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Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Isaac Metcalf


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.