Halstead Property

Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.


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The Ins and Outs of An Estate Sale

Part II: Closing On Time

By Rory S. Clark, Esq, Associate Real Estate Broker, Village Office and Mary S. Croly, Esq., McLaughlin & Stern, LLP 

Part I of this series of articles was entitled “Issues Impacting Who Has the Authority to Legally Sell Property,” which reviewed the primary basics of knowing who has the authority to sell property in an estate sale.

This second article will continue the sales process once the estate has determined who has the authority to sell the property and a real estate broker has been hired to market the property by summarizing the documents that are required to transfer title of a cooperative unit from an estate to a Purchaser and the timing requirements involved to manage the sale.
You’ve been looking for that perfect apartment for almost 6 months. The lack of inventory and unexpected low interest rates continue to create large demand from buyers like you and few properties to bid on. You’ve lost a bidding war in the past, despite waiving the mortgage contingency in order to compete with stronger cash offers.

You’re buyer’s agent calls you to tell you the good news. “YOU WON THE BIDDING WAR! The Sellers want you to close as soon as possible, so plan accordingly.”

You immediately get your ducks in order, give your landlord notice that you’re breaking your lease early and get ready to move. Fast forward five weeks and following your Board interview you’ve been told you’re approved! Get ready for closing… or maybe not. You find out you’re purchasing from an estate and the estate failed to obtain certain additional documents required which could take another four to six weeks.

Unfortunately, there’s a new tenant moving into your rental in two weeks, leaving you in a housing crisis.

Your buyer’s agent and real estate attorney failed to ask that critical question – “Is this an Page 2 of 5 estate sale, and if so, has the estate obtained the necessary documents to close?”

While buyers are often aware that an estate sale can involve apartments in poor condition that may require extensive renovations after closing, buyers and real estate agents representing the buyers must be aware of the timing issues that may impact the closing date.

The buyer’s agent should always confirm whether the estate has obtained Letters Testamentary and whether Federal and New
York State releases of liens have been obtained or at least whether this process has been initiated.

Both items may collectively take a minimum of 4-6 weeks to obtain, which should be known and accounted for upfront so the buyer can plan their move-out from their current residence accordingly.

The first step in the closing process is for the Sellers’s attorney to obtain and review the original stock certificate and proprietary lease. This quick review will tell the Seller’s attorney the record owner of the coop and confirm whether the estate is the correct legal Seller. If the record owner is the decedent, the Seller’s attorney (who may not necessarily be the estate attorney), must obtain and produce certain documents to the Purchaser and Managing Agent at the closing.

The executor or administrator of the estate will be required to sign all transfer documents. A power of attorney cannot be used by the executor or administrator to delegate his or her duty to an agent. These documents may include the following:

Original Stock Certificate
Original Proprietary Lease
Original death certificate
Copy of Will
Copy of Codicil, if any
Original letters testamentary
Original letters of administration
Affidavit of Debts & Domicile
Federal Releases of Lien
NYS Release of Lien
Closing Letter

The Seller’s real estate attorney must obtain from the Seller’s estate attorney the court Page 3 of 5 appointment, called Letters Testamentary (where there is a Will), or Letters of Administration (where there is no Will). Without the letters of appointment, the executor or administrator cannot represent the estate on the sale of the cooperative unit.

Although letters of appointment are valid for six months, most Managing Agents require that letters of appointment be dated
within 60 days of the date of closing. The Management Agent will require the Seller’s attorney to obtain and produce at the closing Federal and New York State releases of liens.

The Federal Release of Lien is obtained by filing a Form 4422 with the IRS entitled Application for Certification Discharging Property Subject to Estate Tax Lien. In addition, a copy of the signed contract of sale is generally required to be included with this application. Obtaining a Federal release of lien gets a bit tricky because the IRS will not issue a Federal release of lien if the estate is not required to file a Federal Estate Tax Return because the estate’s gross estate is less than the federal exemption amount (currently $5,340,000 for 2014) required to file it.

However, if the estate is not required to file a Federal Estate Tax Return, then the IRS will issue a letter which provides confirmation that no Federal release of lien will be issued because the estate is under the federal exemption amount and not required to file a Federal Estate Tax Return. It may take up to four weeks to obtain either IRS document.

Unlike the Federal release of lien, the New York State release of lien is easier to obtain. It is not contingent on whether a New York State estate tax return is required to be filed ($2,062,500 for deaths between April 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015). The Seller’s attorney obtains a New York State release of lien by filing a Form ET-30, entitled Application for Release of Estate Tax Lien, and ET-117, entitled Release of Lien of Estate Tax, with the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance along with a letter of appointment and copy of the death certificate. It may take up to six weeks to obtain a NYS release of lien.
Lastly, the Managing Agent and Purchaser’s attorney will require (1) an Affidavit of Debts and Domicile, (2) original death certificate, and (3) certified copy of the Will and codicils, if any. The executor or administrator of the estate will be required to sign the Affidavit of Debts and Domicile representing certain facts relating to the decedent’s domicile, debts and status of the payment of the Federal and New York State estate taxes, if any.

As a general rule, the Seller’s attorney should begin the process of obtaining all of the required documents in advance of the projected closing date to ensure a timely scheduled closing. On the sell-side, the Estate attorney, Seller’s attorney and listing agent should all be working collaboratively to ensure timelines are met and the same is accurately relayed to the buyer’s agent and the buyer.

A diligent buyer’s attorney and buyer’s agent is aware of these items and manages the closing date and seamless move for their client by planning ahead and knowing the right questions to ask.

Excerpts from this Real Estate Weekly Article


Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Rory Clark and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.


A select crop of top agents in New York City are chosen each month to appear on the cover of the New York City based industry publication, The Mann Report, and this month was no exception.

In addition to being on this cover, Louise has had a busy 2014 thus far. She was also named Halstead Property’s Top Listing Broker of 2014 and Park Avenue Office’s Top Grossing Broker. She was also named to the Top Real Estate Brokers in the US List compiled by the Wall Street Journal and Real Trends as well as being named the Donor of the Week by the Wall Street Journal for her philanthropic work.

Learn more about Louise from the Mann Report cover story.

Connect with Louise on her website or find her on twitter


August 1st, 2014

Our own Ari Harkov and Warner Lewis of the Harkov Lewis Team were interviewed by the New York Times today on the growing wave of new townhouse building going on in New York City. Although they had several quotes that spoke about the growing demand of city townhomes vs. suburban housing in their circles, the one above from Ari was our Quote of the Day. 

Read full article here

Connect with the Harkov Lewis Team on their website or on twitter.


In the 4th installment of regular Halstead Blog series from Halstead Property’s Barak Dunayer, we bring you Webisode 4 “Pricing to Win – How To Use Comps To Your Advantage 


Halstead’s Barak Dunayer shares his insight on how to price a property just right in this installment of Barak’s Thoughts. Sellers should look at comparable sales in-person not only on a spreadsheet or online. Perhaps the best piece of advice to avoid a “stale” property is to be aware of pricing of both recently sold and active inventory.

Click here to watch the most recent Webisode and for the entire collection of videos from Barak’s Thoughts series, click here. 

Share your thoughts and connect with Barak on Twitter or over email, and visit his agent website to learn more and for all of your real estate needs. 


Thoughts and opinions presented in this video series are those of Barak Dunayer and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.


By: Ingrid Johnson, bilingual German-English Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Halstead Property. 

One of the reasons I love living and working in the neighborhood of Yorkville, a charming section of the Upper East Side in Manhattan, is its rich German history. Many Germans arrived in Yorkville during the mid-19th century, and the area later became the principal German-speaking neighborhood in New York City. East 86th Street, also called “German Broadway” at the time, stood as the center of the German community—lined with illuminated theatres, dance halls, cafes and ethnic businesses. Not one of these businesses are left on East 86th Street, however there are still a few stores and a restaurant close-by that I’d like to share with you:

Schaller & Weber (1654 Second Ave at 86th Street) - One of the true authentic butcher shops left in New York City. Schaller & Weber is the first and only American sausage and meat producer to repeatedly win gold medals of honor at international exhibitions in Holland and Germany. This old school German deli has a large selection of cooked and smoked meats, sausages, cold cuts, potato salad, etc. They also carry a good selection of German candies and chocolates.

Heidelberg Restaurant (1648 Second Ave at 86th Street) - The space does not feel like a typical restaurant that can be found in Heidelberg. Instead it feels more like an old Bavarian hunting lodge with a deer antler chandelier, musty dark paintings and trellises, as well as lederhosen-clad staff. Half-dozen wursts (some sourced from Schaller & Weber) are outstanding, and are served with a superb, slightly warm German potato salad. A wide selection of German beers is on tap.

Glaser’s Bake Shop(1670 First Ave at 87th Street) - Walking into Glaser’s Bake Shop is like being transported back into the past. Apothecary-style wood cabinets panel the darkish rectangular interior with original white tile floors. Opened by John Glaser in 1902, and now run by grandson Herb, the old-time bakery specializes in Bavarian almonds, cherry spritz, gingerbread men, a colorful assortment of kids’ sugar cookies, wafer-thin chocolates, cinnamon swirls, and chocolate chunk and chocolate pecan brownies.

Wankel’s Hardware(1573 Third Ave at 88th Street) - Wankel’s opened on Third Avenue in 1896 when the neighborhood was still predominantly German. Established by Bernhart and Elizabeth Wankel, second generation German-Americans, it served primarily construction workers and tradesmen. Katherine Wankel, the great-granddaughter of Bernhart and Elizabeth, maintains this family operation.

To ask me a question of your own or to discuss your favorite neighborhood spots follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Connect with me over email in German or English or visit my agent website to learn more about New York City neighborhood escapes, and for all of your real estate needs. 


Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Ingrid Johnson and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.


Take in the sights of Midtown at skyscraping heights in the ultra luxe two-bedroom, two-bathroom Apartment 29A at Centria Condominium. This 22-foot long living-dining space features floor-to-ceiling views of Rockefeller Plaza to the north and the Hudson River to the west. The space is shared by an efficient kitchen outfitted with a Sub-Zero fridge and stainless steel appliances. Cook, dine and relax 365 days a year surrounded by the skyscrapers of Midtown West.  Floor-to-ceiling windows continue into the corner master bedroom where you can fall asleep and wake up to south-facing views of the Empire State building. Luxury is not limited to the living quarters at the Centria Condominium. The 35-story building has a 4,300 square foot Resident’s Lounge complete with a fitness center, conference rooms, smoking room, dining room, pantry and bar. There is also a landscaped terrace—another vantage point for taking in the urban vistas.

Click here to discover more about this breath-taking Midtown condo in the sky. 


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


Looking to bolster your management skills? Or are you in need of a smart summer read? Halstead Property CEO and co-founder, Diane Ramirez knows just the book for you: Leadership Isn’t For Cowards by Mike Staver, which offers tips on being a more effective, courageous leader in the workplace. Diane recently recommended the book for “A Summer Reading List for Entrepreneurs” compiled by Inc.com.

Throughout reading it, I would constantly dog ear pages as it would spur ideas on how to handle certain situations at work,” Ramirez said in her Inc.com interview. “It is so relevant to day-to-day management, which is key for anyone in business.”

 To connect with Diane, visit her website or follow her on Twitter


Featuring Celebrity Owned 304 West 75th Street

Carol Lawrence knows a thing or two about living on Manhattan’s Upper West Side which provides a unique synergy of the performing and culinary arts. At just 16 years young the Missouri native landed what would go down in history as one of the most iconic roles to grace the stages of Broadway as Maria in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. Maria and the rest of the cast stole the hearts of New Yorkers everywhere, and has been doing so ever since. Fast forward to present day where the Tony Award winning actress and Hollywood golden girl-turned cookbook author has been living a real life West Side Story at her home on 304 West 75th Street that is now on the market.  Halstead Property’s Jeff Tannenbaum recalls that it was love at first sight for Ms. Lawrence  when she first purchased the home nearly 5 years ago after being immediately drawn to the endless sunlight and ideal size of the space located within a premier full-service cooperative building. As many of those in show business will attest to, the space and Upper West Side location offered all of the trappings needed for a place to call home whenever her busy schedule required her to be in New York City. The beautiful sunlit studio apartment is complete with a separate kitchen and coveted closet space, and is situated in the epicenter of the city’s art scene with Symphony Hall and Lincoln Center within close proximity, in addition to Citarella and Fairway nearby for necessary convenience. Budding Broadway hopefuls will appreciate the built-ins and shelving above the molding that Ms. Lawrence added where she displayed a well-deserved arsenal of trophies and Tony Awards. As Tannenbaum puts it, “this is the quintessential Broadway star loft.”

Click here to learn more about this residence, and contact Jeff Tannenbaum over email to make this the start of your very own West Side Story


with Mark D. Friedman Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in our West Side Office and partner in The Friedman-Rosenthal Team

I have lived and worked on the Upper West Side since 1993. What I love about the Upper West Side is the close-knit community. I can’t walk down the street without running into friends! Over the years I have sought out the neighborhood’s best spots and encountered some historic, quirky secrets along the way (hint hint: peacocks that roam public gardens). Here are my top 10 best kept secrets of the Upper West Side:

1.  At the entrance of The New York Buddhist Church (331-332 Riverside Drive) is a fascinating statue of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism founder, Shinran Shonin, which survived the atomic bombing at Hiroshima during World War II.

2. The West Side Community Garden at West 89th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues was a littered vacant lot before it was converted into a garden in the late 1980s. Today, tulips brighten up the public Flower Park and community members tend to vegetable and herbs beds. For more information on the garden and how to become a member of this volunteer-run organization visit here. 

3. Town Shop (2270 Broadway at West 82nd Street) has been a neighborhood institution since 1936. The famous lingerie shop has been in existence since 1888 when it was first opened by Sam Koch. The Koch family still runs Town Shop and continues to personally fit customers.

4.  By far the best party spot on the Upper West Side is at Calle Ocho(45 West 81st Street at the Excelsior Hotel New York). The Latin restaurant has a private dining room for up to 50 people, and lounges for groups of 15, 25 or 30 guests.

5. For a more intimate outing, check out the best wine bar in the UWS—Barcibo Enotecaat 69th and Broadway, which serves tapas-style eats and obscure Italian wines. 

6.  One of the best kept secrets on the UWS is hidden at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine where three peacocks (named Jim, Harry and Phil) roam the grounds. The Cathedral’s 11.3 acres are known as The Close (1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street), and include public gardens and a Peace Fountain. For further information on hours, events or mini bios of the resident peacocks check out here

7.  For the best lox in Manhattan go to Barney Greengrass at 541 Amsterdam Avenue (at 86th Street).  “The Sturgeon King” has been around for almost 100 years and has made appearances in movies like “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.”

8.  Just two blocks from our West Side Office is the dangerously good, Sushi of Gariat 370 Columbus Avenue between 77th and 78th Streets.

9.   It’s amazing that only Upper West Siders have kept this a secret, but the AMC 84th Street theater recently added recliner seats that…wait for it… you can reserve online

10.  There have been great new additions to the neighborhood, such as downtown favorites The Meatball Shop (447 Amsterdam Avenue) and Red Farm(2170 Broadway). However, good old standbys likeCaesar’s Palace Pizza (493 Amsterdam Avenue), Good Enough to Eat (502 Columbus Avenue) and Ocean Grill (384 Columbus Avenue) are not to be forgotten. 

To connect with Mark, visit his website or follow him on twitter and facebook.


Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Mark D. Friedman and do not reflect the official opinions or endorsements from Halstead Property, LLC.


This show-stopping terrace will leave you breathless with nearly 1,000 square feet of private outdoor space and almost 360 degree views atop a 4 bedroom Penthouse on the Upper West Side. Upon entering the home you are immediately greeted by soaring 10 foot tall ceilings and windows of epic proportions that offer towering city views, and plenty of sunshine that floods the 25 foot wide living room complete with a gas fireplace. Among 4 bedrooms in the more than 2,200 square feet of interior space is a master suite that is waiting for its fashionista partner in crime to fill its 4 closets with an endless supply of designer threads. From gleaming hardwood floors found throughout to abundant views of the New York City skyline and Hudson River, you will appreciate every detail as you look around the Penthouse located in a sought after Upper West Side condominium building with round the clock services from a 24 hour doorman and concierge, to a fitness center, and 2 additional landscaped rooftop terraces. 

Click here to discover more about this Upper West Side Penthouse.


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


Sprawling and sun-filled with South and West exposures and a sweet corner terrace that offers panoramic views of the dynamic New York City skyline, you will be captivated by this split two-bedroom cooperative home. Inside you’ll find a dramatic windowed kitchen adorned with rich cherry wood cabinets, and two master suites of equally as sizable proportions, the west-facing suite boasts beautiful crown moldings and custom built-ins for added convenience. It is amazing how much privacy this home offers when you consider the sheer scope of it all, from its current configuration with a portion of the living room walled off to create a separate home office or third bedroom, the possibilities are endless. 

Click here to see more of this stunning residence located in a sought after Upper East Cooperative building.


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


Welcome to the renowned HL23 condominium building situated directly on New York City’s famous highline in Chelsea. Designed by starchitect Neil Denali, it is recognized as one of the greenest condos in the neighborhood and is noted for its unique column-free interiors where a keyed elevator opens to reveal this full floor two-bedroom apartment with almost 2,000 square feet of space. Imagine living in a very sophisticated tree-house atop the most famous elevated park in the world with an open floor plan and 11’ floor-to-ceiling glass panels that give you unrivaled views of the Highline. The master bathroom is also complete with floor to ceiling glass, and when your inner exhibitionist is feeling shy, the windows are equipped with operable bottom up shades for maximum privacy.

Click here for more Eye Candy on this one-of-a-kind condominium.


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here


A recent article by China Daily touched on how the Chinese are now the #1 International Buyers of US residential property according to new statistics released. To support that point, China Daily sat down with our Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Richard Grossman, to learn more about this growing trend. Richard summed it up perfectly with our Quote of the Day above that appeared in their recent article!

To network with Richard feel free to visit his webpage or email him directly. 


By: Donald E. Sharpe, Lic. Real Estate Salesperson reporting on all things Financial District, Battery Park City and Seaport

As the old saying goes, “Everything that’s old is new again” and this has never been more evident than with the  continuing rebirth of the historic  Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway  in Lower Manhattan. Completed in 1913 and designed by architect Cass Gilbert,  it was actually the worlds tallest building at the time and remained so until 1930 when it was surpassed by 40 Wall Street.  And can you believe that even now it remains as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York?! 

What retailer Frank Woolworth originally conceived of as a 20 story building  ultimately became a 60 story structure, built in a neo-gothic style. It’s common nickname at the time was “The Cathedral of Commerce” due to the it’s resemblance of European Gothic cathedrals.   In the years since, the majority of the time the building was continuously owned by the Woolworth Company and it’s successors  until it was ultimately sold in 1998 for what now seems an unbelievably low $155 million. 

Subsequently a majority of the building continues to be owned by the Witkoff Group; however the top 30 floors were recently  sold off separately to Alchemy Properties and are currently in the process of a conversion to residential condominiums, amid much fanfare. The penthouse unit is touted as being anywhere between 5 and 9 stories (!!)  and is potentially being  listed for a record-breaking $110,000,000 by itself.  The plan is to have a total of 34 units, designed by Thierry Despont, and in a general price range of upwards of $3000 per square foot. 

Regardless of the speculative nature of the pricing, one thing is for sure:  the Woolworth Building is again the focus of worldwide attention and whatever happens can only prove  to further boost values in an already rapidly booming area of Manhattan: The Financial District. 

Click here for archives of The Halstead Blog Eye on FiDI blog series.

To learn more about exciting opportunities to own a home in this rapidly evolving area, contact me directly at DSharpe@Halstead.com  


Thoughts from EYE on FiDi are those of Donald E. Sharpe and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC


A closet full of designer duds is a match made in style heaven for a uniquely chic living space like this two-bedroom cooperative nestled on a coveted stretch of Carnegie Hill in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A gracious entry foyer greets you into the light-filled designer renovated apartment with soaring ceilings and greenhouse windows for a living room full of open views that are like a breath of fresh air. What we most appreciate is the 16x11 Ft Master Suite that has an enormous walk-in closet perfect to house a growing arsenal of couture collectibles, and the 2nd bedroom is equally as spacious with well-proportioned closets and an en-suite bath. 

Click here to see more of the prewar cooperative home. 


Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

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