Home Buying in Forest Hills>Question Details

jmsaberito, Home Buyer in Brooklyn, NY

I would like to bid on a co-op that is for sale by owner. Should I enter a bid directly and negotiate myself?

Asked by jmsaberito, Brooklyn, NY Sun Oct 7, 2012

This seems risky since this is my first home and I'm unfamiliar with all the intracacies of the process. I'm working with a realtor informally and she seems hesitant to offer the bid on my behalf because she won't be making commission. Help!

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Well will she advise you for free? I guess you can offer her agency a small fee to do this on your behalf or heck if you want to pick my brain for free while you do this i'm ok with that lol

Maybe she can just advise you the comps in the area so you know how well the owner priced it, then help you figure out what your max bid is, from there you can safely go in on your own with any owner.

I advise my own customers that on any purchase the perfect price for them is one that if they were outbid by say $500 and lost the home, they would have no regrets and if they win the bid they would feel good paying at closing.

Any realtor should be able to help you determine the approximate value of a coop especially, since there have been many sales recently and lines in the same building should have similar value once you know the recent sales and adjust for condition of the unit and current market climate and look at your own finances you should have enough info to determine your top dollar, go in with that and provide proof you can obtain financing and pass the board and that's the best anyone can do :)

When considering an offer, most owners i work with expect me to review their buyers proof of income, credit report, recent taxes and proof of funds, with those items we can get a preview of what the board will see and get a good idea of how well the offer will present

For coops, price is important but a buyer with strong financials, the ability to pass a board is just as, if not more important, any seller will most likely agree that getting their price is only a good thing if the sale gets through the board, a great price and a board rejection does not a happy seller or buyer make!

Hope this helps! Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 11, 2013
Hi Jmsaberito, while you can certainly negotiate directly you might not be getting the best price possible. Make sure if you do use a Realtor to represent you as a buyer's agent they have experience. Look for an agent with the ABR or CBR designation.

Sam Rastogi, ABR, CBR, OICP
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Team Synergy
Exit Kingdom Realty
68-56 Groton Street
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Cell: 347.556.0433
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 18, 2012
You would be better positioned if you had a Realtor representing you as he/she will be able to negotiate on your behalf & knows the market better than you do. Try working something out with the agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 28, 2012
You have a few choices, one you can negotiate yourself, that means no compensation or you may find a realtor that you think will represent you in the transaction whose aid would be worth paying a fee. You can if you are using a buyer's agent work out a flat transaction fee so you know how much it will cost you, if you agree to that sum, keep it in mind as you negotiate so you know the total you are paying at closing. This way you get the benefit of the experienced party and at a set amount you think is fair. Either party can pay the agent, just make it clear in the offer.

For example, the agent communicates to the seller they represent you, they present your offer which includes a "$ amount" or "%" for the agent, or agree to pay the agent yourself and let them present your offer, minus the agreed upon fee, as you go back and forth keep in mind the amount you will need to add to the purchase price

However you do it, once a price is agreed upon in NY State you will need a lawyer and so will the seller to execute contract, so you will have a professional before you are locked in and giving the contract deposit.

With cooperatives, most especially in the Forest Hills area, an agent is worth the cost, and i don't just say this because i am a broker in forest hills :) The board application process is daunting, even for a licensed and experienced agent...having an agent who is experienced with that building and its managing agent, application process, etc is with the extra cost, they should be able to advise prior to contract how you can financially present to the board successfully, if you go into it blind and are ultimately rejected by the board, it will seem penny wise and pound foolish in hindsight and you only get one kick at the can with a board application, having that board package put together professionally can make or break the sale and the worst thing is going through the whole process and not ending up a homeowner when its all done and said.

Some agents, who specialize in coops in the area do the board packages for a flat fee, and some give advice for free so doesn't hurt to ask, and in the end if you are successful you are not likely to regret the fee.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Go with your gut feeling and hire an buyer's agent to represent you! You can negotiate the commission. If your agent can save you time and money in this transaction, the commission will be well worth the pay...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
If your agent knew how to operate as a buyer's agent this would be a non issue. All she has to do issay that the offer is subject to a X amount commission. Many FSBO's are overpriced anyway.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 8, 2012
Some For Sale By Owners will offer a commision to a buyer's agent, it doesn't hurt to ask. If this owner won't, than I would suggest trying to hire your own agent as Anna suggested. There are a few pitfalls along the way that agent can help you with, number one would be setting a proper purchase price. Good luck!
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
Notary Public, Retired N.Y.P.D. Lt.
"We treat you like family!"
Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc.
255 Executive Drive - Suite 104
Plainview, New York 11803
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
You can always consider offering to pay the agent a commission; so not to overpay, it would be wise to have representation...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Oct 7, 2012
Thanks, Anna. I also thought of doing this but am unsure how much to offer. I don't want to low ball her but also want to keep costs down. What would you recommend?
Flag Sun Oct 7, 2012
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