Large commission fee

Asked by patriles0, Akron, OH Fri Jun 7, 2013

We are in the process of signing a lease agreement for a townhouse in Newton, MA (suburb of Boston) for $3200/month. We knew we had to pay security deposit (one months rent) plus first and last months rent. Well during signing we also had to write a check for commission fee which was again $3200. Does this seem right?

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:

Answers

15
Mariana Galstian’s answer
Mariana Gals…, Agent, Boston, MA
Wed Jul 3, 2013
Broker Fee which is equivalent to one month's rent is standard practice in MA. With that said, any listing that requires the tenant to pay the Broker Fee, must be disclosed prior to lease signing, applications, etc. This is the responsibility of your agent and the listing agent (if there is one).
Best of Luck!

Mariana Galstian
http://www.mybostoncondo.com
0 votes
Territory.c…, Agent, MA,
Fri Jul 12, 2013
Seems right but also appears you were not made aware of the commission prior to signing. If you feel blind sided by this cost it might be worth approaching the agent and the broker and see if they can't meet you in the middle on commission or some other kind of concession in good faith.

Good luck!

Territory Real Estate
Massachusetts Destination for Home Buyer's
617 848 5407 ext 704
Web Reference:  http://territory.com
0 votes
Melissa Goss, , Center Moriches, NY
Mon Jul 8, 2013
100% right.

You have no IDEA how much legwork goes into it for us, and this fee is not just one persons to keep, this is split up amongst the agents involved in the transaction as well as their brokers. Basically this amount is usually split 4 ways-
0 votes
CH Naamad, Agent, Boston, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Your agent should have told you that there is a broker fee equal to one month's rent when you expressed interest in the unit, and before you filled an application.
The application should also state clearly that there is a broker fee and for how much.
Kind regards,
0 votes
Wen Farina, Agent, Reading, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Hi Patriles0,

It is never a good feeling when you are almost at the end of a transaction and you are feeling as if you are getting screwed as you noted. This rental fee should have been disclosed from the beginning, as already mentioned here. If it was not, as you asked, you could not sign the lease, walk away and find another place or you could negotiate this fee with them since you were apparently not told of such fee. But, at the end of the day only you will know how you feel and whether or not it is worth it. Keep in mind that if you decide to get another place to always ask if there is any fee involved. Good luck
Web Reference:  http://wenrealty.com
0 votes
Stephen Bour…, Agent, Brookline, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Hi ~

I expect it was probably not ill-intentioned by your agent but... are we talking about at Lease signing or at the application signing?

at City Central Realty, LLC we have specialized in rental properties throughout the Greater Boston area for over 10 years. The Massachusetts real estate laws require that at least at application before you put any money down that it be disclosed whether or not there is a fee and all of the requirements to take possession of a property.

Most realtors in this market may assume that everyone knows that there is a fee for renting an apartment. Unfortunately not every realtor is trained beyond showing apartments or they are more focused on sales and do not pay enough attention to the requirements pertaining to rentals.

They should have had you sign an Intro & Disclosure form before they took you out stating that every apartment has a fee, whether you or the landlord pays all or part of it, and that you would be responsible for this fee if you decided to rent one of the properties that they show you. They should have given you a copy of this form along with their name and RE License number printed on it. Otherwise, you have no enforceable obligation to rent the apartment from them.

We, as all realtors should, have a form that spells out what is or is not included in the rent and what move-in costs are required...

Just an fyi - legally any realtor/landlord can only collect 1st month, last month, a security deposit and a commission equal to, but not more than, one month's rent plus a key/lock change fee. It is illegal for a landlord to charge a pet fee or additional rent for a pet, a realtor to charge for their "time" if you do not rent anything, and so on. If a landlord is paying part of the fee, the realtor can only charge you the balance left over after the landlord's contribution to the fee. If the LL pays a full month to the realtor, then it is NO FEE to you. If he pays a half month, then you are responsible for the other half.
0 votes
patriles0, Renter, Akron, OH
Fri Jun 7, 2013
What if it was not disclosed to us until now? We found a place we really liked and don't want to lose it, but at the same time I am concerned that we are getting screwed.

Thanks for all the excellent answers!
0 votes
Masha Sender…, Agent, Newton, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
It is normal in the current market in the Boston area. It is so competitive with lots of renters and not enough inventory that the landlords have learned they don't have to contribute to the fee in order to get a tenant. Two years ago it was the opposite.

The fee structure should have been disclosed to you at the first meeting with the agent.

Some landlords with let you spread one of the other payments over a month or two so alleviate the cash flow problem of writing 4x$3200 checks at once.

Good luck!
0 votes
Rafael Herna…, Agent, Roslindale, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Yes as long as it was disclosed to you.
0 votes
Danielle O'B…, Agent, West Roxbury, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
That is very common in the Boston area. Scott gave you the exact same answer I would have provided, right down to the fact that when you pay "no fee" the landlord has probably covered it and passed the cost to you over the course of the lease. This should have all been laid out for you at your first meeting with the agent.
0 votes
Louis Wolfs…, Agent, Needham, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Welcome to Newton and the Boston market in general.

The market is as hot as it gets, rentals and sales.

Sales prices are going for over asking and rentals now the tenant in many cases is paying the agents fee.
0 votes
Scott A. Nel…, , 02155
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Here in Massachusetts it can be done one of 3 ways. The landlord pays the fee, the tennant pays or both sides split it. It sounds like you had a situation where the landlord didn't want to pay the fee, so you had to pay it. The flip side of this would've been you may have had the landlord pay but your rent wouldve been higher to spread the fee out over the term of the lease. In any event its still allowed to collect first, last, security AND fee. It does happen often around the area.
0 votes
Kenzo Tatsuno, Agent, Waltham, MA
Fri Jun 7, 2013
I am a ma agent and handle Newton and surrounding areas. Please contact me to discuss
Web Reference:  http://www.nemoves.com/Kenzo
0 votes
Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Not really, Some states it is common for the tenant to pay the agent they hire, here in NH for instance the owner pays the listing agent a fee for listing the rental, the listing agent then offers a fee to the buyers agent if they have one for bringing the tenant. In NH we can only collect the 1st months rent and 1 month security, we can NOT collect last months rent or pet deposits on top of that. You should read the contract before signing and see what it states they want you to pay. Then google landlord tenant law MA and read what they can and cant collect. The questions you have are all questions to ask when looking or even before looking at the home.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Fri Jun 7, 2013
Maybe in your area it is, but not anywhere I have ever been it is normal, and the landlord / owner always paid it not you.
0 votes
Search Advice
Search
Ask our community a question

Email me when…

Learn more