A rental agreement is also negotiable, just like if you were buying a home. In my opinion the rental market is being hit by the economy so making a offer to rent is not out of the question. An offer to rent might be something like saying that you will pay rent but not the broker's fee. See what the landlord says it is worth a shot. The worst they could say is no and you are right back where you started - paying the broker's fee.
My true advice is try buying a home instead of rent - if you can. The price of homes are low and interest rates are low. Matter of fact one of my lenders today said that the 10 yr fixed rate is 3.875%. But you know your circumstances best.
I would love to answer any more questions that you might have or provide my services.
You often would be expected to pay a fee for a credit check and a background check. That'd probably run $50-$100. But generally you wouldn't pay the broker's fee. Be sure to get clarification and an explanation before proceeding.
Hope that helps.