- This email from Judi Desiderio raised the issue of exclusive rentals, giving Town & Country
's strong (no surprise, right?) opinion as well. "Lona, [as a] widely read voice of real estate this issue must be addressed: There are some greedy agents ill-advising their clients (to whom they have a fiduciary obligation mind you) that they should give them an exclusive on their rental. The agents chat up 'control,' 'qualifying tenants,' 'superior market reach!' Well, it's almost never in the best interest of the owner to do an exclusive rental - but you know that - you've walked 10 miles in my shoes."
Didn't know this topic was so hot (and dangerous) as Montauk's Ed Bruel pointed out to Realty Takes
in response to our email query blast. One way or another, besides fiduciary responsibilities, it seems to be all about money. Hard to believe! And also about work and time, which is, after all about money, too. You do remember time is money.
One issue raised is whether brokerages are willing to pay a fee to those exclusive listers even if the listor
doesn't bring the tenant. Now who would have thought of that wrinkle?
Joe Schiffer, of Main Street Realty, writes, "You can anticipate long-time clients, who cannot sell at what they conceive as the "right price," and who will grant exclusive rental listings. I do believe however a better sharing of the commission between exclusive lister and rental agent should reflect the special relationship between the agent and the listing agent."
Susan McGraw Keber of Town & Country writes to her CEO: "Nancy McGann
and I discussed the issue of exclusive rentals which seem to be taking over many rental listings that ordinarily would not be offered this way. I propose that homeowners be made aware of the disadvantage of listing their properties exclusively for rent in most cases, especially if they are in earnest to rent in hard economic times. It prevents website exposure and discourages sales associates and brokers from showing their properties. I believe an article as Nancy suggested by perhaps Lona Rubenstein, could illustrate these caveats [we raise] - in exclusive rental listings, a perfect opportunity to address professional acumen and dedication.
Veteran Broker Manager Charlene Cheshire of Westhampton Beach Town & Country makes no bones about where she stands: "Exclusive rentals do not serve the homeowner, just the broker. When brokers, who do an incredible amount of work, organizing what they're going to show, take customers to anywhere from five to 15 houses on average (you have to cover all the bases - competition is tough!), it stands to reason that they are not eager to split their 10 percent commission with an exclusive listing broker.
"There are always the high-end listings requiring more careful security and in those cases, an exclusive rental may be acceptable but those are the exceptions rather than the rule. What are homeowners getting for that exclusive listing? Tons of advertising? Special marketing? Weekly open houses? Check the local advertising to see if there is a deluge of rental advertising from January through May. I haven't seen evidence of it myself. So, in conclusion, here's the rule: I've always followed: exclusive rental: NO; exclusive sale: YES."
Charlene covers many issues here. But perhaps, playing devil's advocate in these hard, competitive times where, in some areas and price ranges, people aren't exactly tripping over each for a summer rental, homeowners with a sincere broker (like the handicapper in "Guys & Dolls," Fugue for a Tin Horn) might get an extra push for their property by granting this privilege. (Hey, guys, just setting up another point of view for consideration!).
Lori Barbaria of Prudential Douglas Ellimnan weighs in, commenting, "In the high-end over $250k they are feasible if the landlord wishes their broker to be present for all showings." Broker Jackie Dunphy of Corcoran
East Hampton looks at it another way: "I think it gives the owners peace of mind knowing that a broker they know and trust is always present during a showing. A lot of high-end rentals have very expensive furnishings and it gives the owner extra financial and emotional security. I don't think it makes sense to have exclusive rentals for more modest listings." Jude Lyon of Westhampton Beach Realty supports the practice as well - "Best thing that ever happened to the homeowner - more exposure - know more about the tenants and makes it much less hectic on showings, and they know where their keys are. I'm finding the brokers who complain most about exclusive rentals are the brokers who don't do many rentals. I love it and think it makes it all a lot easier."
Yes, well, let's stop right there! What does Realty Takes
think? Let you know next week, because East End real estate and deadlines are a very strange business.