Home Buying 101: Hiring a Real Estate Broker

Home Buying 101: Hiring a Real Estate Broker

What You Need to Know About Choosing a Real Estate Broker Before You Buy in New York City

Whether you are buying your first home or you are a seasoned investor, there are some simple tips you can follow to make your home buying experience go as smoothly and successfully as possible. Making smart decisions is especially true when dealing with the complex home buying process in Manhattan.

This article is the first in our “Home Buying 101” series, featuring helpful information and ideas for home buyers. In this post, we would like to focus on what it means to hire a real estate broker. Here are some key tips and information that you need to know before signing on the dotted line:

1: Why You Need a Real Estate Broker

Would you step into a courtroom without a lawyer? Some people do, but it’s surely not an advisable strategy. We argue the same sentiment is true when it comes to buying real estate. Hiring an experienced and knowledgeable real estate professional can make a major difference. A broker can provide guidance and support throughout the process, empowering you to make better real estate decisions.

2: Look for an Expert and/or Market Specialist

“Look for somebody who is well-versed in the area that you are focusing,” is something that Tom likes to say. The point being that you want to find a broker who is an expert in what you are looking for. This may be someone who is geographically focused on the neighborhood where you are looking to buy. Or, it could be a specialist in a certain type of real estate like luxury condos and co-ops here in the city.

3. Ask Questions

You are hiring a real estate broker just like you would an attorney or financial advisor. You have the right to ask questions and “interview” them for the job. This will give you a better sense of their experience, personality and approach. Ultimately, you can sense whether it’s going to be a good fit or not.

4: Research Track Records

Another way to see if a broker brings the expertise you need is to study their track record. Every real estate purchase or sale they’ve made is public record, and you can always view their current property listings. This is a very important step, especially if you are looking to buy in a niche market. If you want to buy a condo in a specific neighborhood, make sure your broker has represented home buyers and sellers in that particular neighborhood.

5. Renting vs. Buying

Whether you decide to rent or buy is a personal decision. Even though there are tax liabilities that come with home ownership, there are also many important tax benefits. Of course, it should be noted that no rental will ever appreciate in value for you. Only your landlord sees the long-term equity gains of property ownership in that situation. Whether you are buying or renting in New York City, working with a real estate broker can be highly beneficial. This is a very highly competitive and fast-moving marketplace. Having a broker working on your behalf will give you a distinct advantage no matter what type of move you are looking to make.

Check out this video on Cheddar, where Tom & Mickey talk about how to select a real estate broker along with other tips and ideas for New York home buyers.

Please stay tuned to our weekly blog for more local real estate information and additional tips for home buyers and sellers.


Tom Postilio & Mickey Conlon are leading real estate brokers with Douglas Elliman Real Estate. If you are looking to buy a home in Manhattan or other luxury neighborhoods throughout New York City, they are the top real estate team to turn to. Contact Tom & Mickey today!