This is, let me see, the beginning of my third year working as a part-time agent in New York City. I just recorded my second sale, which definitely put some mileage on me in a market that I have often described as "choppy."
It was a great win in many respects: a sale in my target neighborhood (SoHo); the first time I crossed the $2 million mark; and the first time I got both sides of a deal (grin).
"Little Rookie" is growing up. Along with the rentals I’ve handled, I’ve now had about as successful a year as the average NRT agent. What’s more, I learned a ton on this deal and I’ll get at least one other listing out of it.
It also took nine f—— months. In fact, I refer to this property as "the loft I sold four f—— times." When we first listed in the spring, the property was priced slightly low to generate a bidding war. It was a brilliant strategy that almost worked — we got a great offer price, but then the bidding-war winner’s attorney got hung up on details and the bidding-war loser failed to come through with financing.
After that, we raised the price, sometimes battled with the tenants who were occupying the apartment, and slogged through the summer. Two more accepted offers fell through before we found our closer.
Weeks on market: 39.
Number of unique visitors: 90.
Percentage of those showings actually conducted by me: 99 percent.
Number of open houses: five.
Time period of initial listing: six months.
Emergency short-term extensions of initial listing to cover amount of time it took to sell the thing: five.
Number of offers: seven.
Friends who asked me, "Are you still selling that thing downtown?": four dozen.
Income and expenses:
Gross commission to me from sale: nearly $50,000.
Approximate real estate compensation per hour: about $110.
Amount I paid to Web designers/computer consultants: $80 per hour.
Amount spent on gifts in attempt to charm recalcitrant tenants: about $500.
Number of publishing gigs I had during the sale period to support my real estate business: 12.
Amount of publishing income earned during this period: about $60,000.
Approximate publishing compensation per hour: about $75.
Number of times my husband has read over my shoulder and told me to thank him for the health insurance: one.
Number of other brokers who I developed the beginnings of great working relationships with: eight.
Number of other brokers who would have no problem running me down with a car: five.
Brokers who attempted to show up with someone else’s client and/or asked me to make a material omission to their clients: two.
Percentage of other brokers who came through who make four times what I do: 10.
Approximate annual income of the broker who would have gotten this listing had I not completed the sale this month: $5 million.
Number of other brokers who blew me away by their awesome awesomeness: two.
Number of those brokers who were over the age of 60: two.
Smart (and not-so-smart) shoppers:
Percentage of unrepresented buyers: 8 percent.
Clients and/or brokers who saw pertinent details or asked incisive questions that other people didn’t: three.
Ratio of those clients who came in the form of an unassuming, relocating suburbanite: 1 to 3.
Percentage of accepted offers that came from unrepresented buyers: 50 percent.
Number of potential buyers who didn’t understand the sentence, "If you offer me less than $1.9 million I still have to transmit it, but the seller has turned down $1.9 million cash, so don’t bother.": three.
Number of attempted "gazunders" (when a person who already submitted an offer that was accepted attempts to lower that offer amount before going into contract): two.
Number of successful gazunders: one.
Discount factor (closed price compared to last list price) in overall market at first list: 3 percent.
Discount factor at which this listing closed: 5.5 percent.
The offer process:
Number of offers at or above original asking price: five.
Number of offers accepted: four.
Number of good, solid, rich prospects who failed to obtain financing: two.
Number of prospective buyers who stayed heavily involved with the listing even after returning to their foreign countries: four (Brazil, China, Italy and U.K.)
Number of hot prospects who loved the listing and then went out and bought something 50 percent more expensive: three.
Number of people and/or brokers who made multiple contacts and said repeatedly, "We love it, we’re your backup buyer.": five.
Number of those buyers who put a strong financed number on the table and waited patiently for a current handshake to break: one.
Number of deals blown because the buyer’s attorney was bothered by a 3-year-old paperwork glitch that was subsequently fixed: one.
Number of vacations to San Francisco that were impinged upon by negotiating with clients who "couldn’t wait" but who subsequently walked anyway: one.
Number of brokers who said to me, "You’ve got balls raising an asking price in this market": one.
Number of times I flipped over a carpet to hide fresh dog vomit prior to a showing: one.
Days between accepted offer and contract: 48.
Points Dow Jones dropped during listing: 3,620.
Number of pages in fax I ended up drawing up to explain the tax schedule to an attorney: 28.
Clients captured for subsequent deals: at least one.
What my sponsoring broker is worth to me for guiding me through this: priceless.
Alison Rogers is a licensed salesperson and author of "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie."
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