Why do I need to hire an agent to represent me as a seller in Williamsburg when the attorney draws the contract. What do the agents do?

Asked by Piri, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY Tue Apr 27, 2010

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Caroline S, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon Mar 21, 2016
Sounds like you have worked with some incompetent agents!

This is a fairly balanced article about what agents do and what you should expect to do yourself:

Basically, their access to RLS is the most important thing agents do in NYC. You can get access fairly easy now through the Hauseit guys.
1 vote
great article thank you. will check them out
Flag Mon Apr 11, 2016
Jim Johnson, , 78233
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Agents sell properties, and have the tools to do it. Good agents market property, know how to use the tools at their disposal and advise their clients accordingly.

Agents do not do what title insurance companies and attorneys do. Attorneys write up the legal paperwork, give legal advice and do title searches.
1 vote
Luke Constan…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Mar 31, 2015
Hello Piri,

a lot of people don't really understand what a good Realtor/Broker/Agent can do:

you have inspectors, appraisals, banks, mortgage officers, contractors, etc. that a lawyer will not want to be bothered with. They don't want to go through the process of finding someone who is pre approved to buy your place, be it with cash or a good loan. Sometimes people who are unqualified want to buy your place, go through the process, can't, waste your time and make your property sit there like there is something wrong, bringing down the price for the next potential buyer.

Oh there a lot of good reasons my friend... One is,

If you want to know mare about what I can do... Call.
No obligation, no hassle. Cell # (212) 300-3919
0 votes
Kevin Hamilt…, Agent, New York, NY
Mon Mar 30, 2015

I highly suggest that you try and sell your property on your own. Forget about Real Estate Agents, 6%! are you kidding me, for what?...right?

No matter what I write after that, I believe your mind is already set, but I'll continue anyway and hope that you read further.

6% commission is paid when the property is actually sold, not upfront when you sign a contract with a Real Estate Agent. Your concern as an owner, I would assume is getting the highest price possible for your property.

This requires that you get the word out that your property is for sale and that every possible person looking to buy sees it ASAP, ASAP meaning within the 1st month...not after one or three months of it being posted for sale on XYZ website(s).

Pricing is crucial, if you don't get it right, you are going to miss out on many buyers that won't even find your property when they run a search for it online. Most buyers use price ranges in their search, so this is a major issue.

Marketing is up next on importance. How can you insure yourself that no stone was left unturned when marketing your property? Professional photography, floor plans, (buyers see so many properties before making a decision so your property must stand out of the crowd) brochures, posting in newspapers, posting in MLS (there's more than one in NYC you know)...and the game changer which is why Real Estate Agents are such a necessity is simply "we don't work for nothing". :)) Let me explain.

Our established lists of local buyers (end users and investors alike) runs in the hundreds - thousands PER Real Estate Agent, and best of all they are all accessible with a click of a button (thank you smart phones!) That's instant exposure within the 1st week.

Put yourself in a buyer's shoes, when you go to the market to buy fruits, do you buy the new ones or the ones that have been sitting there for over a month?

I know that if I saw a month old fruit, I'd negotiate for a 2 for 1 special. Is it starting to make sense?

The best price comes early because it's new and fresh. If it's still on the market months later, your next group of customers might be looking for a "good deal" and you may then start to question your pricing, but you never question your marketing why? because you are the professional and you've sold dozens of properties correct?

Now tie this all together.

You do all the work yourself to market, show, and negotiate the best price for your property, but make sure you get it done in the 1st 30 days, and make sure you do it right the first time. Whatever the property ends up selling for, you should be 120% sure that its the best price you could have gotten for your property.


You work with a Real Estate agent that's connected to multiple, multiple listings services, has global reach with Brokers around the world (you don't want to forget about buyers that are selling their properties outside of NY and around the world and looking to move to NYC).

This Agent should have people who will take professional photographs of your property, create floor plans, design brochures, setup Broker and Buyer open houses, screen potential buyers (you don't want any tire kickers), negotiate the best deal for YOU because their commission depends on you getting the best price possible. The buyer will surely be using an Agent to find and negotiate the best deal for them, why are you not represented?

With this Agent, your property will be blasted out their buyers list, (that's if their is a commission that they can get a piece of that is documented and enforceable Ie: listing agreement between seller and broker) co-workers, and other brokers who have their own buyer's lists.

Now when the day the property is finally sold, you can be sure, 150% sure, that you are getting the best price possible, because you covered all avenues.

So, don't shy away from a 6% commission, you may just net enough to cover that 6% and more, or just enough to cover that 6%...doing the math that's called "someone working for you, for free :))" in my book.

Whatever you decide to do, try to see a Real Estate Agent for what he /she really is, a Connector. We connect buyers with sellers, or sellers with buyers, period. Your attorney protects you if you are using your own attorney and that of the buyer's (please don't do that...ever)

If you have any other questions or concerns, or need further explanation feel free to call me, no strings attached, even if you just want to know what your property can actually sell for, I'm here to help in any way I can.

All the best to you,

Kevin Hamilton
Fillmore Real Estate
Profile: http://kevinhamilton.fillmore.com/eng
Creator: http://www.SellRealEstateGuide.com
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Daria Kolomi…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Thu Mar 12, 2015
Good agent can do right estimate for your house and also build great advertising, which make your selling process very smooth and fast. Good luck!
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Galia Taneva, Agent, Sunnyvale, CA
Thu Sep 4, 2014
Main thing agents do is - sell your property. Never heard of attorney that will market your property, hold open house, show your home to prospective buyers, advise you on the right price! If you find one - use him instead of seller's agent but I am sure that it might be a little cost prohibitive. Attorneys charge by the hour and they actually bill on 15 min increments and they are not cheap :)
Good luck!
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Joseph Runfo…, Agent, Staten Island, NY
Thu Sep 4, 2014
Some, but not all of the reasons include the real estate agents ability to prepare a comparative market analysis for each property listed for sale. This includes visiting the property, touring the home, the neighborhood, and everything that will help establish the proper listing price. Most importantly it provides the agent the ability to articulate to potential buyers how the selling price is the correct price. The agent makes judgments based on their knowledge of the local market, and the many factors that affect price, such as lot size, shape, features, and improvements. To hear what other benefits an agent provides speak to one.
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Maryanne Jac…, Agent, El Cajon, CA
Mon Aug 11, 2014
A Seller's agent acts as a liaison between you the seller and the general public.
Selling a home may be an emotional time. It I helpful to have someone involved in the transaction that is not emotionally attached.
The Seller's agent will put the home on the MLS, Hold open houses and manage and screen showings and potential buyer's to assure the buyer's entering your home are indeed qualified, In many states the Realtor's will manage the paperwork too.
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Iva Pannone, , 11249
Mon Aug 11, 2014
That's a great question! Agents are there to make your deal happen. It is the agent's job and priority to use their expertise in pricing your home to sell, making any recommendations to stage the property and most importantly- Market your property to make sure you get top dollar.

Agents can also help with the negotiation process and get creative to make sure that both sides of the deal agree to the terms.

If you have any more questions, I would love to answer them.

Iva Pannone
Urban Realty NYC
917 578-3891
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Michael Dvor…, Agent, NYC, NY
Wed Jun 23, 2010
What will an agent do?

•Complete a comparative market analysis that will compare your home's value to that of your neighbors.
•Compile a comprehensive plan detailing all the efforts I will employ to sell your home, including Internet and local media.
•Present your home to as many qualified buyers as possible getting your home maximum exposure.
•Help you stage your home and generate curb appeal to ensure you get the highest price.
•Assist with obtaining offers and help you in negotiating the best deal as smoothly as possible.
•Help you find your next home and answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and SO MUCH MORE.
Web Reference:  http://MichaelDvorkin.com
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Voices Member, , Benton County, OR
Tue May 4, 2010
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Rhonda Holt, Agent, New York, NY
Tue May 4, 2010
Hello, what people don't understand is all the background work that goes into getting to that closing table. Even attorneys can do real estate deals, they are not fully equipped and have the everyday well rounded knowledge to market and close on a deal.

There are many aspects to a deal that you're attorney may not know about or problems that may arise that he may not have knowledge to solve.

- Attorneys do not have flexible schedules to show your home at odd times of the day or evening or even weekends.
- Atttorneys have legal minds and usually are not able to create highly effective advertising materials or know all the places to market your property.
-An attorney does not have signs to put on your property, the do not have an M.L.S account, they usually don't have accounts with major websites list your property.
-An attorney may not be able to qualify your buyer the proper way.
- An attorney will not work along with the mortgage broker after your in contract to to make sure the buyer is submitting all the paperwork in time and helping them along.
-An attorney may not have the time to schedule and represent you at a home and termite inspection.
-An attoreny may not be able to have the knowledge to solve the unforeseen problems that may arise with the buyer or the attorney.
- With an attorney working on the entire real estate deal for months may just cost you a fortune, at least an agent's commission is set according to purchase price and doesn't change no matter how long it takes to close your deal.

A real estate agent is the manager of your deal. If you are dealing with a full time experienced agent he or she will know the job of every person involved in the deal and make sure everyone does their job. The agent will do the physical work to sell your home and will do everything possible to get to the closing table. When selling your property you need a well rounded person that can do it all and know what all needs to be done to make your transaction successful.

So definitely look for a qualified real estate agent that can represent you to the fullest.

Rhonda Holt
Weichert Realtors, H.P Greenfield
Web Reference:  http://www.RhondaHolt.com
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Alen Moshkov…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Apr 28, 2010
Mitchell had a really good answer and gave great advice, something you may want to consider moving forward with your sale.

I have several other reasons why you don't need to hire a broker, but should keep that option open.

When you find a good broker, they will help you price to sell "Today", not tomorrow or a month from now. Today something is a million dollars; tomorrow it’s eight hundred thousand. We are concerned with today.

A good broker will qualify your building and tell you what type of financing is available. When your broker reviews Assets & Liability form of a buyer who presented an offer, they will be able to tell you if they can qualify to purchase in your building.
A good broker will take professional photography, property video and provide a clean floor plan.
A good broker will advertise you on Trulia, NYTimes, Zillow, StreetEasy, PropertyShark, Google, Company's website, FaceBook, etc... (Are you willing to pay to advertise on all of them for as long as it takes to sell?)

9 out of 10 Deals in New York are Broker to Broker. Buyers prefer to work with agents. We help them qualify buildings, we tell them the back story on your area/building, go over recent sales, active listings in your area, refer attorneys who “close deals” not destroy them, help them find the right lender and keep a watchful eye for nothing to go wrong and if it does on the 11th hour we are ready to act and make it work.

If 90% of listings sell with the help of two agents. By not using an agent, you are hoping to capture that 10%, which is actually less when we remove neighbors, relatives, friends, and co-workers (unless they buy your apartment)

Buyer’s who work on their own and target FSBO’s, do so for a reason. They want a deeper discount. Or they may avoid you all together.

Example of buyers thinking process. Mr. & Mrs. FSBO, I see that you aren’t listed with an agent. Possible reasons for this? You have experience selling properties in a down market and you do it better than a professional who lives and breathes real estate every day.
You purchased at the height of the market and trying to make money or break even, even though market had price adjustments.

You don’t want to hire a broker because you need to make X amount of dollars in order to buy something larger elsewhere.
In any case, buyers don’t care what or why someone is selling. They will pay what they feel your apartment is worth.
Some buyer’s brokers refuse to show FSBO apartments even when they offer broker commission. Busy buyers simply don’t know, have the time or care to look for direct sellers. Why would a buyer look for a FSBO when they can go on a broker’s website and look at ALL listings? At the end of the day, direct sellers can simply get missed because nobody knows they are out there. Being a FSBO almost never translates to a better deal for a buyer. Two different agendas.

There are dozens of other reasons and I think these cover the basics.
I’ll also say this. If you have a great property, great condition with nice finishes in a good area, properly priced and in a financially sound building that isn’t full of foreclosures, rentals or unsold sponsor units. You have a shot at selling without using a broker. Just be prepared to advertise, take good photography, write a captivating description and be flexible to show when it’s convenient for the buyer.

Good luck and let us know what you decide on.
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Charles D'Al…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Wed Apr 28, 2010
Piri ,You may not need an agent. If you have a qualified buyer and you have negotiated all terms such as ,price, personal possessions, closing date and so on.

A good Realtor does more then just show your property. A good Realtor will market your property to attract ready willing and most importantly qualified buyers for your property. Ideally there will be more then one potential buyer interested in your property and you will get the highest and best deal.

There are many things a Realtor does to help get you the best deal. A good Realtor is worth his or her weight in ...... If you would like to interview a good Realtor contact me any time, if you would like more information go to my blog link below.
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Mitchell Fel…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Dear Piri:

Your attorney draws the contracts and protects your best interests from a legal perspective. Your lawyer will also negotiate the finer points of the contract of sale with the purchaser's attorney. However, your lawyer cannot communicate directly with your buyers if there is an issue that needs to be worked out (this would be a legal conflict of interest). Hence, if your attorney and the purchaser's attorney were to hit an impasse, you would have to hash out the issue yourself with the purchaser or risk losing the deal.

As agents, during such a time, we can speak to the buyers on your behalf and we know how to create a sense of urgency in order to get the purchasers to "see the light" and move forward. As agents we are not only going to protect our clients (the seller) but also protect their deal. This ultimately is in the seller's best interest assuming they do in fact want to sell.

It is very difficult for a property owner to speak directly to the buyer because usually you will be put on the spot and forced to answer a question or make a statement that you will regret. Having an agent represent you allows for a buffer in the middle which gives you time to think over your responses. We can also offer suggestions on strategy based on knowledge and experience. Good agents know how to create a sense of urgency within the buyer, educate them, crunch the numbers and show the buyers why it benefits them to raise their offer and/or move forward with the deal. Lawyers do not do this for you. When the lawyer comes into play the deal has already been struck. Try to ask an attorney to negotiate a deal for you before you have an accepted offer and you will see what I am talking about.

Theoretically, the only reason why us real estate agents exist is not just because we sell houses, but also because we sell them for higher prices. If this were not the case, nobody would hire us for the job! We also provide advise and offer strategic options for homeowners based on the goals they are looking to achieve. On a side note, serious buyers like to work with agents because we do all the leg work and research for them, set up appointments and make the process of buying a home less stressful.

Good agents also prequalify the buyer to make sure they can actually close the deal and/or get the mortgage. This includes finding out a buyers income, credit history and proof of assets. We also coordinate the mortgage process, appraisal (including supplying the appraiser with comps to show value) and a plethora of other tasks including orchestrating the final walkthrough.

Of course a good agent will also market the property via internet, photos, print media and most of us also have access to a Multiple Listing Service which affords the highest level of exposure possible. If I wanted to expound I could spend another hour or two getting into greater details of how to promote real estate in today's market but that I prefer to do in person.

I have been selling real estate in Brooklyn for over 18 years and I am passionate about it and know in my heart that we as real estate agents provide an extremely valuable service to the consumers who hire us. This is usually reflected in a much higher sales price and more timely sale. We also hold the consumers hand through the entire process and alleviate the vast majority of the stress involved in selling a home.

I really appreciate your question and thank you for it. If I can be of further assistance please let me know. Good luck!

Mitchell S. Feldman
Associate Broker/ Director of Sales
Madison Estates & Properties, Inc.
Office: (718) 645-1665/ Cell: (917) 805-0783
Email: MitchellSFeldman@aol.com
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David Rogoff…, , Brooklyn, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Superior agents will provide a level of marketing to ensure the maximum number of potential buyers see that your property is for sale. This is done via internet marketing which today is much more than just Craigslist and Trulia, specifically targeted foreign language papers, direct mail campaigns, realty magazines such as Homes and Land and the MLS.

In addition, Realtors have the best handle on current market trends and should provide a very accurate assessment of market value and suggested price points.

Assuming that a full marketing program is employed with a fair asking price your property will on average sell for a higher price and more quickly than a FSBO.

Please feel free to give us a call and we can discuss further our marketing programs with you.

Best regards,
Bonnie and David
Coldwell Banker Mid Plaza Real Estate

917-593-4068 (CELL)
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Fajardo Dela…, Agent, Flushing, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
I do have some listing in the Queens and Brooklyn area for sale. But the calls are
coming in and the request are so many that I need to show more of them. I would
love to have your co-op in my inventory for sale. I see that people are try to get in on
the tax break that is ending soon and I just need a few seconds to sit with you and
discuses a plan that will work for both of us. Before you speak with someone please
just give me a call as soon as you can.

Of course every homebuyer's situation is unique, but the two minutes you spend
reading this letter could clear up some of the major concerns preventing you from
moving forward. So, read on because—although the current market offers financial
opportunities galore—something even better awaits you in today's housing market ...
We can work together.
Fajardo Delacruz
Licensed Real estate Agent
Century Homes Realty Group llc
Direct Line: 347-932-0609
0 votes
, ,
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Piri, how do you plan to find a buyer for your home? You are always able to try a "For Sale By Owner" or FSBO as it is known, but then are you going to let anyone who answers your ad into your home? Do you have access to all the various websites that the agents do for listing your home? NYC does not have MLS, but there is another system that is used by realtors to list homes. Also, the realtors are generally involved in negotiating the selling price, and often do let the home inspector in. Once everything else is done, you lawyer will take over. You lawyer is not the one who gets your home sold. If you want to take on the responsibility to do so, that is fine, but I am sure you would be much better off, if not safer, using a realtor. Not to mention the fact that that 6% commission, if it is even that, gets sliced up a lot of different ways before it gets into the pocket of the listing agent.
As you see, I am not an agent, so I have nothing to gain by telling you this.
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Madeline Pad…, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Hi Piri:
Because just as you are asking " the attorney draws up all the legal paper work, the contract" he/she does
not sell your home. A real estate professional represents you the seller and sells your home. And for that we deserve to get paid for our efforts, since we only get paid when we sell your home. We work for you and protect you all at no cost to you, until we sell your home. That is why you should hire a real estate professional.

Of course you can try and sell on your own, and I am sorry you had a problem in the past with whomever you dealt with in the past. However, if I can be of service to you, please feel free to contact me.
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Sandi Devarie, , Williamsburg, IA
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Hello Piri. Well, some agents are not familiar with what an agent/broker does to facilitate selling your home.We not only make appointments for appraisers, banks and surveyors, but we also provide comparables so your buyer will be able to obtain a mortgage and not keep you on hold.
A good agent will explain what your lawyer is doing. From the time we take an offer and relay it to you. We know the steps that attornies take in closing. From the Down payment that the purchaser gives to the end when your all sitting at the closing table. This can only be relayed if the Brokers/Agent has the experience in many closing and has a good relation with both attornies. I hope this helps.
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Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Keep in mind that commissions are always negotiable between you and your agent, there are no set standards. Your house is your home. Emotions are homebound---selling your house is a business transaction. In a business, a professional is able to best to protect your interests. A real estate professional is better at selling your house than you could be at selling your home--are you prepared to allow strangers into your home for showings, are you aware of your local market conditions, what about marketing, etc. The decision to sell on your own or list with an agent is entirely yours.
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Jack Menashe, Agent, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
Piri; If that is your experience with an agent then clearly you hired the wrong agent. I run a small independent brokerage where we work for the seller trying to get the highest price for the home and weed out lookers from qualified & pre-approved buyers. No, we do not write contracts as we are not lawyers, but we do schedule inspections, appraisals and more. Not all brokers have access to the MLS for it is a costly service and not necessary for all markets. In fact one of the most succesful brokers, Corcoran; is not a member of the local MLS (at least by me...).

Thankfully business has been good and I am now a member and can afford the extra expense in the hopes it is a good investment and will generate a return.

However - you are not required to hire an agent when selling property you own and represent yourself. Keep one thing in mind - hire a professional to competetently complete the task they have ahead of them - same as you would not hire an accountant to prepare your legal documents. Attorneys for legal documents is more than advisable, etc... Best of luck!
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Piri, Home Seller, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Tue Apr 27, 2010
You really dont,I think if you are willing to put some effort out. In NY, unlike other states where I have lived, the agents dont wrie the contract of sale, dont schedule inspections etc. Some dont even have access to the multiple list system. so it is baffling that they charge 6% for what again??????????
0 votes
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