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2018

Show Press Hide Press
12.9.18
12.8.18
12.7.18
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12.1.18
NAR vs. the naysayers
The Real Deal
11.30.18
11.29.18
11.29.18
11.29.18
11.27.18
11.23.18
11.23.18
11.23.18
Send in the Stagers
The New York Times
11.21.18
11.21.18
11.20.18
11.19.18
11.17.18
11.17.18
11.16.18
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10.31.18
10.31.18
10.31.18
10.29.18
10.29.18
10.27.18
10.26.18
DONE DEALS: Harlem block buster
Real Estate Weekly
10.26.18
10.26.18
10.26.18
10.25.18
10.25.18
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10.24.18
10.22.18
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10.10.18
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10.8.18
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10.6.18
10.5.18
Done Deals: Asked and Answered
Real Estate Weekly
10.5.18
10.4.18
10.4.18
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10.3.18
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STYLE RETURNS TO NEWSSTANDS WITH A SUPERHERO NUMBER
Il Corriere Della Sera Italian Men's Magazine
10.1.18
9.30.18
9.30.18
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9.19.18
9.19.18
Done Deals
Real Estate Weekly
9.19.18
Done Deals
Real Estate Weekly
9.18.18
9.17.18
9.17.18
9.15.18
9.15.18
New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
9.15.18
New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
9.14.18
9.14.18
9.13.18
9.13.18
9.13.18
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9.13.18
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9.12.18
Ready For His Close-Up
Cottages & Gardens
9.12.18
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9.7.18
9.7.18
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9.6.18
9.6.18
9.5.18
9.4.18
9.4.18
How to Invest in Luxury Real Estate
U.S. News and World Report
9.3.18
9.3.18
9.2.18
9.2.18
9.2.18
9.1.18
9.1.18
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8.30.18
8.30.18
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8.22.18
8.21.18
8.21.18
8.19.18
8.18.18
8.17.18
8.17.18
8.16.18
8.15.18
On the Market in New York City
The New York Times
8.15.18
8.15.18
8.14.18
8.13.18
8.13.18
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8.2.18
How to Glow from Head to Toe!
ABC Morning Blend
8.1.18
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7.19.18
On the Market
The New York Times
7.19.18
7.18.18
7.18.18
7.18.18
7.17.18
7.13.18
7.13.18
7.12.18
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7.6.18
The Rise of the Single Female Homeowner
US News and World Report
7.5.18
7.5.18
7.5.18
7.3.18
7.2.18
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7.1.18
No longer New Yorkers
The Real Deal
6.29.18
6.29.18
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6.27.18
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New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
6.27.18
6.26.18
6.26.18
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6.25.18
6.22.18
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6.21.18
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6.13.18
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New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
6.13.18
6.12.18
6.12.18
The Guide to First Time Homebuyers
U.S. News & World Report
6.11.18
6.8.18
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4.17.18
3.27.18
3.22.18
3.16.18
3.16.18
3.14.18
3.13.18
2.25.18
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2017

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10.16.17
10.15.17
10.12.17
10.4.17
8.22.17
8.22.17
8.22.17
8.22.17
8.12.17
7.21.17
7.14.17
7.7.17
7.7.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
7.6.17
Congratulations (Again), Wendy!
Wall Street Journal
7.5.17
6.28.17
6.27.17
6.20.17
6.14.17
6.13.17
Warburg And Wallack Partner
CityBizList NYC
6.12.17
6.9.17
6.8.17
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5.23.17
5.19.17
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4.23.17
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4.18.17
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4.17.17
4.17.17
4.14.17
4.12.17
4.7.17
4.1.17
3.10.17
3.10.17
Prewar Is So Last Year
New York Times
3.2.17
3.2.17
2.21.17
2.7.17
2.6.17
2.2.17
1.31.17
1.24.17
1.20.17
On the Market
The New York Times
1.11.17
1.5.17
1.4.17
1.1.17
1.1.17
See More See Less

2016

Show Press Hide Press
12.29.16
12.13.16
12.13.16
12.6.16
12.1.16
11.30.16
11.28.16
11.27.16
11.22.16
11.18.16
11.18.16
11.9.16
11.4.16
On the Market
The New York Times
11.4.16
10.31.16
10.31.16
10.30.16
10.28.16
10.7.16
On the Market
The New York Times
10.4.16
9.30.16
9.25.16
9.23.16
9.19.16
A Water Skier Seeks Higher Ground
The Wall Street Journal
9.13.16
9.9.16
Where to Live? Ask an App
The New York Times
9.1.16
8.5.16
8.2.16
8.2.16
7.27.16
7.21.16
7.19.16
Kowalczuk and Compton join Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
7.11.16
7.1.16
6.24.16
Once and Always a New Yorker
The New York Times
6.16.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
6.16.16
6.10.16
Industrial Elegance in SoHo
The New York Times
6.1.16
6.1.16
Living Large in Manhattan
CASTLES Magazine
6.1.16
5.26.16
5.26.16
5.25.16
5.17.16
5.16.16
5.13.16
5.13.16
Priced Out of My Childhood Home
The New York Times
5.6.16
The Golden Mean
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
5.6.16
Featured Property: 150 Reade Street
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
Soiree at 150 Charles
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
Best in the West: 150 Charles, M9
Metropolitan Magazine
5.6.16
5.1.16
5.1.16
5.1.16
4.13.16
4.12.16
4.11.16
4.8.16
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4.5.16
4.1.16
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4.1.16
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4.1.16
4.1.16
4.1.16
3.31.16
3.31.16
3.30.16
3.30.16
New Listing: 30 West Street
Real Estate Weekly
3.28.16
3.25.16
Fusco joins Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
3.23.16
Who’s News: Mary Anne Fusco
Real Estate Weekly
3.23.16
New Listing: 39 Vestry Street
Real Estate Weekly
3.17.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.16.16
3.15.16
3.10.16
3.10.16
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.8.16
3.8.16
3.7.16
3.1.16
3.1.16
NYC Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
3.1.16
Deeds & Dont’s
New York Cottages & Gardens
2.26.16
Executive Moves
Crain's
2.24.16
Sugar Hill condos hit market
Real Estate Weekly
2.18.16
2.17.16
New Listing: 475 Park Avenue
Real Estate Weekly
2.17.16
2.17.16
2.12.16
2.12.16
2.11.16
2.10.16
2.9.16
2.5.16
2.5.16
2.5.16
Big Ticket
The New York Times
2.3.16
2.3.16
2.1.16
2.1.16
1.29.16
1.27.16
1.22.16
The Art of Home Staging
The New York Times
1.20.16
Unfailingly Vibrant in The West Village
Private Air Luxury Homes
1.15.16
1.15.16
1.13.16
1.12.16
1.10.16
Something about a quick deal
Luxury Listings NYC
1.10.16
Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
1.10.16
Premier Properties
Luxury Listings NYC
1.8.16
1.6.16
1.5.16
1.5.16
1.4.16
1.1.16
The interest rate upshot
The Real Deal
1.1.16
See More See Less

2015

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12.23.15
12.22.15
12.22.15
12.21.15
12.21.15
12.18.15
On the Market
The New York Times
12.18.15
12.10.15
12.10.15
12.10.15
12.1.15
Haber inks a book deal
The Real Deal
12.1.15
12.1.15
12.1.15
11.30.15
11.27.15
11.25.15
11.25.15
11.24.15
11.18.15
Symposium
Metropolita
11.18.15
New Listings
Real Estate Weekly
11.17.15
11.13.15
11.12.15
11.11.15
11.9.15
11.9.15
11.4.15
11.3.15
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11.2.15
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11.1.15
11.1.15
11.1.15
10.28.15
10.25.15
On the Market in New York City
The New York Times
10.23.15
10.22.15
10.22.15
10.21.15
10.21.15
10.20.15
10.16.15
10.14.15
10.12.15
10.6.15
10.6.15
10.2.15
10.1.15
In their words…
The Real Deal
10.1.15
9.30.15
9.23.15
9.22.15
9.14.15
9.11.15
9.11.15
9.9.15
9.3.15
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8.28.15
8.21.15
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8.20.15
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8.13.15
8.11.15
8.7.15
8.7.15
8.7.15
8.5.15
8.4.15
8.1.15
8.1.15
Win now, decide later
The Real Deal
7.28.15
7.27.15
7.24.15
7.23.15
7.21.15
7.20.15
7.13.15
7.12.15
7.8.15
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7.6.15
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7.5.15
7.3.15
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7.1.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
7.1.15
6.29.15
6.28.15
6.26.15
6.25.15
Fishman joins Warburg Realty
New York Real Estate Journal
6.25.15
6.24.15
6.23.15
6.22.15
6.22.15
6.19.15
6.18.15
6.18.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.17.15
6.16.15
6.16.15
6.16.15
6.12.15
6.12.15
6.12.15
6.9.15
6.5.15
6.5.15
6.5.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.3.15
6.2.15
6.1.15
6.1.15
5.30.15
5.29.15
5.28.15
5.28.15
5.27.15
5.27.15
5.26.15
Home Prices Continue to Climb
Wall Street Journal
5.21.15
$21.5 million Manhattan townhouse is a steal?
CNBC Secret Lives of the Super Rich
5.20.15
5.18.15
5.18.15
5.18.15
5.16.15
5.15.15
5.15.15
5.15.15
5.14.15
5.8.15
5.4.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
5.1.15
Manhattan Market Watch: Moving Tips
Mann Report Residential
5.1.15
5.1.15
4.30.15
4.30.15
4.28.15
4.24.15
4.22.15
4.21.15
4.16.15
4.15.15
4.14.15
4.13.15
4.12.15
4.12.15
4.3.15
4.3.15
4.3.15
4.2.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
4.1.15
3.20.15
3.19.15
3.17.15
Lauren Bacall’s Apartment
Top Ten Real Estate Deals
3.13.15
3.12.15
3.3.15
We Hear…
New York Post
3.3.15
3.3.15
3.2.15
3.1.15
EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT IN 2015
Mann Report Residential
3.1.15
3.1.15
2.26.15
2.25.15
2.20.15
On The Market In New York City
The New York Times
2.19.15
2.17.15
2.11.15
2.5.15
2.5.15
2.3.15
2.2.15
2.2.15
Fixer-uppers gain appeal
The Real Deal
2.1.15
2.1.15
1.30.15
1.29.15
1.25.15
1.16.15
1.16.15
1.12.15
1.7.15
1.7.15
1.6.15
1.6.15
1.6.15
1.5.15
See More See Less

2014

Show Press Hide Press
12.29.14
12.29.14
12.26.14
On the Market: Sutton Place
The New York Times
12.23.14
12.17.14
12.1.14
Prime Rates
Gotham
11.26.14
11.24.14
11.14.14
11.12.14
11.11.14
11.6.14
Houses of the Week
New York Post
11.5.14
11.1.14
11.1.14
10.31.14
10.31.14
10.31.14
10.24.14
10.24.14
10.20.14
10.17.14
10.15.14
10.14.14
10.9.14
10.1.14
10.1.14
10.1.14
9.20.14
9.19.14
9.10.14
9.10.14
9.4.14
9.1.14
Doubling Down On Cuomo
The Real Deal
8.26.14
8.23.14
8.22.14
8.8.14
8.8.14
8.6.14
8.1.14
7.28.14
7.23.14
7.14.14
7.9.14
7.3.14
7.2.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
7.1.14
6.30.14
6.24.14
6.13.14
6.4.14
6.1.14
5.30.14
5.21.14
5.21.14
5.16.14
5.16.14
5.6.14
Profile: CLAIRE GROOME
New York Family
5.1.14
4.20.14
4.16.14
4.9.14
4.7.14
Dads of Real Estate
New York Family Magazine
4.7.14
4.6.14
4.1.14
3.30.14
3.28.14
3.26.14
3.25.14
3.25.14
3.25.14
3.12.14
Sales Updates – Harlem
The Real Deal
3.10.14
3.10.14
3.1.14
3.1.14
2.26.14
New Listings: Beekman
Brokers Weekly
2.20.14
2.14.14
2.5.14
2.1.14
2.1.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.29.14
1.27.14
1.14.14
1.14.14
1.3.14
1.3.14
1.1.14
See More See Less

2013

Show Press Hide Press
12.30.13
12.19.13
12.4.13
Gotta get gund
New York Post
11.26.13
11.26.13
11.15.13
11.15.13
11.12.13
11.8.13
11.6.13
10.31.13
10.30.13
10.27.13
10.25.13
10.21.13
10.16.13
10.11.13
10.7.13
10.7.13
Park Manhattan is Sold Out!
Mann Report Residential
10.1.13
10.1.13
10.1.13
Sales in the City – Summer 2013
Residency NY Magazine
10.1.13
Sales in the City – Fall 2013
Residency NY Magazine
9.27.13
9.21.13
9.19.13
9.12.13
9.11.13
9.11.13
9.10.13
9.9.13
9.1.13
8.27.13
8.27.13
8.26.13
8.19.13
8.19.13
8.18.13
8.1.13
EVERYONE IN THE POOL!
Mann Report Residential
8.1.13
8.1.13
7.18.13
7.8.13
7.2.13
7.1.13
6.23.13
6.21.13
6.9.13
6.4.13
6.2.13
5.31.13
5.23.13
5.19.13
On the Market: Kips Bay Co-op
The New York Times
5.14.13
5.9.13
5.8.13
5.1.13
5.1.13
4.30.13
4.18.13
4.10.13
4.8.13
4.8.13
4.4.13
4.1.13
4.1.13
4.1.13
3.23.13
3.18.13
3.17.13
3.7.13
Dream Homes
New York Post
3.5.13
3.1.13
3.1.13
2.26.13
2.22.13
Houses of the Week
New York Post
2.22.13
2.13.13
Properties of the Month
Avenue Magazine
2.12.13
2.11.13
2.8.13
Dear Owner: Please Sell
The New York Times
2.5.13
2.4.13
2.4.13
2.1.13
2.1.13
2.1.13
Warburg Honors Top Agents of 2012
Mann Report Residential
2.1.13
1.31.13
1.15.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
1.1.13
See More See Less

2012

Show Press Hide Press
12.31.12
12.23.12
12.21.12
12.11.12
12.6.12
Who’s News
Brokers Weekly
12.4.12
11.27.12
11.26.12
11.1.12
10.10.12
Who’s News
Real Estate Weekly
10.1.12
10.1.12
Just Sold!
New York Post
10.1.12
9.24.12
9.12.12
9.12.12
9.4.12
8.24.12
8.21.12
8.20.12
8.9.12
8.8.12
8.4.12
8.2.12
8.1.12
8.1.12
Alicia Corpening Joins Warburg Realty
Mann Report Residential
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2011

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2011: The Year of the Turndown
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Manhattan Market Watch: A FINE ROMANCE
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2.28.11
Q&A with Deborah Lupard
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2.27.11
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2010

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The Wall Street Journal
6.23.10
New Appraisal Rules Irk Some Brokers
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6.20.10
Caught in the Web
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6.1.10
Manhattan Market Watch: ON NEGOTIATING
Mann Report Residential
5.27.10
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The Real Deal
4.1.10
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Real Brokers of NYC
Brokers Weekly
3.5.10

Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman’s Real Estate Adventure

May 15th 2015

The New York Times

By Joanne Kaufman

Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman portray Brooklyn sellers in “5 Flights Up.”

Soon after they married in the mid-1970s, a promising young artist and his schoolteacher wife moved into a rundown two-bedroom apartment on the top floor of a walk-up in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. For 40 years, amid canvasses and clutter, it was home sweet home.

But now the couple’s once-dodgy neighborhood is hipper than hip, and their once marginal apartment is worth a small fortune. They’re getting older, and the stairs seem to be getting steeper by the climb. So maybe, maybe, it’s time to sell and move to an elevator building in Manhattan.

Such is the premise of “5 Flights Up,” a new movie starring Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton as Alex and Ruth Carver, an aging couple tentatively considering a major life change. Cynthia Nixon plays Ruth’s niece, Lily, a gung-ho real estate broker who has the listing for the Carvers’ apartment. She advises the couple to boil a cinnamon stick in preparation for an open house, to create “a homey feeling,” and is given to market commentary like “Dog eat dog. If you snooze you lose.”

Traditionally, Hollywood has viewed real estate agents in much the way it views dentists, lawyers and used-car salesmen. Which is to say, really, really unfavorably. From “The Cocoanuts” to “Wall Street,” “Glengarry Glen Ross,” “American Beauty” and “Duplex,” brokers are portrayed as an unsavory lot, a blend of underhanded and overweening, guided more by self-interest than by their clients’ needs.

Some New York real estate brokers who saw “5 Flights Up” laughed as they watched Ms. Nixon. Others were horrified. Spoiler alert: At one point, the broker swears at her clients.

“You do not swear at clients,” said Lois Planco, a saleswoman at Compass. “At least, you do not swear at clients to their faces.”

Some dismissed Ms. Nixon’s portrayal as a caricature, while others said it simply reinforced negative stereotypes. “Watching Cynthia Nixon, was I embarrassed to be in the business? You bet,” said Frances Katzen, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman.

Steven O. Goldschmidt, a senior vice president of Warburg Realty, recoiled at a suggestion by Ms. Nixon’s character that one of the rooms could easily be converted into a nursery, a no-no under fair housing laws. “Most brokers,” Mr. Goldschmidt said, “are trained to steer clear of any descriptions or hints of possible usage that would indicate a preference for couples with children, or a bias against them.”

Then there were those who said that Ms. Nixon’s pushy, brash, anything-for-a-transaction manner reminded them of certain colleagues. Not that they’d name names, of course.

And all the professionals pointed out the liberties that the filmmakers took in their depiction of real estate transactions. Such creative license included scenes of deal-making without due diligence and open houses with the sellers in attendance (a bad idea for obvious reasons), as well as prospective buyers who make themselves right at home — at a seller’s home.

“In real life, no one is turning on a television or taking a nap in the master bedroom or flipping the light switches on and off at an open house,” said Ann Cutbill Lenane, an associate broker at Douglas Elliman, referring to a sequence in the movie. “But it plays to the worries of real-life sellers, who think people are going to be going into their dresser drawers and trying on their underwear.”

Further, several agents complained, the open house at the Carvers’ apartment was absurdly well attended. “I should only have so many people at one of my open houses,” said Wendy J. Sarasohn, an associate broker at Brown Harris Stevens. “That crowd was like people waiting for the new iPhone.”

Clean up, de-clutter, raise the shades to let the light in — so Cynthia Nixon’s character told her clients. Sound advice, Ms. Nixon’s real-life counterparts agreed.

“She had a lot of the good traits of a broker: her enthusiasm and energy, the way she balanced everything and kept track of everything,” Ms. Sarasohn said. “But I thought she was incredibly insensitive to her clients, encouraging them to sell when they clearly weren’t ready.”

Caroline Bass, an associate broker at Citi Habitats, said she found it upsetting to watch Ms. Nixon’s character. “I thought she was pretty aggressive, especially considering that the clients were her family,” she said. “She seemed totally out for herself and out for a commission.”

Upsetting, yes, said Kathy Braddock, a managing director at William Raveis New York City. “But unfortunately not so very far off the mark.”

“Ours is an industry that has struggled to maintain a high level of professionalism,” Ms. Braddock continued. “This is a very undisciplined work force. If you have a friend or a family member who’s a broker and you don’t use that broker when you’re selling or buying an apartment, she’ll stop talking to you. There’s this very entitled sense of ‘you owe me — you have to work with me.’ My doctor and lawyer friends aren’t offended if I don’t go to them. In fact, they’d prefer to refer me to a colleague, because we are friends.”

Still, for Ms. Lenane at least, “5 Flights Up” was something akin to a continuing education course. “People buy real estate at the highest and lowest times of their lives,” she said. “And it was useful for me to be reminded how traumatic the whole process is. A broker should be a buffer and do a lot of hand-holding.”

The filmmakers used a walk-up on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for the exterior shots of the Carvers’ apartment. The interiors were shot on a set at Steiner Studios in the old Brooklyn Navy Yard.

“You know,” said Lori McCreary, one of the movie’s producers, “I’m getting a little nervous that someone seeing the movie is going to ask where the apartment is and want to buy it and move in.”

There was no real estate broker consultant on the set of “5 Flights Up,” Ms. McCreary said. “But my parents were both sales agents in California, and my father used to bake cookies for open houses,” she recalled, adding that the director of the movie, Richard Loncraine, did canvass several real estate brokers, “to make sure we were in the ballpark about apartment prices.”

They were certainly in the ballpark about the subject that so utterly absorbs the locals. “I didn’t realize what a topic of conversation real estate is in New York,” Ms. McCreary said. “Our whole crew was talking about it.”

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