If you've decided to rent an apartment in New York City, you are already (hopefully) prepared to spend a ridiculous amount of money upfront. Monthly rent aside, landlords will typically demand first and last month's rent, a security deposit, and an array of other fun fees.
One of those fees -- usually the big one -- is the broker's fee. A broker's fee is the commission real estate agents earn when they help you find a place to live, and it can be anywhere from one month's rent to 15% of the annual rent.
Paying a broker's fee is pretty standard. In fact, finding no-fee apartments can be something of an Easter egg hunt in New York City. But they do exist.
There are two kinds of no-fee apartments in the city: those that are rented directly through the landlord or management company without the involvement of a realtor, and those that have broker fees paid by the landlord (so there is a fee, technically, but the landlord has agreed to pay the broker his or her commission).
Finding a no-fee apartment often requires more legwork (or more than a few concessions). But for renters with a particularly tight budget, it can be a way to save a couple thousand dollars on your New York apartment. Here's what you need to know.