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Front_porch, Keith, and any other brokers on this board, this one is for you. I'm truly stumped and would love to hear your perspectives on this situation.
I am currently in contract for a new development condo. I didn't use a buyers broker (hindsight is 20/20, i know) so worked with the sponsor's broker to put in an offer and get into contract. That broker then moved away and was replaced by another broker from the same brokerage company. However, the new broker is completely unresponsive to me. As in, she sends email updates to several of the other buyers in the building (who i've met and who fwd me the broker's mass emails) but completely ignores my calls and emails. I have not behaved inappropriately with this person, or been mean or abusive in any way. But this broker has effectively shut me out and refuses to communicate.
First, why would this happen? The only thing i can think of is that she wants me to get out of my contract so that she can resell the unit (since the broker who earned the commission moved away before we closed), but in that case why wouldn't she be treating the other owners the same way?
Second, what recourse do i have? The sponsor's attorney is equally unresponsive.
Any help or insight would be appreciated. I'm really stumped.
If you are in contract for a sponsor unit in a new dev, awaiting closing, first I guess I would want to know, when are you set to close? What are you waiting for, the punchlist walk through date? You can have your atty contact the sponsor atty and issue a TOE as it should be written in contract that you have a punchlist walk through prior to close.
Also is this a firm new dev sales team, or an individual broker handling the sponsor's units?
Building is behind schedule, so no closing or walkthroughs scheduled (we are way past the original closing date). Other owners are getting updates on why we are behind schedule, when inspections are scheduled, etc, but my calls/emails are being ignored.
This is an individual broker handling the sponsor's units as a "project manager".
why not write a letter to the boss of the bokerage company????
I would have your atty contact this project manager and try to expedite getting answers to your questions.
This may sound simplistic, but maybe your emails are not getting to the intended persons. I have had this happen before and thought I was being ignored then discovered some yahoo accounts don't communicate with my GOOGLE powered email.
I doubt they want to kill your deal and the fact that it is the same brokerage firm they should want to keep you happy. Try giving them a call and see if you can get to the bottom of it that way. I recently had a similar experience, original broker left, new broker and sponsor attorney ignored my emails. Though they did keep the buyers in the loop.
Is this new development in East Harlem?
I agree with all of the above. I would have your attorney place a call to get an update. Perhaps your attorney can also request to be added to the email list as well (if they see fit). You might also send an email (I'm sure you might have already) simply asking to make sure that your email is on the 'update list' with regards to the project. If you feel comfortable and are in the area during their office hours, it might help to stop by the sales office and introduce yourself to the new agent. Verify that she has all of your correct contact information if she has been unresponsive via email or phone. I always think a face to face greeting is the best scenario for these types of things if folks have the time. Remember that you get more bees with honey.
Helping buyers and sellers navigate the complexities of NYC's real estate market.
It sounds like it's not malevolence but rather indifference -- you're in contract, the listing broker is going to get paid when you close, and he/she seems to be assuming that the close is going to happen regardless of whether he/she answers your questions, or takes the trouble to add you to his/her email group, so he/she is off doing other things.
Also remember that new dev brokers don't get paid like regular listing brokers, so they have to chase a lot of volume to make up for their relatively lower commission rates.
So don't take it personally that you're getting blown off by listing broker, or by the sponsor's attorney.
That said, it's SO annoying when people selling a product won't even take the pride in their job to answer questions. The one strategy that you're already employing -- getting people in the information loop to forward you information -- is a sound one. Certainly speaking to the listing broker's boss would work, but it sounds like the listing broker works directly for the sponsor, and the sponsor probably doesn't really care that much either, since he/she has your money.
So doing something radical like sending your attorney around will probably work, as will Brad's strategy of stopping by the sales office.
But ugh, how annoying that you have to expend energy to go to Defcon Three just to get some questions answered. My sympathy.
DG Neary Realty
threaten to back out, that always gets their attention.
I agree with ali (front_porch). Have your Attorney request status from the Sponsor's Attorney.
Do not threaten to cancel the transaction and do NOT send a "TOE" Time is Of the Essence letter! These are the nuclear options and should be reserved only in severe situations. Your situation does not seem severe so much as unsatisfactory.
In general in any purchase transaction, once the contracts are signed, communications about status should pass between the Buyer's and Seller's Attorneys. And that's two-way communication: Buyer's status on Loan Commitment and Seller's status on providing a timely closing. The fact the previous Broker communicated with you is part of the service provided by that Broker. Ali is correct in pointing out the new Broker demonstrates a lack of pride (and professionalism, IMHO) by not responding to your queries.
Brad's suggestion is a good one, too, but you may be disappointed with the same poor response even when you show up in person at the sales office.
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
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