Rentals in 10035>Question Details

r_e_n_t_e_r, Renter in 10035

NYS: No agency disclosure fee - no signature - no procuring cause?

Asked by r_e_n_t_e_r, 10035 Mon Oct 21, 2013


An agent has shown me an apartment in NY but didn't produce any paperwork, failed to show me the agency disclosure fee, I did not sign a single piece of paper.

I would now like to switch to another agent who is more professional (hopefully) and who listed the same apartment. I am afraid the first agent can still claim procuring cause. Would she be able to even though she violated NYS regulations and even though we don't have anything in writing?

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You are free to work with whatever agent you choose. As for "procuring cause" that is a matter between the agents. If you do select a new agent I would advise him or her that yu already saw the apartment with another agent, so that the new agent can decide whether to take the chance that the old agent may try to claim the commission.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
r e n t e r, this is a little tricky. where did you hear the term "procuring cause" and "violated NYS regulations" The agent you were working with took the time to make the appointment, and showed you the apartment that you now want. How is it that you are now talking directly to the listing agent? Yes, it is a violation of our real estate laws not to present the agency disclosure form but I say if you want the apartment in question, continue to work with the agent that showed it to you, that's the right thing to do. In a situation like yours, as the listing agent I personally would feel unethical taking full commission knowing full well that another agent showed the listing. How is that for character and being professional? If that apartment does not work out then find another agent that you are comfortable with to continue your search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
It seems you can work with whoever you please at this point.

The first part of your question is a bit confusing. "Agency Disclosure" and "Fee" are two different things. Although I am not a rental agent in Manhattan, what I understand is that typically the tenant pays a fee equal to a percentage of the annual rent. That requires a contract between you and your agent. It is implied that as you have a contract with an agent, they have a fiduciary responsibility to you and are acting on your behalf. Depending on how the contract is written, some agents will consider this also their agency disclosure. Some agents to be on the safe side will also have you sign an agency disclosure.

My questions would be, did the first agent discuss agency disclosure so you understood it and did she also discuss her fee? Just because she didn't actually have you sign something does not necessarily mean she was unprofessional. The big question becomes, would you have found this apartment without her? You might legally be able to use another agent, but is it the right thing to do?

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
2008 Realtor of the Year
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
New York's #1 Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Oct 24, 2013
No Agency Disclosure is a requirement. You can work with whomever you choose.

All the best!

Elizabeth Logan
Realtor Associate
Douglas Elliman
917-392-0291 (cell)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
If you have no signed agreement with the agent, you are free to work with whoever you choose; however if this is the apartment for you, why not simply stick with your current agent since he/she already did the legwork and found you a suitable unit--reverse the shoes for a second, how would you feel if the roles were reversed...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Sounds like we're dealing with an open listing here as are a majority of NYC rentals. So yeah, you could probably switch agents. But as a broker if you told me what you had done, I wouldn't work with you. Seems to me that just because you don't like this broker for some reason, you now want to switch to another. While your first agent didn't follow NY law in regard to disclosure and probably didn't follow her own company's rules in regard to having you sign a fee agreement, you are yourself acting in a rather unethical/immoral manner.
If you saw the apt a week ago, chances are all of these comments are irrelevant anyway as someone else probably rented it if its a good deal. Inventory is still low and good deals rent quickly,
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 22, 2013
Technically, if you did not sign any paperwork, you aren't liable for anything (the agency disclosure form isn't a contract--you can use any agent you'd like). As for the finding another agent, if the listing is open, contact an agent you feel comfortable with and who is professional and tell them the address and listing ID (did you find the listing off of Naked Apartments/Craigslist/StreetEasy?). Most agents in NY use the same system and have access to the same listings unless of course it is their listing given to them by owners or landlord/s. I suggest finding a good agent and sticking with them as one agent will do the work; if you work with too many agents you start to forget apartments and their pros and cons and you may even see the same unit twice. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!


Eric Rohe
Citi Habitats
400 E 84 St.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
Curious - why do you now want to switch to another agent, and in particular, the listing agent?

It's one thing to say you didn't care for an agent, and want to work with someone new...........but to look for a reason to switch to the listing agent makes me wonder......

If you had any understanding of "procuring cause", without a signed buyer's agent agreement - you'd know that the agent would "go after" the other (listing) agent for the commission, not you.....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
You've already admitted in an open forum of Brokers that the Broker in question IS the procuring cause. I'm Not an Attorney, but she may come after somebody for her share of the commission. That missing Agency form may hurt her in arbitration though. Let the brokers work it out between themselves but be up front. Good luck. Best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
If you didn't sign anything you are not bound to anyone. In NY, just because someone shows you a property does not mean they have a right to any commission. You can even look it up the National Association of Realtors website.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 21, 2013
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