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Man Vs. The Real Estate 'Machine'

Fort Greene resident pickets Corcoran over failed condo deal.

David Huber is really, really mad at Corcoran—and not in a write a strongly worded letter or complaining to the Better Business Bureau kind of way.

Instead the 25-year-old Fort Greene resident decided to camp out in front of The Corcoran Group's Lafayette Avenue office on Friday to protest what he called the boutique firm's walking away from a real estate deal gone incredibly, awfully, almost catastrophically, wrong.

"They can't take profit from the good sales, when they are good sales, and not take the consequences for the bad sales," Huber said in front of an assemblage of homemade signs with, "Buyers Beware -- Corcoran" and "Ethics? No Time For That! There's Brownstones To Sell!" scrawled on them.

According to Huber, things when downhill quickly when his deal to purchase a $240,000 studio in a 19th century refurbished nine-unit condo building in Clinton Hill got snagged due to a lack of certificate of occupancy.

Huber claims his brokers at Corcoran should have known about the absence of certification, which is necessary for most real estate deals involving bank financing to go through.

The office manager for the Fort Greene branch of Corcoran did not return a call for comment.

Out $2,000 to $3,000 in closing costs, the freelance architectural writer said he was left with few options but to take his grievances with brokers at Corcoran to the public—which to be judged by the comments of passersby on a Friday afternoon, were largely receptive.

"Companies like that are only in it for the profit," said Alex Bilu, an independent real estate broker and longtime Fort Greene resident. "They don't care about people."

To be fair, Huber said a Corcoran representative came out with an offer to refund his closing costs, basically in exchange for going away. He said he rejected the offer.

Huber seemed in it for the long haul—with his one-man revolt against the corporate powers-that-be mirroring the demonstrations only a short ride on the C train away.

"I've been down there. I was impressed with how organized they were, how clean they kept everything," Huber said of the protests, which have begun . 

A graduate of Cooper Union originally from L.A., Huber said he would picket Corcoran's open houses in the area this weekend. 

"I'm really angry," he said. "But I didn't want to be just another angry blogger."

renee rapley October 10, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Please get the story right.a little knowledge being a dangerous thing. Especially when other people read misinformation and potentially rely on it when making decisions." it is the buyer's ATTORNEY who is to blame, NOT the seller's broker. In New York, ALL residences are required to have a C of O, period. The C of O is not typically part of a simple title report, but is easily accessable on line from the department of buildings. Any attorney who isn't brain dead would check with the departmnent of buildings FIRST, to see any recent violations and make sure the building is up to code. Dave's attorney obviously had never worked on a brownstone sale before. Dave's attorney was hired by, and worked for Dave, and should have acted in his best interest. The Broker was hired by, and was working for the seller (check your department of state guidelines on "Agency"). The fault is solely on the attorney's shoulders, Dave just sees that Corcoran has more money, and might settle out of court to make him go away. If I was Corcoran's parent company, I'd counersue Dave and his attorney a little knowledge being a dangerous thing.

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