I told my buyers not to trust me unreservedly

If love is blind, trust should not be too.

It was time for my buyers to consider how much the essential renovations would run them in the event they wanted to make an offer for a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side.

They asked in an e-mail what I thought the project might cost.  Herewith my response:

I’m happy to hazard a guess about costs, but that really is a bit above my pay grade. . .  Although I strongly urge you to consult a contractor — I can refer you to one with whom I’ve had personal experience, as well as others who have been well recommended on my Web site — I have to say that $200,000 all in could prove to be realistic. 

You can deduce that the last thing I would want to do is provide incorrect information, potentially giving bad advice to a couple I represent.  But I had another, even deeper concern once they thought having a contractor’s ballpark estimate was a good idea.

As I told the couple in a phone conversation, I am wary about having anyone use just one professional to whom I referred them before they decided to make an offer.

How would they know I wasn’t recommending someone who would lowball an estimate in order to make a purchase — and my commission — more likely?  I wanted to be transparent about any possibility of a conflict of interest.

Potential conflicts are rife during in the course of real estate transaction.  It is imperative for buyers to feel comfortable with anyone — particularly if it is only one — suggested by a buyer’s representative.

That applies to lenders, home inspectors, vendors of any sort and, as I have written in the past, lawyers.

Of course, I hope they trusted me from the outset.  And I hope they continue to trust me because of the expression of my concern.

At the same time, I also hope their trust isn’t blind.

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

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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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