The great balancing act

Netto Real Estate Services offers appraiser, Realtor services

Anthony G. Netto sits at a kitchen table that he sometimes uses as a desk at A.G. Netto Realty. Photo by Amanda Morrison/NNY Business

Some brokers say it’s unethical. Others say working as both a broker and an appraiser makes them more knowledgeable. No matter how you look at it, Anthony G. Netto of Netto’s Real Estate Services Inc. said he will always look at it through the eyes of the customer.

“I think the interaction with buyers and sellers helps me in the appraisal process,” Mr. Netto said. “It doesn’t matter what I think or feel about a particular property. What’s important is to reflect the market. Being a broker has enabled me to look at both sides of it more.”

Mr. Netto said he wears two separate hats, one as the chief appraiser with his company, Upstate Appraisal Associates, and the other with A.G. Netto Realty as a real estate broker. The realty office opened in 2006. He said he is an appraiser first, and has been since 1985. He started his business at his dining room table on Massey Street in Watertown. Zoning maps replaced wallpaper and the table was an endless mound of maps. Mr. Netto was still using 34 mm pictures and rub-on graphics when he did appraisals. But at the time, being an appraiser was just what the north country needed.

“I was a mortgage officer when I left a bank job to start my own appraisal company. There was a real need in the mid-‘80s for appraisers in the area,” he said.

The area was booming with the arrival of Fort Drum and with a burst in population comes the need for housing. David Knowlton is a licensed real estate agent with Mr. Netto. He’s been selling real estate for almost seven years, and believes Fort Drum is the primary driver when it comes to real estate in the north country.

“We are fortunate to have Fort Drum,” he said. “Because of Fort Drum, our real estate market has been substantially stable for all of that time. And with the constant turnover of Fort Drum personnel, it keeps our real estate market active.”

And active, it is. Mr. Netto has roughly 12 of his own listings with A.G. Netto. That means he juggles the possible sale of these properties as a Realtor, while maintaining his full-time position as chief appraiser. There is no one else. Some would say his “two-hats” job creates conflict of interest. Mr. Netto said the duel position is not unethical, so long as the broker doesn’t mix with the appraisal process.

[Editor’s note: This is a truncated version of this story. For the full version, please see NNY Business in print or subscribe.]

Joleene Des Rosier Moody is a freelance writer, author and motivational speaker who lives in Pulaski. Contact her at joleene@joleenespeaks.com.