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Find a broker with whom you are comfortable. A broker can: (1) research comparable sales in your neighborhood and has an accurate understanding of the current market (newspaper “asking prices” may be misleading); (2) provide you with a realistic selling time frame, set up a sales promotion plan, advertise the property for you, and adjust the marketing strategy if needed; and (3) recommend any possible improvements to your home to enhance marketability. Generally, brokers have access to the sales efforts of other broker — your broker has a vested interest in selling your home, he or she will utilize all outlets available to close your deal expeditiously. Keep in mind the following can influence your home’s exposure, among other things: the commission rate, permitting your listing broker to “co-broke” with other brokers, and use of technology (use of real-time market conditions, placing a “virtual tour” of your home on the internet, etc.).

You should have your New York real estate attorney review the brokerage agreement prior to your signing to make sure it protects your interests.

Generally, it is not a good idea for the owner to be present when a prospective buyer is viewing the apartment. Buyers do not ask the candid questions they need answered in the presence of the owner nor do they examine the property as thoroughly as they’d like to, for fear of disturbing the owner. Find a broker that has the sales experience to sense which qualities of the property to highlight and which to minimize. Also, a broker will be able to sell your home without emotional involvement. A broker qualifies prospective buyers (including conducting credit checks), so that you will have a purchaser who will qualify for a mortgage and pass the board, if applicable. Lastly, if you do receive multiple offers, the broker can help you evaluate which offer is the best (sometimes, it is not the highest offer but the most qualified buyer to whom you will sell).

If the prospective buyer needs financing, the real estate broker can recommend a mortgage banker, broker or a choice of banks that offer co-op or condo loans on your building. They can also recommend New York real estate attorneys and coordinate access to the property by appraisers and engineers. They also facilitate expediting the board approval process and help find the answers to questions or concerns raised by the seller and buyer.