In fact, in Manhattan, all brokerages belong to a trade association called REBNY that requires them to share exclusive listings with all other brokers--within 24 hours. The word exclusive is misleading, it just means that one brokerage/agent has been given a contract to sell the home, as compared to an open listing, which means no one has been granted a contract, so everybody can try to sell it.
The majority of properties sold in Manhattan involve two brokers--that is normal. By the way, Manhattan does not have an effective MLS, but we do have aggregator websites that pull listings from many sources.
In Brooklyn it's a little different, some small brokerages still try not to share listings with other agents, which is bad for the sellers, whose properties will get less exposure to buyers. Since state law requires agents to take a fiduciary responsibility to their clients--which means putting the client's interests ahead of their own--brokerages that refuse to co-broke are arguably violating the law, either in letter or in spirit.
There's an MLS for Brooklyn, but it is quite incomplete. I have two Brooklyn listings right now that are not listed there. In Queens there is an MLS that is much more complete. The link is http://www.mlsli.com.
If you are really hunting in four boros, I would suggest getting one buyer's agent for each boro. I disagree with Cory's advice to always call the agent on the sign, that agent is working for the seller, and it's their job to get as much money from you as possible :) Most buyers are better off with a buyer's agent looking out for their interests. (Not many "For Sale" signs in Manhattan or even Brooklyn anyway.)
Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Manhattan and Brooklyn
Sr. Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Your second questions is tricky because I don't advise a buyer to work with many real estate agents because agents may drop you when they find out you're not loyal. When agents sacrifice their time and energy and then find out they're in a race with other agents to find you a home they will usually stop searching for you.
You need to find a real estate agent that is full time and very experienced and takes finding a home for you very seriously. It will be take some trial and error, but when you find the right one you will not go anywhere else.
I do not understand why you can find a desirable co-op for what you can afford to spend, what are you looking at, I know NY is expensive but come on.
I realize my parameters probably sounded too general. I am open to specific neighborhoods within the boroughs. I need at least 2 BRs and 2 BAs. I've found 2 BAs is very hard to find in my price range. That's why I am open to different neighborhoods and houses as well as apartments. I am also looking for something which does not need more than cosmetic work with at least 1,500 sft of space. It's hard to find under 750K unless the building is in poor condition or the monthly maintenance fees are very high. That's why I am flexible on the neighborhoods. I went to some open houses in Queens last weekend and the buildings I saw had dirty common areas, bad smells, sketchy residents and units with horrible angular layouts which needed a TON of work.
These are my areas of interest:
Long Island City
Also what is an incomplete Brooklyn MLS, no such thing? If your office does not have access to the MLS in Brooklyn, (which would be quite normal because it is expensive) of course your listing won't have complete exposure to the agents and buyers that you are trying to target. . That is the reason why I would not take a listing in Brooklyn, although I know the area very well having lived there for 10 years. My office in Long Island does not have access to Brooklyn's MLS so selling a home there would be challenging because the exposure would be limited. it's better to refer the listing.
Before you begin your home search, you need to narrow it down to a specific borough and a neighborhood. Depending upon where you want to move, within your price point the properties you will see in one neighborhood in Brooklyn can vary tremendously from another neighborhood in Brooklyn, and also from neighborhoods in Queens, Manhattan or the Bronx.
Not all listings are on the MLS; at Fillmore we have exclusive listings as well as those on the MLS. Once you decide where you want to be, your Realtor will be able to arrange for you to view both MLS listings and their own office's exclusive listings. It is probably best to find one agent/broker that you are comfortable to work with and review your specific requirements with them.
We are full time Sales Associates at Fillmore in the Midwood area of Brooklyn, and we have numerous listed properties throughout Brooklyn. If you decide you want to view properties in Brooklyn we would be happy to assist you. If you have questions please call us at the numbers below.
David Rogoff & Bonnie Chernin
Real Estate Sales Associates
Fillmore Real Estate - Branch 19
Brooklyn NY 11210
917-593-4068 - David mobile
646-318-5031 - Bonnie mobile