Fee vs. No-Fee

What is a "fee" (aka "a brokers fee")?

A fee is the dollar amount owed to an agent when he or she helps you find an apartment. The fee can range from 8 percent to 15 percent of the full year's lease. If the agent says the fee is one month's rent, that's the same as saying it's 8.3 percent of the full year's lease. One month = 8.3 percent of 12 months.

Negotiate the fee

Some agents will negotiate their fees. It's absolutely worth trying. Just make sure you negotiate at the beginning of your working relationship, not after you've put in an application on an apartment!

Finding an apartment without paying a fee

There are two ways to avoid a fee. 1) You go straight to landlords and find an apartment without the help of an agent. Or you can use an agent whose fee is paid by the landlord on your behalf .

Account for the fee in your max rent:

Dead set on not paying a fee, but want the help of an agent? Adjust your budget to account for the fee and you'll have a lot more apartments to choose from.

Don't forget to account for the fee
FIG. 2.1: Don't forget to account for the fee
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