Do I need a broker for renting?

  1. So I've definitely decided to move out, even though my parents are still not recognizing the reality of the situation and are still trying to guilt trip me back home.

    My question is: is it better to find apts with a broker? Or could I possibly find better ones if I just go to the area(s) I'm interested in and look around? How is renting different from a sale in these cases? I would much prefer to spend as little as needed for an apt and if I can do so by myself, that would be ideal. (I don't relish paying the broker's fee).

    Also, if it's better to get a broker, can I only stick with one? Or can I work with multiple people?
  2. Have you checked out Craigslist?
  3. If you are going to work with a broker, work with only one. A broker is not going to show you properties that are not privately owned because they generally receive compensation from the owners. So, if you are interested in renting a condominium or a townhome, then go with a broker.

    If you are interested in apartment complexes, then you don't need one. You can just shop around in the newpapers and on the internet.

    In renting you need at least one month rent as security deposit before you can reserve an apartment. In many places, you are required to pay the first month rent as well prior to moving in. Therefore, if you are moving into a place that is $500/month, make sure you have at least $1000 prior to executing a lease.

    Purchasing is different. In buying a place, you need to get a loan from a lender. In this case, it is best to work with a broker to facilitate matters.
  4. We worked with a broker for renting last summer, may do so again this summer when the lease is up. We looked with more than one. If they took us out and showed us places we didn't like, we looked with someone else. I think in all we had 3 agents take us out. They were all working with different management companies, so they had different selections, and also people sign contracts to rent their condos out through particular agencies so it wasn't like we were repeating places, just looking at what different places had to offer for rent. Its a little different from buying a place where an agent can take you to any agency's listings.

    But we also looked through craigslist and out on our own too. Just ended up working out that we loved what the one agent showed us.
  5. I currently have 3 roommates. I'm looking with a broker from one agency, one is looking at craigslist/nyt, and the other two are going through another broker with another agency.

    What's the difference between condos and apt. complexes? We generally want to look for post-war hi-rises but definitely need a doorman. Which category would that go into?

    We already have a maximum amount that we want to pay and we can definitely afford it on our salaries (40x monthly rent) so we'd only be looking at those within our range.

    Overall, I think I'm just confused about the process, the differences between buildings, things to look out for when renting vs. buying. The only experience I have is when my parents bought their house and they did it directly with the buyer so I'm a complete newbie when it comes to this. Thanks!
  6. The best and cheapest thing to do, in NYC anyway, is to work directly with a managment company. There are many good ones in the city with several locations to choose from. Look in the NY Times and you will see the ads...Related Rentals, Glenwood Management, Eberhart Bros. Always no fee and then you don't have to deal with slimy agents. Everyone and their mother thinks they can be a RE agent in NY nowadays so there are so many to choose from and, in the rental market, unless you are spending big bucks, the caliber of agent is pretty terrible. Definiely check the management companies directly...good luck.
  7. We are looking for places in NYC. Are those the best management companies? Are management companies the same as real estate agencies like Century 21? And are management companies always no fee or do I look for the no fee ones?
  8. ^ yeah to add a few more mgmt companies skyline mgmt and rockrose development - - they both have alot of nice doorman buildings.

    you don't need a broker to rent an apt from theses companies and can go directly to these companies.

    the brokers give you more choice by showing you condos and coops which are owned by private individuals.

    Given the current rent situation in NYC, i think you are better off going directly to one of these mgmt companies.

    management companies generally do not charge any fees other than a credit check fee and possibly an application fee.

    century 21 type companies are brokers/agents not mgmt companies. the latter own/manage the properties.
  9. I would go to the NY Times website and check out their real estate listings. There are so many good managements companies and it depends on your budget and your criteria which one will work best with you. The higher end management companies like Related and Glenwood do an extensive credit check and require you have a certain amount in the bank, etc. I do not think they allow co-signing either. Some of the smaller companies will be more lenient...also check Bettina Equities. Do you know which part of town you want to live in? When I had to rent I went directly to Glenwood and I found the perfect place in two fee. There is one really good agent and I can give you his name if you like. It all really depends on your budget and what you are looking for.
  10. The situation as of right now is that there are 4 roommates. Doorman, kitchen, laundry, windows in bdrm & living room are all musts. Each of us is willing to pay at most $1500 including utilities so we're looking for something around $6000 altogether. I don't know if that'll give us a wide range of places to look at. We're looking at Gramercy/Union Sq. primarily.

    But since I'd much rather live with only one other roommate, my friend and I are also keeping that option open (the other two roomies are her friends and I'm meeting them this weekend. If we don't click, then we're separating from them). So either a 4 bdrm or 2bdrm. But we'd much rather sacrifice a little space for better light. However, if it's only my friend and I, then we would be open to the Midtown area. I would like a more modern building, preferably a hi-rise but I haven't checked out the neighborhood yet so I can't talk about the possibility of that.

    If you could let me know the name of the agent, I'd really appreciate it!

    Thanks ladies, and keep the advice coming! :p
  11. Also, in regards to the $$ problem. Would most mgmt companies demand to see 40x the monthly rent already IN your account? Or just some proof that you will be making that much? Because I'm definitely stone-broke until I start working. Will promise of steady income be enough or will you have to have a certain amount already in your bank account (besides the first month's rent and other applicable fees)?
  12. Shu,
    i think it's easier to find a 2 BR vs a 4 BR... and i think a 4BR is going to penthouse like and cost you alot I don't see alot of 4BRs around...

    rent does not include utilities in nyc. at best you might get gas thrown in. but what will kill you is the elctricity especially if your heater is also electric (which most are)

    i'd budget $100/person for utilities.

    they want to see the 40X rent salary. doesn't have to be in your account. you need to give them first and last months rent + usually 1 mths security deposit. so you're out 3 months for starters. The stricter companies will want to see that you have additional $$ in your bank account/stocks/other assets. but not all companies will ask for this.

    you'll get better value in midtown west than gramercy and union sq area. there are quite a few nice bldgs in midtown west these days and the neighborhood is slowly improving. just walk around the area and go in and ask the reception for the mgmt companies/rental office's number
  13. That is the problem I'm anticipating - that we'd have more flexibility and choice if we just split into two groups of two instead of one group of four. There aren't that many 4 bdrms, most of the available ones are 3 bdrm conv. which is all sorts of evil if we want windows in the living room.

    As to the rent, we are preparing $1500 including utilities because that is our limit. We will deduct the utilities as needed when we are calculating the rent. However, I'm willing to pay a bit more if the apartment is really nice. I've been looking at the mgmt companies and it seems that the higher end companies only offer 2 bdrms with 2 baths, not 1 bath, making it super expensive. :sweatdrop:

    One of my other friends has actually bought an apt in Midtown West. It's in a Trump tower and it's very nice. I wouldn't mind living there, given that there are crosstown buses (both my roomie and I will be working on Park/Lex in the mid-high 40s). I will definitely go have a look when I go back home this weekend. My problem is: Do the buildings that sell apts also have some that are rented out? How would I know which buildings offer rentals and which are solely for sales (other than just walking in and asking)?
  14. I don't think Glenwood has anything in the area you are looking for and they are really not a room mate kind of company, particularly 4 of you. You would be better off splitting for sure and maybe trying a smaller company. Most Glenwood apts. from what I know...the 3 bedrooms are at least 6.0 but possibly higher.
  15. My boyfriend used to be a broker as a side job while he was still in college and from my knowledge of what he's done, you don't necessarily need one. It takes hard work, but you can find your own place if you're willing to make the calls and negotiate with the owners. I helped my bf find apartments in nyc and I basically looked at listings and contacted the owners. Having a broker just simplifies everything because they're the ones doing the talking for you and building the relationship with the owners and vouching for you over other potential renters. You can use multiple brokers I believe. You only get charged the fee if you decide to rent out the place they found for you.

    I don't think i'm much help but here's some more info that I know of. I don't live in the city so I don't know how it's done there on how to talk to management. For my apartment in queens, you basically ask the super if an apartment is available and you get the room. Although you would end up paying the super commission. And yes, it's possible for a building to sell co-ops while also renting others out.