If I ain't brokered, fix it?
March 20, 2012 12:19 PM Subscribe
What do I need to know about dealing with brokers for apartment rentals? (I'm located in Brooklyn.)
posted by mlle valentine to home & garden (13 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Backstory: I'm looking to move in with my boyfriend later this year (yay!). I don't know a lot about working with real estate brokers (boo!). In the past I've found roommates on Craigslist through the "rooms/shares" listings, which didn't involve working with brokers. But it looks like most of the one-bedroom apartments out there have associated brokers' fees, so I'm afraid we're going to have to use one. I have dealt with one broker in the past when I was looking to buy an apartment (which I elected not to go forward with, in large part because it transpired that the realtor was trying to rush my decision and hide information from me).
With my resulting suspicion of brokers, I want to be more prepared this time around. What should I be aware of generally when working with them?
A couple of specific concerns:
-I see that a number of places seem to have fees on the order of 12% of yearly rent. Is this the going rate?
-I'm really particular about the neighborhood I want to live in. (I have time left on my current lease, and my boyfriend is month-to-month, so we're not in a rush.) The couple of brokers I've contacted so far have tried to show me places outside of the (admittedly narrow) geographical range I want. Is this standard practice? I can't help feeling like they are manipulating me, but maybe this is just how it works?
-Are there brokers you'd recommend, or would say to avoid?
(For the record, I see the above seems all "me! me! me!" and doesn't much mention my (lovely) boyfriend, who lives in another nearby city for the moment. I have discussed all these points with him, and he is happy to live where I choose and knows that I may do more of the work on apartment hunting since he's not in town.)