Sartorial envy over a Bergdorf Goodman sweater may have distracted a New York Post columnist from the real reasons for hiring (or not hiring) a building's "inside" broker--a real estate agent who lives where he or she sells and maybe even sits on the board--to sell an apartment.
"Plunking down your own coin," as Outside Man terms living the life you're selling, confers certain obvious benefits to the seller beyond the cookies, contractor referrals and closing gifts referred to in the Post story.
As observed here before (see Hiring an insider to sell your apartment), the advantages include knowledge of the particular co-op or condo's approval process--including likely interview questions and how to tailor the board package to the building--along with an intimate understanding of your building's comp history, the better to correctly price and effectively sell your place. An in-house broker known as your building's "go-to" person may also have a waiting list of potential buyers and a vested interest in getting you the highest price.
When the inside broker sits on the board too, The Post suggests that not hiring him or her could have dire consequences: "This broker/board member theoretically could block a sale, so it’s smart to have him on your side."
Hogwash, says an inside broker we interviewed, who handles 80% of the deals in his Manhattan condo building and sits on the board.
"When last I checked, broker-board members only have one vote and they’re in the minority," he says. Moreover, he explains, blocking a deal in order to pick up the listing when it expires is a fool's strategy: "The shareholder who got his deal turned down doesn’t like anyone on the board including the broker."