You should hire a Real Estate Agent in New York City
Over the span of the past seven plus years of blogging, I have been right on many things when it comes to purchasing Real Estate in New York and I’ve also been wrong on many things (including telling you never to spend more than $1000 on a Real Estate attorney in New York and why that was incorrect, here.) When I previously stated that I did not believe purchasers (and sometimes sellers) really needed a Real Estate broker, I was totally off and crazy. Here’s why, in retrospect, getting a broker is crucial:
1. They come up with some awesome ideas when you’re looking to sell your place. You probably can do some of that on your own, but do you really have the time to do ALL of it on your own. No. No you don’t.
2. When you’re looking to buy a place, the process itself is difficult enough, but imagine not knowing what to look out for. Brokers can find places that aren’t on the market because they know other people in the industry. They also know, you know, other brokers, that may have off market listings. This is especially crucial now as inventory is absurdly low and prices have gone through the roof. Does this mean you shouldn’t do leg work on your own? No. But it does mean you’ll have an extra set of hands dedicated to helping you. Again, crucial if you have, you know, a full time job and everything.
3. It may seem backwards, but when you actually find a place and want to purchase it, that’s when the purchasers broker earns their keep. How? They know what to look out for in terms of issues with the apartment. They may have familiarity with the building (especially if it’s a co-op where they can tell you how difficult the Board process is). They help you put together the Board Package. They walk with you throughout the Unit and inspect the place with you ( you should always get the place inspected). They negotiate the price for you (yes, it’s more difficult than I initially thought.)
4. You have someone on your side. I know this may sound cliche and make you feel all warm and fuzzy, inside, but it’s true. We’re a law firm that represents real estate purchasers throughout New York City and I can tell you that there is a difference in the approach taken when someone buys with a broker and someone does not. The person with a broker can defer many of the tasks surrounding buying an apartment in New York, which are stressful enough, to a Real Estate broker instead.
5. The real estate market in New York City has gone absolutely batshit. There are lines for open houses. There are dozens of offers for each unit that is available. There is almost no inventory and there are tons of people looking to buy. This is not a good time to go all YOLO and do this yourself. I’ve seen it firsthand when we represent both purchasers and sellers in real estate transactions in New York. Make all the broker jokes you want, but they may be the difference between getting your dream apartment and not getting your dream apartment. They can put together paperwork that makes your offer more enticing. They may find out that a buyer dropped out and allow you to now bid. The good ones (and let me qualify this entire thing but saying you need a GOOD real estate broker) are well worth their commissions.
6. As to commissions and what you actually are “paying” your real estate broker, check out Curbed’s article here.
As always, if you have any questions, we’re here to help.