427 West 21st Street, PLR.

In the end, we sold 427 West 21st Street, PLR for the full asking price. It was a complicated sale since it was a self-managed co-op with very little building documentation but we were carefully able to put the deal together. This sale was truly icing on the cake – one with many layers!

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