What would you do for a commission on a $10 million apartment? If the answer isn’t cooking a private meal for a family dinner party, then you probably don’t have what it takes to be a luxury real estate broker in New York City.
The Observer recently asked several high-end brokers about some of the craziest things they ever had to do to secure a listing, and the answers were — expectedly (rich people are crazy, c’mon) — ridiculous.
Take Citi Habitats agent Nathaniel Faust, who cleaned out and stored all the belongings of a hoarder fashion designer in order to stage his apartment. “The closets were filled to capacity, and there were stacks of shoeboxes everywhere, clothing in their sink, in their microwave. You could barely walk around in the place,” Faust said. It took five trucks to carry all of the stuff to a storage unit (which Faust also paid for).
He had the listing for three months before he almost closed a deal on it. When that fell through, the owners took it away from him and gave it to another broker (who sold it for a much lower price).
There’s also the pair of brokers, Howard Morrel and Leslie Hirsch of Engel & Volkers NYC, who had to meet a famous R&B star (and provide him with his favorite snack of unsalted nuts and Fiji Water) so that he could “feel out our energy” and make sure they were the right ones to sell the apartment.
Another couple required a broker provide 15 references — and then proceeded to call every single one of them.
Yet, there are some things that brokers will not do: Citi Habitats’ Brian Morgan once had a request from a client that he write the client a check for $7,000 of his own money, that the client would cash if the broker hadn’t sold the apartments within six months. Morgan (understandably) couldn’t believe it: “He started claiming that another agent did that with him before, and I was like, ‘I don’t care what another agent did, I’m not going to do that.’ ”