Ms. Demeanor's Vertical Etiquette

Dear Ms. Demeanor: Is it okay to ask how much the neighbor's apartment just sold for?

By Jamie Lauren Sutton  | May 25, 2011 - 2:10PM

Dear Ms. Demeanor,

Our neighbors just went in to contract to sell their place - same line and level of finish as ours.  I am dying to know what they got for it.  When, if ever, it is okay to ask?


Dare I Ask?

Dear Dare I Ask,

I love that you asked 'if ever'.  We were taught as children not to discuss money, our own or that of others, in polite company.  However, particularly when it comes to real estate, most New Yorkers just can't stop themselves. 

I understand your rabid curiosity, but for your neighbor's sake I would wait until after the closing when everyone with a account will know it as well.  In today's real estate market, deals fall apart faster and more frequently than Hollywood marriages.  The don't 'get' anything until that big ol' check is cashed.  Having the contract price known could theoretically compromise a future sale should this one go south.  In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed and your mouth shut.

In closing,

Ms. Demeanor

Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to [email protected] and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.


See all of Ms. Demeanor's advice here.


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