Going to Market Shopping Around for Just the Right Broker

Shopping is not a spectator sport. At almost any level, from books to stocks to brokers, it involves fulfilling desires, meeting needs, negotiating price and choosing suppliers. There is no guarantee of success, and as the price of the purchase goes up, so do the stakes - making the amount of research and advance preparation more important. Having the right professional by your side may be the best investment you can make to assure the best results, especially in the highly competitive game of New York City real estate, where it's common for both the apartment buyer and the seller to retain the services of separate brokers to facilitate their search for a home - or for a buyer.

What's A Seller To Do?

So who is the right broker? And how does one go about finding him or her? In a city of tremendous choice, that task alone can seem overwhelming. The advent of Internet technology, online listings, and the specialization of certain brokerage firms mean that the options are greater than ever. And that's a good thing.

According to Steven James, senior executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, "The Internet has been a great leveler." A seller can go to the individual Web sites of brokers around the city and do a great deal of research before ever making a personal introduction. "If you have an idea of what your property is worth," continues James, "do a search, read through the listings, read the bios and compile a list of brokers to interview."

It can be a great timesaver - eliminating brokers or firms that simply don't meet your criteria - as well as introducing you to others you may not have even considered before. "The New York Times online service has become a great resource for us," says Benjamin Barshay, co-owner of Barshay Brokerage Inc. and co-chair of the Small Firm Committee of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). The Times has widened coverage, providing what Barshay calls "the greatest thing for a seller in almost every case - exposure."

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