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Toxic mold and bitter dispute lead to REBNY Deal of the Year award

A deal three years in the making, and riddled with legal hurdles, was named the deal of the year at REBNY’s annual awards dinner Oct. 28.

Ann Marie Folan

Ann Marie Folan

Stribling’s Ross Evangelista found out he had won, along with Douglas Elliman’s Ann Marie Folan, while he was on business in Asia.

“It feels fantastic and a little unexpected,” he told Broker’s Weekly from Bangkok. “This transaction was uniquely challenging and a major accomplishment. As someone who is still fairly new to real estate, the experience alone was rewarding and winning this prestigious award is the icing on the cake.”

Ross Evangelista

Ross Evangelista

The deal involved a co-op apartment that had been vacant for 13 years, with a legal case that had stretched on for more than a decade in New York Supreme Court. The shareholders sued the co-op board claiming there was toxic mold in the apartment and the board had not fixed the problem. The dispute then went on for 13 years, until the case was finally settled so the new buyers could purchase the property. Evangelista represented the buyers of the apartment, while Folan represented the sellers.

“I’m very excited, it’s a great honor,” said Folan.

It all started three years ago from a cold call, said Folan, who has been in real estate for almost 20 years, with a couple years also spent as a real estate attorney.

“It was a very long process with seemingly endless obstacles, between the legal settlement, the board, and the major renovations,” said Evangelista. “This wasn’t a situation many buyers would want to deal with, but my clients were incredibly patient. They were the perfect fit for this property, and I am so happy for them.”

However, Evangelista and Folan aren’t taking a break to celebrate their wins – they’re going right back to work.

“I literally start every day at zero,” said Folan. “It’s about getting back out there. It was good to be recognized for putting a very different deal together, but you’ve got to get back out there and pound the pavement again.”

“I want to continue learning and growing as a real estate sales person with Stribling, and continue servicing my clients with patience, creativity and flexibility,” said Evangelista. “The three qualities that made this deal successful.”

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