Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Good Luck, Corcoran: 110 Gates Avenue

Corcoran does a lot of things well and, in return, sort of gets to dictate their own market. They dropped 110 Gates Avenue on ya for $2.495M back in October 2011, first of all because they can. And second of all, because they sold 103 Greene Avenue for $2.09M back in July 2011. (Nevermind that that was $10K less than the sellers paid for it in 2007, which - minus carrying costs, fees, any upgrades, and Corcoran's 6% commission - takes a heavy toll on the loss mitigation.) In lock-step with their typical marching orders, after giving ballers first dibs on over-paying, they quickly dropped the list price for 110 Gates by a quarter million dollars after its first month, then another quarter million in January. Now it's up against the gorgeous 91 Cambridge Place, which probably took its pricing cues from the other Cambridge Place they just sold, and from 110 Gates' latest price. You want a lot of nice, finished house for $1.99M when you go to Clinton Hill, and you sure get it:

There's probably, ultimately, more value in doing your own finishing touches to other 20-footers with original details (that Corcoran also had, by the ways) like 122 Gates Avenue and 101 Gates Avenue, which each flew off the shelves much faster.

Corcoran doesn't need any good luck wishes from us. They've got the most visibility, the biggest presence, the sleekest look, usually take the most & the best pictures, but we're not sure if we're seeing this price on 110 Gates Avenue. They also haven't called us back on a $2.5M+ listing for a Platinum Member who's an all-cash buyer, so we can't very well see how they intend to sell arguably over-priced $2M listings if they can't even service their $2.5M+ listings. You'd think earning a commission of $150K+ would get them off their bums, but alas, this remains one of the most perplexing industries ever. You'd think as the prices went up, so would the professionalism, but... nope!

Also perplexing, recently Corcoran joined Brownstoner's Marketplace, which was a "No duh" in our book because - prior to this development & to this day - most of Brownstoner's picks for "House of the Day" (the true poppa bear to the BK to the Fullest style) were easy-to-find Corcoran listings anyways. So if their "hope was to assemble the most comprehensive Brooklyn listings site on web" as they say, what's adding a bunch of listings everybody already knows about really doing? Not to mention the fact that you have to pay to list with Brownstoner, so ostensibly at least 10 great listings come to mind that aren't on Brownstoner Marketplace. Thus, the needle in a haystack process that is a house hunt in Brooklyn continues. Also poignant are the comments on the page for this story on Brownstoner. "R.I.P. objective, truthful market comments," one reader writes, lamenting the loss of the price widget and other analysis (usually in the form of snark). Accordingly, it's no coincidence that the comments for that page were also promptly "closed". And another comment, "Isn't Streeteasy a comprehensive listing site?" is another misconception of the Brooklyn real estate market.

Same thing with REBNY, which is, from all we can tell, just a cartel of all the brokers everybody already knows (with listings that are already easy to find), who often treat non-REBNY members like junk just because they can. Which has led notoriously-unprofessional brokers like Warren Lewis to pull an "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" and become members of the cartel. They must've gotten so tired of getting bullied by REBNY members, that they joined forces and quickly decided to start bullying other non-REBNY members as they themselves were once bullied. And all non-REBNY members have in their arsenal to retaliate with, in a terrible feedback loop of negative reciprocity, is to not cooperate with REBNY members. The cycle of abuse continues, and buyers are damned if they do & damned if they don't.

In our book, all of this is just the petty under-belly that real buyers could care less about. They just want the best house in the best neighborhood for the best price. And that's what BK to the Fullest is here for.

Pro's: gorgeous interior, 20' wide, nice backyard, owner's duplex + $2,000/month rental units, great block for Clinton Hill

Con's: price, might not be your taste, more value in doing your own renovation, you shouldn't have to bully your way into a $2M+ listing (which hopefully isn't the case here)

Ideally: if you like this, def' look at 91 Cambridge for comparison's sake.


  1. If Streeteasy is not a comprehensive listing site, how does BK propose a comprehensive search? I use both NY Times and Streeteasy.


    "And another comment, "Isn't Streeteasy a comprehensive listing site?" is another misconception of the Brooklyn real estate market."

  2. Carefully Larry, doing a truly comprehensive search is painstaking work and it shouldn't be. NYTimes and Streeteasy are great for what they are, but they don't have many companies listings consistently, and never touched many of the best buys all last year.

  3. Thanks Jonathonne. I do also periodically check Trulia, Zillow, and other sites, but not daily. I guess I knew my answer before asking. I have even tried the "Make Me Move" posts on Zillow that are always dead ends. I appreciate the multiple examples you've noted in later posts.

    The lack of effort by buyers and brokers to post in the most visible listing sites is as baffling as the broker's that post the most impoverished images possible (i.e. zoomed in shot of a dark corner of the floor). Why bother?

    I will never forget a listing from two years ago where the broker had even included a photo of herself as she strolled down the street outside of the property, but you couldn't even see much of background because she filled the frame!

    You run a great and helpful blog.