What Your Broker Probably Won’t Tell You

David Walker, Contributor May 2, 2017


Within the NYC real estate industry, the latter seems to be the norm, which makes sense when you consider that turnover is one of the primary drivers of most brokers’ success.

There are several straightforward, informative tips that a traditional broker probably won’t tell you, but a great one will, such as:

1. There are at least 100 more apartments that fit your criteria.

If you are a real estate romantic who has found ‘The One’ and the deal falls through, it’s easy to get discouraged. You feel like you let the perfect apartment slip through your fingers and there’s no possible way your broker will find you a place that will compare, but that’s not the case.

If your requirements are a doorman building with an elevator and in-unit washer and dryer, an experienced broker will easily find a whole range of options to meet your criteria. If your broker isn’t providing you with an array of apartments to view, then you may need to consider whether you’re with the right broker.

2. You are being unreasonable

The other end of the spectrum is managing your expectations.

While missing out on one perfect property is not the end of the world, seeking a literal perfect property in an imperfect market (and world) is also a recipe for dissatisfaction.

Picky clients may need reassurance that there will be more opportunities for them in the future, and high-maintenance clients may need a dose of realism delivered in a jovial, polite package. A good broker can provide both with tact and professionalism, without being dishonest.

Your broker’s job is to optimize the buying, renting, or selling experience for you given the current market climate and what your needs are. Be reasonable and the process will be smoother for both yourself and your broker.

3. Markets go down as well as up.

There is no yin without yang, and for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Yet, when it comes to real estate, traditional brokers are quick to crow over market peaks and downplay market lulls.

It is a broker’s job to see the silver linings for you and to make the most of the market. With that said, if your broker is not being transparent with you regarding market conditions, it should signal some red flags.

4. This area smells in the summer.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. New York has a very particular odor in the summer, and in some areas more than others.

The most important takeaway here is that you want your broker to be a straight shooter. Omitting the harsh realities of NYC life, especially when directly prompted, is less indicative of an optimistic broker who sees the world through permanent rose-colored glasses, and more indicative of someone who wants to paint a particular picture in their client’s head, whether that’s grounded in reality or not.

5. The street can get noisy at night.

If you’re looking to purchase or rent in a neighborhood that’s notorious for its hard-partying demographic, or is lined with pubs and cocktail bars, don’t expect quiet, tranquil Friday and Saturday nights.

Your broker should be discussing these details, especially when prompted.

David Walker is the CEO and cofounder of Triplemint. Working with his cofounder Philip Lang, David drives Triplemint’s goal of creating the best possible client experience when buying, selling, or renting a home.

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