Unlike most places in America, Manhattan does not have a multiple listing service, a directory that outlines all the properties currently for sale in a given region. Instead, New Yorkers rely on real estate brokers to get the word out that their property is for sale, through advertising, word of mouth and computer listings that are often shared among brokerage firms.
Because the broker plays such a key role in selling real estate here in New York, it is essential that apartment owners know their options and choose wisely when it comes time to sell. In dealing with a broker, the seller has a fundamental decision to make: whether to work with several brokers or to make an exclusive arrangement with just one firm. While there are restrictions, there are rewards for buyers who choose to exclusively market their property. Like most things in life, however, there are rules to play by when it comes to exclusives. With foreknowledge, the seller can get the most out of an exclusive arrangement and reach the one goal both sides want: a sale.
How Brokers Work
Once a buyer hands over a listing to a broker in any arrangement, be it exclusive or open, it is up to the broker to get it out and seen by potential buyers. This is usually done through advertising and by passing it along to other brokers within the firm and from other brokerage houses. When a listing is shared by one or more brokers, it is called co-brokering.
Since 62 percent of sales come from co-brokering, according to a study prepared by the National Association of Realtors, it is important that the seller find out if his or her agent works in such a manner. Ask if the agent will co-broke your listing immediately and with how many brokers outside the firm? Sellers should be wary of agents who want to keep listings in-house for a period of time; the only reason to keep a listing in-house is to obtain a full commission for the broker and this will not be to the advantage of the seller.