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Ask an Expert: My broker wrecked my TV -- who pays?
While my broker was staging my apartment to sell, he accidentally knocked my flatscreen TV off the wall. It's toast! He said it wasn't hung up right and refuses to pay for it. I want to take it out of the commission. Is that OK?
This is a tricky situation, but withholding your brokers commission is not necessarily your best option, our experts say.
Acknowledging that we only know one side of the story, I am appalled that the agent wouldn't volunteer to cover the cost of the TV, says broker Douglas Heddings of Heddings Property Group, who recommends first calling the brokers manager to try to fix the situation and, if that fails, consulting an attorney to weigh in on your situation.
Either way, youd be well advised to resolve this before finalizing a sale, which is when youd pay the commission. It is small disputes like this that can blow up closings and end up costing everyone substantially more in fees and time than the actual loss warrants, says co-op and condo attorney Dean Roberts of Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus.
If none of that works, theres always Small Claims Court, says Roberts.
As for insurance, its unlikely the damage is covered by a standard homeowners policy unless you have an all-risk contract, and even then your deductible would apply, says apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage.Note that 'all-risk is always in quotes because not everything is covered, he adds.
Leigh Kamping-Carder is a senior editor at BrickUnderground.com, the online survival guide to finding a NYC apartment and living happily ever after. To see more expert answers or to ask a real estate question, click here.