Looking to buy a house in the greater NYC area? You must be stupid!

Me and my husband: We are looking for something under $400,000
Real Estate Agent: Cool! Here are a bunch of properties for $500,000!
M&H: Maybe we weren’t clear. UNDER $400,000.
REA: Oh-- here are a bunch of properties for under $500,000! We can talk them down!
M&H: Oh really? You can talk them down one hundred thousand dollars or more? That’s some good talking!
REA: No, I can’t talk them down THAT much-- but come look at the house! Isn’t it beautiful? Dontcha want it?
M&H: It doesn’t matter how beautiful it is. We do not want to pay that much money.
REA: OK, OK-- here are a bunch of houses for $399,990!
M&H: You know, looking on our own, we found many properties for under $380,000.
REA: OMG!!! You didn’t sign any contracts did you? After all the work I did for you!
M&H: Please die.

Mortgage dealer: You have pre-approval? I betcha I can find you a better deal.
Me and husband: Sure, if you can get us something better, why not?
Mortgage dealer: Here is our better deal-- your current pre-approval is for $417,000 at 5.7%. We can offer you $510,000 at 6.3%.
M&H: How is that better?
MD: We’re gonna give you MORE MONEY. Dontcha want MORE MONEY? Everybody wants MORE MONEY!!!
M&H: No, I want to spend LESS MONEY.
Another Mortgage dealer: Hey, your pre-approval sucks! I can lend you $600,000 starting at 5.2%!
M&H: What do you mean ‘starting at’?
AMG: You won’t find a fixed rate so low today!
M&H: Please die.


I wanted to add that these people are jumping out of the goddamned woodwork at me. Every corner I turn there’s some Real Estate professional waiting to ambush me. I can’t read my e-mail or answer my phone or approach my mailbox or even walk down 5th Ave with out being attacked by people who think I’m stupid. BAH!

Have you considered renting to own? Or living on Staten Island? There must be lots of places under $400K on the Island.

And after awhile you’ll hardly notice the 3 1/2 hour daily commute.

We have all but given up on Brooklyn and are branching out into Long Island. We considered Staten Island but I work on LI and hubby works in Brooklyn. LI seemed more reasonable.

Its the commission. The more they ‘sell’ you (the more you spend) the more they make. If she/he had steam-rollered over your request and made you spend $500,000, thats 20% more money in her/his pocket than if they hadn’t (commission percentage remaining the same) .

As a cite to show this point of view there is this link.

Granted, the Realtor’s office may take some off the top, but by & large, the more you buy, the more they take home. Sadly, being a pushy asshole in Real Estate pays…

Good luck Biggirl, it will continue to be frustrating.

Of course your Title should say somewhere on Long Island and not Great NYC area. I was all ready to sing the praises about various ares in NJ. :wink:

Working in Long Island, you are correct, stay on the Island. NJ to LI or even Staten Island to LI is just a horrible commute. One of the worst.

Do not forget to check Foxtons. Here is the link to Nassau county under $500,000 ascending prices.


I don’t think that’s it Blucher. Making the sale is what counts, not the final dollar amount. Trying to upsell someone risks the financing, and can tank the whole deal.

I think they target the higher priced places because most people understate what they want to pay, and are more likely to fall in love with a pricier house. You say $400, they’re assuming you’ll be willing to shell out $450 when all is said and done. If you show the buyers houses in their price range, they say the houses suck, go a bit above that, the houses are nicer, and they can figure out a way to pay for it.

Cheesesteak, I’m the first to admit I’ve never been in the R.E. business. Your reasons may be correct, but if a salesperson can make the buyer fall in love with for a bigger ticket item than the buyer initially mentions, and then help the buyer to creatively figure out a way to pay for it via financoing, the end result does end up being more takehome pay from that sale than if they had bought a lower priced home.

Still, you are right in that if it blows the sale, its just a waste of everyone’s time.

Ugh. I feel for ya, Biggirl. A couple years back, I bailed from Manhattan after I got tired of flushing $2,500/month in rent down the toilet and couldn’t find anything reasonable to buy. At the end of last year, my fiancee and I moved into a place on Long Island, which was unreasonably overpriced, but not as unreasonable as something in the NYC real estate market.

It’s amazing how stupid people believe you to be. They don’t follow directions and are constantly trying to upsell. You could seize them by the throat, stare directly into their eyes and say “Under $400,000.” and they’d still be trying to get you interested in something approaching half a million bucks. At some point, you have to tell them that if they’re not prepared to listen, that they had best stop trying to communicate with you.

It’s still my dream to one day cash out, buy a giant plot of wooded land someplace down south that’s far away from everything, and put up my own house.

Perhaps the Foxtons guy (it’s the Foxtons guy who keeps showing me crap I don’t want) would have thought that 3 months ago. But we have told him-- repeatedly-- not only how much we are willing to pay for a house but how much we want to spend monthly on our mortgage. He just doesn’t freaking listen.

And then, when we stop calling him and find properties on our own, he gets offended. AND EVEN STILL AFTER THAT contiues to try to sell us properties that . . .just. . . fit. . . barely. . .what we have been asking for and found on our own.
The thing is, he may still get his commission. If we can get him to broker the deal-- you can’t beat 2.5% commission.

(bolding mine)

May I recommend the Louisville Slugger? White ashe…32 inches. Beat him thoroughly until he’s ready to serve.

Yes, but that 2.5% does not matter to you the buyer, just the seller. If you are unhappy with him, find another Realtor and make it clear up front why you have switched. You should be able to find one that is willing to work with you.

Our first time buying a house, we went through 3 agents before we found a very nice agent that worked with us, instead of against our wishes. We liked him so much that the when we bought our current home we immediately called him up and again he was very helpful. As the Buyer, ensure the agents understand they that you have firm limits and will move on again if they cannot work within your budget.

It is not a matter of what you can afford, but a matter of what you want to pay.


Can you get Foxtons to assign you a different agent - and be emphatic about the reason for your request, so they make sure the new one knows you really mean it when you say, “under $400K”?

It would be one thing if he was showing you a mix of stuff (including the ones you can find online under$380K), and some of them were in the mid-to-upper 4’s, with at least a respectable possibility that they might take under $400K, now that the Great Subprime Lending Bubble has imploded.

But given the consistency with which he’s basically fought you all the way to make you buy more house than you want to pay for, and then been a jerk about it when you’ve researched cheaper houses on your own, I think it’s time to ask his boss to give you a new agent that’ll actually, y’know, listen to you.

That would be the lesser NYC area. :cool:



RTFirefly, sorry for repeating myself. She should have no reason to stay with Foxtons. The commission should be meaningless to the Buyer. It should only affect the Seller.


You don’t have to be stupid to buy in NY, but everyone involved would prefer that you are stupid. Of all the places I have lived, NY ranks tops for lowlifes trying, transparently, sometimes illegally, to wring extra money out of you.

Have you ever looked at MLS LI ?

It’s how we found our house within the price range we wanted.

Click the “find a home” button and go to it! Good luck.

Holy Crap BBob, that site is freakin AWESOME!

Thank you!

Realtors have always seemed like a colossal scam to me. I don’t understand what value they contribute.

My parents have sold two houses in the past five years by themselves, with little trouble. Saved them something like $50,000 on both occasions. I was with them shortly after the first time, when they were with a realtor, looking at a house in a nearby town.

Realtor: And where do you live now?
Mom: 922 Treeview Lane, Shelton
Reatlor, patronizingly: laugh Are you the ones trying to sell your house yourself for all that money?
Mom: We sold it.

May I just say… damn houses are expensive on Long Island!

What is essentially the same as my house - mine is larger with a garage - is almost 2x what I’d sell mine for here in the Twin Cities.

Of course I have NO clue what the neighborhoods are like there - the one I’m looking at is in Levittown.

(I was also looking at houses/condos on the Foxton website - they REALLY need to think before putting pictures online. One place was obviously a party house. Bottles strewn everywhere, bashed in kitchen, just gross. And over 300K.)

You should see the shacks that sell for half a mil in Brooklyn.