Curbed, the NYC real estate, etc blog posted an ethical question about some renter who wanted to get away with not paying his broker fee to a careless real estate agent. Responses were requested and I submitted mine on the side of ethics and just treating people well overall. It got posted.. wooo! So, if you're a real estate agent, now you know I'm an ethical guy and the kind of guy you want to send listings of apartments for sale with reasonable maintainence south of 59th Street around 400k. One bedrooms only, please.
Real estate brokers provide little else besides the knowledge of an open apartment, which he did here. Sure, he very haphazardly involved himself in the process, and you could probably get away with not paying him, but its not as if he didn’t do his job. You wouldn’t have known about the listing if he didn’t post it, and in my mind, he deserves payment for that... Trust me, screw people over and it will come back to haunt you. What you should do is pay him the fee, but explain to him that you didn’t have to and point out to him the err of his ways. Maybe he’s new and he’ll be so indebted, that in a few years when you move, he’ll find you a sweet deal.