Buying into the New York City real estate market may be one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make. Think of another time you might drop a few hundred thousand dollars on the table and get a loan for a few hundred thousand more. Exactly! You can’t!

You Need a Buyer’s Broker

As with any investment, you’ll want to approach NYC real estate with precision and expertise. That’s where a buyer’s broker comes in. Many people don’t realize that the broker who represents a listing represents the owner of the property, not the would-be buyer. When a buyer comes unrepresented, this creates a dual agency situation, which is not ideal.

Read the Risks of Dual Agency

A buyer should be represented by their own broker to ensure that their interests are fully protected and to have someone in their court throughout the whole process. Why give away home court advantage? There are many advantages of having your own broker, including Identifying inventory that matches your criteria; negotiating the deal; providing you with an expert opinion on valuations; informing you on what’s happening in the neighborhood and handholding you through the entire purchase process.

So if you’re slowly but surely coming to the realization that you want to purchase property instead of continuing to rent, you might start wondering when is the ideal time to hire a real estate broker. The term “hired” is used loosely here, because as a buyer you’ll never pay any fees to your broker. Your broker is paid by the seller, who splits the commission with the listing broker. Easy enough! Rather, the idea of “hiring” a broker represents building a relationship with a real estate professional that will learn about your preferences, price target and will fight tooth and nail to represent your interests.

The Window Shopping Phase

Sometimes would-be buyers aren’t so sure that they’re ready to buy. Instead of approaching a broker at this confused stage in their potential purchase lifecycle, these people might start going around to some open houses to see what’s out there. I call this the window shopping phase. Not serious about buying yet, you’re simply scoping out the market, unsure whether you’re committed to buying or resigning your lease. Involving a broker at this stage, without making your intent clear, may come across as disingenuous, so to receive the best service, always put your cards on the table.

Now let’s say that you’ve done your fair share of open houses, you might think to yourself this isn’t so hard. Maybe you don’t need a broker. You’re right, you don’t need a broker. However, a smart buyer will seek out a broker. You might also think that a broker might be hesitant to work with you if you’ve already started looking around on your own. This is not the case at all. Brokers actually love when clients come to them with preferences in mind, and some of these preferences can only be realized by having seen things prior.

Your Broker. Your Decision.

When you’ve had the opportunity to confidently decide that buying is in your near future, this is the perfect time to connect with a buyer’s broker.

There are many great real estate professionals in NYC. The key thing to remember is that it’s not a broker’s position to push you to buy. Good brokers don’t push. They guide and educate. You’ll need to come to the realization that you WANT to buy. A broker will help you figure out how and what you can buy. There are many great benefits associated with purchasing property in NYC, but it’s not right for everyone and that’s okay!

Ask Questions. Build a Relationship.

Maybe you know that you have intent on purchasing but you’re not sure where to get started. This is another great opportunity to start building a relationship with a broker. Just let them know where you are in the process and you’ll receive the service you need. You might have questions about how long the process takes, the costs that are involved, how much of a mortgage you can get and so forth. Good brokers build relationships by informing and educating their clients, so starting off by asking questions is a great opportunity for you to reach out to a broker. You might be ready to start searching next week or maybe next year, so having a broker resource you can already start relying on is essential.


Don’t be shy about reaching out to brokers. Whether you have questions about the NYC purchase process or are at the point where you’re set and ready to buy, a broker will be there for you. Sometimes brokers will have relationships for over a year before a client makes a purchase, and sometimes it happens in a few months. Sometimes it never happens at all! What matters more than anything is the strength and integrity of the relationship between the broker and client.