Home Buying in Brooklyn>Question Details

Bkik, Other/Just Looking in Brooklyn, NY

Going around broker, and contacting owner.

Asked by Bkik, Brooklyn, NY Mon Oct 8, 2012

I found a building for sale on craigslist. I did some research on the property and found out the owners Name and address. Im considering writing a letter to the owner, regarding my interest in his property.

Has anyone ever done this?

Any advice is appreciated.


Help the community by answering this question:


Yes, we'be seen you and your brother and relatives here on Trulia asking, "Can someone give me the owner contact information for 123 Main Street?"

For the most part agents respond with restraint and inquire, "Are you a long lost sibling, a bill collector, a stalker, and disgruntled ex?" Being polite we don't ask, "Hey are you a jelly bean trying to swindle a hard working agent and place the home owner in unknown jeopardy?" But we all know there are folks like you out there. Comes with the territory.

And look, here you are, soliciting guidance from the very people you wish swindle.
Has your spirit become so darkened you do not see an issue with you?
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Hey I just saw this question pop up when I came here to ask my question about the coop I was going to buy so I just wanted to add my two cents even though I'm not a broker. I'm just a regular guy renting an apartment right now and about to buy my 1st place. I've done some looking around on my own and ran across some shady people trying to sell their place. I don't have a broker and the guy I'm buying from doesn't have a broker either but even still the first thing he asked me when I contacted him was "are you working with a broker?" when I said no, he said ok I just wanted to make sure because if you are then you need to have your broker contact me to arrange to see the place. He was clear up front with that. I wondered why he was asking me that and he said he didn't want any hassle later. I didn't really understand what he was talking about at the time but after reading all these comments I guess he knew he would have to pay the broker (if I was working with one). If the owner you're trying to buy from is ok with sidestepping his broker or yours for that matter then he's probably shady and you don't want to buy from them anyway. Just my advice.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2012
Wow, lots of great answers! Maybe Bkik forgot this is a Real Estate website and Realtors answer alot of the questions. Oh I forgot, we like to get paid. Do you think he needs an attorney also?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2012
A lot depends on what has already transpired. Of course you can write the letter. Maybe it's an open listing. At any rate, I suggest you research "Tortious interference with a contract."
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 14, 2012
Bkik wrote, Thank for your replay. Correct me if i'm wrong, would i be saving money by cutting out the broker and dealing directly with the seller. Why would the broker still get paid if they weren't able to sell within the contract time.

Well, we don't know that the contract has expired, do we? The broker would get paid if they were the procuring cause - if it was their marketing that brought the buyer. Listing agreements have a "protection period" specifically because it is an age-old trick for a buyer to ride past a "for sale by agent" sign on their horse, check out the property, talk to the owner, and then make an agreement to wait out the listing.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
All great answers here, don't forget that if you do circumvent the listing broker can also place a lien on the property causing you more headache in the imminent future. Just let the listing agent do the work for you. And by the way, the lien can be placed before and after the sale so closing can be arduous and cause you more grief because then you won't have a clear title.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
Why would you want to do this to yourself? You could be the one that loses if you buy a property without an agent to guide you in obtaining the relevant reports, disclosures and inspections. If you think you are going to save yourself money, you are mistaken. You could end up costing yourself more money in the long run.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Its kinda funny how you're asking other brokers on Trulia how to go around a broker. Brokers and agents would like to get paid for their work as well. Are you going to write that you will buy the property once their listing expires? His Broker works on his behalf and your broker (if you should get one) should work on yours and it wouldn't cost you anything. His listing agent I assure you will do their best in bringing them the right buyer and marketing his property. Why would he wait till the listing expires for you to directly go through him cutting out the middleman and what would you benefit from doing that? If they are in contract together there is nothing you can do. Like another Broker mentioned before me it would be unethical on both ends and illegal on his. Unless he wants to pay a fee, which I highly doubt.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Considering that the seller pays the broker's commission, I don't see how it would help you to contact the owner directly; as pointed out below, the owner will still be required to pay the broker a commission. The suggestion that you use a broker to represent your interest (with the commission still paid by the seller, providing that the seller's broker co-brokes) is a good one and can help you navigate your search and eventual purchase.

Good luck to you.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
If it is broker listed, the seller will still be required to pay the FULL broker fee.

Do yourself a favor, get a broker to represent YOUR interests; the seller will still be paying the same broker fee, but you will have someone working for YOU.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Correct me if im wrong, but if the contract between the brokers and seller is done. Why would they still pay a broker fee?
Flag Mon Oct 8, 2012
I hate it when people bring out the trite expressions, but this one just fits every time this issue comes up: Penny wise...Pound foolish. More people shoot themselves in the foot trying to save a few bucks and end up losing way more than it would have cost them to do it the right way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 10, 2012
You need a real estate buyer agent who will negotiate hard
on your behalf. In addition, you need a real estate buyer agent
who focuses on services that benefit buyers. Lastly, you need
a real estate agent who is knowledgeable about the things that
are important to a buyer. Exclusive buyer agents work solely for
buyers, avoiding the conflicts of interest inherent in the traditional
seller-oriented purchase transactions.

Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real Estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
If the property is listed by a broker not sure the owner will deal directly with you, and the owner will still owe his/her agent a commission; therefore why not simply work with an agent of your own.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 9, 2012
Dear Bkik:

Was the property advertised on Craigslist by a real estate agent? If so did you speak to that agent? If so did that agent tell you about the house? If so you should go through the agent, that would be the ethical thing to do. If you did not want to work with an agent then you should not have contacted an agent in the first place. If that is the case, in the future you should only contact "for sale by owner" ads. If you chose to contact the agent and now want to go around the agent after the fact, I think that is kind of slimy and unethical.

Besides, if the property is listed with an agent and you contact the owner direct, even if you make a deal with the owner it will not change the fact that the owner will still have to pay the real estate fee. Homeowners who list with an agent typically get kind of spooked when a buyer contacts them direct and usually they will report it to their agent. This is because most people, believe it or not, are ethical.

All of this is under the assumption that the property is in fact listed with an agent. However, it is unclear in your question if that is in fact the case. Your question is somewhat vague, I may have a different take on it if I had more details. Feel free to contact me if you like to discuss it further.

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Thanks for your reply. The listing is on craigslist, but i never contacted or spoke to anyone yet. I just want to make the deal more cost efficient by contacting the selling directly.
Flag Mon Oct 8, 2012
It doesn't matter to the broker - they'll get paid regardless. They'll probably represent the seller in the transaction, too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Thank for your replay. Correct me if i'm wrong, would i be saving money by cutting out the broker and dealing directly with the seller. Why would the broker still get paid if they weren't able to sell within the contract time.
Flag Mon Oct 8, 2012
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