The Pros and Cons of an Apartment Broker

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The Pros and Cons of an Apartment Broker

Staff Writer · Apr 23, 2010

There are many ways of finding an apartment, and opting to go with an apartment broker can be the right choice for many people. Whether it’s the right choice for you depends on several important factors.

Convenience

An apartment broker is going to take a lot of the hustle and bustle of finding an apartment away from you. Rather than surf through thousands of ads in the newspaper and online to try to find the precise kind of apartment that you are seeking, an apartment broker does the dirty work for you. Armed with your exact specifications in what you want for an apartment, the broker goes to work for finding a home that fits all of your needs and desires in the neighborhood of your choice within the certain designated price range than you have given him. Many people think that this is worth an excess expense, as it frees up their time to do other things.

Rare Finds

Because an apartment broker works at finding apartments every day and is in the business of doing just that, he likely has met all kinds of connections. He may have access to apartment vacancies that may never go on the market, as some landlords and property owners prefer to simply go through a broker for the ease and convenience. You may be able to find a better place-or simply the right one for you-that you may have never been able to even check out without the broker.

Salesman Pitch

There are great apartment brokers, and there are not-so-great apartment brokers. Like every profession, it attracts people who are great at a job they enjoy, and it attracts people who are in it to make a quick buck and screw over customers for as much money as they can get. Even if an apartment broker is otherwise wonderful, he may try to sell you on apartments that aren’t exactly what you want. Many brokers are trained in the art of the hard sell. One way to avoid being victim to this is to never let your guard down or let the broker know personal things about you, beyond what you are seeking in any apartment. This can prevent a certain level of manipulation. If you ever feel that you are being pressured to take an apartment that you don’t want, firmly say no and dismiss yourself from the meeting or conversation. If you stand up for yourself and let your broker know that you demand respect, you’ll likely get it.

It’s Expensive

Some apartment broker charge fees upfront, but you ideally want one that will charge the fee once has delivered on finding you that ideal place to live. Negotiate to find the right method for both of you. Keep in mind that an apartment broker is going to be expensive. That kind of service and convenience doesn’t come cheap. The fees that you pay to the apartment broker will probably equal a full months’ rent. Some charge a bit more or less, depending on the apartment broker. Always agree to the fee or percentage up front, and always check out the broker with the Better Business Bureau and other references before trusting him with your money.

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