As a buyer’s agent, some of the most valuable assets you can offer clients are your experience, guidance, and local expertise. And in a market as complex as New York City, these qualities are that much more essential. From neighborhood savvy to co-op vs. condo to familiarity with a specific building, the more local and industry know-how you can bring to the table, the more you can attract buyers and help them find their ideal home.

That said, there’s always room for improvement — so what do buyers wish their agent were more knowledgeable about? A StreetEasy® survey conducted by The Harris Poll asked this question to recent NYC home buyers who worked with an agent. The results reveal areas of insight and skills that all agents should make note of, and incorporate into the way they serve their clients.

First, what do NYC buyers value in an agent?

In the survey, buyers were also asked to indicate which aspects of working with a real estate agent they found valuable during their most recent buying experience in NYC. The top three responses involved local expertise: about the specific building the buyer wanted to live in (48%), the neighborhood or borough (41%), and the type of home (40%). Buying in New York is unlike buying anywhere else, and the more localized and tailored to the buyer your expertise is, the better.

Your guidance and insight throughout the buying process can also go a long way with clients. Buyers valued their agent’s negotiation skills (39%), ability to make the process less stressful (37%), knowledge of the latest market trends and data (35%), knowledge on closing in a co-op building (32%), and guidance on putting together the strongest offer (32%). Finally, 29% valued their agent’s connections to other professionals (e.g. appraisers, mortgage brokers, lawyers), and 25% valued the comparable home sales in the area (“comps’”) the agent sent to them.

What do NYC buyers wish their agent were more knowledgeable about?

There are always ways to better serve your clients, even if every relationship has ended in a successful transaction. When recent NYC buyers were asked what they wish their agent knew more about during the home-buying process, here’s what they said.

More than half of NYC buyers wanted more knowledge of the neighborhood, borough, or building

Similar to what buyers value in their agent, local expertise reigned supreme. More than half (56%) of respondents wish their agent had more knowledge of the neighborhood, borough, or building they were interested in. More than a third (37%) of buyers wanted more knowledge of the specific building they wanted to live in, and 29% wanted more knowledge of their desired neighborhood or borough.

Expertise on New York City property types — co-op, condo, townhouse, etc. — ranked highly as well. Buyers wish their agent knew more about the specific type of home they were interested in (30%), and the differences between closing on a co-op and a condo (29%).

Around a third of buyers wanted better pricing, negotiating, and networking skills

Pricing and negotiating were areas in which buyers felt their agent could be more skilled and knowledgeable. 38% wish their agent knew more about how to price their offer to make it competitive — a crucial skill at a time when inventory is limited and asking prices are shattering records in the NYC market. Coming in at 35% was knowing how to negotiate with seller’s agents, a leading reason for many buyers to work with a buyer’s agent in the first place.

Furthermore, it’s not just about what you know, but who you know. Specifically, buyers wanted their agent to have a stronger network of professionals to recommend for important parts of the buying process. 32% wish their agent had more knowledge of mortgage lenders to work with, and 28% wanted the same in regards to real estate lawyers.

How to stand out as an agent and attract more buyers

For real estate agents, in large part, knowledge and expertise come from experience. Nothing is a better signal to buyers that you’re knowledgeable about purchasing in a certain borough, neighborhood, or building than a history of successful deals in those places. It’s why StreetEasy created the Experts program, which connects eager buyers (and sellers) with NYC agents whose deal history matches what the buyer is seeking. Experts have verified experience helping buyers purchase in specific neighborhoods, buildings, or types of homes, and must meet our standards of service and market expertise. Becoming an Expert is an effective way to leverage your knowledge and connect with the right buyers, at no upfront cost to you.

In the meantime, focus on gaining experience in particular boroughs, neighborhoods, buildings, and property types — or highlight your already stellar local knowledge and expertise early in your conversations with buyers. Keep an eye on the local market via StreetEasy’s Market Reports or our self-service Data Dashboard, both of which will help you price competitive offers for your buyers. You can also read up on best practices and tips for NYC agents on our blog.

Whatever your goals, StreetEasy is your partner in success and has the tools, products, and services you need to grow your business. Learn more about our various offerings for New York City real estate agents.


The research was conducted online in The United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of StreetEasy among 756 U.S. adults 18+ who have bought, sold, or rented a property in one of the five NYC boroughs in the past 5 years. The survey was conducted November 18 – December 27, 2022. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within + 5.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest.

For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact

StreetEasy is an assumed name of Zillow, Inc. which has a real estate brokerage license in all 50 states and D.C. See real estate licenses. StreetEasy Concierge team members are real estate licensees, however they are not your agents or providing real estate brokerage services on your behalf. StreetEasy does not intend to interfere with any agency agreement you may have with a real estate professional or solicit your business if you are already under contract to purchase or sell property. 

The contents of this article are intended for informational purposes only and not intended as a complete recitation of the market.