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Excerpts From: House Proud

By Candace Taylor
The Real Deal, March 01, 2011


In surveying the divisions within residential real estate, it's helpful to borrow from the classic 1980s movie "The Breakfast Club." The jock played by Emilio Estevez embodies the stereotypical, aggressive broker in the fast-paced world of new condos; popular, wealthy Molly Ringwald represents socially connected co-op brokers; and until recently, the more cerebral Anthony Michael Hall would approximate the townhouse specialist -- operating in an often separate world of facts and figures. ...


The niche is complex: Many New York townhouses are landmarked, requiring extensive knowledge about zoning, taxes and air rights. ...


Longtime townhouse broker Dexter Guerrieri, who founded the West Side townhouse brokerage Vandenberg Inc. in 1989, said he had "an old-fashioned apprentice relationship" with Austin Haldenstein, founder of Austin Haldenstein Real Estate, the "go-to company for townhouse sales" on the West Side in the '60s, '70s and '80s.


But as prices have risen, more and more brokers have been tempted to try out townhouse sales....As a result, the once distinct line between townhouse and apartment brokers has become increasingly blurred, especially as websites like StreetEasy and PropertyShark make once obscure townhouse information more widely available. ...


Preferring known quantities


Despite the growing competition, a handful of brokers still do the majority of townhouse deals...When it comes to townhouses, which tend to be much pricier than other types of listings, established brokers have a considerable advantage over newcomers to the field. ...


Plus, established brokers prefer to deal with each other than to take a chance on someone who might jeopardize a pricey, complex deal...In this economic climate in particular, with fewer townhouse sales, clients are more likely to choose experienced brokers than inexperienced ones. According to Miller Samuel, there were 197 Manhattan townhouse sales in 2010, down from the annual average of 246 over the past decade...


It's not impossible for a new broker to develop an expertise in townhouses...Still, it's not easy. "You've got to pay your dues and hang in there," Guerrieri said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vandenberg Inc, The Town House Experts (TM), Licensed Real Estate Broker, 1995 Broadway, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10023 - All information is from sources deemed reliable and is submitted subject to errors, changes of price, rental, prior sale, and withdrawal without notice
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