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Thanks for clarifying some points streeteasy. I am still unclear how charging agents for the right to be a "building expert" is a benefit to the consumer. To me it would appear to create a conflict of interest. If the intent is truly to create a "best of the best" list, it should not be simply determined by the agent who is willing to pay for the privilege and who has happened to do two deals in the past year. "Building Knowledgeable," maybe. Building expert? Not so much. Not when you introduce a charge to be one of those "experts."
WTF is a "building expert"?
Hi Streeteasy Support, I honestly find the criteria you are using as quite frightening. I have met brokers that have done multiple deals in a building that are barely competent. Just because they have gotten a couple of deals of deals to the closing table doesn't mean that they are an expert (in the industry or even in a particular building). Have you considered creating an industry qualification? I believe you have an excellent business opportunity here to raise the bar of brokers in this town. Just because there is a required program brokers must complete in order to sell- that bar is set ridiculously low. New Yorkers have the expectations set ridiculously high on everything else- but when it comes to the broker community very few stand out as experts - perhaps it is time to change that, and Streeteasy is positioned to assist in that.
Hi @Mets79 - Thank you for feedback on the Building Experts program. As with all our products, we are constantly evaluating them to make them the best they can be.
We do a lot of testing at StreetEasy in order to provide the best experiences possible. Consumers loved the idea of contacting an expert, but did not feel as though this was accomplished through the Top Agent experience for a few reasons:
1) It was not understood why the agents were listed or what qualified them to appear in the box.
2) There were too many agents (often up to ten) and consumers found the list hard to compare and navigate.
3) It was difficult to find contact information for the agents listed.
4) Many of the agents listed did not have completed profiles and consumers were frustrated when they clicked through to find out more information that was not available.
With the Building Experts program we wanted to limit the number of experts shown on the page at a given time, better showcase the agent, their qualifications, their photo, their brokerage, their contact information and most importantly, make the agent as easy to contact as possible.
The pilot only launched a month ago, but we are seeing incredibly positive feedback on all these fronts, including very high quality contacts. Higher quality than with the old Top Agent experience.
To more specifically address your questions,
1) Even if an agent has done fewer deals than another agent in a building, they have still done two transactions in the last 24 months (or have one active listing and one transaction in the same time period) and are still very much an expert who knows the building and can get a buyer or seller to the closing table. This is the most important part.
2) Every building has a different CPM cost based on amount of inventory, cost of inventory and a few other factors. It is not “one size fits all.”
3) The pilot only included 250 buildings, so there are lots of building experts who did not have the opportunity to participate in the pilot. As long as agents are claiming their deals, we will have very accurate information on their expertise and will be reaching out to them as we release more buildings.
We thank you for your feedback and we're happy to answer any other questions you may have.
I am apartment hunting, and ended up contacting two different agents at different brokerages about the same apartment. I wasn't aware it was the same place -- they were advertised at different prices (a $150 difference in monthly rent!). I saw the apartment with the first broker, didn't sign anything. Only realized it was the same place when I showed up for my second appointment... and the broker had me sign a disclosure that he had shown me the apartment. I like the apartment, and would like to go with the broker whose disclosure I signed (the rent is $150 cheaper).
How can it even happen that brokers are advertising the same apartment at different rent? And what is the right/legal thing to do if I decide to apply for the apartment?
"This "rule of the game" creates risk as well as an opportunity for us, brokers."
So the industry sets itself up so that brokers are cut throat. Do we really believe that? What does it mean for clients if brokers are encouraged to act this way? What does it mean if the clients create these situations on a one-off basis?
I agree with MSADEWITZ: unless the first broker has a Buyer Agency form signed by you on file - you are free to put in an offer with any broker you choose. This "rule of the game" creates risk as well as an opportunity for us, brokers.
First off, I am *not* an attorney, but as a real estate broker who's been around the block a few times and discussed situations like you're describing with my sales manager, have some knowledge from the other side of the deal. The way I understand it, a broker needs to have "procuring cause" to be entitled to a sales commission. The easiest way to understand procuring cause is that that broker needs to have been the one to facilitate a "meeting of the minds" between buyer and seller. It's a number of events that the broker is involved in leading up to making the deal happen. Simply showing an apartment is NOT enough to establish procuring cause. You haven't even submitted an offer, the first broker hasn't presented an offer for the seller to accept or negotiated on your behalf at all. It's my opinion you're not in any peril by going through your new agent (especially if you haven't signed a buyer's exclusive agreement), though no one could control if the first broker comes after you for money. If that first agent did do that, though, in my opinion, they would clearly lose.
Your rights are furthers strengthened if the first broker is a REBNY member. It's my understanding that REBNY ethics guidelines say that the buyer can choose his/her representation at any point before the contract is signed.
Hope this helps, good luck to you.
if you want to put in an offer on any properties the first agent showed you, she most likely registered you as her client at the open house. It's very unlikely the first agent will not demand a portion of the commission.
honesty is the best course. Tell the second broker about the situation. Most likely they will figure out some kind of referral fee to the first broker if you have spent a significant time with the first agent.
Baier, you wrote: "I'd be willing to pay for this, but 3% seems quite exorbitant. I’m going to look into the brokers with rebates as listed earlier in the thread."
You are not paying 3% or any commission to anyone unless you get sucked into signing a Buyer's Broker Agreement which states such. The seller pays the commission.
I would only interview buyers agents who offer a rebate. Great service and a five figure check are not mutually exclusive. Cannot imagine why anybody would turn down the latter.
Keith Burkhardt and his team did an excellent job for me.
Baier, Compass no longer offers any kind of rebate or discount. They follow the standard brokerage model, albeit one with VC funding.
I think rather than looking for a rebate model, I recommend you spend a little more time vetting and interviewing buyer agents. You said it yourself, 3% (or 2.5 or 2 since there are lots of different splits) is quite a bit of money and shouldn't you be choosy with the agent.
How about this, reach out to some of your friends and colleagues that have recently bought a home and ask if they have a buyer's agent recommendation. I think you'll find one or two candidates that will respect your choices and give you the space to come to a decision on your own and can help you craft the offer that will really stand out. The key component of this is collaboration and communication. I will know all the tricks that will put our offer over the top and you will tell me when is the time and express your limits.
Thanks for this thread. I’ve been wondering the same thing … and I see many others have as well, but this is the only one that’s really gotten responses, so I’ll add on here.
I’ve been looking for an apartment for a few months without using a broker. It’s been a mixed experience, but I’ve also tried working with one too, and that was relatively negative.
That broker kept sending me stuff I wasn't interested in, and kept trying to push me into an apartment - any apartment. I understand - the faster she gets me to buy, the more quickly she makes her money. I got tired of making arguments of why I didn’t want to buy this one and that one to her, and she got tired of me arguing back.
She also got mad at me for attending open houses on my own, because then the seller's broker would argue that she didn't deserve the commission. But I was hardly going to route all my appointments through her, add on an extra layer of bureaucracy, time and delay, to help her keep her commission.
I don't blame her, really -- it's the incentive structure.
In interviewing another broker, she boasted that with her connections, she could get advance word on showings. But this seemed to be a bit of a red herring as seeing a place early doesn’t mean the buyer isn’t going to hold out for the highest offer.
On the other hand, I'm finding I do need a broker for some things, like helping me make sure a bid is reasonable by helping to assemble comparables, and knowing how to follow up and move through the process, so I can know what the timeline is like and how to pass the board.
I'd be willing to pay for this, but 3% seems quite exorbitant. I’m going to look into the brokers with rebates as listed earlier in the thread.
I also noticed someone earlier in the thread mention Suitey and Compass. I looked at Suitey, and that might be what I need. Indeed, the site boasts “financially aligned agents.”
However, I could not find any reviews on Suitey. They do have a Yelp page with a lot of positive reviews, but an overwhelming number of those reviews are written by people with no friends, which suggest shills to me. I could not find anything on Compass.
if its a bidding war , the reason more to have buyers agent. If the agent knows what he si doing , he can help his buyers become the buyers of choice. It is very important to know how to present the offer and how to correctly present the information in the financial statement. Besides that , a lot of agents know each other , so you might benefit from a personal relationships that your agent has. The sellers agents who are doing everything to get a double commission are very shortsighted and they are definitely not the successful ones.
Look at the behavior of the people and of the staff. Negotiate the lease form if you are paying more than 5K a month. Assume all venal promises are false.
Yes, all tenants do an inspection and all problems are noted on a report.
Question for landlords, do you have your tenants sign a property condition form?
is this a co-op, condo or regular rental building? if it's a condo/co-op, and you're using the standard form of residential lease for condos, make sure you take out the provision where you're responsible for paying increases in common charges, maintenance, etc. I didn't remove this provision back in 2004 and ended up being forced to pay the owner's increased assessments - something no renter should ever be obligated to pay. Same thing happened to a friend of mine a few years ago. It's no fun.
I assume it went well since you haven't returned to the forum, if you have any questions about the lease signing, feel free to email me at email@example.com
This is the perfect location for a professional Shingle. Dental Office/ Medical office/ Vet Clinic/ Law Practice!
I agree with Keith B 100%. I have done quite a bit of work and research on this as well.
GARG Real Estate.
Gothamsboro: In New York, unauthorized practice of law is a good way to lose a real estate license. That's why you see the "consult your attorney" disclaimer on everything that might be construed as legal advice.
I'm not sure why real estate professionals are always giving advice about when to consult your accountant or when to consult your lawyer. Are they really qualified to tell you when to consult someone? Are they getting kickbacks from accountants and lawyers?
I think they should just tell people what they know, what they don't know, and offer context of their qualifications about what they do know.
nychomeowner, make your own choice if you run this by your accountant.
thanks everyone for your responses. happy to hear the rebate should be seen as a reduction in basis. of course, i will run this past my accountant as well.
Yes Dan. We also give our clients a signed letter and of course the check from my company is clearly marked as a commission rebate. The IRS has also ruled on an individual case that was brought by REDFIN Realty, of course that was for that particular buyer, however it does give an indication of their position.
The Burkhardt Group
Not necessarily a conflict. I know of one coop where the Board has the managing agent do that, but residents don't pay a broker's fee.
Nope. If you trust them to sell why not to rent also?
I'm wondering if anyone thinks that it's a conflict of interest that our managing agent also sells and rents out units in our coop?
Attending an open house w/o your broker is commonplace. Most of my clients do it. I advise clients to designate me as their broker on sign-in sheets, so sellers’ agents will contact me instead of my client for follow-up (saving my clients time and providing them a degree of privacy). If the client likes the unit, I will have already been designated and will then engage the seller’s agent in discussions. If a showing is by appointment only, it is better to have your broker make the appointments for you so that there is no question that you are represented; but in many deals on the UWS, you can typically bring in a broker at any time prior to making an offer and your broker will still earn a commission. I am typically brought in and designated early on by my clients, but I have been brought in as late as the offer stage and have never had an issue collecting a commission (and sharing it with my clients). However you decide to approach it (with a broker or without), sellers brokers will still see you as serious, and you won’t limit your options.
Up to 2% cash back for homebuyers
I had a question about attending an open house without a broker (buyer's). Does it create any problem later regarding bringing in my own broker into the process if I want to make an offer on the property in so far as their 'cut' of the commission?
Also, if a property is by appointment only, is there any problem with calling and making an appointment w/o a (buyer's) broker. Will I be deemed a less serious buyer or not worth broker's time? Not talking about a prestige properties, but UWS $1.8m-$2.5m type properties.
Wife and I want to start poking around on our own to get a sense of how serious we may be about an upgrade, but if we see something we really like, don't want to limit our options.
Thanks! The original question was about rental (with a cobroke). With all of the no fee websites out there, it does not shock me that fees have come down a little. Though, I am surprised to hear that fees for buyers have come down. With so many people competing for the available places, I would have thought the value of a good agent would be as high as its ever been.
Key money is illegal Jazzman.
clarification - a 2 or 3 month fee for a stabilized unit that is renting below market levels.
fieldchester - I think a two or three month fee for a rent stabilized apartment is pretty reasonable (if not cheap).
Times have changed. Unless you're set on a particular firm/agent, fees are VERY negotiable.
Rentals can be < 1 mo fee and sales < 2%.
I'm looking to sublet a studio in Midtown West with 8 months left on the lease. Can anyone recommend a reputable broker to manage the subletting process? Thanks.
We're selling our Brooklyn coop (in contract!) and used RealDirect. I was expecting the very bare minimum--basically, just access to the MLS. But in addition to having your listing everywhere, you get an agent who is dedicated to your neighborhood area. She was available pretty much 24/7 to answer questions and help with negotiations. I was perfectly happy to do my own photos, staging, showings, etc. But I was glad that Aimee at RealDirect had my back, because I was really nervous about negotiations.
We only paid the flat monthly fee. Even though we had a lot of interest (and some offers) from brokerless buyers, we ended up accepting one from a broker. That actually turned out great, because she's really leading the charge to get the deal done. AND, it seems she did the math and tacked her fee onto the offer price. Can't complain about that!
My takeaway: selling real estate in NYC is a rough ride. It's nice to have help, and RealDirect definitely gives it. Excellent deal. -- m
Real Direct? Are these the people where Aboutready sends back a banana if it is brown?
No one will not show at 2.5%, below that you would run into some resistance from the large firms/agents. Congratulations! We have found the services we offer (just buyers) have been extremely well received; alternative options for sellers, buyers to transact is a natural, healthy outgrowth for the entire industry.
The Burkhardt Group
nice...thx...good job and congrats
I signed the traditional fee paperwork with a broker, but now I've found a nice unit on my own (was not introduced to it by the broker) at one of the no-fee apartments (dealing directly with leasing office), do I still owe the broker any fees?
About 12 years ago we looked at some sponsor apartments in Park West Village. They showed us the materials they planned to use for the renovations and I was not impressed. Remember, sponsors often order cabinets, etc. in bulk and just shoe horn the stuff into any apartment, using a lot of fillers in the kitchens. I tried to sell me an apartment without the renovations, but they refused. These places were in original conditions.
However, I looked at other apartments renovated by owner's themselves. Either their renovations were good quality but too taste specific or poor quality, so we bought elsewhere. It just happened that, at the time we were looking, that was all that was available. That's the real estate market.
I can remember living up there back in the early 1980's when large 1 bedrooms with balconies rented for $500 a month. LOL!
Recently, We moved in one of this condo. We bought 1big bed room with many big closet. I really want to say ..if somebody would think about the condo very seriously..Plesse DO NOT buy anyone from Sponser Unit ,if YOU ARE NOT HANDY.
You know what I mean? Renovation is really cheap material and amature work so that You need to fix many parts by yourself. Besides Brokers of these buildings are big liers. You should be very careful!! Anyway, we love this place to live because Central Park is next door!!!
I contacted Daniel Choi (Promise Realty) regarding an apartment in East Village that he had listed on the website. He immediately told me to come see the apartment now, and when I began to ask basic questions about the apartment, he got really angry and ended up saying "forget about it" and hung up on me. I've spoken with many brokers while apartment hunting, and none has treated me so rudely. Either he is a shady broker and that's why he didn't want to answer any questions about the apartment, or he's just a jerk. Either way, he's someone who will never have my business in the future, and should not have yours as well.
I am thinking of purchasing an apartment through a broker who gives a portion of his commission back as a rebate. He tells me that it would be seen as a reduction in purchase price, not as income, for tax purposes. How is this reflected in paper work? Does it need to be shown in the closing paperwork? On the HUD-1? In the actual contract of sale? Or can it just be in a separate side agreement with me and the broker? Thanks!
Hi, are you still interested in finding a buyer's broker? Please feel free to contact us at 718.412.0000, our office is located at 3727 Riverdale Ave near W 238th St.
First-time home buyer here. Can anyone recommend an exclusive buyer's agent for Riverdale co-ops? My preliminary experience with a dual broker last year was less than satisfying when he tried to push one of his listings on me the same day I met with him.
Do exclusive buyer's agents even exist for Riverdale? My research has led to disappointing results.
Many thanks for any advice!
it is cheaper to go coop but limited budget usually means coops will not accept if strict. stay within your means
LOL why would you do all the leg work yourself? You PAY for a broker by the commission being included in the price. Why not take advantage their services?
You're expecting white glove service from agents in the Rolls Royce of real estate markets in this country -- with a Chevy budget. Sorry, but it's true -- you simply are not worth most agents' time. It's like walking into Tiffany and expecting the staff to drop everything to engrave your tin ring you found in a box of Cracker-Jack.
Are Upstairs' services available in C0lumbia C0unty? Or is it limited to counties with homes with second stories?
Congrats Ali and best of luck! (btw, it still says front_porch). ;)
rb, where were you when I was 15? ps I am going to email you to ask for your floorplan guy. West81, I'm going to email you too... would love to have a meal!
and thanks for the good wishes all!
Congratulations, Ali! I like your new business address. Let's hit Sun Cafe for sushi (or Bouley after you close your next big deal).
My sales contracts were 90 days post contract and only to those listed by selling agent as prospective buyers.
What is the typical term for a commission tail in NYC broker contracts? I (not using a buyer's broker) saw an apartment in late 2012 that was de-listed by late 2012. It was then re-listed by the same brokerage. It was then de-listed again, about 10 months ago. Shortly after it was de-listed for the second time I reached out to the selling broker to inquire if the apartment went under contract and made a soft indication of an interest to make an offer, but it seemed that the seller was not receptive at that time. I'm looking to transact directly with the seller now and trying to figure out if they will be on the hook for a commission. Thanks!