How do i go about finding a quality realtor to buy a condo in the New York City area? Thanks!

Asked by Christian Oconnor, 11223 Sun Mar 2, 2008

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14
Aileen-Manha…, , New York, NY
Sun Mar 9, 2008
You asked for a REALTOR, specifically. Do you know the difference between a REALTOR and a licensed real estate sales person? Either way, it would help you to determine the neighborhood where you would like to live, know your budget, and know what amenities you desire in the building and the neighborhood. Then, try to find someone who lives in that neighborhood. They should be able to tell you about the real estate market for that specific neighborhood, commute times, grocery stores, and should know some "insiders" such as building owners, management contacts. Interview a few REALTORS and see whom you mesh with. Test them.

There have been similar questions on this topic. It might be useful to you to conduct a search on Trulia, for this specific topic.
2 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Mon Mar 31, 2008
Ronnie, you are required by law to indicate on the initial disclosure form who your allegiance is with- I'm sure that you do this, and are confusing a buyer agency "contract" with the required disclosure. In your case, due to practices, you disclose to the buyer that you represent sellers (?). As I don't participate in commission discussions, I will exit this conversation and leave it to those who dare. We are worlds apart!
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
1 vote
Alen Moshkov…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Apr 28, 2008
Hi Christian.
I'm not going to tell you that you should interview a few brokers before you decide on who to choose, a few of the answers here told you that already. If nobody want's business here and are pushing you to seek help somewhere else, I am going to ask you to give me a call at my office or shoot me an email which are both listed on my profile. Tell me what you are looking for, what is your time line, what is your budget and your wants vs. needs for an apartment. I will do everything in my power to find you that apartment.

Christian, I will take the responsibilty of working with you side by side.

Kind Regards
~Alen, M.
0 votes
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Mar 30, 2008
I come on here to give the people who don't know some insight from an insiders perspective, not to be undermined by others. Please allow me to clarify the original comments below.

A buyer in the NYC market is open to work with more than one realtor/broker as that is a consumer's right. Anyone advising you that they will not work with you unless there is a contract is simply aiming to get you to work with them exclusively, often in order to eliminate sharing of the 6% commission standard here in the NYC area. I am a Real Estate Board of New York memebr and that violates REBNY policy. There are usually only contracts endorsed between a seller entering an EXCLUSIVE agreement with a seller's broker in the NEW YORK CITY area. While I respect my colleagues here, this is the honest truth about the market which I work in.

Some people can insist that they won't work with you unless you sign an agreement, but I am a big believer on trust. If you can't trust me to honestly represent you as your buying agent and we need to sign an agreement that I will do what my job duties are, then why would you want to work with me? If I have to make every purchaser sign an agreement that they will work only with me, why would I want to work with them? That just sounds a bit fishy in my book. Too much politics involved there and the last time I checked, I am not Obama and Laurie is not Hillary.

In the markets outside of Manhattan and the five boroughs, this may be the case. I don't sell homes in Long Island at 4% from the seller and thus try to eliminate a co-brokerage situation, so you'll have to figure that one out on your own if that's where you are looking.

Think about it, if you are going into a closing and the seller has a broker and a lawyer, wouldn't you want the same representation so as to ensure the maximum bargaining power? Also, purchasing a home, be it for primary residence, pied a tierre or investment is indeed a VERY emotional process and not all just logic, numbers on paper and reason. This is ESPECIALLY true if we are talking about Manhattan. Why else would a person spend a million dollars on a 600 sf new development condominium studio or one bedroom when they can go to Long Island and get a proper house of 3000 sf?

A person using a real estate agent (broker and realtor are often interchanged by clients based on where you are from) for a purchase needn't worry about who the broker represents if that broker knows what their job is for that buyer. That is, if he/she is not merely the listing broker representing the seller. We work with renters, buyers and sellers in most Manhattan firms, often all at the same time.

Here in NYC, I have met clients at open houses, if they were not interested in that seller's property, I do not push them on that property. While my goal for that seller is to sell that property, there are plenty of buyers to go around for that property and if a buyer comes to me looking for advice or for other options, am I supposed to turn them away? That is poor customer service. I listen to the needs and use the resources I have by being in the brokerage community to find other more suitable options for the needs.

I am not going into Riverdale Long Island and telling buyers "you must sign something as it makes sense to sign something", as that is not my area of expertise. Also, at the end of the day, most sales clients do not want to be told to sign anything in the Manhattan market. They usually want to feel a few brokers out, as that is just a savvy consumer's nature. If the shoe doesn't fit, you try on a new pair. You don't leave the store with the wrong size on because the salesperson told you to sign an agreement that you will only buy shoes from that store and the shoe that they say to wear!

I am here to offer my advice as I do know Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn quite well and can offer all sorts of advice on those areas. A true buyer's agent here earns the trust of the buyer through the proof in what they are showing. If it seems like they are showing things you specifically asked not to see, why would you want to be locked into a contract with someone who is self serving and not at all listening to your needs? We are 100% commission based here in Manhattan, so the number one goal is to ensure that the client is happy. If I don't do that, I don't get paid. It's really that simple. We can sign a "you represent me to make a purchase" agreement or not. Most agents don't see it that way and only think about how to ensure that they are not loosing a client or how to get the whole pie. I prefer the 10% of something, beats 100% of nothing approach. To each, his or her own.
0 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Sun Mar 30, 2008
With all due respect, investing cash and income when considering a home purchase exceeds "emotion" and a suggestion to "sign nothing". Acknowledging the agency of the person you're hiring as a conduit to a huge purchase, and the knowledge (in writing) of who they represent would seem reasonable. ?? Fact in writing over a "good feeling" would seem wise in this market. Facts.
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes
Ronnie Shuma…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Mar 30, 2008
Meet a few and see who actually listens to your needs. A quality realtor will give you the right feeling from the initial phone conversation and email follow up. This is a very emotional process selecting a home and even finding the right person for the job can be as simple as when you open the door to the right place and it just feels right. There doesn't need to be any exact reason, it just is!

There is no need to sign anything for a purchase either, as the buyer's broker is paid either by the seller (split with seller's broker) or by the building directly in a new development. Our services are free for a purchaser in that specific situation and thus, you should be able to focus completely on your needs with someone who is expereinced in this business. Anyone trying to get you to sign an agreement for buyer's agency is merely trying to ensure your loyalty through dubious means. The rental business mandates this as there are so many open listings that people can try to go behind a broker to get, but the sales process here creates loyalty for smart consumers and quality agents.

Many of the comments below are good, but not the real truth. Read my profile here and see if I am a good fit for your needs. If so, write me and see if it feels good before we even speak! You'll get floor plans, maps, school information, transit information, grocery store information, anything you can think of, I can include in a response to your initial inquiry. I utilize all of the resources available to sae my clients time and money, thus making them happy. I prefer to make them happy because it just feels right compared to trying to push people into decisions. If I focus on that, I have found that I am rewarded in the long run fairly.

If that's not quality customer service, then what is?
0 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Tue Mar 25, 2008
And I can't resist: can you imagine being a NYC seller, to whom it has been represented that they have an agent that understands "fiduciary" (as stated in the NYDOS disclosure), discovering that their "agent" actually PREVENTED showings by limiting cooperation, thereby potentially getting them LESS money than what the exluded consumer may have offered? It's been 5 years in NY, and I'm still shaking my head...
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Tue Mar 25, 2008
Excellent point. I would recommend not signing a buyer agency contract until a property has been located, and the commission offer from the listing agent is established for your agent. You do not need a contract to secure a buyer's agent- you do, however, need the agent that you locate to check the buyer agency box on the initial disclosure form provided. NYC is SO behind the times that it shocks most who endeavor to move there from another area. While the opinion seems to be that it's just "different", the treatment of buyers is appalling. Knowing this going in will assist you, and provide you with an understanding that you won't get from the typical NYC agent. Unpopular opinion, I'm sure, but neither the public, nor the agents appear willing to make changes that afford representation to a buyer.
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes
Zack, , Westchester County, NY
Tue Mar 25, 2008
In another thread a few NYC people mention that very few realtors in NYC will co-broke. This means that if you find a buyer's broker and sign a contract with them, it is very likely that you will be paying their commission out of pocket. Just something to keep in mind.
0 votes
Kiss, Home Buyer,
Tue Mar 25, 2008
I too am thinking about dipping into the Manhattan RE mkt after many years and wanted to ask about buyers brokers. You say that they are rare in NYC, but one can find a buyer agency? What's the difference?

Separately, I saw a listing for a place I like, and wanted to see this apt plus other similar listings.

My question is whether I should simply contact the listing agent to have her show me this and other similar apts, or should I find a buyers broker/buyer's agent (if such a thing exists in NYC) to show me this place and others?

Thx.
0 votes
;, , Riverhead, NY
Tue Mar 18, 2008
It is my understanding (I could be mistaken) that it is very, very difficult to locate a buyer broker in the city. That's the first place to begin. While there are likely many "quality" agents, if they are representing the seller, the quality for you, as a buyer, is significantly diminished (if in existance at all). Be very up front with your demand to be represented, and make sure, if you are able to locate representation for yourself, that the agent truly understands fiduciary. You'll have to acknowledge their position (seller agency, buyer agency, broker agency) when you have your first substantive contact; insist on representation.
Web Reference:  http://optionsrealty.com
0 votes
Diary Of A R…, , New York, NY
Tue Mar 11, 2008
You should ask your friends who they've used and then try to interview more than one person.

You are looking for an agent you feel comfortable with.

Also, any agent you talk to should be able to tell you about what they'll do for you (their services), what their access to apartments is (technical knowledge and Fair Housing), situations in which their loyalty might be split (agency), how they'll handle bumps in the road (the buyer I just put into contract on the Laurel worked with me for two years to find that dream home) and how they'll get paid (commission split, most likely).

Buying real estate is an emotional road to travel, and sometimes not a quick one, and anyone who makes it sound really easy and fun -- like you're going to buy a new TV -- is probably snowing you.

But once you have a couple of conversations with agents who your friends or colleagues like, it will be pretty easy to choose.

Good luck!
Ali
---
Alison Rogers
REBNY member and
author, "Diary of a Real Estate Rookie"
Insider Real Estate Tips with a Twist of Humor: http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
Web Reference:  http://tinyurl.com/2ag28z
0 votes
Joseph Ferra…, , New York County, NY
Tue Mar 11, 2008
I would use a real estate agent who is a member of REBNY (Real Estate Board of NY). If you want a referral, call me 646-714-2720. In what area are you looking?
0 votes
Gerry Vazquez, Agent, NY,
Mon Mar 3, 2008
Christian, I would look at what the leader in NYC condo sales--Prudential Douglas Elliman--has to offer you. Call one of our offices serving the neighborhoods you're considering and interview a few of their agents. You're looking for someone with deep knowledge of the neighborhood and condo market; a record of success; strong credentials; and superb references. Furthermore, pick someone that's committed and available to you; is good listeners; and a terrific negotiator. PS Let me know if you'd prefer a referral.
0 votes
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