After a friendly, three-month-long relationship with Corcoran, entering into a contract to buy a studio apartment, acquiring a mortgage, and incurring out-of-pocket expenses, my lawyer determined that the property I was seeking to buy did not have a valid certificate-of-occupancy. We caught the blunder and my agent quickly wished me goodbye.

Angry, I approached Corcoran’s local managing director, Juliana Brown, who reminded me of New York’s caveat emptor (buyer beware) law: “What do you want me to do,” she said.

Buyer beware. Duh. Corcoran’s right. They have no legal liability in this case. What I didn’t ask, they didn’t have to tell.

But should real estate be a high-risk game of obfuscation and obstruction? Corcoran want’s to play this game, and why wouldn’t they? They have a lot of money to gain and little to lose. Did I mention that my Corcoran agent even recommended that I lie on a federal mortgage application (a felony) in order to make the sale?

Everything to gain and nothing to lose. An easy business, sure, but is it good business?