Home Selling in 10023>Question Details

Mugzee, Home Seller in 10023

Can I sell an apt in Manhattan without a broker? I looked at owners.com, e.g., and there were very few listings. I don't know where else to

Asked by Mugzee, 10023 Mon Oct 12, 2009


I accepted an offer on my home the other day (asking price less 5K in cash) and am thinking of changing my mind about it just because I think the $50k broker fee is obscene under the circumstances. We got 3 offers in 2 weeks (broker showed the place all of 4 times). This broker cut every corner in the book and she should have priced the property higher. Our apt sold fast because *we* made it look gorgeous, period.

Have to vent a little, sorry.

Help the community by answering this question:


$50k isn't even that bad, in Manhattan the average broker fee is over $100,000!! There's definitely ways to get around it. The hardest part about doing fsbo on zillow or StreetEasy is the literally hundreds of brokers cold calling you for 6% to list you. It's absurd.

I recommend paying a small flat fee and doing a listing package with a discount broker. A good local company we've used and I've recommended to multiple friends now is http://www.hauseit.com ... they're very professional, responsive, non-sketchy and will list you pretty much everywhere a regular broker would except it's $399 flat, one-time. Includes StreetEasy, OLR, MLS, Realtor.com etc. Also cuts down on broker harassment since you would already be listed by one!
5 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 12, 2015
Flag Tue Jun 14, 2016
Good stuff - found their reviews here https://www.trustpilot.com/review/www.hauseit.com
Flag Sun Apr 3, 2016
Sites like owners.com and forsalebyowner.com aren't advisable for NYC if you're trying to sell without an agent - or FSBO as they say. Reason is they're clunky, large national sites that won't even get you in the relevant local sites like you'll need (for example StreetEasy, OLR, Manhattan MLS in NYC). Go to someone like a hauseit.com ... they have many different affiliate brokers who will list you for a few hundred bucks everywhere.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 14, 2015
Yes, you can sell on your own. Whether it is advisable is another story. The fact that you got 3 offers in two weeks in this market is fabulous. It shows you were priced well and had very good exposure. And you accepted a cash offer which is excellent because the lending landscape is a nightmare. Even very qualified buyers are running into trouble with their mortgages, even after being pre-qualified and sometimes even after the commitment letter. You say "our apt sold fast because *we* made it look gorgeous, period." But how did those buyers find out about it? Wasn't it because of the exposure your listing agent gave you? Lots of terrific Manhattan apartments, priced-well, are sitting around because there is still quite an excess of inventory. I would say your agent did a very good job. It may look effortless to you, but when I watch someone win the US Open or get an Olympic medal it looks really easy to me to. Anything that is done well looks easy. There are two things that make a property sell - price and exposure. Sounds like you were lucky enough to have had both, you were priced competitively and you were given the exposure to bring in the buyers. Congratulations. Your agent earned his/her commission.
You say you are thinking of changing your mind on the offer you accepted because you don't want to pay the commission. Some facts to consider are that the average For Sale by Owner ends up accepting 25% less than comparable properties sold by a professional real estate agent. Paying a 6% commission is a lot less than giving your place away for 25% less. That is when they are lucky enough to succeed on their own. 86% of For Sale by Owners do not succed and end up eventually listing their property. These are National Association of Realtor stats. Also, your agent is not getting the full amount. Their company and the other company splits it. Then the each agent gets about half (depending on their split) of that.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Property, LLC
(212) 381-4268
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
Hear this a lot from Agents.."Keep in mind owners usually don't price their property right though."

So what is the % of Agents who's CMA's have priced the property right? According to who?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
Owners is not the right choice for NYC. I believe they along with forsalebyowner.com and a few other sites may get a decent amount of traffic in middle america ... however you are wasting your money with them in nyc. Problem with them is they will not get you on StreetEasy, RLS, Brownstoner or any of the places that matter in New York City. There are a few choices however, check out Hauseit they are a new internet company that does an agent helped FSBO .. a bit different but it works. Good luck !
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Apr 22, 2016
You can certainly sell your property without the assistance of a realtor. However, the scenario you have outlined seems to indicate that you have a listing agreement with an agent and their company. If this is the case you have an obligation that needs to be honored.

Accepting an offer and then changing your mind can come with rather serious consequences attached. Before taking a drastic position, it would advisable to review your documents and consult an attorney.

Just keeping it real!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 27, 2014

How are you? I hope you're doing well.

Yes, you can sell an apartment in Manhattan on your own. Check out http://www.fsbo.com which is a do it yourself type of website for owners who want to sell without a broker.

I wish you all the best in your efforts :-)

Looking forward,

Christine Gordon
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Gorick Realty, Inc.
Cell: 917.881.2924
Fax: 347.328.9352
View listings at http://www.gorickrealty.com
"Home is where the heart is."
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 27, 2014
Did you sign a listing agreement to sell your house? Are you already in contract to sell your house? It appears you may have Sellers Remorse. Your Realtor must have performed well for you by showing the house and presenting an offer to you that was acceptable. Staging or improving a house to improve it's appeal is a normal process; just like washing your car before offering for sale. Remember, you made the decision to accept the offer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2014
Yes, you can sell without a broker. When I initially entered the business I tried to sell on my own "FSO". The broker brings a wealth of knowledge and in many cases a group of buyers. A broker can create an auction setting with you the owner can benefit from. They also help you get what you want for the property and sometimes much more than you expected. Please let me know if you want more information on this topic?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 21, 2014
That sounds interesting. Every broker has a different way of selling and marketing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 24, 2014
As a Broker and also selling my own property - (of course there is career bias) having a broker list, market and sell your property will be a better proposition. Many points: Vetted buyers - for finance - credibility - security and efficiency. Time Management – to market and show and vet out buyers - Marketing Reach - all brokers and firms have multiple advertising avenues that compliment whatever an homeowner can do and hundreds of other proprietary advertising and marketing services. Then there is the MLS and reciprocation to brokers and consumers locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. This is their job. The day of part time brokers and agents does not exist anymore or is dying quickly. In this economy you have to be in business to do business. Team of professionals including attorneys, title companies, insurance, mortgage and even services to your buyer like being a community expert of all living and lifestyle needs etc etc. The reasons go on and on… Economically in reality, if the home is priced right, the buyer actually pays all commissions and the sales cycle to close is shorter. The resources are boundless and the market is very efficient when professional are involved. Lets say that you get a buyer but he fails to qualify for a loan…may be a broker would have known another lender that could have gotten the deal done…or if it is an international buyer – and the tax laws and process for getting a international buyer closed and the benefits thereof. Sure no one want to pay a commission when buying or selling their home…but statistically the better and more profitable and affordable experience is when a broker is engaged. I can’t tell how many times brokers have worked for buyers and sellers where we did not make a commission or had reduced a commission or worked pro bono or helped a both sides of the transaction without getting compensation equal to participation. Sometimes you work 6 to 12 months or more on a transaction and the time and energy that went into it would equate to minimum wage or less. And yes there are times when you list something or work with a buyer and the perfect situation arrives. Here to – you would be looking at a minimum of 60 to 90 days to close – so 3 months of work – even minimal hours during those months warrant the compensation. But I will say that certain market conditions (other than all the peripheral work that has to be done…) can produce good results for those buying and selling their own home without a broker.Just my professional and personal opinion..and the best to you reaching your real estate goals.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Dec 9, 2012
You can definitely sell without a broker. Check out evansnye.com. Your best option is to go to an "a la carte" brokerage who would be able to help you list on the MLS for a monthly price. You should seriously consider paying a fee to the buyer's broker, because many brokers may be reluctant to share your listings with clients in that case.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
The longer a property sits on the market the more you must lower the price. You got very close to your asking price because your property was priced to sell.

One thing to keep in mind is that paying 6% will attract more buyer's brokers to your property. The fee is split 4 ways. Certain sectors in the market have a glut of inventory, and you must pay standard rates just to be competitive. Buyer's brokers may skip your listing if comparable units are paying higher commissions.

Your agent is actually netting 1.5-2% of the sale price. Many Co-op sales end up taking 9 months to a year. The fact that Real Estate has a 90% agent attrition rate is a good indicator that you are likely paying fair market value.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Some of these threads have been extremely helpful as Im also looking to sell my home and am finding it extremely hard to justify paying someone 6%. Have gone thru several areas and can’t find Valid reasons of why you’d be paying someone such a high price. In this day and age I believe the playing field has gotten much closer between how much more a sellers agent can do rather than an individual doing it on their own. I do think you’d need SOME of an agent’s expertise but paying a flat 6% just isn’t acceptable. That’s why you’re seeing more and more agents offering this partial assistance (listed below by JC) as the real estate market has dropped and more and more people aren’t just blindly agreeing to this flat rate where they used to still make a profit on their sale.

As individual’s I think we can all get reasonably close to pricing an apartment. In this market I don’t believe that the price difference of selling on your own would be 25%.
And the only difference in exposure would be access to the MLS site. But no one is providing solid info or facts as to why paying this fee is ok. Yes some brokers will go out of their way and work countless hours but just as many will do the bare minimum and get paid handsomely.

Its very similar to people doing their taxes. People were always afraid of the process and would pay a professional to do it for them. Now we have all this software out there (which these professionals used) that allows anyone to do it themselves and now the professionals are freaking out. Yes, once in a while a professional will catch something and you will receive more $$ but if they’re not trying to shortcut the system in most cases their going to get to the same result. But people were afraid until they did it on their own and then realized its not bad and continue doing it on their own.

It would be great to hear from sellers that actually did sell on their own or with partial help or even those that ran in to major issue (& what they were) where they required an agent.

And for the seller agents, what service are you providing that FSBO cant do that justifies anywhere from $10K to $30K? Maybe the FSBO's are missing something.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 14, 2012
Sorry that I am coming a little bit late to the discussion, but I found this thread as I was doing research about selling my apartment by myself vs. using a broker and I found a couple of resources that I want to share to anybody who will be doing the same homework as I was: I agree with any agents in here that the experience and knowledge of a broker is invaluable specially when it comes to complicated world of co-ops, but for some of us who bought at close to the peak of the market and need to sell now, paying a traditional 6% is just not even an option! I found a couple of service that offer a nice "in between" option for FSBOs who want to do the legwork but want the broker's advice and resources for a very low cost. I liked the http://www.realdirect.com website, but I wanted to have a real broker behind me and found out that two Elliman alumni started services that fitted my needs: http://www.nbpny.com and http://www.fsboshark.com. Not right for every seller, but definitely right for me!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 13, 2012
On its face, a listing agent selling a home quickly with multiple offers doesn't seem like something to complain about - the most effective brokers do just that and we make it look easy. Complaining about outstanding results is sort of like the a baseball team complaining that their star player is paid too much because its easy for him to hit home runs. "Why pay him so much? Its the bat that does the work!"

That said, if you didn't sign a listing agreement - or some other form of contract that defines the broker's compensation - and you really believe the broker was negligent in their work I encourage you to seek out a better one: one who can help you price properly and make sure you get the highest possible price for your home.

People attempt to sell homes on their own all the time. I'm not sure they get the best results that way though. If that were the case the most experienced and seasoned real estate sellers - huge developers like Trump, etc - would know, and they would not use brokerages to market their properties. All of them do. Our industry exists for a reason: we get results.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 21, 2011
Did you realize FSBO you must follow state law. There are many seasoned "veterans" out there you search for FSBO knowing the law how transactions are take place... next thing you know you are served paperwork sued loss of everything you worked for.

Stat's show FSBO usually will be listed with a Realtor based on majority of all home buyers turn to a Realtor assist them with their search. ALSO FACT many real estate scams AND home buyers / sellers don't understand the required documents AND state law purchase or sell a home.

Many families are extremely lazy don't care to stage their homes WHICH does make a major difference to attract the home buyer.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
Mugzee, seeing as you asked this question over a year ago, please let us know what you decided to do.
There are times when people are in favor of resurrecting old questions, thinking it would be beneficial for people now as well. Or else they just aren't paying attention.
It would be great to tell us how you felt once the transaction was complete. I am surprised that none of our NYC agents even brought up the most important part of the agent in most NYC apartment transactions. if you sold a co-op, please keep in mind that the agent is kept very busy once the buyer has to assemble a board package to submit. They may not be representing the seller, but you would never think that considering the amount of time they put into these packages.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
All answers by my colleagues are correct. Now let's have some REAL TALK. Are you crazy?? You received 3 offers in 2 weeks on 4 showing & your complaining the broker did really do anything? You think making your home gorgeous is why it sold fast? I dare you to walk away from the offer & try to sell yourself. I bet you will be crying "oooh I wish we would have taken that cash offer". The broker you are working with NOT only did he/she do a GREAT job of pricing & listing your home. I think you need to look your gift horse in the mouth & thank them by paying them their just deserved commission. Anything short of this is a very bad business decision that will come back to bit you on the tush!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 29, 2010
My apologies for the broker that cut every conrner but the majority of us work very, very hard. You can always attempt and sell your apartment, give yourself a lot of time. Advertise in as many websites as possible and if you change yoru mind I'd be happy to introduce my marketing technique. Best of luck and have a happy & healthy holiday.

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
212-688-1000 EXT-435 (O)
212-688-1919 (F)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 20, 2010
Perhaps your broker priced the property absolutely correctly for this market and that was why you got three offers in two weeks including a cash offer that was 5K than asking that you accepted.

What corners were cut? How much higher should she have priced the property?

Consider that perhaps your broker is truly on her game, knows the neighborhood extremely well and got the job done in record time. Maybe the buyers want to get in before the Federal Tax credit expires. Perhaps your statements are a bit self serving.

Go ahead, cut her out, raise the price and sell on your own if you can. If any of those three buyers come back to you directly, you'll still have to pay her. Heck, if she can do it in two weeks you can do it also, sure you can. Knock yourself out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010

So you are saying Mugzee is a Realtor............
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 25, 2010
Actually, this "question" is one of those that "tease," and then, they answer themselves.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
What percentage of real estate agent listings do not sell in the first 3 months and then 6 months? I would like to know. Then we can compare apples to apples.

What percentage of CMA's are on the money when the appraisal comes in?

Why shouldn't a FSBO just pay for an appraisal themselves? Pay $350 and know its value. A cma is a guess that often a real appraisal says is horribly high.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
Of course you can do it yourself. NYtimes and streeteasy have a lot of for sale by owners. Keep in mind owners usually don't price their property right though.

Web Reference: http://castle-avenue.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 24, 2010
In todays market a seller will need as much help as they can get. It's not just finding a buyer for a home, it's qualifing the buyer, along with making sure the transaction is going to close.

You may be surprised that paying a commission may save you money and time in the end.

Good Luck

Cathy Cataletto
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 12, 2009
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