One of the most important parts of buying a new home is the search for a good real estate agent. It can be downright dangerous to shop for a co-op in NYC with a bad agent, and it's certainly a bad idea to search without one. You will need the agent to help you contact the selling agents as well as set up the appointments to see the apartments. The right agent will also work for you by searching out apartments so that you don't have to spend tons of time sourcing through real estate ads looking at leads which might be old and completely out of dare. Also, a good agent will be able to handle gathering the information for you so that you know all the particulars (maintenance, number of apartments that are owner occupied, etc.) so that you can know if you are going to move forward and purchase the unit.
Are They Knowledgeable About The Area
You want an agent that is knowledge about the area that you want to buy in. If the agent only handles Park Slope, and you want to buy a co-op in Inwood, then you need to find a new agent. The neighborhoods in New York are very specific, and it helps to find an agent that has contacts in that particular neighborhood. They will need to know the various buildings, as well as have relationships with management companies, which can help them know about openings before they come available on the market.
Can They Function As A Buyers Agent
You want someone who has experience working as a buyers agent. Some agents specialize in selling properties, and others specialize in helping source and buy properties. The skill set is slightly different, and it helps to have someone who has done a lot of work as a buyers agent. Of course, it is fine to use someone who has functioned as a buyers agent, as well as someone who has listed properties in the past. The important part of the task is to make sure the person is comfortable traveling with you looking at different places, which is not the purview of a sellers agent, who is used to staying with the single property that is for sale.
If you cannot reach your agent, then you need to get a new one asap. One of the most important aspects of a real estate agent is that they are easy to reach. You should be able to reach them by email or phone. If they don't respond to you, you need to find someone who will. Real estate in New York is a time sensitive game, and you don't want to miss out on a property just because your agent is slow getting back to you.