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Old 04-25-2014, 08:52 AM
 
10 posts, read 11,852 times
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Hello,

I will be relocating to Westchester in the summer and will be looking for rentals, I know how many bedrooms I need, what my price range is, and I have a list of communities I am interested in.

I am from a part of the country where real estate agents usually are not involved in rentals, but I see that in Westchester the case is different. Is it recommended that I use an agent? If so, which agency?

I am still a bit confused by how the system works, but what I have gathered is that you need to sign a contract promising to use the agent, and then pay the agent a fee, usually one month's rent, on top of the first month's rent and security deposit you would pay to the landlord. Is this correct?

Also, how do the agencies interact? What happens if I sign up with one agent but I want to see a rental on another agency's listing?

Any information would be very helpful.

Thanks so much
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Old 04-25-2014, 03:05 PM
 
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The one time I used an agent to rent it pretty much sucked. Your best bet is to get a Journal or a Pennysaver. That worked out for me.
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Old 04-25-2014, 07:23 PM
 
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Thanks for your response. If you don't mind me asking, is my understanding of the math correct? That is, when you moved in did you have to pay (1)first month's rent + (2) Agent Fee + (3) Security deposit.

Did you feel like the agent provided any value? Was the agent able to show you properties you would not have been able to see otherwise?
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Old 04-28-2014, 04:57 AM
 
Location: Westchester County, NY
293 posts, read 810,341 times
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You don't have to sign an exclusive. But if an agent shows you a place, you can't go around their back and rent directly from the landlord. Some landlords only rent using agents, some only rent directly and some do both. And yes, most places require first months rent and a security deposit of one month's rent. Agency fee could be another month rent on top of that. So it's luck of the draw - if you find a place where you can rent directly from the landlord, great - if not, you're stuck paying an agency fee for opening the door and processing your application/running your credit check.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:00 PM
 
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Stay away from real estate agents. Most of them expect you, the renter, to pay their high fees. Sorry, but if you show me an apartment for 5 minutes, that doesn't justify you making 1k off me.

I never understood that. the landlord should pay them. they are the ones who don't want to be bothered showing an apartment. Don't push your real estate fee on me.

Do what everyone else that rents does and check craigslist.

I knew people who used real estate agents. The apartments they have are not any better than renting straight from a landlord on craigslist. The agents often times try to push apartments on you that nobody else wants and they have been trying to rent for awhile. I have rented 2 apartments off craigslist. It's your best bet.
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Old 04-28-2014, 08:35 PM
 
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I have been listing rentals and helping people finding good rental places and never collected fee from a prospective tenant, only if they have been relocated through the company ... Some Rental agencies push the fees to the tenants , some collect both sides of a transaction. If We list a rental on MLS we usually advise the landlord to cover the transaction fee and share the half with the cooperating broker.
Yes Craig list is a good source for affordable rentals but if you are moving with the family and looking in to more upscale communities better look beyond that website ... Believe me good sales people still exist ...
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:27 AM
 
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Okay, so I geuss the question is: Are the expanded options (that, is all the rentals listed with agencies and only viewable via broker) worth the fee? If options on craigslist are just as good then there seems to be not much of a point. But even when I look at Craigslist I seem to see brokers involved in many of the rentals that are more attractive for me.

Malasa, are you saying that your brokerage only collects fees from Landlords, or that it depends on the particular property?
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:32 AM
 
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Also, what strikes as particularly tricky is the whole exclusivity contract--so far the agents I have talked to all seem to require one. This apparently means that I can't even look at one of their properties, even a listing I find myself on the internet, without signing up with them. I would be far happier if they would show me an apartment, and if I wanted it I could pay their fee, and if I didn't want it I could go on my way. This is probably just wishful thinking, of course.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Brewster, NY
3 posts, read 9,392 times
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Hi guys, I am a real estate agent in the area so hopefully I can help with some of these questions and concerns. A number of the issues people have brought up (cost & exclusivity agreements) are actually not common in Westchester, they're more typical in NYC.
- In this area, working with a realtor typically does not cost you anything - in almost all cases the commission is paid by the landlord
- Many landlords up here only rent through realtors. If you find something on Zillow or Trulia, you aren't contacting the landlord directly, you are contacting a real estate agent anyway - usually the listing agent, but in some cases a random person who happens to advertise in that zip code.
- I personally would never ask a client to sign an exclusivity agreement. I'm supposed to earn your business, not hold you hostage!
- Any realtor who is part of the area's MLS can show you any MLS listing. That is, if I am at ABC Realty but you want to see a listing from XYZ Realty, I can show you that property - and moreover, because I am working for YOU and not the landlord, I am able to give you unbiased advice on price, suitability etc
- There are many good options out there through Pennysaver, personal networking, etc. My goal is to build long term relationships with clients, so if there's a good option for them where I don't fit in to the equation, that's OK! If I think the right thing for you is a development where the landlord only rents directly, or if the best short-term rental option is actually on AirBNB, I'm going to point you in that direction. I realize not everyone has the same approach, which is probably why there is so much negative feedback in the other posts. But we are not all bad!
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:12 PM
 
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I ,agree with Katherineweber 100%... Well Said ...we are professionals and have knowledge and expertise ... Yes sometimes you can find good rental properties trough your network or friends and relatives but in your case you are relocating to the new area and according to this website you have few questions and concerns.
The only form that we need to sing is disclousar form not exclusive and if we have trast and good relationship there is not a need to sign exclusive.
We do make commissions when the transaction is closed and would be nice not wast our time also .. As I said trast and loyalty is a good base for the good bussines ..
If you need more info do not hesitate to contact me ... I live and work in Mamaroneck and have one rental unit still available.
Avalon building could be an option too and you do not need realtors go directly ..
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