It’s what I like to call the bachelor’s dilemma: Have I seen everything yet?
Sure, I saw some stuff that I liked. Hey, I even saw some stuff that was great. There was that one, last weekend, I fell in love with that. And could have lived with it forever, and been blissfully happy.
But I don’t want to bid on it because maybe there’s something I haven’t seen yet.
I bet clients have always been this way, but I’m willing to venture that today the reluctance is worse than ever. And I blame the Internet: Craigslist, for one, serves up the equivalent of Internet porn, listings that buyers salivate over and that I have to try and replicate in the cold, hard light of day.
Take this: “Sunny Midown Studio with terrfic city views!
24 Hour Doorman/ Elevator Building
Steps to Time Warner Center and Columbus Circle.
Central Park is 4 blocks away.”
Spelling aside, it doesn’t sound like a bad apartment. And my buyer who was looking all over Midtown West wanted to see it.
So I called the broker who was listed on the ad, and they said, hey it’s an open listing, we’re not going to tell you where it is. So I asked them enough questions that I could pinpoint the building, and then strolled over to talk to the doorman.
“I’m a real estate agent and I’m looking for an apartment for sale in this building,” I said.
“There were two but they’ve been sold,” he said.
“That’s funny, I heard there was one available, if you hear of anything, will you call me?” I replied.
So then I jackrabbited back to my computer and called the two agents who had just sold in that building. One I knew, and she told me where the FSBO was. She’d seen it, and we established that it was in good condition but small (which you can kinda tell by the photos anyway).
So I left another note the next day, this one for the seller. (“You look familiar,” said the doorman.) I’m not trying to break my back for my buyer to see the place, since I think it’s a little small, and the owner is asking 8 percent above the two just-sold comparables. But I feel like I have to try.
And I’ve shown my buyer nine apartments. Prewar, postwar, walkup, elevator, doorman… the one she should buy was #6, she loved and it and I knew she loved it. Her parents liked it. It just fit, you know what I mean? What’s more, as we finished up the circuit, everybody kept circling back around to talk about it, the way you go, “hey, remember that really great dinner we had last weekend.”
But she’s not yet ready to make the jump. I’m scared that by the time she steels herself, the great apartment will be gone – not an unusual fear in the market segment she’s playing in, where three hundred thou represents an outrageously expensive starter apartment for her, but merely a cheap pied-a-terre near Lincoln Center for some suburban dentist. I’m trying to prod my buyer, but part of her reluctance to commit is the idea that #10 is out there somewhere. The perfect ten, just out of her reach, and if she sees it that will be it, that will be everything.
Maybe I’ll write the FSBO a really nice letter.
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