The Gutman team at The Corcoran Group kicks off our series of collaborator interviews. We will introduce you to realtors in international markets. Discover the luxury real estate market in New York city here.

Stephen and Elyse Gutman are members of the Gutman Team at The Corcoran Group. Based in New York city, they are in the top 2% of 54,000 NRT sales associates nationwide and repeat annual members of Corcoran’s Multi-Million Dollar Club. They are Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) Certified Residential Specialists (NYRS) and Real Estate Negotiation Institute (RENI ) Certified Negotiation Experts (CNE).

Please give us a brief bio of your agency.

The Corcoran Group was founded in 1973, as the market in New York City was transformed from a mainly rentals based market to one of individual ownership. Corcoran targeted specific neighborhoods and concentrated on higher-end properties. Through pursuing this strategy and acquiring major real estate companies in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Corcoran is now one of the largest residential real estate firms in New York City. In 2003, The Corcoran Group began expanding into other key luxury markets. It acquired leading firms in the East End of Long Island and South Florida. Today, we have a total of 40 offices and almost 2,200 independent agents.

What percentage of properties are sold by the owner vs. listed with an agency in New York?

95% of of deals are represented by an exclusive agent/broker.

How have prices in New York developed over the past 10 years?

The increase is 82% of a compound annual growth rate of 6.2%.

Is there a multiple listing system (MLS) in your market?

New York City is one of the few markets in America without an MLS. However, there are several aggregation websites that serve as de facto MLS environments for consumers. Our offices on Long Island’s East End and in Palm Beach, Florida operate in MLS environments.

How many agents are involved in each transaction?

Usually two, one representing the seller and one representing the buyer. Occasionally, one agent represents both buyer and seller.

Are there search agents in your market? If so, do they share fees with the listing agent, or are they paid separately by their buying client?

A few search agents exist, but this is very rare.

What is the average selling price/sq m or price/sq foot in New York City?

The current average price per square foot is $1,918 (€1,714), or $20,645 (€18,455) per square meter.

What is the ratio of sales in existing vs. new construction?

In 2016, new development sales accounted for 17% of all closed sales.

What is the highest price/new development condominium on the market today? What is the price per square foot?

The most expensive new development condominium on the market today is 220 Central Park South. It has a blended price per square foot of $8493 psf.

Which neighborhoods are the most interesting/up and coming at the moment?

Hudson Yards, Midtown West and Second Avenue on the Upper East Side. The latter is interesting following the completion of the 2nd ave subway.

How do you work with your customers?

We focus on higher-end properties. We work with both buyers and sellers to ensure that they achieve their individual needs and objectives. They benefit from our knowledge, experience and contacts in premium Manhattan real estate. The market, and the rules and regulations governing it, are constantly changing. In-depth knowledge is essential.

What are your customers typically looking to buy?

This is a difficult question to answer, since our customers are looking for a very varied range of properties. Each customer has their own “wish list” for the apartment that they desire.

What incites them to purchase?

This also varies greatly from buyer to buyer, and each customer’s priorities are different. A properly priced property, building amenities, location and condition are just a few factors.

Who handles the legal aspects of the buying transaction?

An attorney represents the seller and another represents the buyer.

What are the closing costs on a purchase? Are those paid by the buyer, the seller, or both?

Typical closing costs for cooperatives, condominiums or townhouses are as follows:

For homebuyers, costs include, but are not limited to: attorney fees (which vary); fees associated with the mortgage loan such as origination costs (0- 3% value of loan), application, credit check, etc. ($500 and up), appraisal ($600 and up); move-in deposit ($500 and up, usually refundable if no damage); various taxes including mansion tax (1% of total purchase price when $1 million or more), insurances and other items, plus the remaining down payment. Those buying in new development projects will likely be paying NY City and NY State transfer taxes (usually 1.825% of the purchase price) as well as other seller fees and expenses like the cost of the seller’s attorney. Consult your real estate attorney or financial advisor for specifics.

For sellers, closing costs include: the agent’s real estate commission (6% of the purchase price); the mortgage principal remaining on the property; the real estate attorney’s fees (which vary); New York City real property transfer tax (which can be up to 1.425% of the purchase price); New York State transfer tax (0.4% of purchase price); move-out deposit ($500 and up and usually refundable) and other various fees. These costs are payable from sale proceeds.

What is the usual agency commission on the sale?

Corcoran’s fee for services is established by an exclusive agreement with the seller. 6% is the industry standard fee for services in New York City. The seller normally pays 3% to his broker and 3% to the buyer’s broker.

If you could offer one piece of advice to a first-time buyer in New York City, what would it be?

Use one good broker to assist you in your search for an apartment.

What is your favorite property listing at the moment ?

It is a beautiful apartment at The Plaza Residences at the iconic Plaza Hotel on 59th Street and Central Park South. The property is a perfect pied a terre with one bedroom and one and a half baths. It has direct Central Park views from the large windows in each room as well as 11 foot ceilings throughout. There is a private entrance for all residents. The amazing amenities include : gym/health clubs, day spa, restaurants and a wonderful food court. The asking price is $5,495,000. Web ID # 3626217.

All information furnished regarding property for sale or rent or regarding financing is from sources deemed reliable, but Corcoran makes no warranty or representation as to the accuracy thereof. All property information is presented subject to errors, omissions, price changes, changed property conditions, and withdrawal of the property from the market, without notice.