Taking advantage of desperation
When looking for an apartment in New York, there is absolutely a golden rule. “If something sounds too good to be true, it most likely is too good to be true,” says Gary Malin, president of Citi Habitats. “People understand that the rental market here is a very tight one. It’s very expensive. The market moves quickly. Brokers who are looking to take advantage are looking for people who have been through the ringer and have come up not finding what they want, so they’re desperate. You have to be your best advocate and keep your antennae up all the time.”
The bait-and-switch is one of the most commonly used tactics to lure in unsuspecting renters. “This is when a broker will advertise an apartment, usually a high-quality apartment with great pictures, at a low price. Upon inquiring, the broker will say that this apartment is no longer available and will show lower-quality places,” says Shannon Eidman, a real estate agent at Compass. That listing you saw for a just-off-the-Bedford-stop two-bedroom with brand-new appliances, a 24/7 doorman, and a gym, all for $2,700? Yeah... that’s not happening.