Daily Archives: September 11, 2009

Action at 44 Close Road?

One of our longest running soap operas in spec building, 44 Close Road, has just extended its listing agreement from September 11th to October 15th. Ordinarily, listings run for six months or a year so this is curious and suggests, to me, that deal may be imminent. I hope so for the owner’s sake. this place was built in 2002 and never lived in despite three changes in ownership. Time it was.

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Battle of the search engines

I can’t decide if I really care about this or not but there’s a lot of concern expressed on the web today about Google’s page making no mention of 9/11 and Bing.com posting a beautiful picture of the memorial light plus links to various 9/11 remembrance pages. The beef is that Google usually puts up little images on holidays – St. Patricks Day, Christmas, etc. and even on many days you wouldn’t necessarily associate with a holiday: National PopCorn Day, for instance. Why nothing today?

But again, I’m undecided. For me, September 11th was the most horrible day of my life. For some 22-year-old kid in California, it probably is what Google shows it to be: just another day. We move on and Google has moved on faster than I want to. Is that their fault? Maybe. I’ve moved my default search to Bing, at least for now.

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Bad times fraying real estate agents’ tempers?

I’ve been hearing stories of nasty behavior between real estate agents these past months as commissions grow smaller and less frequent but with the exception of one desperate lady who keeps emailing my clients (in violation of our rules) inquiring if they’d like to work with her instead of me, I haven’t seen much personally. But I did a small rental last month and, after correcting an address error, sent a second bill for my commission just today – I could use a new tank of gas. Back comes a snotty reply, promising to “pass along” my bill to the owner (hey lady, you and your firm promised the commission, not the owner – if you didn’t think to collect it at closing, that’s your problem, not mine) and perhaps I’d get paid “for all the work you did.” That last, you will be shocked to learn, was meant to be sarcastic.

My clients went to this particular agent’s office to sign a lease application while I was out of town and she spent most of her time complaining that I wasn’t there to help with the credit work, what was I doing for my money, etc. etc. Not very professional to disparage another agent and really dumb to confess that you need another agent’s help to fill out a credit application (name, social security number and address). Then, to complain about paying me for “the work I did” which was, after all, spending several months with these nice people, showing them multiple houses and showing the house in question twice, is to reveal how desperate this woman is to keep both sides of a rental comission. If you’re going to cop an attitude, honey, at least do it for something larger than the cost of a dozen ice cream cones.

My clients didn’t like this lady and in fact were suspicious of her motives and some of her representations. When they mentioned that to her she dismissed their concerns saying “I’ve been voted Real Estate Agent of the Year by my peers”. That’s not an award I pay much attention to or vote for, but if this particular lady represents the highest standards and values of the Greenwich real estate profession, I suggest you start using Zillow.com exclusively from now on.

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Good news, bad news for spec builders on Boulder Brook

9 Boulder Brook Rd

9 Boulder Brook Rd

The good news for this street which has three new houses and one tired old one for sale, is that # 9 is reported under contract today. The bad news is that this one, by York Builders, is probably the best house on the street – York builds a fine home – and failed to get its asked-for price of $7.35 million. In fact, it didn’t reach its last, final price, after two years on the market, of $5.3 million. My guess is that it’s going in the mid-$4s. Nothing to sneeze at, but it will make for tough sledding for the other houses asking in the $5s and $6s.

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Conyers Farm land for sale

75 Conyers farm

75 Conyers farm

This fifteen acre parcel inside the gates at Conyers has had several owners but never a builder.  It’s history is interesting – it didn’t sell at just $1.75 million from 1995-1998 but the market must have picked up after that because it did sell for $3.375 in 2003. Two years later the buyer put it back up for sale again, this time with plans by someone who must have been the most  expensive architect in the world because the asking price was $9.975. It took two years but the current owner bought it in 2007 (with those plans?) for $5.125, an indication, perhaps, that the original price was a tad optimistic. In any event, it’s back up for sale again, this time asking $6.9 million. Why the nearly two million dollar increase? I don’t know; ask the owner if you see him.

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Anyone received a party invitation from Marty Nobel lately?

I don’t know what Patriot Bank’s doing with its new inventory of foreclosed houses but out in Malibu, the Wells Fargo executive in charge of forfeited properties moved into a $12 million house in Malibu Colony (Mel Gibson, James Cameron, etc.) and threw bashes there all summer while keeping prospective buyers out. The former owner, a Madoff victim, is cheesed and I wouldn’t think Wells Fargo stockholders are all too pleased either. We have a family friend who lives there; I’ll check and see if she can cast more dirt light on this story.

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Global warming, swine flu, attack on the White House

If it bleeds it leads, and who cares whether it’s true? Today, on 9/11, CNN reported that the Coast Guard fired on a suspicious boat on the Potomac. Oops! Training exercise. “Never mind!”

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