Brian’s Nerdy Insights: Why pay the broker fee?
Posted on July 27, 2015

Bohemia Blog by Agent Brian Letendre



Being that I’ve worked in real estate for several years now, the fee discussion has become very native to me.  It’s rare that a client of mine actually has all the information and only when they do, can they really make the most informed decision.


So why pay a broker a fee?  Aren’t there tons of no fee apartments out there?


Great questions!!!!!  You do not always need to pay a fee and you’re not hurting your agent when you don’t.


There are no fee options out there.  If you’re not paying the brokerage directly, the landlord is paying the brokerage.  I say brokerage here because remember the commission is paid to the company and the agent only gets part of it depending on their agreement.  They are not taking home the entire check you’re cutting at the lease signing. 


So, why would a landlord do this?  The landlord is not finding it in his heart to spare you the expense, that’s for sure.  The landlord is either charging (about) $200 or more a month in rent or needs to move the apartment and has to add extra incentives to do so. 


So the choice is up to you.  After all, it’s your money…


Do you want to avoid the fee and have a higher rent or pay the fee and start your lease off with lower rent on the same unit.  In the case that the rent seems at the floor and it’s still a no fee apartment, you owe it to yourself to ask your agent why.


My nerdy tip would be this: 


If you are only staying in the apartment you are about to lease for one year, you should explore the no fee options.  Maybe you are looking start the hunt to own a home (please contact me if this is the case) and you need a place to be for a short period of time.   The no fee might be the way to go.  I feel that might be in your best financial interests dependent on the deal.  If you are staying in an apartment for longer than a year, and especially if you found a rent-stabilized unit, it will always serve you to pay the fee up front.  You will save money in the long run.


The thing is:  You’re paying a fee either way.  It’s up to you how you want to pay it and the more you know, the better your decision.