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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)


432 Park Avenue, #PENTHOUSE (SERHANT) 432 Park Avenue, #PENTHOUSE (SERHANT)
If you’re on the market for a new home, you’ve likely already heard about whisper listings or pocket listings. But, whatever you call them, you won’t find these listings on the MLS (multi listing service) or any of the popular real estate listing sites like ours that aggregate data from the MLS because that's the point—they are listings that are never publicly shared.

In a hot real estate market, gaining access to a whisper listing directly from an agent can be a great way to make a bid on a property without entering an aggressive bidding war. While this may sound desirable, whisper listings are also controversial. In fact, industry insiders are divided on the value they hold for consumers and agents alike.

The History of Whisper Listings

Whisper listings have always existed, but recently, there has been an effort to crack down on these listings. In 2019, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) introduced the Clear Cooperation policy. The policy states that all listing brokers who participate in the MLS must submit their listing to the MLS within one business day of marketing the property to the public. In essence, the policy is designed to restrict whisper listings and, by extension, increase the surplus of available homes on the market. However, with or without the Clear Cooperation policy, whisper listings continue to impact the real estate market in New York City and nationwide.

The Pros and Cons of Whisper Listings for Consumers

Whether whisper listings are desirable depends on who you are and what you have to gain or lose from a listing never being widely publicized.
The consumers who have the most to gain from whisper listings are generally those buying and selling luxury properties. First, compared to the average consumers, few people searching for luxury properties begin their search by casually surfing the MLS or a listing site that relies on MLS data. Second, while open houses that attract many potential buyers are essential when selling most residential properties, open houses are uncommon in the luxury market. Finally, many luxury properties are sold and purchased by celebrities who typically prefer to close deals out of the spotlight.

Beyond the luxury market, however, buyers and sellers can benefit from whisper listings under some circumstances. On the buyer side, a whisper listing can be a great way to avoid ending up in a stressful or futile bidding war. On the seller side, a whisper listing can save one the time and hassle of preparing one's home to go on the market, staging it, and opening it up to the public for multiple open houses.

While whisper listings certainly can and often do serve consumers, it is important to recognize that may also limit consumer choice. Since the late 1990s, buyers have had unprecedented access to listing data, empowering them to do considerable research without the aid of an agent. Whisper listings reduce the average consumers’ access to listing data and ultimately make them more dependent on agents again. Likewise, on the seller side, whisper listings limit the number of potential buyers who ever hear about one’s available property, which can result in a lower closing price.

The Pros and Cons of Whisper Listings for Agents

Whisper listings are generally embraced by agents and brokers and for an obvious reason. When a home sells, the commission is split between the listing agent and buyer agent. If a home never goes on the market, the listing agent generally represents both sides of the transaction and receives the full commission. For example, consider the following situation. An agent is working with a couple who want to buy a three-bedroom property in a specific zip code for just over $1 million, but this zip code currently has few properties for sale. The agent approaches a homeowner in the zip code who has a home that matches the couple’s specifications and lets the homeowner know how much the couple is willing to pay. If the homeowner agrees, the agent typically works with the seller and buyer and benefits from the full commission when the home sells.

While the above scenario may suggest that whisper listings are great news for agents, not all agents agree. At large brokerages, which list thousands of properties each year, whisper listings are generally welcome because agents don't always need to look outside their brokerage to find relevant listings to share with potential clients. At smaller brokerages, this is rarely the case. So, if larger brokerages such as Compass or Keller Williams aren’t required to share their listing data publicly, agents working for smaller and independent brokerages may end up with fewer listings to share with clients, which will ultimately affect their ability to close deals. This explains why NAR's Clear Cooperation policy is simultaneously loved and loathed by real estate professionals nationwide.

Less Competition and Reduced Stress

Whether you agree or disagree with whisper listings, one thing is certain—in a hot market where the housing surplus is low and bidding wars are common, whisper listings can be one way for buyers to get their foot in the door. Likewise, for existing property owners who want to avoid the time, cost, and stress of staging their home and opening it up to the public, whisper listings can be a less stressful way to sell.
To get access to available whisper listings, sign up here to view off-market properties within our network of over 200 specialized agents. To continue your search for homes in the public domain, start your search here. Find below a list of the most viewed listings on our website over the last 30 days, quite the opposite of hush-hush.

Most Popular Listings on CityRealty Right Now

432-Park-Avenue-01 432 Park Avenue #79 via Engel & Volkers
From the Listing: Among the clouds, at one thousand feet, is the Floating Inner Garden. A one-of-a-kind Hiroshi Sugimoto-designed masterpiece. This serene full-floor residence offers 8,055 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, two powder rooms, unobstructed helicopter views in all directions, soaring ceilings, two private elevator landings, custom-built mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, and a hand selection of the finest natural materials and finishes. Included in this offering are all custom-made furniture designed for The Floating Inner Garden by Hiroshi Sugimoto, site-specific permanent installation works of art by Hiroshi Sugimoto, two adjacent studio apartments, and two storage units. See floor plan and full details here.

183-185-West-4th-Street-01 183-185 West 4th Street via Sotheby's International Realty
From the Listing: First time on the market in 22 years! There are a pair of little houses in the West Village that have always intrigued passers by: 183 and 185 West 4th Street. Industrialist and art collector Armand Hammer made the place his home in the bohemian Greenwich Village of the 1920s. Today, masterfully restored by renowned architectural team Fairfax & Sammons, these two historic structures have been combined to create a singularly magical retreat. In the neotraditional mode, the home welcomes you into the elegance of an earlier age, completely updated to 21st century standards. See floor plan and full details here.

432-Park-Avenue-01 432 Park Avenue #PENTHOUSE via Serhant
From the Listing: The apex Penthouse is a sky mansion with 8,255 sq. ft. of pristine interior space. Unique features include a 93-foot-long living and dining great-room, 240 linear feet of glass with 360-degree views over Manhattan through 24 10-foot by 10-foot windows, and soaring 12.5-foot ceilings. This home has the perfect layout, with 6 bedrooms plus a library, 7 full bathrooms, 2 powder rooms, and a collection of high-end fixtures and finishes like herringbone white oak floors, and designer furniture from Fendi, Bentley, and Hermes. A private elevator landing opens into a sweeping east-facing great room with a wood-burning fireplace and a formal dining area. The sublime eat-in kitchen has the most stunning views of Central Park, and is equipped with marble floors, countertops, and backsplashes, white lacquer and natural oak cabinets, polished chrome fixtures from Dornbracht, a massive island, a north-facing breakfast bar, a butler's pantry with a utility sink, and a suite of high-end appliances from Miele. All furniture and art will be included in the sale. See floor plan and full details here.

200-East-83rd-Street-01 200 East 83rd Street via Compass
From the Listing: Penthouse C is an amazing and rare 6,592 square foot duplex residence at the very top of 200 East 83rd Street with spectacular wraparound views of Central Park and the city as well as 4 generous and dramatic terraces. The 37-foot long Living Room is as impressive in its size as in its drama from views and terraces, and a beautiful gas fireplace is the perfect icing on the cake. The kitchen, made by Brookmans by Smallbone, has a large den adjacent to the cooking and eating area, which opens onto a one-of-a-kind dining terrace with arched stonework framing spectacular views east, north and south of the city, river and the Midtown skyline. The residence is a perfect five-bedroom plus library and dining room floor plan with 12-foot ceilings, incredible views of Central Park and open city exposures and terraces all the way around. See floor plan and full details here.

339-East-58th-Street-01 339 East 58th Street via Christie's International Real Estate
From the Listing: Welcome to this extra-large pre-war one-bedroom, two-bathroom home. The thoughtfully laid out home has great views of the Queensborough Bridge and Tram, and has amazing sunlight all throughout the day. The home has beautiful architectural details which include high beamed ceilings, hardwood floors and an arched entry. The windowed kitchen features stainless steel appliances and a nice breakfast bar. The bedroom has an en suite bath with a large walk in closet and has an extra space for a full home office set up. Owner offering $1,000/month credit for 24 months towards the maintenance. See floor plan and full details here.

75-.5 Bedford Avenue
75.5-Bedford-Street-01 Millay House via Nest Seekers International
From the Listing: Famously known as Millay's House, the three-story plus finished basement 1873 Dutch-style house has been renovated with a modern touch and aesthetic still it is featuring original details of the house. This gem of a townhouse has 3 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, 4 wood-burning fireplaces, original exposed beams, and a fully finished lower-level retreat. There's abundant light on all three floors, from the skylight to the oversized windows, and the rear of the house has floor-to-ceiling French doors on the first and second floors that open onto a tree-shaded backyard. Each floor has an open layout and a beautiful white oak floor throughout. Modern kitchen with custom millwork, Italian marble countertops, backsplash, and bathrooms.

With its unique architecture, this famous home shares notable residents. In 1923, the house was leased by a consortium of artists who used it for actors working at the nearby Cherry Lane Theater. Cary Grant and John Barrymore stayed at the house while performing at the Cherry Lane during this time. Anthropologist Margaret Mead, cartoonist William Steig, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay lived in the house at different times.
See floor plan and full details here.

111-West-57th-Street-01 111 West 57th Street via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Triplex Penthouse 72 is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind penthouse residence that offers the grandeur of expansive indoor-outdoor living across three full floors, all with breathtaking, unobstructed 360-degree vistas that are perfectly centered over the entirety of Central Park to the north, and river-to-river over Manhattan's iconic city skyline to the south. The triplex boasts 7,130 of beautifully finished interior square feet with four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. The extraordinary private loggia is 1,367 sq ft and provides for an elevated, sheltered open-air entertaining experience unrivalled on Central Park South. Richly detailed residential interiors feature custom finishes conceived by Studio Sofield throughout that demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to traditional materiality, quality and craftsmanship. See floor plan and full details here.

157-West-57th-Street-01 One57 via Compass
From the Listing: Exquisitely designed by AD100 Designer Tony Ingrao, residence 46C at the iconic One57 has 3,466 square feet of luxurious living space. Breathtaking panoramic views of Central Park with triple exposures capture city skylines showcased through grand 10' 7' floor-to-ceiling windows to the south, east and north. As you enter the foyer, the north facing window greets you with direct Central Park views and the iconic 'Essex House' sign. The gallery extends into the grand salon spanning over 800 feet, boasting continued gorgeous views of Central Park and the city skyline. Iconic landmarks such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building are among the skyline views. An ideal setting for entertaining, this magnificent space is sun soaked with double corner exposures. Residence 46C enjoys the benefits of a 421-A tax abatement through June 2023. See floor plan and full details here.

30-East-31st-Street-01 30E31 via Reuveni Real Estate
From the Listing: Enjoy Empire State Views from your full-floor Penthouse duplex residence with a private elevator landing. This gorgeous 3-bedroom/3.5-bath residence is 3,354 square feet, with 9'-10' ceilings and offers abundant light and views to the north, west, and south while capturing the dynamic New York City skyline. No detail has been overlooked with 7' wide-plank white oak flooring throughout, expansive picture-frame windows and multi-zone climate control. The residence boasts a 4-pipe HVAC system, allowing for simultaneous heating and cooling in different zones. The fully equipped and windowed chef's kitchen offers custom walnut cabinetry, crafted in Italy, and is complemented by exquisite quartzite countertops and backsplashes with a leather-textured finish. Elegant fixtures, custom-designed by Morris Adjmi, and appliances by Bosch, Sub-Zero, and Wolf (with a range hood that vents out) complete the picture. Now offering 2 years free of common charges. See floor plan and full details here.

2109-Broadway-01 The Ansonia via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: We're excited to offer a rare opportunity to own one of the largest studios in the iconic Ansonia. Spanning approximately 550 square feet, this studio features exquisite pre-war details, oversized windows, 9'6" ceilings, cove moldings and 2 large closets. Located on the 14th floor, this home is flooded with natural light from oversized southern and western facing windows - perfect for taking in the views of midtown and dramatic sunsets. The separate kitchen and bathroom with an original cast iron deep soaking tub complete this unique property. See floor plan and full details here.

303-East-57th-Street-01 The Excelsior via Douglas Elliman
From the Listing: Residence 27-DE, is a beautiful, oversized alcove studio perched high on the 27th floor with an outdoor terrace overlooking a spectacular western city skyline view. This residence checks every box. The open living room is spacious and enjoys a separate dining area. The kitchen has been renovated and designed with a pass thru window, stone countertops, glass tile backsplash and all stainless-steel appliances. The apartment offers high ceilings, large picture windows with an abundance of natural light, overhead storage, hardwood flooring, two walk-in closets, one which boasts custom California closet system and through the wall air conditioning. See floor plan and full details here.

170-East-78th-Street-01 Morgan Studios via Corcoran
From the Listing: This unique, and very special two-bedroom prewar home has a stunning 29'5" x 14'2" living room with a recessed-lit 12'4" high ceiling. In addition, it offers a wood-burning fireplace with a lovely, detailed mantle; handsome, period wainscoting; and a dramatic 9' x 7'6" set of thermo-paned casement windows. Its renovated kitchen has wood cabinetry, recessed lighting, marble countertops and high-end appliances. The windowed marble bathroom has also been renovated. What gives this apartment even more charm is the corner, seven-step stairway leading up to the living room just above. Through-wall air conditioning is found throughout. Some work will be needed. See floor plan and full details here.

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Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.