Brooklyn Secret Agent: How to Get a Deal Done


    Today we bring you the fourth of an anonymous weekly column about real estate by one of the most experienced agents in Brooklyn:
    In 2012, 90 percent of the transactions I’ve participated in have involved another broker. In many, I represented the seller, while in some I represented the buyer. On the off chance that there may be some brokers reading this, I thought I would offer some tips that, believe it or not, are not common business practice among many brokers.

    For the listing broker:

    1. Know the facts about your listing.  For a house, learn the dimensions, the classification, whether there is a C of O, and if there are open permits.  For a co-op or condo, have the documents ready as soon as you list (offering plan, financials, application, house rules).  Know the assessment history.

    2. Discuss with the seller ahead of time which attached fixtures might not be included in the sale. Is there one among us who has not seen a multi-million-dollar deal hang in the balance, or even blow up, over the damned chandelier?

    3. Be available to show the property. Seems obvious, but an amazing number of hours are wasted when you are unreachable or unavailable.

    4. Return all calls and emails.

    For the selling, or buyer’s, broker:

    1. Show up on time for appointments.  That means don’t plan an itinerary that is impossible. It will take you more than 10 minutes to travel from Clinton Hill to the South Slope.

    2. Try to know your client at least a little bit.  If one more broker brings a devoted dog owner to a no-dog listing, I’ll scream.

    3. Give feedback to the listing broker. Sellers crave the comments of buyers, even if they don’t always like what they hear. Be honest — I’ll translate “you call THAT a second bedroom?” to “they found the second bedroom too small for their needs.”

    4. Return all calls and emails. Can’t emphasize this one enough.

    Folks, there’s a lot of money at stake here.  Buyers are spending a fortune; sellers are often about to have a greater windfall than they had ever imagined. As a result, tensions run high. Agents working in this environment have to be as professional as possible. The above suggestions are a beginning, and I’m sure the comments will add plenty of others. But, may I repeat myself? Return all calls and emails!

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