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Resident Brokers: When the Go-to Sales Agent Is Also a Neighbor

Ronda Kaysen in Co-op/Condo Buyers on January 21, 2014

1125 Park Avenue, The Bromley, Manhattan

Resident Brokers
Jan. 21, 2014

But what happens when this broker abuses her trust? How does a board deal then with the broker who is also a resident?

Improving the Odds

From a co-op or condo board's point of view, a resident broker with a rich and intimate knowledge of the building can help vet potential customers, improving the odds of approval. 

For instance, Kleier, who handles 80 percent of her building's listings, has never had a rejection in all the time she's handled sales there. She has sold 47 apartments in this 72-unit Carnegie Hill cooperative.

In addition, a building with a top broker living there has the benefit of a professional with a personal commitment to its welfare. If the broker is also a shareholder, she is not likely to sell a unit to a difficult person. "I have a stake as far as who is going to be moving into the building," says Kleier. "I want to keep the building at a certain level. We want nice people. We want good neighbors."

Let's Make a Deal

For the buyer or seller, a resident broker is more likely to ensure that the deal passes muster. The individual representing them can more easily follow up on delays in completing and delivering the package. In cases where a sale can be derailed at the whim of a board, a broker with strings to pull can offer sellers and buyers a measure of relief.

"I know people on the board. So, if I see that the management agency is going too slow, I get them to help me," says Amy Krischer, an independent broker who only sells listings in her condominium, The Bromley, a 300-unit luxury building at 225 West 83rd Street on Manhattan's Upper West Side. "And they will help me because, remember, I'm also an owner in this building."

Although restricted by anti-discrimination laws from discussing issues like schools, churches and local demographics, resident brokers can convey a deep understanding of the building and the neighborhood. They know whether the dry cleaner down the street is reliable or if the local pizzeria is any good. When a unit is in disrepair, they probably know enough to show a prospective buyer a renovated unit in the same line.

That said, what happens when a resident broker steps out of line? Although not a widespread problem, it can create an awkward situation. The board must deal with the uncomfortable task of disciplining or — as a last resort — forbidding the individual from doing business in the building.


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