03 February 2006

Of course I want to do this: The Brokers

There's a phenomenon, perhaps not common only to New York, but certainly prevalent here, of needing to have The Best. From pre-schools to cheeseburgers to custom furniture renovation, New Yorkers will only choose the best, even if it means going 80 blocks and a crosstown bus out of our way, and even if there's something that's really just as good in our own neighborhood. It makes us feel good about ourselves, I guess, to know that we know top quality when we see it. How else to explain the popularity of the ubiquitous "Best of" issues that every newspaper and magazine puts out, at least once a year? We congratulate ourselves on our superior judgement.

Nowhere is this besting more noticeable than in relation to the medical profession. If a person has quadruple bypass surgery and lives, his cardiac surgeon is thenceforth the best, and if that person ever hears of someone else needing heart surgery, you can be sure that he'll say, "Dr. Rosenrosen is the best cardiac surgeon in the country; you can't go to anyone else."

When really, it's just that he survived the surgery to tell the tale. That doesn't make Dr. Rosenrosen the best, even if there is a certain way of determining such a thing.

But let me tell you, my brokers are the best.

First there was Judy, the real estate broker. I met her last fall at a sparsely attended open house, and since she had nothing better to do, she explained the co-op buying process to me, clearly and specifically. A month or so later, she was featured in the New York Times for taking in a client and his family when they were between apartments, which just confirmed what I'd already been thinking: when I'm ready to buy, she'll be the one I go to. (Plus, her late husband was David Maysles, director of, among many other films, Grey Gardens and Gimme Shelter. How cool is that?)

But Patti, the seller's broker, was the one handling the apartment already, before I'd even contacted Judy. I didn't feel comfortable even contemplating making an offer without professional guidance, but would Patti feel resentful at being done out of half her commission, as she would if Judy came in on the deal?

Judy came with me and my parents to look at the apartment the second time I looked at it, then gave us advice for an hour and a half at the Starbucks down the street. The next day, when I was ready to put in my offer, she told me what I needed to include, looked it over, then told me I'd probably fare better with Patti if she were out of the picture. An honest broker! One who is looking out for my interests! If you are considering buying real estate in Manhattan, please go to her.

Then there's my mortgage broker, Paul, who does not have the interesting life story that Judy does -- at least, he hasn't shared it with me if he does -- but is direct and funny; a real mensch. I haven't gotten the mortgage yet, but I know that when I do, it will be The Best.


Blogger Pedestrian Rage said...

Wow, that's really heartening! I was ready for some terrible tale.

I doubt Judy would know The Boyfriend, but he used to do PR for the Maysles, in the early 80s, I think.

8:59 AM  

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