Sometimes it's too good to be true.
Have you ever been apartment hunting and saw an ad that said "no-fee rental"?
You probably think you just stumbled upon the rarest of the rare of apartments, a unicorn that is going to help you throw insane bangers.
Or maybe, when you read that, you saw a mule with a carrot taped to its forehead and you became very wary of that entire building.
Well, the actual definition is quite simple, and once you see it when you're apartment hunting, you'll understand why it's important.
We're going to break it down real quick. Forewarned is forearmed. Or foreheaded? For-what?
Forewarned is forgiving on your wallet. That's what that saying is. Or what it should be. Again, we don't know. We're just droppin' knowledge. Now listen up and take some notes, will ya?
1. What is a broker's fee?
A broker's fee is a cold dollar amount brokers and real estate agents charge you for their help in finding your new home.
Brokers have likely done the legwork on both ends, introduced you to the landlord, and now they'd like to take a cut. Makes sense?
Eh... sort of. While it seems pretty commonsense, this is still a middleman street-smart New Yorkers are always looking to avoid. Broker's fees could cost you - or your landlord - upwards of thousands of dollars.
Yeah, sometimes the owner, whether they're a personal owner, multiple property, or even a building management company, has to fork over the money and they might have to put that relay that cost on you.
2. What is a no-fee rental?
It can mean a few things, but at the heart of it, a no-fee rental is when you, the renter, does not have to pay that dastardly broker's fee.
In some cases, the listing simply doesn't have a broker because they're renting it out on their own, or you're dealing exclusively with a building management company. So, by virtue of simply bypassing those fees, you're joining the no-fee rental club.
Of course, you're also joining an exclusive club of savvy apartment hunters because typically those apartments are only advertised through exclusive connections and avoid the public eye altogether.
In other cases, the owner of the apartment has agreed to pay that broker's fee on their own. Because they're good people, right?
3. What a no-fee rental is NOT
A no-fee rental doesn't mean that the place being listed is a unicorn or mule with a carrot taped to its head. It's not a clever ploy that is trying to lure you into a web of lies.
It's not listed that way because that apartment is in a bad location or in shoddy shape and the owner is having a hard time filling the vacancy.
It also doesn't mean that it's cheaper than apartments with brokers' fees. In the longterm, the rent could be higher. This is just less expensive upfront because there's no broker involved in the process.
4. Where to find no-fee rentals
Okay, so no-fee rental apartments are not cosmic gifts delivered by the gods. Nor are they Trojan horses loaded with surprise, "Got em!" consequences.
But the best way to find no-fee rentals in New York City is our friends over at Brownstoner. Whether you're looking in all of NYC, or specifically Brooklyn or Manhattan, the search for no-fee apartment rentals begins with them. It's that simple.[via Brownstoner]