A dormant StreetEasy discussion on good/bad NYC brokering has sprung back to life with more unsolicited and sometimes acid advice for the city's real estate agents...here are the highlights:
- Tell the seller and family to take a hike during the showing.
- Knowledge and due diligence earn repeat business and referrals more than being nice and waxing poetic about Bosch (whose models vary in quality).
- Find out if the building allows pets and what kind so that you don't drag buyers with a 50 lbs dog to a no-pets building.
- Know what the pied-a-terre policy is, and what recent history of the board has and has not allowed; what the renovation policy is and how it is implemented; the specifics of any assessment.
- Take responsibility -- I have grown tired of hearing this at open houses: "I'm sitting in for the agent; sorry, I cannot answer all your questions. Write your mail address clearly and I am sure he/she will get back to you."
- Know the number of units in contract in the building. (Don't lie about that number, especially when a mortgage approval depends on it.)
- Find out what the sublet policy is.
- Use photos of an entirely different building to advertise your listing.
- Stand over me at an open house like a salivating hound making sure I sign in. Don't follow me around step for step -- I want to be able to speak freely with my husband without you hanging onto every word.
- Tell me "There's nothing like that in your price range" when I am on the other end of the phone with a printout from StreetEasy that shows plenty of those in my price range. The MLS is not a closed system anymore. If you are too lazy to even take a look on the MLS for me, then you don't deserve my business.
- Show listings that are 20% over the buyer's limit. (Do return e-mails after the buyer says they can't spend that much.)
- Give me a picture of yourself as the congrats gift at closing. Seriously? (And when you're visiting to drop off paperwork, don't ask me why you don't see the picture of yourself anywhere.)
- Tell a buyer that their offer is an insult, then try to extract an offer that is 10% higher but the buyer refuses. When the apt sells a few months later for the price you considered "insulting" (at) least a mea culpa call would be nice.
- Say everyone in NYC sells after 5 years, so it is crazy to plan beyond that.
- Tell a seller that nobody can predict taxes after the abatement runs out. There is an estimate in the Offering Plan; that is the number a buyer wants to know.
- Continue to have open houses after the contract has been signed by both sides.
- Tell a client that after the company takes 1/3 your boss takes 1/3 then you are left with what amounts to a minimum wage, so you don't have to address my questions.