Milkster, Home Buyer in Brooklyn Heights, Br...

Are all NYC listings available on MLS, or are they still mostly "exclusives"? If so, should I be working with multiple RE agents from diff

Asked by Milkster, Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn, NY Tue Sep 14, 2010

firms? I am looking for a 2 BR / 2 BA co-op, condo or house under 750K and I am open to Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and The Bronx.

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As a professional I find myself going to several resources and listing services to find a home for a customer. It takes a great amount of legwork-- unlike the suburbs where everything's on That said, though, if you're clear about what you want, and you seem to have a pretty wide net of areas, you should be able to find it. Indeed, I have buyers signing a contract this week on a Vinegar Hill Condo, 2 Bedroom, 2 Bath in new development at the edge of hip Dumbo, for $610,000. It's a hair under 1000SF and nicely laid out. Sorry, though, there isn't another one there. But, you know what you want. If you want me to look for you, I specialize in working for buyers and depending on the maintenance or cc/ret on coop or condo, your price point will either go up or down. I also rebate 10% of my net commission to buyers who are my customers (so, even though seller pays commission, I would rebate approximately $1875 back to you at closing on a place for $750,000). Just get in touch with me if you want me to start looking!

Ann Zemaitis
Sr. Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 11, 2012
A couple of points: An exclusive listing does not mean that other agents can't show the property. Not at all. Doing so is common, normal and known as a co-broke arrangement.

In fact, in Manhattan, all brokerages belong to a trade association called REBNY that requires them to share exclusive listings with all other brokers--within 24 hours. The word exclusive is misleading, it just means that one brokerage/agent has been given a contract to sell the home, as compared to an open listing, which means no one has been granted a contract, so everybody can try to sell it.

The majority of properties sold in Manhattan involve two brokers--that is normal. By the way, Manhattan does not have an effective MLS, but we do have aggregator websites that pull listings from many sources.

In Brooklyn it's a little different, some small brokerages still try not to share listings with other agents, which is bad for the sellers, whose properties will get less exposure to buyers. Since state law requires agents to take a fiduciary responsibility to their clients--which means putting the client's interests ahead of their own--brokerages that refuse to co-broke are arguably violating the law, either in letter or in spirit.

There's an MLS for Brooklyn, but it is quite incomplete. I have two Brooklyn listings right now that are not listed there. In Queens there is an MLS that is much more complete. The link is

If you are really hunting in four boros, I would suggest getting one buyer's agent for each boro. I disagree with Cory's advice to always call the agent on the sign, that agent is working for the seller, and it's their job to get as much money from you as possible :) Most buyers are better off with a buyer's agent looking out for their interests. (Not many "For Sale" signs in Manhattan or even Brooklyn anyway.)

Karla Harby, VP
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Manhattan and Brooklyn
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Hello, no matter what real estate agent you use he or she should be searching more than the MLS to find you a home. Agents and brokers are advertising on other sites besides the MLS to get exposure for their properties so a larger percentage of buyers and agents can find their properties.

Your second questions is tricky because I don't advise a buyer to work with many real estate agents because agents may drop you when they find out you're not loyal. When agents sacrifice their time and energy and then find out they're in a race with other agents to find you a home they will usually stop searching for you.

You need to find a real estate agent that is full time and very experienced and takes finding a home for you very seriously. It will be take some trial and error, but when you find the right one you will not go anywhere else.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 25, 2010
To answer your question: Brooklyn have their own MLS, Queens and Long Island share the same, Bronx have their own and I'm not quite sure how Manhattan works. Yes find an agent for each MLS, there can be an overlap but if the Brooklyn agent does not have accsss or limited to the MLS for Queens for example, what's the point because your gonna miss out.

I do not understand why you can find a desirable co-op for what you can afford to spend, what are you looking at, I know NY is expensive but come on.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 18, 2010
Thank you all for your very informative answers. So if I understand correctly, and to take a little from each of you, each borough has a different listing system. My strategy should be to find one agent to work with, however it will be necessary for my agent to communicate with other agents at different brokerages because each brokerage has exclusives which are not listed on the various versions of MLS. I might even have to get a buyer's agent in each borough.

I realize my parameters probably sounded too general. I am open to specific neighborhoods within the boroughs. I need at least 2 BRs and 2 BAs. I've found 2 BAs is very hard to find in my price range. That's why I am open to different neighborhoods and houses as well as apartments. I am also looking for something which does not need more than cosmetic work with at least 1,500 sft of space. It's hard to find under 750K unless the building is in poor condition or the monthly maintenance fees are very high. That's why I am flexible on the neighborhoods. I went to some open houses in Queens last weekend and the buildings I saw had dirty common areas, bad smells, sketchy residents and units with horrible angular layouts which needed a TON of work.

These are my areas of interest:

Brooklyn Heights
Cobble Hill
Carroll Gardens
South Slope
Windsor Terrace
Sunset Park
Long Island City
Jackson Heights
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 17, 2010
Karla, some of your comments are incorrect.. An exclusive listing means that only the listing office/brokerage can show and sell that house, it is not a co-broking situation by any means. The exception to the rule is a buyer's agent. A buyer's agent from another office MUST be allowed access to the house if the agent's client want to see it and that buyer is paying that agent for his or her service. The problem with exclusive listings is that it is a disservice to the seller when the listing office deliberately tries to keep the total commission in-house; greed is what I call that. I know I am correct in my statements for several reason, The last two offices were I worked, both Brokers were and still are on the Board and their agents are educated and current on common practices. I have been a buyer's agent for seven years so I know what I can do. Also when I sold my first home in Queens (I wasn't an agent then) this is exactly how it worked.

Also what is an incomplete Brooklyn MLS, no such thing? If your office does not have access to the MLS in Brooklyn, (which would be quite normal because it is expensive) of course your listing won't have complete exposure to the agents and buyers that you are trying to target. . That is the reason why I would not take a listing in Brooklyn, although I know the area very well having lived there for 10 years. My office in Long Island does not have access to Brooklyn's MLS so selling a home there would be challenging because the exposure would be limited. it's better to refer the listing.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Sep 17, 2010

Before you begin your home search, you need to narrow it down to a specific borough and a neighborhood. Depending upon where you want to move, within your price point the properties you will see in one neighborhood in Brooklyn can vary tremendously from another neighborhood in Brooklyn, and also from neighborhoods in Queens, Manhattan or the Bronx.

Not all listings are on the MLS; at Fillmore we have exclusive listings as well as those on the MLS. Once you decide where you want to be, your Realtor will be able to arrange for you to view both MLS listings and their own office's exclusive listings. It is probably best to find one agent/broker that you are comfortable to work with and review your specific requirements with them.

We are full time Sales Associates at Fillmore in the Midwood area of Brooklyn, and we have numerous listed properties throughout Brooklyn. If you decide you want to view properties in Brooklyn we would be happy to assist you. If you have questions please call us at the numbers below.

Best regards,

David Rogoff & Bonnie Chernin
Real Estate Sales Associates
Fillmore Real Estate - Branch 19
Brooklyn NY 11210
917-593-4068 - David mobile
646-318-5031 - Bonnie mobile
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 16, 2010
Mike you're all over the place, these are four completely different areas with four different multiple listing systems. I think you should decide where you want to be first then find a buyer's agent that will represent your best interest to help you. Most listings are not exclusives, (which I think is a bad idea for the seller anyway but that's another discussion) so with what you are willing to spend, you should have an abundance to choose from. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
Consider narrowing down your search area and work with an agent of your own--some listings will be on MLS, while others may be exclusives--for any Queens listings check out then search by area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
You won't find exclusives on the MLS. If you see a sign that states a property is an exclusive the best thing to do is call the contact information on the sign. You will probably want to decide better where you want to be and use a broker that is based in that boro.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 15, 2010
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