No Fee Rentals: Broker Fees Explained

The New York City metropolitan area is unique in countless ways. The quality of its art, food, nightlife and sheer vibrancy are second to none.

That being said, the city also holds the distinction of having one of the most complicated real estate markets in the world, which has led to the outgrowth of another unique New York City feature — the brokerage fee for apartment hunters.

Why Hire a Broker?

Because the demand for good apartments is high which makes them hard to secure, particularly in the most desirable areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Most apartment hunters find it necessary to hire a professional real estate broker to navigate the jungle of properties available to them.

A good broker knows the neighborhoods you want, and they will have a well-established network of landlords who control the most desirable locations. They also know when a premium apartment is about to come on the market before it is visible to the public. That is generally how you beat the rush and rent your dream apartment before someone else can scoop it up.

Broker Fees

Unfortunately, that service comes at a steep price.

Most NYC brokers will charge 15 percent of your first year’s lease to help you find an apartment. This fee is generally due up-front before you sign your lease. So if your monthly rent is, say, $3,000 on a premium Williamsburg apartment, you can expect to fork over $5,400 to your broker just for helping you find it. In addition to the first and possibly last month’s rent and all other fees you may have to pay, that can sting.


nyc apartment hunting guide