The sellers signed for exclusive representation and right to sell with their broker. All brokers in NYC offer to co-broke their exclusive listings with other agents/brokers. These agents/brokers bring in a ready, willing and able buyer and get paid a percentage of the total commission. This is standard for broker to broker transactions. No where in that arrangement have I ever seen a provision for an Attorney to get a percentage of the fee. Who would pay that fee? There's something hinkey going on here.
The short answer is, get another Attorney and I hope you did. Good luck.
Look if your attorney is trying to collect a fee on the selling price, hire someone else. Unless this attorney was with you every step of the way, helping you negotiate the deal, providing you comps for apartments, etc.... I'm not really sure how he came up with this in the first place. Attorney's get their legal feel paid, anywhere from $800 to maybe $2000 depends on how good he or she is and that's it. Why in the world would you want to share a % of your sales price with an attorney, did they do something extra for you and help you earn $50 or $100K over your asking price that they feel entitled to this? I highly doubt it.
Sounds very shady to me. And just because an attorney holds a brokers license doesn't mean he knows much about the market or what how much is selling for.
As I understand it, lawyers in NY have the ability to act as brokers (just thinking out loud).
As such, it would seem that the disclosure would be required. EXCEPT in NYC four-or-more units.
I would assume of the lawyer automatic fiduciary (as opposed to a lesser obligation, should agency change during the transaction for a real estate person) to their client. I would think, if the laws were in tune, that there would be a requirement for disclosure to a buyer (or whichever party is on the other side of the transaction).
NY agents don't represent the seller only (as indicated below, then corrected) so were I operating as a buyers agent, I would want all associated fees that are IN THE PRICE OF THE HOME disclosed to a buyer of mine, lawyer listor notwithstanding.
While it's certainly true that the seller writes the check, a buyer may well have a mortgage that includes the fees. His dime (s). I don't care what the seller does if the buyer isn't paying for it in some way.
What a buyer pays a lawyer is immaterial to the seller- it doesn't cost him/her a dime.
I don't like non disclosure if the "fee" is included in the asking price of the home for sellers OR buyers- for sellers, why it is what it is, and what goes to whom; buyers, what fee is included in this purchase for which you'll be obtaining a mortgage, or spending savings.
It seems absurd to add: NOT LEGAL ADVICE- I AM NOT A LAWYER- this should be clear to any reader- but there it is.
With that said, the amount or work to sell a 2M property or a 200K property is the same or easier in many cases! Perhaps realty agents should be paid a flat fee for services?
Actually, locating a rental and completing the lease and addenda is more involved than a purchase and sale agreement!
The NY law does require all agents to explain this to their customers and clients and have them sign a NYS disclosure form.
By default, attorneys in the state of New York have the right to act as an agent and receive commission. Therefore, an attorney you can legally represent a seller or buyer (by law all agents represent the seller by the way) and receive a commission. So the real question is can you justify a fee and/or commission above and beyond your attorney's fees to your client? You can do that lots of ways: 1. By doing all the work to help them find and purchase the apartment including showings, appointments, offers, negotiation, coop or condo board packages, etc. 2. By offering a discounted commission that will somehow save the seller money (100% of the commission comes from the seller/purchase in NYC) 3. Just do your run of the mill attorney duties but do a good job of selling yourself as deserving of more than just you run of the mill attorney's fees!
Best bet is #1! I hope that helps!
As for the fee-that should be laid out without any confusion whatsoever on the retainer you sign. When you tell him/her that you need representation on a closing, they should just quote you a fee...no confusion