Industry News

Charity gone bad

Diary of a real estate rookie

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Now I finally have confirmation that I'm worthless. The comedown occurs at a charity auction for PS 41, one of Manhattan's better (but still thirsty for money) public schools. I had received a letter at my real estate office asking me to donate money and/or goods to the auction gala, and I thought, "Hey, what a great idea." So I searched my closet -- not hard, because the stuff I own is already overspilling the shelves -- and came up with a couple of pieces of jewelry I had never really worn. Yay, I thought, tax deduction. Plus, I decided to offer a real estate consultation as a way of snaring a client. Since everybody knows that talking to a Realtor is free, I thought, "What's in it for the client?" And then I sweetened the deal by offering a meal for four at a local restaurant called, charmingly enough, Home. So I went to the PTA office and handed all this stuff to one of the PTA co-presidents, Mindy Garelick. She thanked me profusely for my donations, though she told me donors don...