Posted by Jen on January 03, 2001 at 02:06:17:
I've been looking for a new apartment in NYC, and lately I have come across an increasing amount of "apartment auctions". First, I went to an open house and nearly 50 of us listened to the broker literally say, whoever offers the largest amount of $$ for his fee was going to get the apartment. He began vague suggesting that the fee was negotiable "whatever the market will allow", and we should give what we felt the apartment, (the rent was undermarket) was worth. When pressed, he suggested that $5000 was a minimum. He said if your credit checked out, the landlord would go with his recommendation. My question is, is this legal? It doesn't sound ethical at all. I would have just let that go as a singular instance, but it's happened more than once. Also, I'm scheduled to view an apartment where the landlord gave me a range for the price, stating that he would give the apartment to whoever would pay the most. Can he do that? Should I make a low offer and go up if necessary, risking to loose the apartment, or just offer the highest rent.
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