Welcome to Front Porch LLC

Front Porch is a real estate company that wants you to know stuff. Really.


Posted 13 years, 5 months ago at 6:44 pm. Add a comment

Rookie Cover jpg

Hi there real estate fans!

Diary of a Real Estate Rookie (my memoir with househunting tips) came out in June. The book was a pick of the week from Newsweek and got a starred review from Publishers’ Weekly. You can read some reviews here. You can order from Amazon.com here.

If you are a bookseller, I would love to talk to you about whatever I can do to support the book . . .readings, media, etc.

Since excerpts aren’t up yet, let me just give you three snippets here:

#1, from the Introduction My second unplanned career avenue was that I turned into a kind of industry commentator…. The more I told it “like it is,” the more I got requests to tell it.

Now you have to understand that Manhattan has been one of the fizziest real estate markets on the planet: I have seen sell-out sales parties with water dripping through the ceiling of the display apartment. I have been in a penthouse where the Corcoran broker, offering the apartment for $3.99 million, had not managed to take away the show sheets left by the Stribling broker, who had offered the unit just a few months earlier at $2.77 million. Just yesterday, I was in a model unit priced at $2.3 million, where, I swear to heaven, I could have done a better job installing the floors with a staple gun.

The sales agent told me with cool effrontery that they would do a better job in the real units. And such is the mania of the market that I walked out thinking, I wonder if my client can afford to pass this up?

#2, from the tip box, “Five Tips to Ease the Pain of Selling”

Take a deep breath: the census tells us that 40 million Americans move every year, so you’re not the only one having a hard time. Here are five things that will help …

* Try and stay connected to the old neighborhood. Think of it as a place you can still visit, not one you’re banished from. Get a subscription to your old newspaper at your new place.

* Collect a box or a basket of things from the old home that you’ll want in the new: cabinet knobs, light fixtures, and so on. Remember that your buyer expects to get what they saw, so you MUST clear your take-aways with your buyer—even if you are replacing them with something that feels equivalent to you. Chandeliers, especially, can be flash points, so make sure everybody’s happy and everything is spelled out in the contract.

* Film a video of you being in the home one last time. Let every family member have a turn as “director.”

#3, from the chapter “It starts at $10,000 a month” In the luxury market, you will want for nothing, except possibly reasonable real estate fees. Everything you see is going to kick ass, often in the same exact way. Many of the units will rely on the same brand names (Look, a Miele dishwasher! Another Miele dishwasher!), selling points (a developer wants to vacation in Italy, so to write it off he hand-picks your marble) and concepts (one building features cold storage to house grocery deliveries, and then—bam!—every new building has a fridge in the lobby).

The point is, the distinctions can be exceedingly fine, and you’re probably not going to sift through a mound of brochures to find them. That’s your real estate person’s job; you’re basically hiring your agent to pre-chew your caviar for you. It’s all the more important, then, that you communicate to him or her your X factor: The privacy? The view?

No wish should be too small.

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