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Buyer Concerns: Why Brokers Hate Buyers and Vice Versa

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Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to tips@curbed.com. Up now, the frenemy relationship of buyer and broker.

Real estate agents have a love/hate relationship with their buyers (and sellers too). Their clients represent their livelihood?they love them when they get that closing check, and sometimes agents really do love their buyers as people. They can become very good friends, and agents thrive on the satisfaction they get from helping someone find a home. But frankly, some buyers and sellers can be complete assholes.

For you buyers and sellers reading, imagine if you went about your day at your job, say, at an advertising agency. You spend five hours setting up meetings with all of your associates to meet a very important client for a possible major deal for the company. The associates are stressed because it’s a last minute meeting, but they accept that it’s important for the company and they are willing to sacrifice their time. Then, five minutes before the big meeting, the important client cancels. Apparently, he’s going to a competitor but didn’t feel like telling you before the meeting. Of course, this is a part of business- you win some, you lose some. However, working at an advertising agency, you’ll be getting paid a salary no matter what. As a real estate agent, if a client who you had trusted screws you over at the last minute, you might lose out on tens of thousands of dollars of what should have been yours. You did the work, but don’t reap any benefits. This is why some real estate agents are very jaded. It’s why sometimes they don’t make a huge effort at first to help you without asking for somewhat invasive information. If you go to a real estate agent without being recommended by a friend, and that agent doesn’t know you at all, they have no reason to trust that you won’t just use them for a couple months to find a good apartment but then decide not to buy.

Why do buyers hate brokers? Maybe the agent is just a complete jerk. Maybe the agent isn’t working up to the standards they expected. Maybe the buyer thinks that the amount of money they’re paying for commission is insane, and that fact is just festering inside. For the first two, most people would agree that it’s a reason to switch to another broker. When it’s a question of commission, there is really only one way to remedy the situation?ask the broker to take a point or so less. (Hey, it works on TV.)

Most buyers hate brokers on a matter of principle. The few bad apple brokers have ruined it for the rest of them, and just like buyers employ caveat emptor on properties, they also use it to represent brokers as well. You’ll probably be paying the broker a lot of money, so make sure they earn it, but also treat them with respect. If you’re serious about buying an apartment, stick with one broker who you really trust. Respecting each other’s time will make for the best partnership.
· Beginning the Hunt: Finding Comps and How to Use Them [Curbed]
· Curbed University [Curbed]