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Am I stuck with a buyers' broker?
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I called the listing agent for a new development a while back and they mentioned that they were offering a discount if you bought without a broker. I recently saw an apt at the development with a broker and now I'm wondering if it's too late to go it alone and potentially pay less for the apt?

I recently had a client who went behind my back and rented an apartment I showed him. We explained in detail the service we were providing and he signed that he understood he would be using us as the procuring agent should he decide on an apartment we showed him. We will be going to small claims court soon.

That's how it works with rentals. I haven't done sales yet but if the scenario I described is similar you may have to bite the bullet and go through this agent.

Scott K
Bond New York

after already being on notice about the discount, why did you go with a broker to see the apartment?

I'm with buyerbuyer on this one. Seems odd, right?

At any rate, you may not be stuck with the agent, but the agent is due a commission if you close on the apartment, even if you never speak again. That's how the law protects agents from the kind of scenario you are contemplating.

Why not ask for the advertised discount, but through your broker? Tell him/her that you want the terms that the developer was offering to unrepresented buyers. Your agent can probably get you the same deal. As an added bonus, no one will sue you.

Tina Fallon
Realty Collective, LLC

Based on what Tina said, I guess it does work pretty much the same way.

Scott K
Bond New York

dylan621, cheating/stealing is wrong.

Dylan--if you signed something with the broker, then you are absolutely on the hook. Also, the fact that he physically took you into the apartment makes his case very strong even without a signed document.

I would also ask why you'd gone to look at the apartment with a broker after already having been aware of the 'no broker' deal.

seems like worse you could do is break even if you go without him . . . that is either you get discount or wind up in the same place . . .

I was told you are only obligated to a broker for 6 months from the time he/she shows the apartment. This was told to me by a listing broker.
There has to be a time frame limit.

This is more a question regarding your personal ethics than the legality of the situation.

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Just to clarify the situation. The only reason I saw the apt with this broker was b/c the listing agent didn't return my call when I left her a message to schedule a viewing. I happened to be talking to the buyer's broker about another apt and he suggested I go see this new development. I had no prior conversation or relationship with this broker and I did not sign anything with this broker. Had I known that I would be bound to him just b/c we went to see an apt that I already knew about I never would have done it.

Unfortunately for Wbottom's argument and dylan621's dilemma, dylan621's opinion of whether or not the broker added value will not determine the legality of pursuing a deal without the broker. Although, it would seem that by dylan621's own admission, the broker got him access when he was unable to do that on his own.

Also, was the broker functioning as a buyer's broker? Or is he to be compensated by the developer? If he was a buyer's broker (which you would be paying out of pocket) and you said "sure take me to this building I already know about", then that was a painfully foolish mistake. It doesn't sound like this is case however, as the broker would half deserve to get screwed over for not signing you.

If the developer is compensating the broker, and dylan621 used the broker to gain access when you couldn't, as he stated, well then I reemphasize that the question is not about the legality of the situation as he is on the hook. And by "on the hook" I mean he can't use the broker to gain access then decide to discard him when it suits his needs.

If the broker can demonstrate he was the procuring agent then he could win if he decided to sue you. The fact that he set up the appointment and visited the apartment with you makes his case stronger. Do you have an attorney you could run this by? If you are truly serious about bidding on and possibly purchasing this apartment it would make sense to get some legal counsel on this.

NYCREAgent,

Just curious, what would be your thoughts if your client rented a 'different' unit in the same building?
Rentals only tie the client and broker to a particular unit right?

bugelrex. Read the agreement you signed. Most likely, you're obligated for any unit in the building.

bugelrex,

This client signed a form recognizing that he was to use us as the procuring agent if he found an apartment in a building we introduced him to. The key word here is "introduced", since he likely would not have found this apartment on his own. In fact, he wasn't even looking for an apartment in this area of the city until we suggested it to him. He walked in, fell in love with the apartment, and then disappeared. We only found out because the person who referred him (who coincidentally is my then team leader's best friend) told us about the roomate problems he was having. The guy was going to those roomate parties you hear about and had someone new with him each time we met.

I realize that there's a lot of hatred for agents here. But, if an agent does the job he/she is being asked to do by the client they should be paid accordingly.

Scott K
Bond New York

I think you guys are missing a few BIG points here....

First off, the listing agent was not being responsive and returning calls. Once access was obtained by your broker, and the unit was viewed, the listing agent then "suggested" that you should screw your broker and return to the building unrepresented. Aside from this kind of suggestion being completely illegal, from the listing agent's side, don't you sense a lack of professionalism here? Think you should consider protecting yourself from the listing agent!

Should think of it as the legal system. You have representation on the prosecution side and the defendant side...

The offer of a lower price for being unrepresented is BS! The listing agent just doesn't want to split the commission, which is being paid by the sponsor/developer anyway. Hopefully, you do NOT have an agreement, as a buyer, where you are paying any of the commission. This is extremely rare, in NYC, for residential RE. You are not "stuck" with the broker that obtained access for you and accompanied you to the viewing, but if you do follow through with a purchase at that building, that broker is due his/her commission. So unless they REALLY suck, I would make them work for their money. Maybe you can even ask them for a rebate paid at closing, from the developer/sponsor towards your closing costs...I would do that all day long!

BTW - rental commission agreements should not be discussed under the "sales" category....adds confusion and distracts from topic.

Hope this helps...Cheers!

Correction - not the "sales" category, but still has nothing to do with rental commissions

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