Frequently Asked Questions
With any New York listing available on streeteasy.com or through brokerage firm websites, why would I need a buyer's broker to help me in my search?
The amount of information offered online is astounding: available listings including asking price and price changes, recent sales, price per square foot, etc. While we can certainly help run an online search for an initial scan of the market, we believe such searches are a commodity and not where we ultimately provide value. Given the many variables and stakeholders involved in a real estate transaction, where PHP does provide value is by acting as an experienced advisor, mirroring a buyer's thinking processes, sensibilities, desires, likes and dislikes. And by looking out for a buyer's best interests, when everyone else is focused on "getting the deal done". In the end, PHP does what an online search can never do: give you a hug, a pep talk, make you laugh, help you think outside the box, offer the encouragement and the energy to be patient and to never compromise, and help you hold out for that unique apartment or townhouse.
Buying an apartment is a big decision, I want to to take my time - months if not years. If I work with PHP, will I not be pressured?
At PHP, we act in an advisory role. We are not salesmen, but we do "sell" patience! We understand that a client's parameters can change during the course of the search. At the same time, all of our clients at some point have an emotional reaction to a property, and want to rush into submitting an offer. If we believe it to be a hasty decision, we actually discourage a client from making an offer. Our experience tells us that, when patient, our clients "do better" - so, above all, we advise patience. For a property to qualify for purchase, it must be the "best," or, "the best in class." The property must have something special, a beauty into its own, which ultimately will also drive a strong resale value. Finding that beauty is a creative process that takes time, and we truly relish that process.
If I work with a buyer's broker, will I not be disadvantaged in negotiating a purchase price given that the higher the contract price, the higher the broker commission?
When an owner decides to sell his or her property, he or she hires a broker to market it. The seller and the seller's broker sign a contract specifying the commission to be paid at closing. That commission is factored into the asking price. It is shared with the buyer's broker, 50/50. Since broker commissions are based on selling price, how do I know my broker is not urging me to stretch for a property, go above my budget, so that he or she earns a higher commission? When, and if, we encourage our clients at PHP to go over their original budget, we simultaneously cap our commission on the original budget and rebate to our client any commissions that would be generated over that budget. This is our ethic and our honesty in putting client interests first, by explicitly avoiding any potential misalignment of interests.
Don't sellers or seller's brokers hate it when a buyer has his own broker, and won't the seller's broker favor a buyer who does not have representation?
Absolutely not! Quite the contrary, in fact. Seller's brokers actually prefer working with buyers who are represented by another professional, as they know that the buyer will be fully prepared for all phases of the transaction and thus have greater confidence that the deal will get to the finish line. The buyer's broker and the seller's broker work to bring two sides together. This is called a "co-broke." Upwards of 90% of deals in NYC are done on a co-broke basis, as increasing numbers of buyers are choosing to have their own representation. The seller pays the commission, which is shared equally by each broker. So for a buyer, our service is free.
I have never heard of PHP Realty Services. Why would I work with PHP instead of one of the big well-known brokerage firms in New York City?
"Is bigger better?" If you are a seller, probably. But as a buyer, most in our business would agree a buyer is best served by smaller firm so that the service is more personalized. At PHP, we pride ourselves on being a boutique firm, as our on-site visits, our searches, our research and analysis, and our negotiations are all custom tailored to a very personalized understanding of our client. Unlike most other brokerage firms, we do not work with sellers. Since we exclusively represent buyers, our expertise, judgment, and advice are conspicuously neutral.
What does it mean that PHP Realty Services only focuses on luxury real estate?
As we typically work with our clients very intensely and over long periods of time (months, sometimes years), we ask that our client's budgets be in the healthy seven-figure range. Clients have noted that PHP goes "the extra mile", even working on holidays. At PHP, we say that if you love what you do, it's not work.