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How to respond to inquiries & represent role as owner in NYC flat fee MLS listing

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  • How to respond to inquiries & represent role as owner in NYC flat fee MLS listing

    Hi there, I've just been looped in on my first few inquiries from your partner broker.

    How is the communication supposed to work? Am I supposed to respond to each of these forwarded messages and take over the correspondence?

    BTW, there is a tenant in the apartment, so showings need to be planned a bit in advance. The lease runs through July 31. Does this need to be noted in the listing?

  • #2
    Good evening! Once our partner brokers have looped you in on an inquiry, please feel free to take it from there! Please remember to read this great article on how to represent your role in an Agent Assisted FSBO process: Update Request


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        • #5
          Penny, glad our partner broker sorted this out for you! As you've found out on your own, REBNY rules require members to get the permission of the exclusive listing agent to directly contact or deal with the owner. There is no legal prohibition against owners showing their own property, even in full commission listing agreements, if the listing agent is busy. This happens all of the time actually.

          Furthermore, if it was illegal for an owner to show their own property, then For Sale By Owner generally would not be allowed. We love it when agents try to pretend to be lawyers :-)

          By the way, we heard that our partner broker sorted this out for you by simply emailing the agents who had solicited you. All solved and they didn't have anything to say after this!


          • #6
            FYI Penny, I've found that it's easiest and best to just keep it simple, especially at the beginning. Per the Hauseit article on how to deal with buyer's agents which is part of the seller training / suggested reading (highly recommend), there's no need to launch into a soliloquy about who you are and your flat fee listing arrangement as soon as a buyer's broker asks to show your property. Remember that your listing looks like any other full commission listing, buyers' agents can only see the commission being offered to them, and the listing broker has many other full commission listings.

            To be honest, most of these guys are actually just relieved to be able to secure a time to get their buyer in. I'd just reply all once you're looped in and say something like "Hi, happy to cover the showing tomorrow at 4pm, please confirm. Here's my cell: 212-222-2222. Penny"

            Keep in mind that there's no obfuscation here, and at no point are you misrepresenting your identity. If later on the buyer's broker asks whether you are the seller, perhaps at the showing or more likely during negotiations or a follow up visit, it's totally fine to say so.

            You can truthfully explain that the partner broker you are listed with is very busy or traveling, and as the Principal Broker he/she obviously has quite a few other responsibilities. So you're taking an active role, pretty simple.

            Keep in mind that sellers who pay 6% regularly have to step in for showings because agents often have multiple showings or open houses concurrently, and they can't be everywhere at once. Plus, sometimes agents will be out of town on vacation or for emergencies, and the seller will be more involved. So just know that this happens normally, but you just happen to not be paying 6% for it!

            P.S. Question for the Hauseit team, do you guys allow custom responses by the executive assistants at your partner brokerages? I've seen a couple of what seem to be stock/template responses by them. Very helpful nonetheless. Thanks!


            • #7
              Hi Velma, unfortunately we don't encourage custom order responses (written by sellers) for our flat fee Agent Assisted FSBO product as it simply adds too much complexity for a service that we are trying to keep essentially free for everyone.

              Please remember that our partner brokers are listing your home and leveraging their front desks to take and pass on messages to you essentially for free. A flat fee of say $349 (as of this writing) is essentially 0% commission vs 6% or $120,000 on the average $2 million NYC apartment.

              As a result, we unfortunately cannot make exceptions or take custom requests. When sellers are CC'd or BCC'd on an initial inquiry, or once they've been forwarded a voicemail, text or message from our partner brokers' front desks, it's up to sellers to reach out directly to the inquiring party and take it from there. Sellers are free to simply reply all and copy our partner brokers for additional legitimacy, but unfortunately our partners cannot accommodate special requests.

              Please remember to use the submit listing update form on our website (under the Sellers menu bar) for all listing updates, requests or questions. Please remember that our partner Principal Brokers do not personally handle inquiries, listing updates, questions and the like. They are very busy and often are travelling for business or vacation, so please be mindful and use our listing update form instead so our support team can help you with any listing updates, thank you!