There’s always something to howl about

What if buyers were never represented, but they paid the listing agent?

Sound crazy? That’s how rentals work in New York. A renter typically pays 1 month rent to the broker listing the apartment.

Related posts:
  • The buyer can — and should — negotiate the buyer’s agent’s compensation . . .
  • How to exterminate a cowbird — a comedy in three acts . . .
  • The seller really pays for the buyer’s agent? Definitely not when the buyer pays out of pocket. But what if the buyer really did pay for the buyer’s agent from the buyer’s side of the HUD-1?


    5 Comments so far

    1. Brian Brady January 31st, 2008 11:27 pm

      But they do. They just finance it

    2. Spencer Barron January 31st, 2008 11:55 pm

      It gets me excited just thinking about it. It would be a great time to be the listing agent. I’d love to deal with more unrepresented customers. Especially if they know and accept that I don’t represent anybody other than the homeowner. Of course they’ll be signing a few disclosure that make sure they understand that relationship. Sounds like a great idea for everyone. Well, everyone except the buyer. But then again, all that really matters is they think they got a good deal. Right?

    3. Galen February 1st, 2008 7:29 am

      Brian, I was going to argue that no, it doesn’t matter how much you pay the listing agent when you’re selling your home, the price is still the price. $500 commission, 5% commission or 20%, buyers are only going to pay one price. But that’s basically the case in New York too, except the fee is just explicitly stated as a fee. If the fee triples, the cost of the rent has to go down to accommodate it; thus it really is the same.

      It’s mostly the explicit “this is the agent’s fee and you have to pay it” in the lease that’s different.

    4. Doug Quance February 2nd, 2008 12:22 pm

      It’s called supply and demand.

      Let’s see them get that arrangement with a vacancy rate of 15%…


    5. Michael Cook February 3rd, 2008 11:17 pm


      I am not sure that is the case. I think if buyers had the option to see nice apartments without a real estate agent, rents would not increase by that same amount. This is one of those monopoly equations, where the market truly is ineffecient, but the fee is usually marginal, as compared to the headache of trying to find a nice apartment that will let you in without a broker.

      I would have thought in a city as big as New York, the real estate system would have been much smoother and easier to navigate. However, it is actually quite the opposite and so unnecessarily so. If I had a law degree and some free time, there would be a ton of low hanging fruit to litigate against in the New York City real estate market.