To Fee or Not to Fee?
A broker fee on an apartment is compensation to the agent and agent's brokerage in exchange for securing a tenant an apartment, this is typically one month's rent. The overwhelming majority of Boston apartments are "fee apartments.," which means the property manager/owner lists his or her unit(s) with an agency in order to get it rented. Who pays the fee varies from unit to unit, however...
In the competitive Boston market, landlords have little to no incentive to "pay" the broker's fee due to consistent demand and low vacancy. It is critical to note that because the majority of apartments are listed through agencies and are "fee apartments," the market self adjusts -- meaning the self-listing owners will seek to collect what a comparable unit rents for. Thus, if Owner A and Owner B have similar properties, and Owner A lists with Preview Properties for $1500/month, but Owner B attempts to rent on his/her own, then Owner B should and will seek to get ~$1633/month, or $1500+($1500/12).
Scenarios in which an owner may cover a portion or all of the broker fee include longstanding company policies to do so (increasingly rare), eagerness to rent due to prolonged vacancy, or offpeak times.
Keeping this in mind, you are SEVERELY handicapping your rental search by looking exclusively for "no fee apartments," as the pool is just simply too small (if not completely dried up!), and there is a good chance your perfect place can be had at a total price with which you're amenable. However, we always try to included as many "no-fee" apartments as possible in our database.
For more on this subject, please see my blog or contact me directly!
Why Use an Agent for Rentals?
It's simple, really, and it comes down to value: Your time is valuable, and I have the resources and experience to expedite the process and land you the best deal.
I do this full-time, every day. I am in tune with the market conditions, know what to look for, and, most importantly, I am connected with a vast network of owners, property managers, and their respective listings. Why fish around the internet for hours when you can just shoot me a quick email inquiry and I can send you listings tailor-fit to your specifications? Your ultimate costs are likely to be the same.
As your agent, I work for YOU, and I will:
Serve as your one stop shop for your property search
Negotiate on your behalf (monthly rent, fee coverage, deposits, move-in conditions, other terms)
Set-up showings based on your schedule and, most importantly, your criteria
Don't have a car? I'll pick you up, take you from unit to unit, and drop you off once we've seen all of the potential fits
Where Should I Live?
This will, of course, be highly subjective. Moving is always a challenge -- whether it's across town or across an ocean! Please contact me directly to have an in-depth conversation on which neighborhoods may best fit your commute, lifestyle, and budget.
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