Home Buying in New York>Question Details

Hollie G, Home Buyer in 10028

Does it help or hurt us to use a broker in Manhattan and Brooklyn?

Asked by Hollie G, 10028 Thu Feb 21, 2008

We are looking in both areas, some with an agent, others on our own. Will NOT using a buyer agent make us more attractive buyers, i.e., do sellers save money if they don't have to pay a buyer broker? Will they still have to pay, but it goes all to their agent? Thank you!

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12
(Once more for those who just came into the room): Commission is negotiated between the SELLER and their LISTING AGENT, not between YOU and the seller. Sellers will pay the FULL COMMISSION to their listing agent, and YOU will have no one working on your side. I have handled both sides of many of my own listings and I have never renegotiated the original commission because the buyer came through me also. I would also point out that rarely are buyer agents used in the downstate NY area, so be a first and hire someone to look out for your own interests.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
In Manhattan, the seller's agent will get the full commission, if you choose to work on your own. My experience in dealing w/ Brooklyn (at least in the Kensington area) is that the vast majority of listing brokers from small brokerages refuse to co-broke - meaning you'll be responsible for paying your own broker's commission.

In my professional and personal opinion, I wouldn't buy real estate without my own broker representing me in a formal buyer's broker's commission agreement. Without that formal agreement, your broker will be considered a sub-agent of the seller. Buying in Manhattan is difficult enough. Why not have your own broker to guide you through the whole process and help you make an informed decision? Especially, when the seller pays for your broker's commission through the proceeds of the sale?
3 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
This is why I have so much respect for the moderators for Trulia, can you imagine having to constantly deal with this in a professional manner along with all the other responsibilities they have? Emily will get to them, I know that, I just like to remind them some weird nut is watching..I'm still hoping Gavin can help the Vegas girl get her second home. LOL By the way I notice Gavin is from New York :p
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
Hi Hollie,

I'm providing a Web Reference link for you from the NY Dept of State which is the actual disclosure form real estate agents use to explain agency. It defines the buyer's and seller's relationship with a client and may serve to help you understand the importance of representation.

Real Estate agents are licensed professionals hired to service the needs of their customers and clients, and I can't imagine you not taking advantage of having a professional represent your interests, especially on a six figure transaction. Don't you believe your rights are just as important as the seller's? I certainly believe you do, which is probably why you have taken the time to write and ask your questions in this forum. Lets talk about agency by quoting 3 points of information from the NYDOS literature:

1. A seller’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a seller to represent the seller’s interest. The seller’s agent does this by securing a buyer for the seller’s home at a price and on terms acceptable to the seller. A seller’s agent has, without limitation, the following fiduciary duties to the seller: reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account. A seller’s agent does not represent the interests of the buyer. The obligations of a seller’s agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the seller. In dealings with the buyer, a seller’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the
value or desirability of property, EXCEPT as otherwise provided by law.

2. A buyer’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a buyer to represent the buyer’s interest. The buyer’s agent does this by negotiating the purchase of a home at a price and on terms acceptable to the buyer. A buyer’s agent has, without limitation, the following fiduciary duties to the buyer: reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account. A buyer’s agent does not represent the interest of the seller. The obligations of a buyer’s agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the buyer. In dealings with the seller, a buyer’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the buyer’s ability and/or willingness to perform a contract to acquire seller’s property that are not inconsistent with the
agent’s fiduciary duties to the buyer.

3. An agent acting as a dual agent must explain carefully to both the buyer and seller that the agent is acting for the other party as well. The agent should also explain the possible effects of dual representation, including that by consenting to the dual agency relationship the buyer and seller are GIVING UP their right to UNDIVIDED LOYALTY. A buyer or seller should carefully consider the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship before agreeing to such representation.

In the scenario I am working my assumption from, your question implies you are trying to ascertain which situation would be better or worse for you, which is why I think the PDF from the Dept of State may be helpful.

Additionally, don't be afraid to obtain qualified help because you may be under the impression it is cost prohibitive, especially when so many others do so to protect their investments. Everything is negotiable including commission payments. Buying a house is not just buying a home, it is probably one of the biggest investments you may ever make. You will need a lot of help to get this done (e.g. mortgage broker, mortgage banker, cpa, attorney, real estate agent, title company, insurance company, etc.) so do what you feel is necessary to protect your interests.

P.S. Pre-qualified buyers and all cash transactions will always be more appealing to sellers than someone who might be able to get financing. No matter which route you take, in the end the choice is always up to you. You must do what you feel comfortable with. When you sign a representation contract, you go from being a customer walking in off of the street to a client with the full resources of a brokerage house working on your behalf to protect and advance your interests, whether it be buyer or seller side. Think about that while you are shopping for your home. Best wishes. CTS ( http://www.TannStarr.com )
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 10, 2008
When a property is listed, the commission amount is designated in a contract. Whether you use a broker or not, the seller pays out the same amount.

Get representation! You deserve it!
Web Reference: http://GailGladstone.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
Helps you. In NYC, all brokers work for the seller unless there is an agreement otherwise. I would hire my own buyers broker (under confidential written contract) & negotiate that they be paid out of the selling brokers listing commission if a closing takes place. In this way, they get the co-broke cooperation, you get your own agent and you don't pay the commission out of your pocket. (let's not get into the whole 'who really pays the commission semantics'--bottom line, it's a transaction cost which affects both sides).
Also in NYC, use a REBNY agent since under their rules they must co-broke and cooperate with a fellow REBNY agent. Call me if you have any questions 646-714-2720 (Disclosure: I am a real estate attorney)
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
I think he's just a spam-bot.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
14, Please read the Community Guidelines, what you are doing is deliberate spamming....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
Hi Hollie - NOT using an agent may make you less attractive to the seller as you don't have a experienced pro helping you w/the process. The seller probably has a signed exclusive with THEIR agent who, if they are a member of REBNY (most are in Manhattan) are REQUIRED to co-broke with other REBNY agents.
I'm an experienced, licensed agent (featured in the New York Times) with some apmnt options that could work well for you.
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fax 1.212.989.6552
email: gavin@mlx.com
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 16, 2009
The only reason that NOT using a buyer broker will make you more attractive is because, as Joe indicates in his answer, Realtors in NYC have little comprehension of buyer agency. Until buyers insist on having their own representation, sellers will continue to have both agents (and the buyers money) in their pockets. It is unlikely that Realtors that are comfortable having unrepresented buyers will, out of the goodness of their hearts, reduce commission as a conduit for saving money- the notion that the buyer is somehow less deserving of full representation demonstrates a behind-the-times mentality (and questionable ethics, IMO) in the real estate arena. Find a buyer's agent, and let them go after the best possible price for YOU, as is done in most parts of the country. Additionally, your agency representation is something requested of knowledgable listing agents prior to your visit to the house- sellers are entitled to know who represents you (in the interest of not disclosing more than they might were you represented by an agent that represents the seller). There's nothing "confidential" about representing buyers. Good luck!
Web Reference: http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
Sorry Holly, but I have to disagree about one thing, that you will be more attractive to sellers without an agent. Agents sometimes assist with home inspections, appraisals, meeting coop boards and a host of other things that make them attractive to a seller.

I happen to disagree with Joe's "all brokers work for the seller unless there is an agreement otherwise". Brokers don't work for anyone until a discussion is had with a buyer/seller and a disclosure form is signed stating who they represent.
Current form can be found at http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lcns/pdfs/1736-08.pdf
Don
Web Reference: http://www.nyhomeseller.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
I ahve bought and sold my own personal listings in NY. My expereince was that it was hard to see everything available because so many small broker's refused to co-broke. At the same time it really sucks not having someone work on my behalf. So I guess it really comes down to a judgement call. Having an excellent real estate attorney is what saved the day for me.

Good luck.
Web Reference: http://www.Kathy-Carter.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 21, 2008
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