What I have seen the most is 30-40% of the first months rent. A few years ago you might find a 50-100% fee for the lease, but that is uncommon in today's market. Some complexes simply offer a flat fee of $200-$500.
This is really not much for the agent when you consider the price of gas these days. Beware some agents will charge the client a $50-$100 fee on top of the typical application fee the landlord charges to process your application. Please note if there is more than one adult living in the property the Landlord will expect a seperate application and seperate app fee from each adult. You can expect to pay between $25-100 for an individual application fee.
I am not a rookie agent however, I do the occasional lease just to help clients out. I do a lot of relocation work, and sometimes clients need a little more time to decide exactly where they want to buy, and that can be a challenge when you are unfamiliar with Austin's neighborhoods. I know of properties that do short term leases for those clients.
Today you may lease but tomorrow you may buy something! I am in this career for the long haul and I will be there to answer your questions, today tomorrow and next year. I am familiar with all of the paperwork involved and can help you get through it in the blink of an eye.
Looking forward to your call.
The broker will receive a percentage of one months rent. That percentage is spelled out clearly in the MLS listing. In my experience, in this market, it's usually 30-40%. Some are as low as 25%.
Your agent and/or broker knows ahead of time how much they will get paid on any given apartment lease. They should share this information freely with you and not complain about it to you. They chose to work in the leasing market. It's not your fault that they have to work very hard for not that much commission.
However, some of us don't mind helping people like yourself for low commission. We hope by giving you good service that you will tell all your friends about us, and then some day when you are ready to buy you'll remember us. Call or email me if you want to talk further.
That being said, apartment communities pay broker's whatever the set commission rate is at the time the client submits an application. I split commission 50/50 with agents because we provide them with company generated leads, which cost money.
Moving along, apartment communities have the upper hand and do whatever they please and pay locators whenever it's convenient for them (not all property management companies are like this, but most suck even the ones that act like they're locator friendly). I've had leasing agent's steal my referrals, waited well over the 90 day time limit to receive commission checks, been lied to, and so on. Locators need more protection against shady communities, such as those of the Bethany Group. In a nutshell, what I'm saying is that it seems like a lot properties try NOT to work with/pay locators whenever possible and it pisses me off.
In conclusion, I would never in a million years escort a client to a property that was paying anything under 100%. 25% of $1030.00 split between agent/broken doesn't add up in my book, but I'm a ninja. I hold a grudge against all apartments that offer crappy commission rates and definitely those who offer flat rate fees AND even worse those who offer 0% commission if you don't escort.
I suggest you contact the Realtor that showed you the property. He/she should be able to tell you what the percentage was listed as on the MLS. That is a standard part of the Lease "Listing information. i hope it worked out for both of you!
As for your situation, this is a matter of finding out ahead of time the lease commission. This is why it is important to get the name of the person that you speak with and to call ahead of time. If they commit to a certain amount ahead of time, then they are bound to that price. But they can come up with any excuse under the sun.
The Austin Rental House Specialist
Very seldom are any Apt. complex owners or managers members of any MLS, and I do not know if your agent was or not.
Members of any Texas MLS have the TAR forms available to them and are advised to have these forms signed before completing any transaction with non members. These forms are Registration agreement between Broker and Owner and Registration Agreement between Brokers. This is the only way to assure any payment incoming or outgoing with a non MLS member.
I am sorry this happened to your agent, you may want to do a little something to ease the pain.
I was a rental agent for over 5 years.