By Malcolm Carter

Most of us have a clue as to why developers pay so much attention to lobbies that impress buyers. Such lobbies can tip the balance between making an offer and continuing the search for a new home.

I often hear buyers comment on how pleasing or displeasing a given lobby is to them.

But short is the shrift they tend to give to a building’s exterior, which seems to have a far more subtle, but no less strong, influence on buyers.

I was reminded of this phenomenon on one of my recent tours of brokers’ open houses.  Going from address to address and one bland façade after another on generic block followed by generic block, I came upon the building at the top.

Jaded as I am, I couldn’t wait to see the apartment, which I rather liked, despite the climb up three flights of ill-maintained stairs.

Am I alone in walking past various buildings and wishing, “I’d love to live there.”  For example, I’ve had that thought about the Ansonia (right) just south of Fairway and some contemporary buildings such as the Harrison that have sprung up nearby.

They are tantalizing — what’s that nostrum about first impressions?  Even if the apartments inside prove to be disappointing, a smashing lobby or gracious façade can lead buyers to accept the compromise of a new home that isn’t quite of their dreams.

Indeed, approaching such a memorable building can be counted on to lighten their mood, whether they consciously appreciate that an inviting façade is what can make acceptable to them a dismal kitchen or a blocked exposure.

Below are some of the properties listed by various brokers that I have visited:

Malcolm Carter is a real estate broker and columnist for the West Side Rag. A version of this post was first published at Service You Can Trust, Malcolm’s blog.

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