NO FEE vs. FEE LISTINGS! Why would I want to pay a 15% fee if there are zillions of no fee listings?!
We all come across fee and no fee listings when searching for THAT perfect new home and still don't understand why anyone looking to rent would not check the NO FEE option under search filters. I was in the shoes of my clients when I first moved to NYC five years ago. I'm originally from Germany and when my agent told me the fee is 15% of the annual rent I told him (out of my naivety) I will not pay the fee since we don't pay a fee in Germany.
I quickly realized, NYC is different from any other country, state, and even U.S. city. My agent was very patient with me and showed me fee and no fee listings, which I ended up paying a 15% fee for a place I fell in love with and still call home.
Many times it is best to simply reach out to an agent and ask for clarification - calling and asking an agent is FREEEEE! :) First of all, we need to trust our agents since renting agents work primarily for their clients and not the landlord. If you are renting and looking for an agent, you have to keep in mind and understand that your agent is working in your best interest and does not get paid until a lease is signed. For that reason, a good real estate agent will always be open to showing fee and no fee listings for you to see and compare.
Should You Go For a No Fee or Fee Listing?
Let's get down to the question and break it down. If I (the agent) comes across a no fee listing, my first question is: "Why is this a no-fee listing? Why is the landlord paying and pushing the listing?" We, agents, are aware 80% of no fee listings are either, high priced (to beat the competition), small for its kind, converted, basement or high floor walk-up listings, and/or have been sitting on the market for too long. Many times if a landlord invests in renovations and is convinced the listing could rent without having to pay out of their pocket for a broker's fee, that means that the listing is a steal and could rent fast.
Does this now apply to all no fee listings?! Absolutely not! That's why a good real estate agent should be open to showing fee and no fee listings for comparison. You may find a no fee listing that is in your search criteria. It doesn't hurt asking your agent if a no fee listing may be out there in your search criteria. For example: If you are looking for a below market, value listing gut reno'd home with no fee, that'll be a challenge a majority of times.
Simply, ask your agent, if your search criteria is realistic and if so, then it's a win-win for everyone! And don’t forget to check out all of our fee and no fee listings right here!
Check out more of Bohemia Realty Group’s Taylan Suesemcik here!