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Here’s How to Avoid a Bad Rental Agent

Published on July 6, 2017 by rae steinbach

In a place like New York CIty, where real-estate inventory is always at a premium, it’s easy to come across a rental broker that doesn’t necessarily have your best interests at heart as they only strive to make a higher commission. When you’re planning to rent or sublet in NYC and decide to hire a rental agent, it’s important that you research their legitimacy. There are several things that should have you reconsidering signing a contract with a rental agent.

Is The Rental Agent Respecting Your Budget?

One of the biggest signs of a shady rental agent is that they constantly find apartments that exceed your price range. The intention behind these brokers is that they’ll get a bigger share of the rent you have to pay when the apartment isn’t a no-fee rental. Rental agents usually get a commission of 15% of the first year’s rent; the higher your rent is, the higher they will get paid, again assuming the property is not a no-fee apartment in NYC.

A good strategy to deal with this problem is to not divulge your budget’s ceiling. Start off with a lower upper limit, and slowly increase the budget until you find a dream apartment in your price range.

Are They Finding An Apartment That Meets Your Criteria?

It’s normal to compromise on a few luxury amenities when renting a New York City apartment through a broker. However, if your rental agent is showing you properties that don’t meet even your most basic requirements, that should be a warning sign you need to move on.

sign a deal

A poor rental agent will push you into buying a particular apartment because they want the commission, instead of finding a rental property that suits your criteria. Beware: They’ll often go to great lengths to convince you that it suits your needs. For example if you want a gym in the building, an unreliable agent may tell you there’s a gym nearby to use instead.

How is Your Rental Agent’s Attitude Towards You?

If your rental agent is acting brusquely towards you, doesn’t answer all of your questions, or pushes you to make a hasty decision, it’s best to look for a better, more qualified rental agent. As a tenant, you have every right to ask questions and take your time to find your new NYC apartment: Don’t feel obligated to make rushed decisions if your rental agent appears to have a busy schedule.

Finding your dream apartment in NYC is a true undertaking, and finding the perfect rental agent is equally challenging. Always keep in mind that there are apartment search services that are equivalent to what a broker does, without the hassle of hidden fees or legitimacy fears. These no-fee, online platforms connect you with the perfect New York City apartment and meet your needs, all while providing helpful customer service.

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