One of the questions both sellers and buyers often ask is: how do real estate brokers work together to sell properties? The process on the East End of Long Island, and even more so on Shelter Island, is different from other areas in New York State and indeed throughout the country.
In New York State, most properties listed for sale are offered on an exclusive basis, where one agent at a brokerage works with a seller on marketing strategies, presents the nuances of a property to other brokers, and among other duties, negotiates offers and guides the post-accepted offer process to closing.
On the East End, there are several types of listings that are unusual in the industry:
- “Co-Exclusives,” which came on the scene in the late 1990s, are a result
of sellers not being able to decide on a broker with whom to list. These
are listings that have two different agents from two different brokerages
marketing and negotiating offers for one seller. In a perfect world, this
approach would work, however more often than not, agents being
individuals with their own methodology and recipe for success, do not
work the same way. Frequently either one agent winds up taking the
lead or the agents communicate different strategies that can sometimes
confuse the seller.
- “Open Listings” are those given to every agency on a non-exclusive basis.
Most sellers who choose this route believe that every broker will get a
fair chance at achieving the sale. Many agencies will focus on the listing,
when the property criteria matches the requirement of a customer they
are working with.
“Co-Brokes” are exclusive listings that are shared by the listing agency with other brokers to show and sell. The listing agent works with “cooperating brokers” to help him or her sell the property to the cooperating broker’s customers.
On the South Fork and Shelter Island, the OREX or Open Real Estate Exchange is the predominant multiple listing service or “MLS” that most agencies use to share their exclusive listings with over 40 real estate agencies. The agencies subscribing to this system do not necessarily need to be members of the National Association of Realtors, a trade association–members of which are called “Realtors.” Through OREX, information is also shared to other non-OREX agencies so that the latter may send updated information to their customers.
On the North Fork and west of the Shinnecock Canal, the Long Island Board of Realtors is the predominant multiple listing service or “MLS”. As with OREX, the listing is shared so that other brokers may introduce a property to their customers. Agencies subscribing to this service are required to be members of the National Association of Realtors and information is not shared with other agencies who are not a part of the Long Island Board of Realtors.
Prior to an automated multiple listing service on the East End, exclusives were shared via “co-broke agreements,” which were then physically handed to agents who attended a broker’s open house for their exclusive listing.
On Shelter Island, agencies share listings in a variety of methods: Two agencies provide each agent with their own access to OREX multiple listing service. Another agency is on Long Island’s MLS and has one user on OREX to update listings. The balance of Shelter Island agencies share their exclusives the old-fashioned way. Saunders & Associates is on OREX, NY State MLS and a member of the Long Island Board of Realtors.
With so many methods, it is incumbent on a real estate agent to stay in touch with those agencies that do not work electronically for price updates and modifications to the listing. For listing brokers who are not a part of a multiple listing service, it is equally important to keep others in the loop with their exclusives.
The majority of real estate agencies on Shelter Island are not members of the National Association of Realtors, but work under the laws of New York State, as all NY real estate agents and brokers do.
To the seller, sharing listings with other real estate agencies is crucial for the exposure and sale of the property. To the buyer, having up-to-date information is important for use of time and knowledge of the market.
When real estate brokers work together “in harmony” it’s a “win-win” situation for everyone.