Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Marketing Does It Again: 361 Bergen Street

We've asked the question before, if a multi-million dollar building falls in the forest and no one knows it's for sale, does it make a sound?  In our last piece, we covered a building that wants more than double what a basically-identical neighbor just sold for.  And the only real difference between the two is how well the listings were marketed.  Today we take a look at a building that was on Platinum Member radar before Halstead got their hands on it and marketed it properly.  And this isn't Mill Basin we're talking about here, people.  This is Park Slope!  361 Bergen Street was a "for sale by owner" also listed openly with a much smaller, lesser-known local broker for more money than this Halstead listing.  Though, the broker told us the sellers were motivated and open to any & all offers.  Well, it didn't take long before lurkers at Halstead figured they could snatch an exclusive and make some money off this bad-boy.  Brokers don't like to work without an exclusive because there's no guarantee they'll get paid.  It's also why they don't like to work with buyers, for all those folks with gobs of cash still wondering why it's hard to find anyone professional in the industry to hold their hand through the Wild West that is Brooklyn real estate.

We understand why on the sell side people don't want to pay big brokers as much as 6% to list their property, when most of these things sell themselves.  But you can't bury your listing in the forest and expect anyone to come across it either.  So what does the seller get for a six-figure commission besides 5 okay photos and 2 sentences?  Well, they get the place sold.  94% of $1.75M+ is still more than 100% of 0, last time we checked.

When you're in Park Slope proper, even if you're close to the stadium and between 4th & 5th Avenues, you've got people's attention.  Throw in four-stories of brownstone with a cute cornice, wide plank floors, original mantles, deliver it vacant... and it's a wrap!  People are bidding more than this for shells over here.  So it's no surprise to see it go quickly once this listing was brought out from the rock it was living under.  Speaking of which, there are some pretty nice rocks in the backyard:

Even if you wanted to greenify this space, you're sitting on at least $5K-$10K in bluestone right there someone would gladly pay you for use in their landmarked sidewalk.  Amazing what a little photography and marketing can do to bring out the millionaires.  We've said it before, and we'll say it again until it isn't true:  there is no true multiple listing service for brownstone Brooklyn.  (Even the beloved NYTimes concurs!!)  Whether you have $50K or $50M, there is no one place where everything that's for sale resides - as baffling as that is.  Barbara Corcoran herself couldn't tell you how many brownstones are for sale in Park Slope to save her life.  One of the many reasons is because - at any given moment - there are handfuls of quiet sales going on right under everyone's noses.  We were in a $10M+ building today that's up for a quiet sale.  "We in the building, but still keep it basement."

Those sellers could fetch over $12M if they came to the open market, but they've got their own concerns.  And the top brokers in Brooklyn won't work on it because even six-figures in commission isn't worth their time unless it's basically guaranteed.  Who knows why sellers do what they do?  But we can certainly tell you why brokers do what they do!

Pro's:  curb appeal, Park Slope, original details, yard, 4-stories, under $2M, motivated seller, delivered vacant

Con's:  in contract already, people will whine about 4th Avenue & the stadium & the pending reno

Ideally:  get to these gems before the big brokers do, and you can really do some damage

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