Asked by Washanna Powell, Prospect Park, NJ Tue Apr 3, 2012

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Diane Glander, Agent, Spring Lake, NJ
Wed Apr 4, 2012
Realtors can only be paid by their brokers. You cannot pay a Realtor directly.
That being said, if you have bad credit and you need a rental, you might be able to do it if you can do one of the following: prepay the entire lease, or put a substantial amount down on the lease in addition to the security deposit. That money can be designated as payment for the last 3-6 months and is held in escrow. If you default, the landlord has a cushion.
If you cannot do either of the above, I would recommend you try to rent by owner. Most of the owners do not have access to run your credit and you might be able to get by without a credit check. Check your local newspapers.
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Mary Petti, Agent, Edison, NJ
Tue Apr 3, 2012

Before we speak to the commission part, I would be more concerned about your bad credit if you are looking to rent. I personally have had my last three rental clients get turned down by several landlords , not so much because their credit SCORES were low, but because they have NUMEROUS late payments (the credit report shows how many were 30, 60 and 90+ days late). This type of credit history scares off landlords, regardless of your scores or your income. Landlords want to be somewhat assured that THEY will get paid as the eviction process is time consuming and costly.

If you are using a Realtor to help you find a home to rent, as the tenant, technically you don't always have to pay the commission. If the listing says the landlord pays commission, technically your first months rent will go towards the commission. So in essence you would be paying the first months rent plus the 1.5 months security deposit up front or a total of 2.5 months rent to start.

If the listing says tenant pays commission, then you would be paying 3.5 months rent ...1 month rent towards commission, first months rent, and 1.5 month security.

If you can explain the late payments (loss of income/job, banckruptcy, foreclosure etc), it would be wise to obtain your credit report yourself, and make a list of the why's to explain to the landlord.
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Scott Godzyk, Agent, Manchester, NH
Tue Apr 3, 2012
You can pay them but i would think if you want to buy, your first step should be to meet with a local and trusted loan officer to get prequalified. They can let you know what you should do to improve your credit and start saving for a home. If you are looking for an apratment, here in NH the landlord pays the listing agent to find a buyer. From expereince I know in NY the tenant pays to have someone assist them to find a rental. I would recomending shopping around and find someone who will take the time to work with you, guide you and help you to achieve your goals.
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Peter J Roge…, Agent, Mahwah, NJ
Tue Apr 3, 2012
if you use a realtor to help you find an appartment you have to pay the fee - usually 1 month rent to them. They will not accept a check or credit card - has to be cash or a bank check. The bigger problem for you is that the landlord will run a credit check on you.
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