2010 Jun 11th

The Hoboken Open House Google Map for Sat. 6/12 and Sun. 6/13

Every Open House in Hoboken this weekend as compiled from the Midweek and Hoboken Reporter, the MLS, every Realtor website and email and Craigslist courtesy of the Turoff Realty Team.

C21 SignWelcome to HREN boys and girls.  One big change you may notice in the map this weekend is that all our listings are now designated with shiny new Century 21 logos.  That’s because Lori and I moved our licenses across the street and we are now extraordinarily pleased to be affiliated with Century 21 Innovative Realty!  Since we don’t use this blog to sell ourselves as realtors (we use our website HobokensBestHomes to do that) I’ll just say our new broker and all the agents at C21 have been so welcoming and gracious towards us, we’re really, really happy and looking forward to a long and prosperous relationship.  Here be the map:

When you look at the map, place markers are color coded:

New listings are marked with a Push Pin icon.

Click on the location marker for:

Map Request

Want to know which open houses are on Saturday and which only Sunday? Click on “tools” at the top of the list and enter the word “sat” or “sun” (without the quotes) into the search box.

Did you know that the agent hosting an open house is the Seller’s agent? Whether it is the actual listing agent or any other agent from the same company, that person legally represents the sellers.  Not only that, the hosting agent – by law – has a fiduciary duty to the seller to get that seller the highest possible pricefor that property.  Do you think it might be a conflict of interest for that same person to then represent you?  Many people think so.  In fact, in many states (other than NJ) it is illegal for the same agent to represent the seller and also work with the buyer.

Did you know that when you go to an open house you can see the property at the open house on your own and, if you like it, go back to it with your own agent?You can!  So if you see something you like at an open house you might want to consider finding your own agent who does not work for the seller.Just because you walk into an open house does not mean that the hosting (seller’s) agent gets to “claim” you as his or her customer – even if you “sign in”.  You are the consumer.  You are spending your hard earned money on what is probably the biggest investment you will make in your life.  Don’t you think you should be able to work with whom you choose?

Questions? Text us at 201 993 9500.

  1. Randy

    Quick question for the masses. What is, on average, the broker fee (percentage) for a condo sale in hoboken?



  2. Craig

    The average is 5-6%. However, what is generally not known and what the industry certainly doesn’t want you to know is that fixed commissions are illegal pursuant to a circa 1950s Supreme Court decision. Real Estate broker commissions are totally negotiable.

  3. Lori Turoff

    Craig – if you look at the listing agreement that consumer sellers must sign to list their property for sale in NJ it states very clearly in bold print that ALL COMMISSIONS ARE NEGOTIABLE. So I don’t know why you say the industry does not want consumer to know that. Unfortunately, I can’t bold the below first line as it appears in the contract but here is the exact language from the Exclusive Right to Sell Agreement:

    “[BOLD]As a Seller you have the right to individually reach an agreement on any fee, compensation, or other valuable consideration with any Broker. No fee, compensation, or other consideration has been fixed by any governmental authority or by any trade association or multiple listing service.[BOLD]” Nothing in this Agreement is intended to prohibit an individual Broker from independently establishing a policy regarding the amount of fee, compensation or other valuable consideration to be charged in transactions by the Broker.

  4. Craig

    Lori – I apologize if my statement was overbroad, as I did not intend to imply that the industry actively tries to hide the fact. Keep in mind that unlike NJ, not all states require that boilerplate language in listing agreements. Further, there is the theory of commission negotiability and then there’s the reality of it occurring in actual practice. If it were a common occurance, the Foxtons of the world never would have come into being.

    My point is while the industry may have some degree of disclosure about the negotiability of commissions, they aren’t exactly going out of their way to actively make sure people are informed about it. Which is why most are unaware. I’d love to take a poll of NJ sellers over the last few years to see how many noticed that boilerplate language you posted, and as a result actually successfully negotiated down the commission they paid. I think the results of such a poll would underscore my point.

  5. Lori

    The reason Foxtons failed were many. Similarly, the reason companies like CondoDomain and RedFin are growing are because they have a new business model.

    I can assure you that if you ever spoke to us about selling your property and asked what the commission was we would say that it is negotiable. The typical rate in Hoboken is 5%. That gets split between the listing agent and the agent that brings the buyer. That half is split again between the agent and the agency.

    Let me ask you something. If you were an agent and had more listings than you could possibly show a buyer and some paid considerably more than others, assuming your buyer had not asked to see anything in particular, all other things being equal (i.e., availablity of appointments, access, location convenience)which properties would you have more incentive to show? Those that potentially allow you to earn more or those that pay less?

  6. Craig

    Lori your last paragraph illustrates one of the potential issues with the current realtor commission system – one in which the quality of service for one client as opposed to another can be dependent on which client offers more money to be made. As a fellow lawyer, I’m sure you can appreciate why our profession isn’t allowed to allocate the quality of representation based on potential windfall – and why those of us who did work that way would be censured or even disbarred.

  7. Lori

    An agent who shows a potential buyer a property does not represent the seller of the property. (Unless the agent is showing his or her own listing). In fact, unless the agent has signed a buyers agency agreement with the buyer the agent doesn’t even represent the buyer! So who exactly is the “client”? Where is the “representation”? If you go into a shoe store where the clerk works on commission, is it somehow wrong for the clerk to show you a more expensive pair of shoes? That’s what you’re implying. I don’t think you understand the relationships between agents and buyers or sellers. Your analogy doesn’t work.

  8. carl

    Craig- I’m sure that at a law firm where there is one class action suit that can yield 500 million or another that can yield 1 million all the best and brightest are alllocated to the 1 million dollar suit. Lawyers are all about being paid and if the $$$ aren’t there, find someone else

  9. L&S

    Lori – Just a seperate question .. Is the work performed by a real estate agent on a 1bed $200K any different from a 4bed $1mln place? To justify the 5% flat commision across properties, work performed on the more expensive place needs to 5x. I have an opinion, which could be completely biased because its based on my personal experience but most commision biz have a sliding scale based on volume or abosolute $ commision. I dont understand why real estate mkt has not incorporated that?

  10. Craig

    What I am implying is a property listed for a theoretical 3% negotiated commission is likely going to be on the back burner at best in terms of the agent’s efforts to market and show it. My argument is from the seller’s perspective. As Lori acknowledges, the incentive is to show properties that bring a higher commission. Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if a seller walks into a broker’s office and is only willing to list their property for sale for a 3% commission instead of 5%, we all know what will happen.

    No one is arguing that real estate professionals don’t earn their money. The point is that even if one wants to argue that negotiability of commissions is adequately disclosed and that the general public is aware of it, the concept that they are actually negotiable is not exactly realistic. In real world situations, commissions generally aren’t negotiated for the most part and the industry does not exactly encourage one to attempt negotiation. Can anyone list me a number of properties that have sold in Hoboken for less than a 5% commission recently? From a seller’s perspective, hasn’t anyone ever wondered why every brokerage in a given area charges the same exact commission instead of there being price competition for your business?

    Lastly, L&S makes an interesting point. A 5% commission on a $500k home is $25k. The commission on a $1 million home is thus $50k. What was the difference in effort between selling the two that justifies double the actual dollar amount in commissions?

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