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He actually broke the law with me
I wanted to rent a building in Forest Hills. He was the broker for the listing. He stated the likely price floor I could get, which was slightly below the listing price. Once I was committed to the application process, he changed the story and said the owners would not be willing to give me such price. I had to settle for the higher price. It made me a bit suspicious.
I did some investigation on him and saw that he actually lived in the building and was on its board. The front doorman said all building rentals go through him as the agent. Not sure how he has a monopoly in that building, but I found that as odd. I began to think he might be representing the owner as well, but he never disclosed this to me. I asked him but HE REFUSED TO TELL ME whether he was a dual agent. I pressed him on this, we got into an argument, and in the end, he said he didn't have to tell me. Really? According to the Department of State, it is law for the real estate broker who plays dual agent to disclose this fact to his clients as a matter of being transparent with conflicts of interest. He broke the law. A former police officer and current criminal professor broke the law.
Of all the deal points I asked him to negotiate for me, he came through on exactly none of them. I've been renting in NYC for nine years, moving every 1-2 years, and every agent has been able to come through with at least one deal point. He claimed that the owner was too tough. This was a former police officer and detective of over 20 years and experienced real estate agent telling me that it was too tough to negotiate with the owner. Yeah right.
While I can't prove anything, in my opinion, I believe his refusal to disclose his dual agency implies he was double dipping. I believe he had a deal with the owner and was looking out for their interests, not mine. If he disclosed this to me, then I would have negotiated myself. Instead, I relied on him to represent me and look out for my interests. I think he made an insincere attempt to negotiate on my behalf because his incentives were probably aligned with the owners.
Do not deal with this guy. He can't be trusted.

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