THE RETURN OF THE BUYER’S MARKET, AND THE BUYERS’ BROKER
By Ali Ebrahimi
When I first started out in real estate, I worked almost exclusively with buyers — I was new to the industry and did not have any experience listing and selling properties. New York City was in the midst of one of the biggest seller’s markets we had seen and listing brokers were selling properties left and right, while buyers’ brokers were constantly faced with multiple-offer and over-ask scenarios. It was incredibly challenging, but I was up for it and found it quite thrilling. I had always wanted to sell NYC real estate so felt this was a privilege.. one I did not take for granted.
Those early days of real estate are long behind me, and like most smart NYC brokers, I try to split my business equally between buyers and sellers — getting direct insight and information from buyers is crucial to understanding the market, plus I LOVE the hunt of finding my clients the perfect home.
As markets shift back and forth from a seller’s to a buyer’s market (as they inevitably do), we’re now seeing a power shift back to buyers, and once again, the importance of a good buyers’ broker is highlighted.
It’s a Good Time to be a Buyer in New York
One of the biggest residential real estate news stories of 2016 was the weakening demand for ultra-pricey properties in NYC and how that slowdown would impact the rest of the market. A correction has been coming, with softening and price cuts in the luxury sector having a trickledown effect.
Major price reductions are taking place in the city’s most expensive properties, with many selling well below their asking price and some slashed nearly in half. Properties sitting for years prompting huge price cuts are ripe for the picking by savvy buyers and investors who are taking advantage before others catch on.
The Value of a Good Buyers’ Broker
Buyers’ brokers don’t get as much credit as sellers’ brokers, but they should, as they play a vital role in the complex NYC market and can make all the difference in a buyer’s success. Stats show that 90% of NYC deals are co-brokered, meaning one agent represents the seller and another the buyer. Most listing brokers are familiar with and prefer this, since buyers represented by buyers’ brokers have been pre-qualified/approved and tend to be ready/willing/able to make a purchase.
What to Look for in a Buyers’ Broker
- Experience, with a track record of similar price-point/property-type deals
- Market knowledge, and the ability to educate you about the market
- Familiarity with the local inventory
- Association with a reputable, recognizable firm you can trust
- Strong negotiating skills
- Care and personal attention: are your interests their top priority, or simply doing a deal?
- Board package experience, putting buyers through tough condos/coops
- Partnerships with reputable professionals like attorneys, mortgage bankers/brokers, property inspectors, contractors, architects, designers, property insurers and others
If you would like to discuss market conditions, including where opportunities currently lie (for both buyers and sellers), please contact me — I would be happy to advise.