How to make your real estate agent work hard for you

What is the secret to any relationship?


It’s not different with a real estate agent.

Sincerity, honesty, loyalty. Say what you want and what you need.

I think just working with one agent is a great choice, that person gets to know truly what you want, and may even anticipate your needs before you express them. In NYC there are a lot of things that are not advertised online. Those can be the best deals. But if bouncing around and just seeing things listing online is your preference that is just fine. It’s ok to want to play the field.

Also WE ARE NOT ROBOTS. I know Zillow/Street Easy allows you to put in an appointment time but please, just contact us and see what works for us. We are people with families and lives, we are not working in the office of an apartment complex all day.

If you decide we need to immediately run across town for you, perhaps offer to pay for the cab.

Are you in a group of roomates? Please get everyone on one page with all your wants and needs and then have everyone together for showings if humanly possible. Groups of 3 and 4 should have one person co-ordinate paperwork ahead of time. WE ARE HAPPY TO HELP YOU GET ORGANIZED.

So there are now people coming to NY for internships. In traditional real estate these short term leases are a lot of work and hard to find. They will almost always have a broker fee because most landlords will not pay us for a short term lease. I am always super up front about this. Consider co-living or even subletting.

The other day someone offered to pay me to find them a furnished short term lease. I got a landlord to agree to convert a listing, got a list of what they needed in the apartment, arranged a virtual showing. All of a sudden they told me they really wanted something with no fee and blew up the deal I was working on in the dentist chair!

That is cranky by the way. Honestly I will now be more reluctant to help anyone looking for short term. There is an old and ugly saying in real estate, buyers are liars. Don’t be that person.

Don’t put an agent in the middle of your family feud! I worked with a family all last weekend. Everything was very last minute, and there was conflict that centered on the selection of an apartment. I WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO SOLVE YOUR FAMILY POWER STRUGGLE!! When parents and adult children are in disagreement hoping a real estate agent can magically be the mediator never works.

Tell us what is going on. If someone has an disability or emotional problem or mental illness we can adapt.

Just like you would with someone your are dating. Be clear about your needs. Be clear about your style of communication. Be reasonable in your expectations. If its not working out say so. Respect our time. Sometimes it doesn’t work out and that’s ok. Please if you say you are working on an application and you change your mind tell us.. Just be honest and respectful.

If you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make that change.

I promise I will keep trying to make the world a better place and believing #kindness wins.

Hunting for a New York City apartment: just the basics

So you are planning to move to New York City!

Congratulations. Now is a wonderful time to be apartment hunting.

Here are some things to understand.

Unlike almost everywhere else in the US, there is no MLS that everybody uses.

There are a number of websites, some from real estate agencies, some from media companies, but believe it or not there are apartments that are not listed on any public website, and sometimes those are the best deals.

Each landlord has their own style, and application requirements.

The most important thing to understand is the difference between open and exclusive listings. Exclusives work more like home sales do in most of the country. Properties have a listing agent. You can have a separate agent represent your interests. That agent can schedule your appointments, teach you about the market, and help you negotiate and apply.

There are also open listings, which do not have a listing agent. There might be a leasing office, or your agent may arrange access directly with the landlord. Again, unless you are someone who studies real estate companies, having an agent who is familiar with landlords is a huge help.

Many apartments right now are listed with a “net effective” rent. That is a rent that factors in a one time offer of a number of weeks or months free. The gross rent is the true rent paid, and the difference in the number can be pretty dramatic. The net rent is the average, and represent the value.

While we may not have an MLS we do have the Real Estate Board of New York, and agents who are members must co-operate with each other and allow the sharing of listings. There are a number of small agencies which are independent, those agent can decide whether to co-operate with other agents or not.

Many people begin the process looking at apartments online, instead of looking for an agent. That is ok. But if you truly want a smooth apartment search, I suggest finding an agent that you like and asking them to set up your schedule so you see a variety of apartments that suit your needs.

It is so common that people hit town with an idea of what they want and that changes. It’s our job to keep you on the right path, or suggest if you need to consider options you might not have though of, like a different type of building or neighborhood. When I meet a new client I have a pretty good idea if their wants, needs, and budget will work or if they are going to have a hard time.

I once spoke to a woman who had a daughter who had been living for a month in a hotel, unable to find an apartment. If you are planning to come search I advise having at least one weekday. Not every landlord allows weekend showings. I like people to have two or even three days. It is really hard to see more than 6 buildings a day. You get tired, and your decision making ability is stressed.

If you are moving to NYC, feel free to reach out. Suzanne Goldklang. or 929-429-040. I can’t wait to meet you!

Will rents go down in NYC?

I don’t have a crystal ball.

Not really.

But there was a moment today where I seemed like a fortune teller.

A very nice client said to me right now my moving plans are a bit flexible.

Which I answered means: July 15.

She said, “Yep.”

July 1 and 15 seem to be very popular move dates, and with the uncertainty about everything people are starting early.

Landlords don’t want to hear it. To them time is money.

So will rents go down in NYC.

Probably, a bit.

Remember NYC real estate is actually a bunch of separate marketplaces. I do a lot of downtown 2 bedrooms. I have seen concessions here and there, and as always a mover with good qualifications who is going soon has power. But while there are some perks and discounts, nobody is giving away the store.

There are a lot of apartments on the market for 6/1 and we are running out of May. All those July movers may get some of those listings. We should start seeing 6/7 come on the market in the next few weeks.

September 1. We will see what happens with NYU, the New School, Cooper Union, and Columbia University housing. Will dorms become less popular? Will people want to live in smaller buildings. Will the September wave fizzle? Stay tuned.

Need a kind, honest, and hardworking real estate agent? Email Suzanne!