In New York real estate, agents are required to disclose whose interest the agent represents. A buyer's broker represents the best interest of the buyer. A seller's broker represents the best interest of the seller. A dual agent represents (or does not represent) the interest of both.
New York law requires that brokers explain to the client whose interest they represent through an Agency Disclosure Form.
A buyer’s broker will protect the buyer’s interest throughout the purchase process.
In acting as a buyer’s broker, we will:
1) Preview and recommend condominiums for the buyer
2) Perform due diligence and market analysis on the property
3) Negotiate in the buyer’s best interest
4) Oversee the entire buying process including coordination with attorneys and bankers
In New York real estate, the broker commission for both the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent come from the seller. The entire broker commission, typically 6 percent, is already pre-determined before a property is listed on the market. If the buyer has a broker, this commission gets split 50/50 between the two agents. If the buyer does not have a broker, the seller’s broker keeps the entire pre-negotiated fee. Hence, a buyer is wise to have buyer broker representation.
Seller’s brokers are ones whose names appear prominently by property listings you may see online or in the windows of real estate storefronts. They represent the sale of their seller’s property and have to act in the best interest of the seller. This includes attaining the highest price for the listed property and not disclosing facts that are not in the best interest of selling the property.
Buyer’s broker is not a new concept. It’s just that the majority of agents focus on getting property listings and hence represent sellers. Buyer focus is a niche. From a broker perspective, a buyer’s broker needs to be familiar with the entire market. For example, a buyer’s broker needs to be familiar with the top buildings in each neighborhood, understand what are the high demand/high appreciation buildings, what are the high supply buildings with too many investors etc. Beyond that, a buyer’s broker needs to know what are the preferred apartment lines within each building. Yes, there is a lot to know and the broad knowledge base is necessary to help buyer clients identify what is a good buy.
In contrast, a seller’s broker only needs to focus on the strengths of his/her listings and understand the drivers relative to the sales listing.
We are focused on buyers within the Manhattan condominium market and hence yes, we focus on being a buyer’s broker.
Absolutely. New York real estate is based on membership into the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Per REBNY rules, a new listing has to be uploaded into the broker system within 24 hours of getting the exclusive agreement signed. This means every broker has access to the entire inventory of properties for sale.
Wei Min Tan is a property broker focusing on Manhattan, New York luxury condominiums and foreign
buyers. He is often interviewed by the media including CNN, The New York Times and The Wall Street
Journal on the subject of foreign buyers of Manhattan property.