New York City Buyer’s Agent
Premier NYC Buyer’s agent representing home buyers since 2001, built on reputation and results.
As true buyer agents at ELIKA, our job is to help buyers find the perfect home in New York City while providing best-in-class service. When you hire us, you will receive 100% loyalty, 100% of the time, independent research, unbiased assistance, and strategic advice.
Our goal at ELIKA is singular; help our clients to buy the right property for the right price. Our service areas include Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Long Island, and The Hamptons.
Video Introduction: Duties and Services
Table of Contents
We know it takes time to find and choose the right property, whether a home or new investment property. That is why we exist to serve you by handling all the complicated steps and research so you don’t have to.
As a REBNY member, we have access to all New York City properties listed for sale and, even at times, properties yet to be listed in the RLS. When you work with an ELIKA exclusive buyer’s agent, you can be sure of finding your ideal home and or investment.
Receive your free consultation from an ELIKA agent. Our team will take all your needs and desires into account so that they can track down the property you are seeking. Once the agent has a shortlist for you to view, they’ll accompany you along every step of the way to answer questions and provide advice.
What We Do
You’ll need the best representation if you’re in the market for a condo, co-op, or townhouse in New York City. Many homebuyers mistake choosing a sales agent or a part-time buyer’s agent. The problem with this could be the wrong representation. Agents are not always obligated to work in your favor. A sales agent is excellent when selling a property, but the potential dual agency can often work against you if you buy. That is because sales agents work for the seller; their job is to get the highest price possible and terms in favor of the seller. Instead, if you go with an exclusive buyer’s agent, you’ll be guaranteed a loyal agent who will work only for you.
That is precisely what ELIKA Real Estate provides, a dependable, trusted agent who will look after your best interests and fight to get a property on fair terms.
How we are Structured
ELIKA Real Estate is the premiere New York City real estate company specializing in exclusive buyer representation. As a National Association of Exclusive Buyer’s Agents (NAEBA) member, our duty and responsibility are to the buyer 100% of the time.
Whether you’re a US resident or a foreign investor, we have the skills and experience to find a property that suits your needs and secure it on favorable terms. Also, being a member of The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), we access all of NYC’s exclusive listings. That means you’ll have a far more extensive inventory to select from. Best of all, our fee is paid entirely by the seller.
What is an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent?
A buyer’s agent makes the purchasing process easier; we present you with all the facts about every property considered. Since our firm doesn’t handle sales listings, we have no conflict of interest when extending our services.
While the same incentive remains for a buyer’s agent, whose commission also increases with sales price, they follow a different standard. A buyer’s agent has a fiduciary duty to their client. As members of the National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA), we are required to follow a strict Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice, which include a duty to act on behalf of the buyer/client with due diligence, professionalism, and reasonable care, along with a commitment of undivided loyalty.
In other words, a buyer’s agent is legally bound to work for your best interest. Our responsibility is to discover and pass along any information that helps you decide on a specific property. Experienced buyer’s agents can identify properties that could outperform and negotiate the best price. A seasoned exclusive buyers agent performs comparative market analysis, much like an analyst, which traditional dual agents do not deliver to the same degree.
We Help You Secure a Mortgage.
Mortgage financing can be complicated and confusing. It can be tough to decide which mortgage loan or bank is suitable for your circumstances, especially when your first home purchase. A buyer’s agent will help you navigate seamlessly. They’ll help you understand each of your options and help you to secure pre-approval and mortgage financing. It is essential to know that not all banks can close the deal or position your offer.
Knowing your options is paramount whether a local home buyer or a foreign investor. Cash is king in real estate; being positioned as the next best offer will make you competitive, and make sure to package your offer well; this will help you reach an accepted offer and contract signed. Some banks may offer a better interest rate or expedited review.
A Curated New York City Home Search
Many property listings are available in New York City; it is our job to find those built with the potential to outperform. StreetEasy is the best consumer platform in NYC, but it still suffers from the same problems as others, mainly that you’ll have to comb through hundreds of less desirable properties mixed in with the good.
Make a shortlist based on your wish list, preferred neighborhoods, and maximum budget to find the perfect property. While this is not hard, it can be time-consuming, especially unfamiliar with neighborhoods, streets, and better buildings. Even if you can narrow down a list of 10 or 20 properties to call, you’ll have to find the time to visit each and evaluate them.
When you hire a buyer’s broker, they do all the searching and curate based on your needs and budget. They can then schedule appointments to view properties that suit your needs and are potentially worth considering. This alone can be invaluable if you work full-time and don’t have free time. When viewing properties together, we explain each’s pros and cons to help you decipher the right one. This saves you time and ensures you find a desirable property with great long-term potential that matches your needs and budget.
We Analyze the Market and Comps
With two decades of NYC housing market experience, we know what to look for to find the essential information. With real-time market data and access to the best tools available, we position our clients for a successful property purchase. Whether condo or co-op, we assess relevant like-kind comps and adjust to the market, ensuring our clients pay the right price, no matter the property type. To learn more, read up on how our comparative market analysis works.
Submit Offer Strategies
Using an in-depth comparative market analysis report and real-time considerations, expect to receive a detailed report that will best position your offer. The summary includes a fair value estimate and offer price and negotiation strategies. We put you in the best position to make the right offer.
The majority of listed properties in NYC are represented by listing agents. Buyers must deal with listing agents rather than the sellers unless a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) listing. The listing agent will assume dual agency without a buyer’s broker representing your interests. Meaning that while the listing agent will help you with any questions, their loyalty will be to the seller. Their job is to sell for the highest price possible. Therefore, in negotiations, they will always lean towards favoring the seller. Unless you have a lot of experience handling negotiations, you could be in for a rough ride on your own. There may be counter-offers and other interested buyers. You could see your offer rejected unless negotiated carefully.
A buyer’s broker can handle all of this and suggest how best to answer counter-offers or, if needed, win a bidding war. If you’ve chosen the right buyer’s agent, they will know the neighborhood, current market breadth, and perhaps something about the seller’s motivations.
Also, keep in mind that in NYC, contracts of sale are non-binding until both parties have signed. Sellers have the distinction of being the last to sign. This means that even if they gave a verbal agreement to accept your offer, a better offer might come through and lead to them canceling yours. Unfortunately, you can do little if this happens, but you’ll be better prepared if you have an agent.
Professional Sundry Services.
Buying a home requires the help of several different professionals. Before closing, mortgage brokers consult real estate attorneys, home inspectors, contractors, and others. The cost of these services can add up, so we source the best professionals to help you make it to the closing day and beyond.
As should be clear, exclusive buyer’s agents are the way to go. Elika agents provide undivided loyalty to you and work to get you the best price and terms possible. Since buying a home is a big decision, you’ll need the best advice and guidance. Our agents work to do just that.
New York State requires that all real estate agents disclose their agency relationship and the rights and obligations it creates. You can use the disclosure form for the buyer and seller to clarify who works for who. We do not list properties for sale, so we are the only firm in Manhattan eligible for membership with the National Association of Buyer’s Agents.
Help you Overcome Setbacks.
It is rare for a home sale to go entirely smoothly with no road bumps. The home inspector’s report may come back with issues that must be addressed. If that happens, your agent can advise you on how best to proceed and handle any renegotiations. If negotiations become deadlocked, it can be reassuring to know you have an agent standing between you and them.
Buying a home can be a very stressful time. At such times it’s easy for people to allow emotions to cloud their judgment and make rash decisions. Since a buyer’s agent is not emotionally attached to a property you’re interested in, they can help keep you on track and see the pros and cons.
Not all Buyer’s Agents Are Equal.
While buyers can benefit significantly from working with an exclusive buyers agent, not all of them will work in your best interests. Make sure you choose an exclusive buyer’s agent who will only do what is in your best interest. Check the accreditations of the agent and their firm and interview each one carefully before signing anything. You will want not only the best but also someone you can get along with. The two of you will be spending a lot of time together; it helps when both are on the same page.
Firms or agents that are members of the NAEBA can deliver that loyalty and professional responsibility to you 100% of the time. If an independent buyer agent/brokerage is unavailable in your area, find one that has earned an Accredited Buyers Representation (ABR) designation. When deciding between buyer agents, these are the two most significant distinctions. An exclusive buyer’s agent works to secure a deal that only works in your best interest.
What to Expect when Hiring a Buyer’s Agent in NYC?
While purchasing a home anywhere in the US is a huge decision, the prices found in NYC make it even more so. Getting the keys to your new home will be an exciting moment. However, you’ll need to jump through many hoops to get there. The emotions associated with buying a home can run the entire spectrum from anxiety to stress and frustration. Advice from an expert in this situation is priceless, especially when purchasing a condo or co-op apartment. The main advantage of hiring a buyer’s agent is that they’ll help you choose the right property and negotiate the best price. Keep in mind; that this service is available at no cost.
The difficulties of buying a home in NYC don’t just stop at the high prices. With a limited inventory, buying in New York City is fiercely competitive. Then there’s the time and effort you’ll have to spend viewing dozens of properties before finding the right one. That is, of course, if you ever find it and then secure it. Bidding wars are prevalent, so having a buyer’s agent handle them and provide advice can be invaluable.
Determine Sellers motivation
The buyer’s agent should try to determine how motivated the seller is. A “highly motivated” seller is likely more willing to negotiate. If someone’s financial or personal situation; (e.g., divorce, already purchased another home, pending foreclosure) is ascertained, this would determine if the seller might be flexible in negotiations.
Assesses Current Market Conditions
Your buyer’s agent should be well versed in current market conditions, sentiment, and trends. Comp data is a lagging indicator, so an experienced buyer’s agent adjusts based on real-time information. This is currently a buyer’s market for New York City real estate; it helps having a buyer’s agent on the “front lines” will have a sixth sense when the winds change.
The essential consideration of the property conditions, including the building itself. A complex area with many factors to consider. These include the building’s profile, age, unit mix, ownership share of primary users versus investors, and the electrical/plumbing quality.
Improvements and upgrades
Have there been property improvements and upgrades or lack thereof? An experienced agent knows what is worth paying extra for and not. Elegant Kitchen and bathroom renovations are usually welcomed; if necessary, considerations for the replacement cost, process, and time are assessed.
Comparative Market Analysis
Now, the agent should turn to sales comps and assess a comparative market analysis. The comparison must be meaningful; an experienced buyer’s agent will ensure that. Recent closing prices or like-kind properties in the same neighborhood, ideally in the same building. If relevant data is lacking within the building, your buyer’s agent must find comparable properties in other buildings nearby. Essentials are bedrooms, bathrooms, the unit’s floor, a view, how much light the unit has, amenities, etc. Beyond recent transactions, they should also look at the listing price and trends for similar homes.
Who Pays the Buyer Agent Commission?
Buyer’s agents are paid a commission percentage built into the sales price, like other agents. When the seller agrees on the price for their home to be listed with the listing agent/company, a 4%-6% commission is baked in. The commission is then co-brokered between the seller, buyer’s agent, and respective companies. The commission is split, with half going to the brokerage brought by the buyer and half to the firm that listed the property. As a buyer, you do not pay any extra fees. However, if the same brokerage that lists the property also brings in the buyer, the full commission stays with them — an in-house sale.
Think of it this way; you wouldn’t hire your spouse’s attorney to represent you in the divorce. The same applies to real estate agents.
With that in mind, you might think that the higher the sales price, the higher our commission is. But that’s not how we approach it. From our perspective, our entire responsibility is to get you the right property at the best price possible for you. That is because we know that our business grows only with satisfied customers.
In real estate, reputation and relationships are worth much more than a single commission for a career buyer’s agent. Instead of making as much money as possible from one deal, reputable buyers’ agents understand their fiduciary duty. It is best to have satisfied client relationships that refer them to others over the long term. Happy clients are how buyers’ agent builds their careers.
What if I Represent Myself?
You might be asking yourself, what happens if I merely represent myself? Because it is not solely the listing agent but the brokerage for whom they work that is bound to the seller. That way, I can avoid paying a 2%-3% commission and save on the purchase price. However, it does not work that way. The listing agent keeps the entire commission, with none of the savings passed on to you.
You may also think the seller’s agent will help you since they do not have to co-broke the commission with another agent. False. The seller’s listing agent contractually owes a fiduciary duty to their client, not to you, the buyer.
A listing agent’s job is essential to selling a property. A buyer’s agent’s role is to be unbiased and provide full disclosure. It involves obtaining the highest price for the seller with little to no disclosure.
Homebuyers Pay Regardless
Based on the Real Estate Board of New York, a sales commission is between 4% and 6%, regardless of whether you have a buyer’s agent representation. The commission goes to the listing agent or is co-brokered 50/50 with the buyer’s agent. That means you’ll be paying this anyway. Better to take advantage of an agent’s expertise and reap all the benefits mentioned.
Buyers have nothing to gain and everything to lose by not going with an agent. If you try to go it alone, you end up with a worse deal. You will be entirely at the mercy of the listing agent; their job is to get the highest price possible for the seller. Having a buyer’s agent allows you to level the playing field by having someone who represents your interests. The only person who benefits from not including a buyer’s agent is the listing agent, claiming 100% commission.