Property Grunt

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Soethbys Heading To The Suburbs

It appears that Soethby's is expanding their operations into the land of soccer moms and car pools.

According to Inman News

Sotheby's International Realty today announced it has acquired the assets of Julia B. Fee LLC based in Scarsdale, N.Y.

Julia B. Fee's eight offices throughout Westchester County will now operate as Sotheby's International Realty Inc., a subsidiary of NRT Inc.

Randall Katchis and George Stone, co-owners of Julia B. Fee, will each assume a role as senior vice presidents for Sotheby's International Realty, managing the company's Westchester operations.

Julia B. Fee was founded in 1960 with a single office in Scarsdale and has since expanded with another office in Scarsdale, as well as offices in Armonk, Chappaqua, Katonah, Rye, and two in Larchmont. During the past 12 months, Julia B. Fee and its more than 300 sales associates have posted approximately $1.8 billion in closed sales volume, according to a press statement.

My analysis is that Soethby's realizes that the New York City area is pretty much tapped out and they are looking for other territories to pillage. Julia B. Fee is compatible to Soethby's since they both deal with the white glove demographic. Other competing brokerage firms are definitely going to keep an eye out on this very profitable union.

Personally, if I owned a brokerage firm in the burbs, I would find the biggest, fattest broker hog I could find and sell out so I can weather the storm when all hell breaks loose. What will be interesting to see is when the discount brokerage industry makes their foray into Westchester.

Btw, I have been getting some comments regarding my lack of coverage of open houses. One reader insinuated that I was avoiding doing coverage because the open houses did not correspond to my views that the market was crashing.

The real reason why I haven't done any recent reports is that there is really nothing to report about. It is still has dead as it ever was.