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Getting a good apartment without a Broker, possible?

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Getting a good apartment without a Broker, possible?

Postby EmpathyKills » Wed Apr 17, 2002 6:37 pm

I currently live in a crappy apartment here in the city, mainly because I went to a company which advertises itself as no fee (not only are the buildings run down, but I've realized their monthly rent is at least a couple hundred bux a month more than the general area) and I'm wanting to move to a better place. My lease is up at the end of May, and I'll be moving with two friends, hopefully somewhere on the Upper East Side (we're looking for space, and better surroundings, but we're not married to the UES.)

My question is, does anyone have any real idea how to get a decent apartment without using a broker? It would save us about 5000 dollars, because we're planning to spend around 2000-2400 for a 2 bedroom place, and having to pay a broker fee on top of the first, last and security deposit would be a huge amount of money to give someone at once, and one I'd like to avoid, and spend on furniture.

So I've been told that rent-direct.com is a good site, with a 190 dollar fee. it sounds good, but I'm wondering if there are other avenues we can pursue in case rent-direct doesn't have what we're looking for. So, if you live in the city, and you have some methods of finding decent places other than the Times and the Voice (which I'm told are all brokers and scams, is this true?) please respond. We'd like to focus on the Upper east side, and the Upper west side, because the apartments are larger and nicer, but honestly we're open to anything if we can get out of a hefty broker fee..

Thanks in advance
"And if I'm wasting all your time, I guess you never learned to take...
And if I'm hanging on to your shade, I guess I'm way beyond the pale" - Tori Amos
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Re: Getting a good apartment without a Broker, possible?

Postby ChrisG » Thu Apr 18, 2002 9:50 am

i've only lived in brooklyn, so i don't know much about getting places in manhattan, but i can tell you i've had pretty good luck with the Voice in terms of no-fee, rent-from-the-owner situations. you have to weed out a lot of gorbage in the classifieds, but there are still good deals to be found there (and to a lesser extent in the Times). also you might want to check sites like craigslist.com. then there's the shot-in-the-dark method of walking around a neighborhood you like and seeking out flyers for no-fee apts. owners with good properties don't have to try hard to find tenants so you often must seek them out. a friend of mine got a great deal on a place by talking to his friends and getting in touch with one of their landlords who had a place to rent.
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Re: Getting a good apartment without a Broker, possible?

Postby hirschma » Sat May 11, 2002 7:17 pm

I got my current apartment through a no-fee website, so it can work. It is actually a lot nicer than most of what I saw through brokers.

That being said, it is the ONLY nice apartment that I found on the service (might been rent-direct or MLX). I literally saw 30 listings, and all of them were laughably bad.

Since you're looking at the Upper East side, I'd suggest that you walk around the nabe, identify building that look promising, and call their management offices. This has worked very well for me in the past. I've never had to pay a fee calling direct, and I'd guess that no one is going to insist on one now - weak market.

jonathan
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