Home Buying in New York>Question Details

ManhattanBuy…, Home Buyer in New York, NY

Firing buyer's real estate broker in the middle of the bidding process

Asked by ManhattanBuyer, New York, NY Sat Jan 12, 2013

I am in the middle of the bidding process for the apartment in Manhattan. The broker who I was recommended by some acquiescence has turned into the worst kind of used car salesman, full of misrepresentations, scare tactics, and irrational and abusive communication, etc. We have had enough with him and want to fire him. We never had a contract or anything signed with this schmuck. Is there a way to make sure that he does not get any commission for simply showing us the apartment which he easily found on Trulia and subsequently done none of the services that he promised to do during the negotiating process? If anyone has experience with this, I would very much appreciate the advice.

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Debra (Debbie) Rose’s answer
While I understand your frustration ..........I don't think your focus, truthfully, should be whether this agent gets (all or part) of the commission, or not......if you want this apartment, then that's where your focus should be - especially considering you're in the "middle" of bidding on this unit.

Refocus your energy on what is important to you.

As mentioned below - reach out to the Broker of record.........explain why you're not happy with the services you have received, and ask him or her to intervene on your behalf asap!

One thing you don't want to have happen is any break in the negotiations that might keep you from achieving your goal of buying this co-op (or condo).

Hopefully, this will work out, and you will be successful.....if not....move on....interview other agents, ask friends for referrals........do your due dilligence before engaging a new agent.

Best wishes!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Since you state that you are in the middle of the bidding process--contact the agent's broker owner, and or, office manager and express your concerns; you can ask to be assigned another agent from within. If your bid should fail, and have no signed agreement with the agent, you are free to work with whoever you wish...
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
If you end up renting the apartment that he did show you, he may have some basis for a claim for a commission. I recommend that you move on, continue your search with another agent. Not all agents are like the one that you (unfortunately) experienced, but (unfortunately) he is not alone. I wish you luck in your search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 14, 2013
Do you have someone else in mind? If not, you might want to find that someone before pulling a trigger on the current broker. I like Janet's comment, you can't fire someone you didn't hire....

Know that there as cases in litigation about posting negative comments/reviews about people and businesses so you might want to think twice about going to yelp and other places to vent. It's not worth it.

I would recommend 1) dumping the negativity that your thoughts regarding this broker have brought you and, 2) focus on attracting the right broker that will help you accomplish your objective of success in this bidding process on this apartment or the next one that you get into.

Karma will take care of this character on its own terms. Your emotional reaction toward him not only is wasting your energy and time, but is disempowering you to getting what you want.

Good luck!

CA DRE 01775528
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013
I personally have no recommendation as to what you should do because you have not supplied any specifics as to why you are so disgruntled, and also we wouldn't have heard the side of the broker. I will therefore participate in offering advice on sabotaging someone's reputation. You might be perfectly correct but none of us have the facts to be judgmental. Unrelated, you have already insulted every used car salesman out there. The acquaintance that referred you to the broker obviously didn't have the same negative experience as you; just be careful is all I am saying.
You can't fire someone that you didn't hire, but you can simply move on if this transaction does not work out for you with another agent/broker. My thought is even if you got another agent to negotiate on the same home as suggested, I'm not sure how that is going to sit with both the listing agent and seller, it's out of the norm and likely make them feel very uncomfortable with EVERYTHING. I know this might not be a popular response but I'm not afraid to speak what I believe to be fair. I wish you well with your home search.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013
You listed 2 priorities;
Finding a place,
Not letting the Broker get a commission.

Concentrate on your goal, which is finding a place to live.
His commission is really none-ya
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013

I just read the 2 replies you left the other agents....so it seems there is no Broker for you to turn to......well......., under those circumstances......if you decide to sever your relationship and find a new agent to jump into the fray and represent you - make sure you dislcose everything to the new agent!!! They need to know what has transpired thus far as it may be a bit more complicated due to the fact that you're in the middle of negotiations.

The new agent, however, should advise you as to how to proceed.

In regard to the commission - or any commission controversy - you really have nothing to do with the outcome - that is a potential dispute that will be handled and decided between the agents involved.

Since you're not paying the commission, you really have no say in how it is paid out.
Let the agents handle that aspect of the transaction, if you indeed, do buy this particular apartment.

if you don't buy it, then all bets are off, and you're free to move forward and not look back.

Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
my pleasure!
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Thank you, Debbie.
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
It would seem that if there was no signed agreement you are free to move at your desire.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Will the broker still retain his commission for nothing?
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Hi Manhatten!

If you are in the middle of the bidding process and find that you can no longer tolerate your agent, it would probably best for all concerned to contact his broker and ask that your file be assigned to another agent. If that bid doesn't work out, I would suggest interviewing a few other agents before making any more offers.

Best of luck,

Barbara Grandolfo
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Thank you, Barbara. The problem is that this broker is independent. There is no agency per se to complain about him. We just want him to be gone out of the picture completely. And we do not want him to be paid any commission for simply finding the apartment on Trulia.
Flag Sat Jan 12, 2013
Hello Manhattan Buyer it all depends if you signed into a contract with this broker. If you did he will collect the commissions if not then your free to go with another broker to get the asking priced lowered and negotiated by who ever your new broker will be. Its best to use a broker when your buying a property becasue going at it by yourslef is not a good idea, its never a good idea. If you need an honest broker who will work for you then give me a call or email me. I hope I helped talk to you soon.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 19, 2013
Aha! :) thanks for the update Debra!
In lieu to Debra's advice i just read:

Since he is the Licensed Broker, as mentioned, if anything illegal transpired you may file a complaint to the department of state to be exact. If proven that he did not comply with his fiduciary duties / committed something illegal he will lose his license.

In terms of complaining to the local board of realtors - the Real Estate Board of New York, that isn't really a go to as he is most likely not a member since he is not mandated to join since he's not working in of one of the larger firms. Even so, there isn't much REBNY can do.

If the broker has a yelp account, you can give him a bad review to warn future clients looking at his profile as they peruse the site for agents to use.

Princess Abigail C. Bacani
Senior Vice President
1500 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Cell: (646) 239-6300
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 13, 2013
psst Abigail - you might want to read a few of the previous posts and catch up to where we are..........your advice is moot - there is no Broker to call, nor any other agent to be assigned - the poster's agent IS the sole Broker!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
If you have your heart set on the apartment he has shown you -- Call the firm that your agent works for and speak to his managing broker / the broker that holds his license, voice out your concerns and request to be reassigned to another salesperson to represent you. Your current agent will possibly get reprimanded, merely get a referral fee as you are still in negotiations with no accepted offer and the rest of the commission will go to the new agent tasked to assist you. Because essentially if another firm handles your negotiations moving forward, the buyers broker, assuming he/she is ethical would not let another broker work on the deal and take someone else's commission knowing that a different agent has registered you at the preview. So it is best to call you current brokers firm so that it is handled immediately and they will then inform the buyers broker that another salesperson has been assigned to you.

Best of luck on your purchase!



Princess Abigail C. Bacani
Senior Vice President
1500 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10075
Cell: (646) 239-6300
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Clearly, if someone broke the law or was unethical in any way, you have recourse - you can, and should, file a complaint with the NY Real Estate Commission and/or local Board of Realtors.

Since you're buying a place in the city, you most likely will be, or already are, working with a real estate attorney for the closing - why not speak with him and see how he views the issues you have had with this particular agent.
Why not get his professional opinion as to what, if any, laws were broken.

You certainly are free to leave unfavorable reviews on any sites you care to, as long as you follow their protocol.......just make sure you take a deep breath, and respond with facts, not emotions, or they may not post your review.

In the meantime - good luck with buying that apartment.........I sincerely hope it works out for you!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
Thank you all for the answers. Agreed - finding the right place is the greater priority. Regardless whether the deal closes or not, at some point over the next few weeks, I want to make sure as few as possible people get burned by working with this sleazebag in the future. What do you recommend as the good remedies for it? I was recommended to file a complaint about specific ethics and possibly law violations with the NY State, Real Estate Board of New York, and post facts of dealing with this individual on Yelp, Trulia, Zillow, Google+, etc. What can you recommend about the effectiveness of these remedies? Any other suggestions? Thank you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 12, 2013
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