Manhattan Buyers Struggle in a Seller’s Market


In a city like Manhattan where only sellers’ brokers have exclusive contracts, representing the buyer can be a pretty tough job. And during these times, it can be tougher than ever, thanks to the ongoing inventory shortage affecting New York City residential real estate market. With only few new properties for sale, the buyers’ brokers are finding it very difficult to look for apartments to show their clients. Most apartments have already been snapped up even before these go to the online list. Whenever there is a new property in the market, the brokers said that they are immediately bombarded with requests for showings and new offers, which basically means that they have to pick and choose which brokers to work with.

On the other hand, there are already several tech-savvy buyers, especially those who are quite frustrated by losing one apartment after the other, that don’t hesitate to contact the listing broker directly, without getting assistance from the buyers’ broker. Today’s market is already full with qualified buyers who are also familiar with how the real estate works over the Internet, they may or may not have their own broker with them. Aside from that, working with a buyers’ broker may bring about many disadvantages. Listing agents often want to do direct deals, with no one to split the commission with. Though this is against the rules of the Real Estate Board of New York, some sellers already purposefully don’t return the phone calls from the buyers’ brokers.

A Totally Different Atmosphere

Currently, apartments are selling quickly. It takes an average of 4.6 months to sell a Manhattan apartment in the second quarter of the year, from from 7.9 months in the same time frame last year. The combo of low inventory and speedy sales has made a frantic climate within the real estate market. Buyers’ brokers said that they are struggling to show apartments to clients before these get snapped up by a different buyer.

According to traditional rules, a broker has about 24 hours after signing an exclusive sales contract to distribute the property information to other brokers. However, in the tight market of today, brokers get many offers even before the listing hits RLS. This can be done by simply emailing their contacts.

At the time the broker sees the listing online and calls for a showing, the seller might already have a deal in place. Even if a circumstance wherein the apartment is still available, busy listing brokers don’t always return calls promptly. Because of this, they are forced to show their listings only to veteran agents, whom they assume will be better qualified compared to newcomers.

Times Have Changed

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a sad reality, but this is something that we have to deal with. Some of the agents prioritize well qualified clients and some of them even purposely avoid co-broking to maximize a bigger chunk of the commission. By that, they are already violating a number of rules.

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