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