Buyer, Home Buyer in Valley Stream, NY

Should I get my own broker to represent me for a co-op purchase. The seller's brokers has assured me he can represent me as well.

Asked by Buyer, Valley Stream, NY Sat Jan 29, 2011

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23
Donald Mituzas’ answer
Perhaps Larry needs to spend time taking the Realtor Code of Ethics class or perhaps he's not a Realtor. His response is irresponsible and not representative of the Realtor community. If you don't think you can represent any party, buyer or seller, then don't. Have an associate represent them in the transaction so they have a designated agent (NY Law) who will work in their best interest.

Donald A Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Director - New York State Association of Realtors
VP - Westchester Putnam Association of Realtors
Web Reference: http://www.nyhomeseller.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
BEST ANSWER
"I attended an open house in this building for a different apartment shown by a another realtor....this broker told me about another open house in the building and took me to it. It was the second apt. that I made an offer on. I have not signed anyhing. An offer was agreed on, and a contract was sent to my attorney."

Agency law and buyer's agency is new to most NYC brokers. Many are still clueless regardless of the new disclosure law. For many years NY all brokers worked fror sellers as sub agents. Many still have that mentality,

Under agency law a buyer has the right to representation. The buyer/consumer decides. A separate issue from agency law is procuring cause. In my opinion the first agent that told you about another open house in the building and took you to it is the procuring cause. The first agent also has a listing in ther building and seems more knowledgeable. A listing agent who is "marketing" a coop and doesn't have the board package and financials for the building is not a very good agent. How could they market a property without knowing anything about the building and it's requirements to purchase?

The listing agent has to do what is best for the client/seller not himself. In my opinion the first agent that is more knowlegeable about the building will probably present you better to the board which is also in the seller's best interest.

Getting the deal done should be the priority for the lising agent. UIf there is a dispute over commission you should not be in the middle. The brokers can always fight over commission after the deal is done.Good Luck.

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 10, 2011
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
MVP'08
Contact
I realize you have already gotten a good amount of responses to your question. The simple answer is that the Seller's Agents are hired to get the highest price possible for the apartments they represent. While most Seller's Agents will be cordial to you, and offer to take you to see other properties, it is their contractual obligation to represent the seller. Here is a link to the topic as described on the NY Department Of State website: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/forms/licensing/1736-a.pdf

Since the commission is paid entirely by the seller to their Seller's Agent, and it costs a buyer absolutely nothing to have a Buyer's Agent, it is in the best interest of every buyer to have their own agent. If you think of it like this, it really makes more sense... if you were to have a trip and fall accident in a supermarket, are you going to trust the attorney of their insurance company to give you the best monetary settlement? Of course you would hire your own attorney to represent you, to help you get the best outcome possible. The same holds true for buying Real Estate.

If you should have any additional questions, please feel free to contact me..., I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Lindsey Newman
Senior Real Estate Sales Associate
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 13, 2012
If the agent says he can "represent" you as well, that means he is a dual agent and must get permission from the seller as well as you to do so. Otherwise, he isn't "representing" you, he's representing the owner. Under agency law, as a seller's agent, he still has to be fair and honest with you but he won't be representing your best interests. In dual agency, loyalty to one party or the other is no longer undivided. You do have the right to hire a buyer's agent to represent you even though the listing agent showed you the property. Ask for and carefully read the agency disclosure form that should have been provided by the agent.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
That is easy to answer: Yes!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 12, 2012
And the anwer is ...GET YOUR OWN BROKER TO REPRESENT YOU AS THE BUYER......For me...this has turned into a nightmare. But thank yo to all the brokers who understand the New York market. Unfortunately even my attoney did not recommend that I get another broker invloved. (Everyone thinks they know it all).

All the stalling and delaying on the part of the the seller's broker has resulted in me spending more money to extend commitments.

The lesson learned here is BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE...EVEN WHEN YOU HAVE AN ATTORNEY....you need any many people as you can get on your side.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 5, 2011
Hi Upper East side Coop buyer,

I hope it went well and you have an accepted offer or a contract by now. I hope the first agent that took you to the second open house is representing you as a buyer's agent.

It is unfortunate that you came to Trulia to get relevant information so you can make an informed decision regarding the complex Manhattan real estate market. While they may mean well, agents who are not licensed in New York State are giving you wrong information. New York has very different laws than most other states. Western states (escrow states) compared to New York (title state) and New York City is quite different than real estate practices in the suburbs.

If the first agent that took you to the second open house is involved in this transaction he or she is a buyer's agent representing your interests.

If you negotiated directly with the listing agent at the second open house that agent represents the seller but must treat you fairly, honestly and in good faith disclosing all known facts about the property. It is very simple. There is no dual agency.

Manhattan is a unique place in the real estate universe. Not only does it have a large rental market (75% of the available housing units vs. about 5 - 10% in other markets), but it has ownership and other important differences that are often puzzling to newcomers.

70% of Home ownership in Manhattan is in coop apartments. The rest are condos, condops and townhouses. Most new construction developments are condos. Most pre-war apartments are co-ops. Manhattan apartments are either pre-war (WWII) or post -war (modern.) Most Townhouses or Brownstones were built in the 19th century.

It is important to understanding our pecular housing market. Loving Manhattan is the first step to understanding why we have very different more complex practices, procedures and real property laws than any other place.

Trulia Voices gives points and badges (VP titles) for answering questions. They do not distinguish wrong from right. Quantity is rewarded not quality or helpful advice. Please take what you read on this site with a "grain of salt"

Best,

Mitchell Hall, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 15, 2011
Mitchell Hall, Real Estate Pro in New York, NY
MVP'08
Contact
Being a dual agent is like an attorney representing both the prosecution and the defense.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
Dear Buyer,
You absolutely get an agent to represent you. The Sellers agent works for the seller, therefore has the sellers best interest. You should hire an agent the will have YOUR best interest. My name is Justin and I work with Centurey 21 American Homes in Oceanside. I work all the South Shore. Call me if you have any questions. 516-469-8300. That's my mobie number. Or E-Mail me at JustinMaimone@Hotmail.com. Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 14, 2011
That is up to you, it is called Duel Agency and it is legal in Real Estate. If you feel uncomfortable or confused as to how one person can uphold and maintain fiduciary duties to both parties equally on one transaction, go and get your own agent. We do not allow such things in the court room but again, we do for Real Estate.
Best of luck.
Spirit
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 22, 2011
The seller's agent ALWAYS represents the seller. He cannot represent you as well. That is not to say he cannot do a "direct deal." A direct deal is the situation where you come to him without your own agent. You can go that way or get your own agent, but in a direct deal his fiduciary responsibility is to the seller. The laws of agency spell this out clearly. There is nothing wrong with a direct deal, but he must disclose and have you sign that he represents the seller. If you are uncomfortable with that, you certainly can bring in your agent. You will get some pushback after coming on your own, but you are entitled to your own representation, should you so desire.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 22, 2011
Hello Buyer,

Take heart. Your situation is not that uncommon and may be easily remedied. The broker that took you to the apartment you like (the second property) probably signed you in on a 1-page form when you arrived and signed themselves in as your buyer's broker. If so, you can - and should - refer any questions about the deal or the building to that agent as they have a fiduciary duty to assist you. They can relay information to you, the seller's agent, the managing agent and the attorneys as needed. Their work is free of cost to you in almost all situations, and they can also assist you in preparing the package you will need to present to the co-op board after contracts are signed.

If your agent did not sign you in you may get a bit of push-back from the listing agent. If this occurs, check the website below to confirm that the listing agent is a member of REBNY (the Real Estate Board of New York). If my understanding of REBNY's new ethical rules is correct, a REBNY listing agent MUST allow you the option of having your own broker, regardless of what happened. Best of luck!
Web Reference: http://www.rebny.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 31, 2011
It seems to me as if the agent who showed you the property was representing you, at least to a certain extent (I'm wondering why couldn't this agent contact property management?) you should discuss this with the showing agent and the showing agent should then discuss the issue with the listing agent.

Communicate what your wishes are with the agent who showed you the property and let them work it out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
I'm learning as I go....But let me make the situation clearer....I attented an open house in this building for a different apartment shown by a another realtor....this broker told me about another open house in the building and took me to it. It was the second apt. that I made an offer on. I have not signed anyhing. An offer was agreed on, and a contract was sent to my attorney. My attorney informed me that until he receives the building financials and board package we cannot go forward.....for the last week and half we have been waiting for this paperwork. And this is where I believe the seller's broker is stalling! The seller'sbroker told me he was going to get he paperwork form the property management. (My surprise....would have thought it was already in his possesion.
So I contacted pm myself and got the paperwork myself. ( I think I'm doing the work myself).
In the mean time the broker for the for the first open house I attended....has answered questions for me about the building....(very professional). This is who I want to bring in. And that is my first quesion....I don't want to make this already tense situation worse. Will bring in a broker for me at this point cause any problems.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
It depends on what has happened to this point. Have you signed a buyers representation or dual agency disclosure forms with the seller's broker? Have you signed a sales contract? if you have signed a contract it would be too late to change out of the seller's brokerage, but you could talk to the listing agent's broker and ask that someone else in the office represent you for the remainder of the transaction. Also if you talk to the listing agent's broker, you should see if your sales contract was turned and the status updated in the local MLS system. Also, has your earnest money deposit check been cashed yet? If you have a ratified contract this needs to happen ASAP after the ratification of the contract.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
Get your own Broker now. You should have done this before looking at properties.

Here is what an agent thinks when they are allowed to work both sides of the transaction. "What do I need to do to get these two knuckleheads to agree so I can keep all the commission?" That is the thought process every time by every agent given the opportunity. Any arguments to the contrary are simply lies or self-delusion on the part of the agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
If you've already negotiated a price, experienced what is called "a meeting of the minds" regarding the purchase and sale, and the contract is being drawn up by the seller's attorney, which sounds like your situation-- it is too late to involve a buyer's broker. Brokers are only entitled to a commission when they are a procuring cause of the sale.

The seller's broker is probably still looking for a better offer than yours--a totally appropriate and in fact expected behavior--until the contract is signed by both the buyer and the seller. The buyer signs first. A buyer's broker would help push the deal along on your behalf.

The fact that the property manager has not been contacted regarding other buyers does not give you any useful info at this stage, the seller's broker should have all the forms on file by now.

An inattentive seller's broker may not be a good sign for your deal, although really, we don't know. Brokers have ways of cutting through that kind of behavior to find out what's going on. It's hard to handle that for many people who aren't brokers.

My advice is to find out if this deal is on track. Call the seller's broker and very politely insist on a return call within 24 hours for a status update. If that doesn't work, feel free to contact me and I'll try to help you find out what's going on for you, as a courtesy.

Karla Harby, VP
Rutenberg Realty
kharby@crrnyc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
If the agent says he can "represent" you as well, that means he is a dual agent and must get permission from the seller as well as you to do so. Otherwise, he isn't "representing" you, he's representing the owner. Under agency law, as a seller's agent, he still has to be fair and honest with you but he won't be representing your best interests. In dual agency, loyalty to one party or the other is no longer undivided. You do have the right to hire a buyer's agent to represent you even though the listing agent showed you the property. Ask for and carefully read the agency disclosure form that should have been provided by the agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 30, 2011
From your follow up it seems that you have an unresponsive agent. Can't understand why as they would be entitled to both the listing and selling side of the commission. BIG question....did you sign any kind of exclusive right to represent? If you did, you may not have much of a choice.

Donald Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Director - New York State Association of Realtors
Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Web Reference: http://www.nyhomeseller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
Listing agent showed you the property. If yes then recommend to use the listing agent

If NO then locate your own agent


Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
972-699-9111
http://www.lynn911.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
How would another broker complicate things? Frankly, the seller's broker said he would have a board package and building financials sent to my attoney a week and half ago....and nothing still. Also, does not answer emails. I have contacted the property managment company myself...requested a board package and building financials and received them within a hour. Additionaly the pm co. said that they not been contacted by anyone else regarding this sale.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
If the listing broker already showed you the unit, provided you with necessary information, etc., no reason not use the listing agent, unless you are uncomfortable with dual agency.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
Just go with the seller's broker. This isn't like other states where the brokers negotiate the contract for you. There is enough that goes on with a co-op besides just the mortgage, don't bother complicating things with a second agent. The listing agent probably knows the INS and outs of the particular co-op board and managing agent, so your agent would act as the go between for that too. Just stick with the listing agent and you will be fine.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 29, 2011
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