After 16 years of successfully negotiating deals for both sellers and buyers, I do know a little bit about the "art of the deal." What I mean by this is that an experienced agent often understands the idiosyncrasies of the parties involved in a negotiation and this insight is almost always of benefit to the agent’s client. An experienced agent may very well have a relationship with a buyer’s or seller’s agent that sheds light on that agent’s positive, negative, or simply bizarre behavior. For example, as an agent representing a buyer, I may know that the seller’s agent has a solid reputation of pricing property very well which would lead me to suggest that my buyer be aggressive about placing a bid on the property. When representing a seller, I may know that the agent representing the buyer has a reputation for poorly communicating with their buyer which would lead me to request additional information about the buyer and make the seller’s attorney aware of all terms that the buyer and their agent allegedly agreed to.
All of this said, the most successful and smooth transactions are those in which the experienced and knowledgeable agent and her/his clients work together as a team with the agent being the point-man and leader. Every team has a captain and the real estate transaction should be no different. More than one captain generally leads to chaos and if the client thinks they know the market better than their agent then they either need a new agent or a dose of humility.
So if you don’t trust that the agent that you’re working with is worthy of "captain" status, consider first whether you are willing to give up the helm to anyone…ever. If you need to control every aspect of the transaction and lead all negotiations, consider your track record in buying or selling real estate. If it’s a solid one, keep up the good work. If your efforts to "captain" the transaction continue to fail, it may be time to step down and trust someone with more experience in the Manhattan residential real estate market.