Showing posts with label buyer's agent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label buyer's agent. Show all posts

Mar 11, 2017

NYC Buyers and Sellers Beware!

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I started this blog in 2006 and have been publishing it for more than 10 years. While the industry has undergone changes the "more it changes the more it stays the same" only different names and players.

In an early blog post back in July of 2006, (July 2006- creating-my-blog.htmlI told readers my blog's mission. I wanted to create a transparent blog about buying and selling Real Estate in Manhattan because the New York City housing market is so unique. Buying and selling a home in NYC is very different and more complex than any place else in the country. Generic real estate information was proliferating online that was not relevant to NYC housing.

Cooperative apartment ownership is the primary form of home ownership in New York City.
Co-op ownership requires submitting a comprehensive Board application (called a Board Package), being interviewed by the Board, and being approved. Helping a buyer pass a coop board is an important skill needed by the agent. A skill developed from training, experience and knowledge of a particular building.

At the time I started this blog in 2006 there was a cottage industry emerging of companies called "lead generatorsthird party lead generator sites and traffic aggregators from out of state. Some had actual broker's licenses and received referral fees but many were masquerading as Manhattan real estate brokers on the Internet through paid search and keywords sending consumers to their anonymous landing pages that captured their information that they forwarded to agents that paid for the leads. 

Consumers eventually caught on to the "Lead Capture" scheme and most decided they preferred to search listings anonymously without having to give up their personal contact information knowing they would be solicited by all those that paid to capture their information. 

After the lead generators, came the portals such as Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com and the independent NYC website StreetEasy that provided transparent NYC property listings.

Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com were not able to penetrate the complex NYC real estate market as they so easily did in markets in the rest of the country. So Zillow paid $50 million for StreetEasy after it bought Trulia in order to break into the unique NYC real estate market, the largest and peculiarly complex often puzzling to outsiders.

Zillow Group, a Seattle Washington based publicly traded company made many changes to the transparent NYC StreetEasy particularly aggressive monetization. As a media company rather than a licensed broker involved in a real estate transaction their revenue is generated by advertising. 

They don't sell "leads" they sell "impressions" Their business model is their business and should not concern you the consumer unless you are seeking transparency rather than confusion

Consumers beware! You are their commodity. Broker's listings are their content. They want your information so they can give your contact information to brokers and agents that bought zip codes that capture buyers looking for listings in a given zip code. 

Beware when searching for a listing. The so-called "agent expert" "for information" may not be an expert at all. They purchased the right to your contact information buy purchasing "impressions" for a particular zip code.

New media companies blur the distinction between advertising and editorial content. Newspapers must run a disclaimer "Advertising" when the distinction is blurred and may confuse. It's called an advertorial. The editorial content on these websites is not provided by journalists such as the articles written in the New York Times real estate section but rather by the brokers who are hired by sellers to exclusively list and market their property. The broker's listings have been "monetized" by these "aggregator" websites. The listing agent information is either eliminated or very difficult to find so they can send traffic for that listing to their paid "premier agent" instead. 

If you are a buyer looking for a property in a particular zip code you may be sent to either the agent who purchased that zip code "impression" or someone at the website. You may get an agent in Ohio even though you're looking for a coop on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The agent in Ohio that purchased a NYC zip code will try to sell or receive a referral fee for your contact info to another more local agent. The local agent may or may not have ever sold anything on the Upper West Side. 

The property you're interested in may already have an accepted offer, it may be gone by the time all the third party payees get back to you. Don't worry they will try to sell you something else since they have no particular knowledge, interest or relation with the seller of the property you may be interested in. 

"Too many cooks spoil the broth"

Before you click for information make sure you know who you want to contact. If you want to go directly to the source contact Listing Agent or Seller's Agent or just visit the scheduled open house. Unless the building prohibits open houses Sunday open houses are still the best way to go in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

If you want buyer representation you should find a good buyer's agent to represent you. In NY state you are entitled to your own representation. The NY state disclosure form will help you make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and it's agents. 

You should do some research in order to find and work with a good buyer's agent. An experienced knowledgeable agent with specific neighborhood and building experience. There are many good agents in NYC that are REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) members that can represent you that don't advertise or purchase "impressions" on other broker's listings in order to find buyers. *

"The more things change...the more they stay the same. Just different players.
 Here is an article I wrote back in 2006 about rental listings on Craigslist.

 Craiglist - No broker fee and bait and switch Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist left a comment: 

Hey, please help me out and quote me right.
 I've pointed out that I've been working on this for a few years, and have handled thousands of cases.
 I've kicked off many unethical agents, have handled a few such cases already.
Okay?
Craig 
Since all real estate is local, I started this blog to give a local perspective of the Manhattan real estate market. If you would like to discuss this post, the market in general or anything about New York City real estate please reach out to meI'm always happy to talk to people at any stage of the Real Estate process and can discuss the opportunities in each neighborhood, price point, room count and type of ownership.


6. Advertisements referencing property not listed with broker. Any advertisement that references or includes information about a property that is not listed with the advertising broker or was not sold by the advertising broker shall prominently display the following disclaimer: “This advertisement does not suggest that the broker has a listing or has done a transaction in this property or properties.” Such advertisement: (i) shall not, absent consent provided pursuant to subdivision (b)(2)(b) of this section, suggest, directly or indirectly that the advertising broker was involved in the transaction and (ii) shall not refer to property currently listed with another broker. 

Legal Disclaimer: Mitchell Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York is author of this article. The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group


May 19, 2014

NY Agency Disclosure Form for Buyer & Seller Explained

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NY state law requires real estate agents to have clients and customers sign a form stating that they understand whom the agent represents and to whom the agent will give "undivided loyalty," as soon as they enter into a relationship.

The disclosure law is designed to clarify the roles of buyers' and sellers agents, in order to, as the form itself states, "help you make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and its sales associates.

Seller's Agent: 
 
A seller’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a seller to represent the seller’s interests. The seller’s agent does this by securing a buyer for the seller’s home at a price and on terms acceptable to the seller. A seller’s agent has, with- out limitat ion, the following fiduciary duties to the seller:
reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account.
 A seller’s agent does not represent the interests of the buyer. The obligations of a seller’s agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the seller. In dealings with the buyer, a seller’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the value or desirability of property, except as otherwise provided by law.

Buyer's Agent:

A buyer’s agent is an agent who is engaged by a buyer to represent the buyer’s interests. The buyer’s agent does this by negotiating the purchase of a home at a price and n terms acceptable to the buyer. A buyer’s agent has, without limitation, the following fiduciary duties to the buyer: reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account. A buyer’s agent does not represent the interest of the seller. The obligations of a buyer’s agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent and the buyer. In dealings with the seller, a buyer’s agent should (a) exercise reasonable skill and care in performance of the agent’s duties; (b) deal honestly, fairly and in good faith; and (c) disclose all facts known to the agent materially affecting the buyer’s ability and/or willingness to perform a contract to acquire seller’s property that are not inconsistent with the agent’s fiduciary duties to the
buyer.

Brokers Agent: 

A broker’s agent is an agent that cooperates or is engaged by a listing agent or a buyer’s agent (but does not work for the same firm as the listing agent or buyer’s agent) to assist the listing agent or buyer’s agent in locating a property to sell or buy, respectively, for the listing agent’s seller or the buyer agent’s buyer. The broker’s agent does not have a direct relationship with the buyer or seller and the buyer or seller can not provide instructions or direction directly to the broker’s agent. The buyer and the seller therefore do not have vicarious liability for the acts of the broker’s agent. The listing agent or buyer’s agent do provide direction and instruction to the broker’s agent and therefore the listing agent or buyer’s agent will have liability for the acts of the broker’s agent.

Dual Agent:

A real estate broker may represent both the buyer and seller if both the buyer and seller give their informed consent in writing. In such a dual agency situation, the agent will not be able to provide the full range of fiduciary duties to the buyer and seller. The obligations of an agent are also subject to any specific provisions set forth in an agreement between the agent, and the buyer and seller.
An agent acting as a dual agent must explain carefully to both the buyer and seller that the agent is acting for the other party as well. The agent should also explain the possible effects of dual representation, including that by consenting to the dual agency relationship the buyer and seller are giving up their right to undivided loyalty. A buyer or seller should care fully consider the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship before agreeing to such representation. A seller or buyer may provide advance informed consent to dual agency by indicating the same on this form.

Dual Agent with Designated Sales Agents:

If the buyer and seller provide their informed consent in writing, the principals and the real estate broker who represents both parties as a dual agent may designate a sales agent to represent the buyer and another sales agent to represent the seller to negotiate the purchase and sale of real estate. A sales agent works under the supervision of the real estate broker. With the informed consent of the buyer and the seller in writing, the designated sales agent for the buyer will function as the buyer’s agent representing the interests of and advocating on behalf of the buyer and the designated sales agent for the seller will function as the seller’s agent representing the interests of and advocating on behalf of the seller in the negotiations between the buyer and seller. A designated sales agent cannot provide the full range of fiduciary duties to the buyer or seller. The designated sales agent must explain that like the dual agent under whose supervision they function, they cannot provide undivided loyalty. A buyer or seller should carefully consider the possible consequences of a dual agency relationship with designated sales agents before agreeing to such representation. A seller or buyer may provide advance informed consent to dual agency with designated sales agents by indicating the same on this form.
  • In NY state the broker is the agency not the agent. Therefore when an agent at the same brokerage that is a listing agent representing the seller and another agent at the same brokerage representing the buyer as a buyer's agent under NY DOS agency law that transaction will be a dual agent with designated sales agents.
  • A buyer who attends an open house or contacts a listing agent directly and had no former dealings with the agent is a direct customer of the seller's agent. The seller's agent does not represent the buyer but treats the buyer fairly and honestly.
  • Dual agency occurs when a buyer is already working with a buyer's agent being shown exclusive properties listed by other brokers and has a relationship with agent can become a dual agent if buyer decides to purchase that agent's exclusive listing. Both buyer and seller must agree to dual agent:  
Agency Disclosure: 
Corcoran represents the seller/owner on Corcoran's own exclusives, except if another agent of Corcoran represents the buyer/tenant, in which case Corcoran will be a dual agent with designated agents representing seller/owner and buyer/tenant. Corcoran represents the buyer/tenant when showing the exclusives of other real estate firms. In all instances Corcoran treats all parties fairly and honestly .
 
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This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

Legal Disclaimer - The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not neccessarily reflect the opinions or policy of The Corcoran Group. This site is not the official website of The Corcoran Group or its affiliated companies, and neither The Corcoran Group nor its affiliated companies in any way warrant the accuracy of any information contained herein. Any product and/or services offered for sale on this website shall not be considered an offer to sell such goods and/or services in any state other than New York.

Legal Disclaimer - Information on this site is not intended as legal or financial advice. - All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been complied from sources deemed reliable. Though information is believed to be correct, it is presented subject to errors, omissions, changes or withdrawal without notice. I operate a business that supports Fair Housing.“We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program which there are no barriers to obtain housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familiar status or national origin.”

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