Q: Why do I have to pay the broker fee?
A: You don’t have to. It’s much like fixing your car at a legitimate mechanic shop versus paying the guy down the street 1/3 of the price. You will save money right now, but in the long run, you’re looking at lots of headache. When you rent directly through Craigslist, you’re signing the lease with someone who, not only you don’t know, but you can’t even be sure they’re giving you their real name. What kind of protection do you have later on if something goes wrong? When you rent through a licensed real estate professional, you know their name, office address, and broker. You also know that the real estate office deals with the landlords, which means that they have their names, addresses, and, in many instances, history of work performed together. And everybody’s aware of that. So the chances of you being taken advantage of are slim. No real estate broker will risk their license over making a $1000. That being said, please make sure the person you’re dealing with is a legitimate agent by checking their Real Estate salesperson photo ID.
Q: Why are you asking me all these questions over the phone before we even discussed available apartment?
A: It’s very important that we screen the potential clients well. The landlords are very particular about requirements. If the tenant has pets and the landlord is not accepting pets, there’s no point in showing the vacancy. Also, if the tenant has 2 small children, we want to make sure to ask them if they want to see the apartment on the 6th floor of a walk up building.
Q: Why can’t we go see the apartments if I’m moving in more than a month from now?
A: It’s because the apartments we see now are not gonna be available a month from now.
Q: But I just want to screen apartments and see what’s out there.
A: We understand, but whatever you see now might not even be similar to what’s going to be available next month. Even the prices might change.
Q: Why do I have to sign the disclosure form right after I met you, before you even showed me anything?
A: We’re required to explain the relationship we have with tenants and landlords.
Q: Why can’t you give me the address of the apartment you’re renting?
A: We only give intersections, because sometimes prospective tenants think that they can go directly to the landlord and bypass the broker, thus eliminating the broker fee. Then the landlord calls us to complain about tens of phone calls they’re receiving about the property. That’s something they want to avoid, which is why they let us advertise and show the vacancies in the first place.