Finding a No Fee NYC Apartment

New York City apartments are already expensive, even before considering the broker’s fee. In rising neighborhoods, like Astoria, a typical fee is one month’s rent. But in Manhattan neighborhoods, fees can range from 12-15% of the year’s rent. Here are three ways to avoid paying a broker’s fee in your NYC apartment search.


1. Travel by Foot

If you’re already living in New York City or renting an Air BnB, you can try finding apartment the old fashion way. Walking to apartment complexes and asking about availability can cut the broker out of the situation. Of course, this takes more time and rejection. But with comfortable shoes and a fun accomplice, it may be worthwhile. In the event that it works, it’s bragging rights and an excuse to spend the money elsewhere (like furniture… or restaurant week).

2. Network in the Area

Friends in the city may be able to ask their landlords or building owners about opening apartments. Have friends ask few months beforehand, since landlords will already know about ending leases. You may have better luck if you can introduce yourself to put a face to the name and exemplify maturity and initiative.

200 water street

3. Download Oliver

Avoid paying thousands of dollars in broker’s fee with the Oliver app. The free app showcases listings directly from landlords. As a trusted apartment listing source, Oliver can help you find a no fee NYC apartment and schedule appointments with landlords. Oliver’s filters include minimum and maximum rent, bedrooms, bathrooms, and pet policies. Because the app is relatively new, inventory may be limited. But as word of mouth and press continue to spread news about the app, Oliver NYC rentals has great potential.

oliver app

4. Use Naked Apartments Filters

Naked Apartments has a number of filters, including no fee and low fee. Be wary that a no fee and low fee apartment can still have an application fee, for example $500 per person. However, this is still considerably lower than a broker’s fee. This search will limit the number of listings, but it’s a helpful way to prioritize some listings over others.

Do you have any other ways to find no fee apartments in NYC? Comment and share!



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