Real Estate’s Best and Brightest

This issue highlights the booming real estate markets that constantly tempt our readers, from Manhattan and the Hamptons to our favorite warm weather destinations in Miami and Palm Beach. Our top property agents hail from a number of acclaimed firms including Sotheby’s Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, Saunders, Stribling, Compass, and Douglas Elliman, and utilize their unrivaled knowledge to provide insight into current trends and emerging neighborhoods like Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Coconut Grove in Miami. Quest readers are provided with keen advice for buying and selling—purchasers are being urged to act “quickly,” while sellers are advised to confidently embrace realistic pricing.

Alexa Lambert

Stribling & Associates / 917.403.8819 / alambert@stribling.com.

Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: I see a return to a desire for rooms. For a long time, people opened every wall and made one big living space, but are now really seeking separate spaces. I also think the magic of outdoor space is stronger than ever.

Q: Do you have any advice for buyers and sellers?
A: It’s age-old advice really. Sellers should try to be realistic when looking at their property—take the time to know what the property competes with in the market and price accordingly. Also, if they spend a bit of money to make the place look as good as possible, they will be rewarded. Buyers, on the other hand, should look into properties that have something special about it—something that makes them smile. No apartment or house is perfect, even at the highest price points people compromise. So, if there’s something they love that makes them feel lucky to live there, when they go to sell, someone else will feel the same—making it an investment and a comfortable home.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in New York right now?
A: I see the Upper East Side having a new wave. It once had a reputation for being stodgy but is now being celebrated for its increasing quietness compared to other neighborhoods. The far West Village is also fantastic, packed with exciting restaurants and shops, while still feeling very residential.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: I love that I work in both residential sales and development. I have a very special townhouse on East 78th, one of the prettiest streets in New York. I am also in love with a development in the West Village, The Shephard. It’s a very classic building with the most beautiful details.

Lourdes Gutierrez

Compass / 305.206.8096 / lourdes@compass.com

Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: Miami continues to grow, and its so visible in our skyline, which features state-of-the-art buildings attributed to world renowned architects. I see a trend in urban living, and many people are leaning towards apartments and are attracted to urban areas, where they can walk to dinner or the movies, and shopping. Miami Beach offers this, as does the Brickell and Downtown areas. Coconut Grove is going through a complete restoration phase, you could say it’s a renaissance. It’s attracting millennial’s as well as empty nesters.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with buyers and sellers?
A: I think at this point it’s a good buyers market. There are some great properties currently available, and once they deplete, prices will rise.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in the Miami area right now?
A: There are so many. It all depends on your choice of lifestyle. Miami Beach is exciting with great restaurants and night life, and offers waterfront properties with bay or ocean views. Brickell and Downtown areas are urban and fun. Key Biscayne provides island living with a relaxed atmosphere. Coconut Grove offers both urban and residential living, great for families as well as empty nesters.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.
A: All of my listings are different, but special. My Faena listings offer state-of-the-art architecture in a boutique building with European-style services. For the urban lover, you can move to Brickell and be walking distance to entertainment, shopping and dining. Bal Harbor Tower Penthouse offers spectacular city views, from one of the best run buildings in the area.

Harald Grant

Sotheby’s International Realty / 631.227.7712 harald.grant@sothebyshomes.com

Q: What are some real estate trends you are noticing right now?
A: Properties that have adjusted pricing, or that are priced correctly for the market are the properties that are selling. We have seen real pick-up starting during the second half of the year, but the properties need to be priced right. That stated, there is real momentum now. Buyers are out and looking in earnest at all price points.

Q: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with buyers and sellers?
A: Today’s buyer is smart. They have the tools to research markets, property listings, sales histories, etc. Even so, we coach them not to underbid, but instead to place bids that will get and keep them in the game. We also work carefully with sellers, helping them understand the markets and market shifts in order to negotiate the best price. It’s a balancing act.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in the Hamptons right now?
A: I always say that all of the Hamptons are in high demand. Lately, we are seeing a solid uptick in activity throughout Southampton Village. Many two-acre estate section properties have traded very recently at $9 million and up.

Q: Please share details about some of your exciting listings.

A: My listing at 65 Captains Neck is special. It offers a traditional style compound with a main residence and an actual guest house, which is rare. There is also a pool, tennis court, and terrific landscaping. I am also excited about the 14-acre oceanfront property that I am representing on Meadow Lane. It is stunning, and is offered as three separate lots with over 700 feet of direct oceanfront, plus an additional bay front lot.

SCOTT Durkin (Chief operating officer)
Douglas Elliman Real Estate / 212.303.5318

Real estate expert Scott Durkin is Chief Operating Officer of Douglas Elliman Real Estate, the largest brokerage in the New York Metropolitan area and the fourth largest residential real estate company nationwide. With over 26 years of real estate experience, Durkin started in the business as an agent and became a protégé of Barbara Corcoran working directly at her side for many years—learning and expanding his knowledge on the markets. An invaluable member of Elliman’s executive team and a strong leader, he has been a driving force in the firm’s expansion into new markets through strategic acquisition of a brokerage in California and Boston in the next coming months and the addition of offices opening throughout New York City and South Florida.
Aside from his obvious passion for real estate, Durkin is an amateur dressage rider with three horses the keep him entertained between Stone Ridge, New York and Wellington, Florida.

Q: What residential property trends are you noticing?
A: Pre-war co-ops are gaining momentum as buyers are realizing that they can double their square footage when compared with new condominium asking prices.

Q: Do you have advice to share with buyers and sellers?
A: Buyers should not be fearful of making offers on what they may feel is out of their reach. Be bold. Sellers cannot afford to overprice as overpriced listings help sell the ones that are not chasing the market with unrealistic asking prices.

Q: What are the most popular neighborhoods in Manhattan right now?
A: We are seeing continued interest in the lower Manhattan market—Southern Tribeca, City Hall, and Battery Park. The plethora of new restaurants, shops, food markets, and performing arts events have put that area on the map as of late.