The Market

You'll never buy real estate in this town again: 8 things buyers shouldn't tell brokers

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
March 4, 2010 - 6:09AM

Last week, broker-blogger Malcolm Carter opined on what to tell (or not) the broker who's selling your apartment.

This week he offers some advice to buyers on when to zip it.   Here are eight classic buyer faux-pas and how they sound to a broker:

1. “None of the 15 brokers who have worked with us seem to understand what we want.”

Translation: “We’re demanding and indecisive.  We’ll drag you around to open houses for months, torment you with pointless questions, fail to make a single offer and move on to another sucker without a word to you."

2. “We are reluctant to work with only one broker.”  

Translation:  “I don’t value your time and expertise.  I’m selfish and celebrate my sense of entitlement.  If you work for me for nothing, that’s your problem.”

3.  “Our pre-approval letter is six months old, and, by the way, how do you like our new car?”    

Translation:  “We’re lazy, irresponsible and uncommitted to buying a property.  We will require an enervating amount of hand-holding.”

4.  “Do you think we can save on the sale price if we deal directly with the listing broker?”    

Translation: “Do you mind if we ignore all the advice and information with which you provided us, then screw you out of your commission?  We are totally ignorant of the fact that we’ll probably spend more than we should by dealing with a broker who has a conflict of interest.”

5.  “We don’t want to put our apartment on the market until our offer on a new place is accepted.”    

Translation: “We’re reckless and happy to risk financial ruin by having to pay off two mortgages at the same time.  Or, if we can’t close on the new place, our loss is just the deposit.  If you lose your commission too, that’s life.  Let’s jump off the cliff to our death together.”

6.  “We refuse to engage in a bidding war.”   

Translation:  “Although this is the first property we have liked after schlepping to countless open houses in all kinds of weather for months on end, it never occurred to us that anyone else would like the same perfect place.  So, let’s keep looking—and looking and looking.”

7. “We are committed to finding a two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a renovated eat-in kitchen and a terrace on a high floor with unobstructed views in a building near Fairway for under $700,000.”  

Translation: “Don’t confuse us with the facts.  We know these things: Hannibal Lechter was a vegetarian, Joan Rivers was born with that nose, and Andrew Cuomo won’t run for governor."

8.  “We want to live in a building that isn’t friendly to blacks, Asians, families, Mormons and any number of other groups protected by law from discrimination.”    

Translation: “We’re bigots, so work with us only if you want to risk offending your sense of morality, breaking the law, losing your license, paying a punishing fine and land on your feet as a 'team member' at McDonald’s.”

Related posts:

How to buy a NYC apartment

What not to tell your broker when you're selling

5 ways to annoy a NYC real estate agent

4 reasons your apartment may no longer be mortgage worthy

Selling? Don't sign anything until you read this

Are short sales the new black? 

Selling & paranoid


Teri Rogers Headshot - Floral

Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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