The Pros and Cons of Paying a Rental Agent Fee

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The Pros and Cons of Paying a Rental Agent Fee

Staff Writer · May 2, 2011

When using the services of an apartment rental agent (sometimes called a broker), you must pay a rental agent fee at closing. This fee tends to cost between 10 percent and 15 percent of one year’s worth of rent, so you may wind up paying thousands, or at the least hundreds, of dollars. Before you enter into an arrangement with a rental agent, consider the pros and cons of paying a fee to use her services.

Cons

A rental agent’s job is to evaluate what you’re looking for in an apartment, arrange to take you to showings of apartments that may fit those criteria and help you negotiate and sign a contract when you’ve decided. For this, you may pay a rental agent fee of $1000 or more. It’s quite possible to find, tour and negotiate for an apartment on your own, especially if you notice a lot of vacancies posted in your area. Unless you’re so busy that you can’t spare the time to do the work or you’re moving a great distance and don’t think you’ll be able to tour before renting, try finding an apartment on your own first before turning to a broker.

Pros

Nevertheless, there are many renters willing to pay a rental agent fee. This is especially true in sought-after areas in which there are fewer vacancies. Rental agents may have an exclusive arrangement with landlords or management companies and will be able to give you access to apartments not available to the general public. There’s also the fact that paying a rental agent fee is essentially paying for a service that you don’t have to do yourself. You may not enjoy undertaking the stress of finding an apartment and hiring an expert to do it for you makes the experience much simpler.

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