Home for rent seen with a broker ( adver with fee higher rent) Saw same home next day with the landlord (no fee, less rent) Must I pay brokers fee?

Asked by Pattib46, New York, NY Sun May 1, 2011

House for rent was advertised on Craig's List by both the home owner and her broker. Who pays the broker fee if I lease thru the homeowner?

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Joseph Hasti…, Agent, Bayside, NY
Mon May 2, 2011
Patti, you became aware of the apartment and viewed it due to the efforts of the agent/broker who worked with you in good faith. This happened after you contacted them because you were looking to rent an apartment. There was no arm twisting here.

We hear stories of customers going behind the back of brokers all the time. Usually, the result is the customer gets taken to court, ultimately gets a judgement against them which will sit on your credit history making it near impossible to rent again and the court will make you pay. Is this the way you really want to go?

Do the right thing. Either deal with the broker or go elsewhere. There is so much more I can say but just do the right thing.
1 vote
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Sun May 1, 2011
Responders below are asking if you signed a fee agreement with the broker before viewing the apartment and are rightly saying you owe the fee if you did. Another important document that comes into play, however, is if the landlord signed a rental exclusive with the broker, which means regardless of who shows it you owe the fee. An even more important question is, do you think it is right, ethical or honest to try to bypass the broker who provided the service of connecting you to and showing you the apt. in question? Didn't they earn their fee? Real estate brokerage is not volunteer work.
1 vote
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Mon May 2, 2011
Hi, it depends on what type of listing agreement, if any the agent has with the landlord. If it is an open listing( no exclsuive agreement with an agent) it's anybodys game.

Christopher Pagli
Licensed Associate Broker
Accredited Buyer Representative
GREEN Designated Agent
William Raveis Legends Realty Group
Web Reference:  http://raveis.com/chrispagli
0 votes
Gail Gladsto…, Agent, 11743, NY
Mon May 2, 2011
You only have to pay a broker fee if the broker transacts the deal for you. If the broker had arranged an exclusive arrangement with the landlord, this situation would not have occurred.
Web Reference:  http://gailgladstone.com
0 votes
Kelly Killian, Agent, Astoria, NY
Sun May 1, 2011
As indicated below, if you signed a fee agreement then yes, you owe the broker fee. Now, did you ask the agent to negotiate the rent (won't dramatically hurt the commission to the agent)? Your agent should be able to get the same rent that the landlord offered if not better. You also have put yourself in a difficult position if you go forward with the landlord for 3 reasons: 1) Most agencies will go after the tenant if they see apartments and then attempt go behind their backs. 2) Landlords know that they get their bread and butter from agents providing tenants and don't have to pay for staffs to do so. They will not want to hurt their relationship with either the firms that rent most of their properties or the agents that do a lot of business in the building. Most importantly for you 3) Landlords would consider this behaviour to be unethical and question your integrity as one of their tenants (How will you behave with them? Are you honest? Ethical? Do the right thing as a tenant? Or are you one that will play the NYS landlord tenant code and ultimately cost them a ton of money?) Then, of course, there is the ethical question that you should ask yourself - is this honorable to do this to an agent who makes 100% of their income from commission and that is the one who originally showed you the apartment?
0 votes
James Lehrie…, Agent, new york, NY
Sun May 1, 2011
Hi Pattib,
if you signed a CLIENT REGISTRATION /COMMISSION AGREEMENT yes you have to if not No you dont have to pay the broker .FYI but if you did sing a CLIENT REGISTRATION/COMMISSION AGREEMENT and you think you can just go there and rent it w/o the broker knowing about be careful it will cost you more in the long run just to save a few dollars if he/she finds out All rentals are no fee but if you use a broker it hit or miss some landlords pay brokers some dont so we have to get our fee from the client if you stuck on the unit you saw with the broker talk him/her down to one month but goo luck in what ever you do

Best Regards,


James Lehrieder
Director of Sales
Senior Sales & Rental Agent
Certified Property Manager

Living Source Residential
1 west Street Suite 100
New York, NY10038
Lic. Real Estate Agents

For Rentals (914)450.5116
For Sales (646)943.1610

Fax: 212-952-1135

0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Sun May 1, 2011
Depends, did the landlord reserve the right to lease on his/her own and did the agent agree...ask the landlord the question...
0 votes
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