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Take the kitchen cabinets and I’ll scream

Diary of a real estate rookie

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One of the things that makes New York different from the rest of the country is that co-op boards, with their need to approve new tenants, slow down every transaction. For example, I listed a property in April, went to contract in July, and will be lucky to close in September. This long cycle has a number of consequences; I think one of them is that it's tougher for a seller to detach from the property because no one is ripping off the Band-Aid. I didn't think about this until I went to clean out my seller's property. She had moved out a year ago, and her tenant had vacated about a month ago. I had been in almost daily e-mail contact with him, trying to capture him as a client, and as a result he thought of me fondly -- after he moved out, he told me he'd left a few items and told me to pick over what I wanted and ditch the rest. So I raided the fridge, took the Stella, gave the Molson to the super, and invited the owner to either rescue or throw out the 27-inch television. "I wrote...