Why to use a Buyer's Broker in NYC

July 4, 2022

Buying real estate in New York City can be complex and difficult, even for veteran home buyers. The National Association of Realtors notes that 87% of buyers choose to purchase their home through the guidance and expertise of a real estate agent or broker.

While some buyers may elect to muddle their way through a real estate purchase without a buyer’s broker in an effort to save a few bucks, it costs nothing to work with a buyer’s broker and unrepresented buyers may even be leaving money on the table.

Here are a few reasons why you should hire a buyer’s broker to assist with your next purchase. 

1. Access to Fresher Market Data and Analysis

While half of buyers find the home they purchase online, scouring the internet for a new home isn’t the most efficient use of your time.1 Who knows when your ideal property will pop up for sale, and if it does, who says it will be within your budget and available by the time you see it.

One of the key reasons to hire a buyer’s broker is that they have access to fresher market data. This is because broker’s agents have access to local inter-broker databases. 

New York real estate agents are required by law to keep their listing data updated. Typically, agents try to make any relevant updates within 24 hours.

Many online platforms are not required to adhere to the same stringent requirements. This means that your broker will be able to access more accurate listing data often before you see it on consumer-facing websites.

Not only that, but some buyer’s agents also have access to off-market listings that haven’t gone public yet. These are sometimes referred to as ‘coming soon’ listings but have traditionally been called pocket listings as well.

In addition, brokers can access what homes are currently trading for, whereas consumer-facing sites don’t advertise the in-contract price, often taking months for the true closing price to be verified with the public record.

2. Save You Time 

A good real estate agent will guide you through your initial search process and help you narrow down your criteria to determine your motives, your must-haves and negotiables. 

Inventory fluctuates, but during peak season, New York City has upwards of 25,000 homes on the market to choose from. It can be overwhelming, since there are many factors to consider: neighborhood, transportation, school districts, amenities, condominium or co-op, budget, timeline, etc. 

Rather than googling your way into a frenzy, and not necessarily knowing if the results are accurate, you have a real human full of answers.

A buyer’s agent can save you a lot of time and effort by doing due diligence on a property prior to viewing, coordinating with listing agents, and scheduling on your behalf so your time is best utilized and you’re not haphazardly running around the city.

3. Preparation of Sales Applications, Board Interviews and Expediting the Approval Process

If you are looking to purchase an apartment in NYC, chances are most of the properties you look at will be co-ops. Recent data shows that in New York City, co-ops outnumber condominiums by nearly 75%.2 

A benefit to using a buyer’s broker is that they will navigate you through the co-op purchase process including board packages, interviews, and (worst case scenario) turndowns.

Buying a co-op apartment involves opening your life and finances to examination by the co-op board. Your broker will help ensure your best chance of approval by organizing and compiling your package for submission, along with preparing you for your in-depth board interview.

Knowing the documentation requirements and what questions to expect ahead of diving feet first into the co-op approval process is certainly beneficial. Having an NYC real estate expert in your corner is even better. 

One of the biggest advantages of using a buyer’s agent or broker is that it can expedite the time it takes to go from making an offer to closing on your new home. That’s because your agent is already intimately familiar with what steps and actions need to be taken to get you to the finish line fastest. In fact, most implement a multitude of back-end resources and processes to help boost transactional efficiency and reduce turn time.

4. Advocacy and Negotiation for Your Interests

Apart from their expert knowledge and the assistance they can provide navigating you through the home buying process, a buyer’s broker is also an invaluable advocate for your best interests.

An unrepresented buyer will rely on the seller’s broker for assistance in the deal, and in this scenario, the seller’s broker becomes a dual agent — one who represents both the seller and buyer. A major disadvantage is that buyers who rely on a dual agent lose the confidentiality of a broker who is working just for them. The problem is that the listing agent is still contractually obligated to look out for the seller’s interest.

When an unrepresented buyer goes to submit an offer, they would need to provide the seller’s agent with their financials — in effect showing their hand to the seller. Remaining unrepresented is unlikely to save you money, and you could end up paying much more than you would have otherwise.

Unbeknownst to many New Yorkers, using a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you anything, since they’re compensated by the seller at closing. Some buyers think they’ll end up getting a discount due to the commission structure, but the seller’s agent is likely the one to benefit by collecting double the fee. 

A buyer’s broker is not only able to negotiate on your behalf only to get you the best possible price but also can negotiate key parts of your transaction to make sure terms are always in your favor. 

An experienced buyer’s broker has pockets full of clever ways to save you money, like tax abatements, concessions, mortgage recording tax (CEMA) and more that can be structured into the terms of the deal. The difference between a good negotiator and a great one can mean hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Removing the emotion and stress from an often-high-pressured situation like home buying is worth its weight in gold. Just sit back and let your buyer’s broker work their magic.

5. Access to a Professional Network

When you hire a broker’s agent, you get more than just a real estate expert. You also get access to that person’s extensive professional network. Buyer’s brokers can help with everything from recommending attorneys, to helping you find the perfect mortgage lender or home inspector.

Most real estate brokers have healthy working relationships with professionals all across the industry, and with their recommendations, you don’t have to spend time and money searching for the right expert for your situation.

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