Sotheby's International Realty Donna Stockman

Why do I need a broker?

Buying real estate in NYC is a daunting and complicated process. It is arguably one of the largest real estate markets in the world, with distinct neighborhoods, building types and ownership forms. Each building has its own set of house rules and qualifications for prospective owners. A buyer’s broker is essential to navigate the labyrinthine process on your behalf, ensuring the best outcome to your search for a home.

Though you may research properties online or attend open houses without a broker, if you enter into a purchase transaction before enlisting a buyer broker, your interests are not protected. The selling broker owes his fiduciary duty to the seller. He is required to work on behalf of the seller, not you. A buyer’s agent is your advocate in what is often an expensive, time-consuming, and complex process. Think of this as a legal transaction: you would not use your opposition’s attorney!

There is no additional cost to the buyer when hiring a buyer’s broker. Virtually all properties in New York City are “co-broked,” meaning that the seller hires a listing or selling broker to represent them in the marketplace and signs a contract with that broker. That contract also specifies the compensation or “broker’s fee” to be paid upon completion of a sales transaction. The selling broker invites all the other brokers with potential buyers to participate in the sale. This is called a co-broke and the two firms split the commission at no additional cost to you, the buyer.

As a member of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), I have access to all available properties in NYC. I can show you properties listed with Sotheby’s International Realty, as well as with every other firm in the City.

Still not sure if you need a buyer broker to purchase a home in New York City? Check out this New York Times article for another opinion.