Boston rental-when an owner lists an apartment with one company and the renter uses an agent from another company, who pays the agents?

Asked by cclark2107, Boston, MA Sun Sep 23, 2012

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James Furlong, Agent, Brookline, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
If the owner lists the apartment with a real estate company with an Exclusive Right to Lease Agreement (signed) all showings should be processed through the listing agent. If the renter is working with an agent from another real estate agency then a "co-broke" situation exists. In a co-broke situation the fee is split between the listing agent and the renting agent (50/50 is the usual split). The fee is usually equal to one month rent. Sometimes the owner/landlord will pay all/some/none of the fee - the remainder of the fee will be paid by the renter. Hope this helps. or 617-620-0669.
3 votes
Heath Coker, Agent, Falmouth, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
That depends on the terms of the agreement(s) with the owner, tenant, and the agreement(s) between the real estate professionals.
Rentals usually have some sort of cooperation offer just like sales in MLS.

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1 vote
Todd Minichi…, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Oct 21, 2012
Hi there,

If listed with another company meaning manages then the owner pays the other company a management fee but if not there is nothing set in stone as who has to pay. More often then not though the owner as well as the agent want the new renter to pay the agent. Although there is a few things you can do in this situation. If you can find out why the apartment is available at this time of year maybe you can get the leaving tenant to pay some of that fee and being thats its what we agents like to call the off season for rentals and the demand is slightly down you can ask the landlord to pay part of fee. Or ask agent to reduce any. Don't worry you will not loose the apartment just by asking if they will pay any part of the fee. Its a negotiation there is always some wiggle room. But depends on multiple factors how good of a tenant you are, if unit is vacant, if tenant is breaking lease. Good luck and let us know what happens
0 votes
Eric Girard, Agent, Boston, MA
Sat Oct 20, 2012
That's a great question. It all depends on the agreement between the agency and the landlord for the most part. If the agency and the landlord have agreed on a fee equal to $1000 or $2000 then usually, but not always, the tenant will pay the deficiency if at all. Some agents "double dip" but most will take a portion from each side unless the landlord pays the whole fee the agency requires from him/her, if not then the tenant must pay.

Usually when one agency has the listing but the renter came from another agency, they split the fee 50/50 between each of them. Sometimes it doesn't work and the listing agent only gives 25%, but it all depends on what has been agreed to.

I hope this helps.
0 votes
Cassandra, , Waltham, MA
Mon Oct 1, 2012
I was a rental agent in Boston. The tenant usually foots the commission, since there's so much demand for apartments, a landlord doesn't have to do any of the work (background checks, showing, etc) and there will always be another renter who will pay it if you don't. Sometimes a landlord with split the commission if the renter has really good credit and a lot of money and a good job, no pets, etc, even pay the whole thing. This is rare, as most people with good credit and a lot of money and a good job are looking to buy a house, not rent an apartment. If you look during off peak seasons (which run during school cycles) you will probably have a better chance of not paying a fee but the selection will be limited since most leases in Boston run September 1st to August 31st of the next year. I would try moving between November and March if you're looking to avoid the fee. Or just do owner direct.
0 votes
Mario Pavli, Agent, Boston, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
When the owner lists his/her unit with only one agency the renter can use his/her agent but will have to be a co-broke which means that the fee will be 50/50
0 votes
Judy Boyle, Agent, Marlborough, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
Hi cclark2107.

It depends on the arrangement. Some landlords pay a fee. Others do not. When the landlord does NOT pay the fee, the agent that brings the tenant will most likely seek a fee from the tenant. There is not "standard" practice.

Hope this helps.
0 votes
Great Spaces…, Agent, Dorchester, MA
Sun Sep 23, 2012
It depends on what the landlord chooses to do, what type of listing it is and what the area custom is. Typically in a strong rental market the tenant pays a fee. Sometimes just to their agent or it gets split between the two agents.
0 votes
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