How Not to Buy a New York Apartment

Just got a disturbing email from a client.

We have an exclusive agreement for me to sell her apartment. Last week, I showed the property to an attorney. He is representing his family, and by law attorneys are licensed real estate brokers who can represent themselves or their families.

After seeing the apartment, he made a very low offer–more than 30% below the asking price. Fair enough, that happens every day. But what doesn’t happen every day, but did, unfortunately, happen today, is this:

My client just e-mailed to say that this attorney/broker contacted her directly at home last night to attempt to negotiate a deal behind my back.

Of course, now my seller wonders if she and her husband can expect these kind of shenanigans from others in my industry as we proceed with the sale of their home. I hope not, but stuff like this makes it easy to see why the public distrusts a community that can’t even seem to follow its own rules and “play nice.”

By the way, this same attorney/broker? He contacted another client of mine, asking to see an apartment without me. When told he had to be accompanied, he showed up early, with a six member entourage, and attempted to be let in without me.

With characters like this running amok out there, it’s easy to see why real estate brokers and attorneys are constantly defending their respective professions.

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