Mary Lou Currier

Mary Lou Currier

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Real estate brokers! Everybody hates them - the insistent voices, the questions about your money. Still, when you're buying or selling, you need a good one. Someone who creates bidding wars for her sellers -- and wins them for her buyers! Mary Lou is an experienced agent and true negotiator who carefully listens to your needs, respects your time, and patiently works with you to find your perfect place.

So when you want to buy or sell and actually enjoy the process, call Mary Lou.

Diamond Circle Producer 2015, 2014, 2013 & 2012

Real People. Real Reviews.

"I'm a real estate investor - I purchase apts, renovate and sell them. I hired Mary Lou Currier as my listing broker to sell an penthouse apartment on the Upper West Side. She got me an asking price from a buyer who could pass the difficult board. She made me money!"
—Amit, contractor

"Mary Lou was not only helpful at finding the apartment of my dreams, but she was incredibly helpful through the entire process--negotiation, co-op board, mortgage. She shares her time and expertise generously and graciously. She is also a delightful person--easy going, expert, and completely on top of everything. She is an absolute gem!"
—Karen, Advertising Strategist

"Just wanted to say thanks. I've done about four real estate deals and everyone except this one I would never contact the brokers again. I can't understand why some brokers try every trick to push you into something that's not best for you. The experience with Mary Lou was great and no question. She'll be my broker of choice next time!"
-George, Trader

"A zillion thanks to Mary Lou for her professionalism and "stick-to-it" attitude.Grateful it's over and that I had a pro to get me through it!"
-Jessica, Film Producer



Mary Lou in the News:


- in New York Times: The Hunt   Market Ready
- in AOL Real Estate: Home-staging Trends
- in New York Magazine: Optimistic Buyers
- in The New York Post, More or LES   Do Over
- in New York Magazine, The Little Guy's Doing Okay  Fame Slept Here
- in The New York Observer, Celebrity Sale


July 2013 by Mark & Barbara Rice
Barbara and I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for all your help. We had all of our redundant for cocktails last night and contractors all day today. Stay well and safe we will hopefully all work on the next deal together . We will also recommend you to all our friends. Best wishes we will keep you on our thoughts and prayers.

New York Times (08/18/2016) - An Unexpected Route to Williamsburg

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/realestate/an-unexpected-route-to-williamsburg.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fthe-hunt&action=click&contentCollection=realestate&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=1

 

The New York Times - An Uexpected Route to Williamsburg - August 18, 2016


New York Post (05/19/2016) - Houses of the Week


6qtft (03/30/2016) - Though Pint-Sized and Pricey, This $1.15M Village Studio Has Tons of Charm and Storage

http://www.6sqft.com/though-pint-sized-and-pricey-this-1-15m-village-studio-has-tons-of-charm-and-storage/

6qtft - Though Pint-Sized and Pricey, This $1.15M Village Studio Has Tons of Charm and Storage - March 30, 2016

 

Click To View Original Article..
Brick Underground (03/09/2016) - On the anniversary of the Collyer house raid, NYC is still obsessed with hoarders

http://www.brickunderground.com/blog/collyer_brothers_history_hoarding

Brick Underground - On the anniversary of the Collyer house raid, NYC is still obsessed with hoarders - March 8, 2016


DNA Info (03/01/2016) - Bidets Are Making a Splash as the Next Bathroom Must-Have

https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20160301/turtle-bay/bidets-are-making-splash-as-next-bathroom-must-have

 

DNA Info - Bidets Are Making a Splash as the Next Bathroom Must-Have - March 1, 2016


The Real Deal (02/13/2015) - For NYC brokers, dress codes are out of fashion

http://therealdeal.com/issues_articles/dress-codes-out-of-fashion/

 

The Real Deal - Dress codes out of fashion - February 13, 2015

 

The Real Deal (01/02/2015) - Non-starters just a year ago, deals dependent on mortgage financing show buyers gaining strength

http://therealdeal.com/blog/2015/01/21/non-starters-just-a-year-ago-deals-dependent-on-mortgage-financing-show-buyers-gaining-strength/

The Real Deal - Non-starters just a year ago, deals dependent on mortgage financing show buyers gaining strength - January 2, 2015 

 

The Real Deal (09/01/2014) - The Return Of the Low Appraisal

The return of the low appraisal

A post-recession reality is back, but this time because the market is rising

September 01, 2014 
By Sasha von Oldershausen

A curse that residential brokers thought was in their past has returned to plague deals once again: low appraisals.

The aftermath of the recession saw a flurry of low appraisals, largely reflecting stringent new federal regulations aimed at avoiding conflicts of interest that were written in the aftermath of the housing meltdown. After stabilizing for a few years, those problematic low valuations are now back, but for a very different, though related, reason.

Sources say that the inexperienced, often out-of-town, appraisers who were tapped to handle New York City appraisals a few years back got the hang of valuations for a while. But they’re now running into new problems because of the rising market.

One issue, according to Elizabeth Ann Stribling-Kivlan, the president of Stribling & Associates, is that the large number of new development units currently under contract has created a dearth of closed comparable units for appraisers to draw on in calculating values. And those new construction units tend to stay in contract for longer than resales.

“There are some really high-priced apartments in contract, but those aren’t going to be closing for another six months” or in some cases until early 2016, Stribling-Kivlan said.

“Obviously, appraisers [have to] work with closed data, not hearsay,” she added.

But the increase in new units hitting the market isn’t the only problem. Brokers say that appraisers are often just not keeping up with rising market prices in general.

Mary Lou Currier, a salesperson at Bond New York, has closed two co-op deals in the last few months where the appraisals came back $125,000 to $150,000 below the agreed upon price — the first a pre-war, one-bedroom in Carnegie Hill that was in contract for $675,000; the second a prewar two-bedroom in Soho for which the buyers agreed to pay $1.2 million.

Both of her buyers waived their mortgage contingencies and were forced to put additional cash down to make their purchases.

“They were unhappy. They weren’t expecting to have to put another $50,000 to $60,000 down,” Currier said.

Part of the problem, sources say, is that despite the fact that the appraisers who were tapped post-recession now have a few years of experience in New York, they still don’t have the institutional knowledge to deal with market changes. In addition, they sometimes still are not adept at assigning value to key features, like a terrace, which New Yorkers tend to place a disproportionate value on.

“Essentially, the collective knowledge from experienced appraisers has been effectively wiped clean as the result of financial reform,” said Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm, Miller Samuel.

Miller, who noted that his firm has done very little retail bank work since the recession, said low appraisals were par for the course in the wake of the economy’s collapse. That’s because the government cracked down on allowing brokers to handpick appraisers, citing a blatant conflict of interest. Instead, as has been widely reported, banks began using “appraisal management companies,” which served as intermediaries that selected appraisers for the banks.

Once the market stabilized, so did the frequency of undervalued appraisals. Now, however, those low appraisals are becoming commonplace again. Miller said the only thing that has really changed is the market.

“It’s no coincidence,” he said. “Manhattan has been remarkably stable in the past four years. The problem doesn’t really become apparent until conditions start changing.”

Terry Francisco, a spokesperson for Bank of America Home Loans, suggested that because appraisers are required to follow such strict regulations, a volatile market can throw things off.

“Sometimes in hot markets, appraisal values may trail. If certain homes in certain price ranges in certain regions are in higher demand, appraisal values will take a little while” to follow the market higher, he said.

Stribling-Kivlan noted, however, that as new development contracts close, appraisal values should get back on track.

“I’ve seen a lot of things that went into contract in the beginning of the year start to close, and that’s provided a lot more justifiable data. It makes a big difference.”


Brick Underground (08/04/2014) - What You'll Get Across NYC For $600,000
PRICE CHECK

WHAT YOU'LL GET ACROSS NYC FOR $600,000

From a brand new Brooklyn condo to a Gramercy Park hideaway

Looking to buy in New York, and working with a budget of around $600,000? There are plenty of options, ranging from a small studio off Gramercy Park to a Brooklyn condo to a Queens house with an honest-to-god basement rumpus room and home bar. We've combed through the listings for options in all five boroughs that are on the market right now, and stay within your price range.

When you’re ready to make a move, take a look at BrickUnderground’s How to Buy Guide. And if NYC is new to you, check out our crash course on how to find an apartment for everything you need to know. 


New York Observer (04/21/2014) - Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen Contemplates Greenwich Village Co-op

Olympic Figure Skater Sasha Cohen Contemplates Greenwich Village Co-op

Sasha Cohen. (Patrick McMullan)

Sasha Cohen. (Patrick McMullan)

There once was a time when Olympians were not professionals. When, in the tradition of their Greek forebears, they sprinted, vaulted and wrestled for glory and honor, and without the prospect of post-competition endorsements, commercial appearances and guest-starring roles. Those days, of course, are long gone. And a good thing it is for Sasha Cohen, who won a silver medal for the U.S. figure skating team in Turin in 2006, plus a clutch of others at various world championship events.

Medals, after all, cannot be traded for $1.25 million Greenwich Village apartments, in which, we’ve heard, Ms. Cohen might have some interest. We’ve been told that the ice princess was recently seen poking around a one-bedroom co-op at 12 West 9th Street with her Douglas Elliman broker Clayton Orrigo.

Capitalism is not the only thing that’s changed the Olympics. And other alterations have likewise been helpful to Ms. Cohen. (We don’t guess Ajax and Achilles did much ice skating; although the notion is a rather ticklish one, don’t you think?) Since her many turns in the competitive rink, Ms. Cohen has appeared in various ice shows and commercials, including one of the “Got Milk?” variety, and on CSI and Project Runway. She’s served as a guest correspondent for Inside Edition and acted in Blades of Glory and Bratz: The Movie. (We will spare her the embarrassment of going to the judges for scores on that last entry into the cinematic record.)

Quite adorable.

Quite adorable.

 

The penthouse that has allegedly drawn Ms. Cohen’s interest is listed with Mary Lou Currier, of Bond New York, but both broker and brokerage were keeping mum on whether or not the skater had dropped by, declining to comment on the subject. The listing, however, is not nearly so reticent. Located on “the prettiest block in Greenwich Village,” the apartment is bright and cozy, with hardwood floors and high-end counters and cabinetry. The “true chef’s kitchen” looks to us like it must belong to a very skinny chef indeed. But no matter. Figure skaters, after all, are not exactly known for rotundity. Moreover, the unit’s top-floor elevation ensures “nobody tap dancing on your head!”

A great relief, we’re sure, for an ice dancer of Ms. Cohen’s stature. That kind of racket simply cannot be tolerated! Least of all when you’re trying to watch yourself on Secret Talents of the Stars.        

Chef's nook.

A cozy chef’s nook.



Read more at http://observer.com/2014/04/olympic-figure-skater-sasha-cohen-contemplates-greenwich-village-co-op/#ixzz2zYLtG6dn 
Follow us: @newyorkobserver on Twitter | newyorkobserver on Facebook


Brick Underground (02/10/2014) - 6 Ways to Outdo Your Neighbor When You're Both Selling Your Apartments

6 WAYS TO OUTDO YOUR NEIGHBOR WHEN YOU'RE BOTH SELLING YOUR APARTMENTS

Other units for sale in your building? Get the best price--fast

In medium to large apartment buildings, it’s not uncommon to find two, four or more units for sale in the same building at the same time. So how do you get the best price for your co-op or condo when there are other similar units for sale?

From making modest updates to telling a story with staging, here are tips from brokers on making your unit the “belle of the ball,” as Holly Sose, an agent with City Connections, put it.

Spotlight the competition

If you’re in unit 7A and hitting the market after 8A, note the differences between the apartments, both in your listing and marketing materials and during showings, recommends Mary Lou Currier, an agent with Bond New York.

If 8A is completely renovated and up for the same price as 7A, which is not renovated, there’s only one thing to do. 

“Market the apartment as an opportunity… something that needs TLC. Or needs work,” she says, adding some buyers may want to make changes on their own. 

If you're competing against a unit that is similarly sized (or priced) but with a different layout, another option is to emphasize the potential for more rooms, says Yair Tavivian, co-founder of the Tavivian Sporn team at Douglas Elliman. If a one-bedroom unit has an alcove, for instance, call out the potential for a second bedroom, nursery or home office. Or you might even add a wall before listing to enter the two-bedroom market from the get-go. 

One of Tavivian's sellers on the Upper East Side used this tactic, taking a two-bedroom and adding a wall to create a third bedroom before listing. They closed at $2.825 million, the highest price-per-square-foot ever on the line and the highest price-per-square-foot since 2008 in the building, says Tavivian.

Price higher

While a unit with the same layout may be four floors higher, if it’s in poor condition and in need of a facelift, it may not automatically be worth more, and you shouldn't be afraid to list yours at a higher price.

There’s also something to be gained by undercutting the competition, although it’s a strategy most sellers are reluctant to employ, says Currier. Often sellers are afraid that listing below the competition is going to get them a lower price, while the opposite is often the case. In fact, the lower price may get additional people in the door and it may actually end up in a bidding war situation, where the unit goes for above asking and above the price your competitor's unit gets. 

Sose recommends finding the unit listed in the building that's closest to yours and trimming 1% to 3% off the bottom line.

Even if you price slightly low, “the market is what determines the price of the apartment,” says Currier. “If the apartment is worth $1 million, it will stand up to its competition and you’ll get $1 million.” 

She adds: “You want to be the hot ticket in the building. Price it a little bit better, make yourself competitive, sell quickly. That’s the market we’re in.” 

Get a facelift

Again, it's important to survey what the other apartments are lacking, and at least match them if you're going at or above their price.

Although it may seem counterintuitive to make upgrades before selling, sometimes basic cosmetic changes can make all the difference, says Takk Yamaguchi  of Town Residential, noting that most people aren’t interested in buying an apartment that requires a lot of work.  Small updates and elements like a new dishwasher or washer/dryer can also set your apartment aside from the in-building competition.

You “don’t have to spend $1 million and do the Calcutta marble, the deep soaking tub and the rainfall showerhead,” Yamaguchi says. Just go with what the target market may want–-a more modern look in a new condo building or an updated classic look in a pre-war high-rise co-op, for instance.

Morgan Graham, a West Side specialist with Miron Properties, recommends focusing on upgrades in the kitchen and bathrooms. If you spend money making modest upgrades to your kitchen, “that money is pretty much 100 percent recoupable--if not more,” he says, noting that going classic, like stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, is easiest. “You want to appeal to as many people as possible,” he says.

Think about things like adding dishwashers or simply replacing old medicine cabinets.

“The reaction for just teeny tiny things can be really big,” Sose says.

Throw out your junk

The neatest apartment is often the most desirable.

As soon as potential buyers walk through the door, aesthetics are all they see. And clutter--from a coffee table stacked with magazines to a closet piled with shoes and clothes--can be off-putting. Especially if the other apartments are immaculate. Err on the side of yours being the neatest and most welcoming.

Staging is another way to set your place apart. Even if you have the exact same layout as another apartment in the building, yours will look better if everything is in its right place, with a style that's clean, simple and "aspirational," meaning something the buyers aspire to live in. 

Keep the artwork, linens and other decorative touches to a minimum, Yamaguchi says. He suggests furniture might be as simple as a clean couch that fits the space well, a bed, dresser and two nightstands. 

Even if the seller has already moved out, Sose agrees that a little bit of furniture is better than none at all. If the apartment is completely empty, “it’s icky energy."

While simple and elegant is good, Graham likes taking it a step farther and making sure there is a "grand entrance” that might be achieved with stunning artwork, fresh cut flowers, a violin player or Champagne. Again, it's about the details that set you apart.

Show, show, show

Weekend open houses are essential, as is having some weekday availability, too, for private appointments. 

“You want to keep the activity up and the interest high,” Yamaguchi says.

In a case where there are two units for sale in the same building–-let’s say 28H and 32H--the latter may automatically go for more because it’s on a higher floor. But to sell 28H first, Graham says he might schedule more open houses and make sure it is “always available to be shown.” He’d get the word out through mailers, marketing and word of mouth. 

“The goal is to get more people into your apartment versus someone else’s and do whatever it takes,” he says.

Befriend the enemy

Before listing your apartment, you may want to ask your neighbors--either upstairs or next door--if they plan on selling soon too, Tavivian says.

If so, consider joining forces and pitching buyers on the potential to create a combined unit with a customized layout, which might bring in a premium for both units. You can hold open houses together and include this possibility in the listing and marketing materials.

If they’re not interested in selling, your neighbor may be interested in buying your unit to create their own supersized apartment.

This tactic has “proven to be very successful,” Tavivian says.


The New York Times (10/02/2013) - On Park Avenue South, A Layout for a Photographer

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/06/realestate/on-park-avenue-south-a-layout-for-a-photographer.html?_r=2&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1380917162-cSHexuRpeVp/NqmGxTpaNw

The New York Times - On Park Avenue South, A Layout for a Photographer - October 2, 2013

 


Luxury Listings NYC (01/21/2013) - Premier Listings

 


The New York Post (09/19/2012) - Just Sold!

 

Just sold!

The latest info about recent sales - in your backyard and beyond

  • Last Updated: 12:39 PM, September 21, 2012
  • Posted: 9:51 PM, September 19, 2012

Manhattan

HARLEM $719,000

1485 Fifth Ave.

Two-bedroom, two-bath condo, 1,131 square feet, with renovated eat-in kitchen and central AC; building features doorman, roof deck, gym, pool, party room, laundry and storage. Asking price $729,000, on market 17 weeks. Brokers: Mary Lou Currier, Bond New York and Sheree Yellin, Halestead Property

UPPER EAST SIDE $3,190,000

181 E. 90th St.

Three-bedroom, three-bath condo, 1,948 square feet, with windowed eat-in kitchen with Viking appliances and custom lacquer cabinets, windowed formal dining room, marble baths including master with double sinks, Jacuzzi soaking tub and separate shower, California closets, central AC and park views; building features doorman, gym, playroom and storage. Common charges $1,902, taxes $1,869. Asking price $3,250,000, on market 12 weeks. Brokers: Karin Posvar Picket, The Corcoran Group and Austin Schuster, Sotheby’s International Realty

 

UPPER WEST SIDE $354,000

243 West End Ave.

Studio co-op, 400 square feet, with marble bath and windowed kitchen with new stainless-steel appliances and granite counters; building features doorman and laundry. Maintenance $717, 43 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $369,000, on market one week. Brokers: Sheryl Berger and Beth Littman, Argo Residential and Caryl Berenato, Prudential Douglas Elliman

Brooklyn

BOERUM HILL $1,700,000

423 Atlantic Ave.

Three-bedroom, two-bath co-op, 2,475 square feet, with 13-foot ceilings, open kitchen with Bosch and Miele appliances, marble counters and double sinks, marble baths, library, dressing room, six closets and 500-square-foot terrace; building features video intercom, parking, roof deck and laundry. Maintenance $2,848, 56 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $1,795,000, on market 12 weeks. Brokers: Jesse Shafer and Michael Coleman, The Corcoran Group

KENSINGTON $173,000

525 Ocean Parkway

Renovated one-bedroom, one-bath co-op, 750 square feet, with foyer and kitchen with stainless-steel refrigerator and dishwasher; building features doorman, garage, laundry and bike room. Maintenance $574, 50 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $179,000, on market 40 weeks. Broker: Jeff Surowka, Abacus Properties

Westchester

HEIGHTS $895,000

101 Dorchester Drive

Four-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath Colonial, 3,032 square feet, with foyer, formal living room, eat-in-kitchen, formal dining room, study, family room with fireplace and deck. Taxes $20,934. Asking price $939,000, on market 18 weeks. Brokers: John Kincart and Jo-Ella Deliberto, Houlihan Lawrence

Rockland

PEARL RIVER $249,000

430 Somerset Drive

Two-bedroom, 1 1/2-bath condo, 881 square feet, with updated kitchen appliances, renovated bath, new carpeting, new windows, basement with laundry and deck. Common charges $232, taxes $430. Asking price $232,500, on market 33 weeks. Brokers: Michael Truiano and Georgine Addeo, Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty


Daily News (02/17/2012) - Ask a Broker: BOND Senior Vice President Mary Lou Currier

 

Ask a broker: BOND Senior Vice President Mary Lou Currier

 

Mary Lou Currier brings the marketing skills she learned as a copywriter for ad agencies to the real estate world. She dishes with Voyeur about why you should ALWAYS knock.

What’s your next hottest nabe in NYC? 
The East Village/Bowery. It’s really heating up and getting fancier. I consider the East Village the last “authentic” neighborhood in NYC.

Craziest showing story or on-the-job story? 
The listing broker had the key and we walked with the clients — a proper older couple — into a Beekman Place apartment around lunchtime to find the seller in the bedroom with a hooker whose looks rivaled Naomi Campbell. Lesson: Always knock.

What’s the biggest mistake buyers make when looking for a home?
Buyers get wowed about amenities they won’t use much.

Favorite saying? 
“When there’s blood in the streets, buy property.” — Baron de Rothschild.

117 Beekman St. is one of Currier’s listings, on the market for $849,000 (SCOTT WINTROW/GAMUT PHOTOS)

Person dead or alive you most admire? 
Edith Wharton. Her best work is about life in New York — people’s aspirations and pretensions. I see a lot of that up close, too.

What part of business do you love most? 
Negotiating. And the part I call “real estate porn” — looking at gorgeous apartments.

Neighborhood in NYC you could live without? 
Upper West Side is a big yawn to me. I know people love it, though.

In which era in NYC history would you want to be selling or living? 
For living, in the late 1960s. For selling, during the heyday of the bubble, about seven to 10 years ago.


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