ESTATE


Bad online property reviews hurt resale
2009/05/04, 8:12 pm
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Some sellers of real estate in New York City are facing unknown online enemies who critique their properties for sale and potentially harm their ability to find buyers.

Discussions of listings on Web sites like Streeteasy.com, Curbed.com, and Brownstoner.com are full of hundreds of comments about the condition and basic design of properties that are for sale. The commenters attend open houses, study listing sheets, and view Web sites, then post analyses.

Their snarky opinions can draw lots of attention. Dawn Doherty, the vice president for strategic development at StreetEasy.com, says her Web site attracts 10.5 million page views per month.

Recent postings include:

  • “The layout is downright medieval; totally irrational.”
  • “The penthouse is a joke. Bachelor pad central, but ’70s style.”
  • “If I am paying 1.6, I want my own washer/dryer in the apt. and to live in a building that doesn’t look like a leftover from the Lefrak housing plan.”
  • “The bathroom looks like a Chinese bordello.”

Real estate professionals who must deal with these attacks of their listings say the best thing to do is just to ignore them.

“We basically do not allow our [associates] to post comments without prior approval, because we think it’s a can of worms,” says Diane Ramirez, the president of Halstead Property. “Unless something is egregiously incorrect, it’s almost better to let it die, because if you comment on it, it takes on a life of its own.”

Source: The New York Times, Teri Karush Rogers (05/01/2009)

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