Renting a home is a huge investment. It is not uncommon for half of your income to go towards paying rent these days. Naturally, any New Yorker would appreciate saving money, especially if it’s 15% of your yearly rent. The majority of the NYC real estate market has a non-negotiable 15% broker fee and it is very difficult to find a no-fee apartment. Many people think, 15% just for someone to open a door for me? That’s ridiculous! However, working with a real estate agent can help you find a better home than you might on your own and could save you a lot of stress.
Real estate agents have knowledge of the inventory and market, which expedites the search process. Trying to find a no-fee apartment requires hours of sifting through multiple websites to confirm that the listings even exist, and opening yourself up to paying the broker fee will lead you to the other 75% of the market that you would not have seen.
It is important to find a real estate agent that is a good fit for you in your search for your next home. Different agents are experts in different areas, so working with an agent who is very familiar with the area can yield much more promising prospects than scouring Craigslist.
Agents basically serve as a liaison with management companies. They can inform you about unpublicized openings because they are in frequent contact with the landlord or management of buildings. A lot of management companies don’t list on sites like StreetEasy and instead exclusively work with brokers because it saves them time.
Researching can be grueling, especially when you scroll through disappointment after disappointment. The apartment is too expensive, too small, too far from the subway. It can get very discouraging very quickly. You might find yourself staring catatonically at a computer screen, pulling your hair out. Instead, if you work with an agent, like the experts at TripleMint, you can rest easy while they do the leg work.
Instead of spending hours poring over countless listings that are exactly what you are not looking for, you can curl up with Netflix on your comfy couch at home. Rest assured that while you marathon Grey’s Anatomy, your agent is using their expertise to find apartments for you to go see.
Experience and Efficiency
It is an agent’s job to know how to get approved to rent an apartment. Good brokers come with knowledge forged from their experience dealing with a variety of situations. Every individual comes into the housing market with different circumstances and agents know how to best approach the apartment search and application process given your unique situation. They will work in your best interest and help present you in the best way possible so that you can get approved more quickly. They also help organize and edit documents to make it easier for management to review your application.
While the listing broker works for the landlord (their main goal is to get the apartment rented for the best price for the landlord), the broker you work with will advocate for you. They will let you know if an apartment is overpriced and will help you navigate negotiations, which could include rent, pest control, etc.
When Not to Use a Broker
If you are very well-versed in the neighborhood you’re looking in and you’ve narrowed down in the search, it may not be worth working with a broker. If it’s a close-knit community and you know a lot of the landlords, you might not need a broker because you’re already an expert. If you decide to go solo but don’t have connections, here are some tips for finding no-fee apartments.
Most people aren’t experts who have connections with landlords. It’s worth consulting with an agent and having someone to advocate for you, especially if you’re coming from outside the city. Paying a broker fee can end up being a small price to pay for a home you truly love and well worth keeping a full head of hair.