How to separate broker wheat from chaff

flickr photo by RachelEllen

How do you define a good broker?

I’m sure the answer depends on experience, and the experiences of commenters in a blog I came across suggest that many consumers believe “good broker” is an oxymoron.

Yet some buyers and sellers may praise those brokers who are some combination of responsive, patient, supportive, efficient, expert at marketing, creative, charming, connected, aggressive or a host of other qualities.

None of those is unimportant, but I argue for negotiating skills as the quality that separates the wheat from the chaff among real estate brokers.

Countless books and numerous articles have been written on how to negotiate successfully, so it is pointless for me to go into detail here.  But I cannot refrain from saying that it is imperative for brokers to understand at least two aspects of coming to a meeting of the minds:

  1. It is not a contest in which one has to prove himself or herself bigger, better, stronger than the other.  Viewing the other broker as an adversary makes it only harder to arrive at an agreement;
  2. It is counter-productive to negotiate via text message (yes, some try) or by mail, when  the telephone will do at a minimum while an in-person conversation significantly increases the likelihood of success.

Treating the other side with respect and building on a relationship — whether it begins with a first visit to a property or stems from years of experience and running into the same broker repeatedly — is key to a negotiation that results not only in a signed contract but a smooth and efficient transaction at every stage between offer and closing.

Any broker can open a door on behalf of a buyer or seller.

The best brokers are those who seek not to extract a pound of flesh.  They are the ones who appreciate what makes up a fair price along with fair terms and conditions.

Tomorrow: Greasing the palm

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, search for your new home here.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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