rental guides

What is a No Fee Apartment and how do I find one?

Like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, reported sightings of the elusive creature known as the No Fee New York City Apartment are rare and rife with controversy.

But our crack team of New York Real Estate Rental experts can confirm that this rare beast does in fact exist in the wild. And they know where they live and breathe and can be captured. But hunting one down not an easy feat.

First, what is a No Fee Apartment? No fee apartments are apartments where the prospective tenant does not pay a broker’s fee.

How Can I find one? The general public can have access to these apartments in several ways. The first way occurs when a brand new building is constructed, often a luxury hi-rise, and the developer offers an exclusive offer to attract new tenants. The mechanics of this scenario usually involve an exclusive marketing firm hired by (or owned by) the developer, that usually has a marketing showroom right in the building. They usually will conduct a marketing campaign aimed directly at the general public and the brokerage community as well. The general public can either contact the marketing broker directly, and also can “walk in” to the onsite office. For those who end up renting via this channel, there is no broker fee. The general public can often also view the same property through an independent broker, and most likely, that broker will be compensated by the developer directly, for at the least the beginning of the marketing phase of the property – hence eliminating the need to charge a fee to the renter. Apartments in these buildings are usually priced at a premium, top of the market rent.

The second way people can have access to a No –Fee apartment is through buildings of the same type – luxury hi-rise properties –but which have been up for several years. These buildings will often have a certain number of apartments available which the property owner needs to move. In these scenarios, the property owner will either maintain an exclusive broker or have a representative handling the building. These apartments also will be similarly marketed to the general public, usually at a premium rent. The owners may or may not compensate a broker other then a broker who may have an exclusive, depending on marketing conditions. If it is a softer market (one where there are more vacancies), outside brokers will be compensated. If it is not, they usually will not be, and the general public will have to pay a broker’s commission.

In general, the No Fee availability is a seasonal and market-driven syndrome: it becomes a No Fee market when there are more units available in the given market. Because the New York City Rental market is so desirable and so few apartments are ever available at one time, No Fee Apartments are elusive and hard to find outside of the scenarios above. It makes financial sense to lop off a fee when there are too many units that are not rented – as this drives more rentals. But typically, it’s an owners and brokers market.

How do Exclusive Rental Broker arrangements help? Preston NY has the unique advantage of having many exclusive arrangements with landlords and building owners. In these scenarios the property owners are willing to pay Preston NY a commission so that they do not have to charge a Broker Fee to the general public. Preston’s owners will compensate them in such a market, which allows Preston to promote apartments which are uniquely their own to promote and represent. These apartments are of great value in prime locations, many the most desirable areas downtown like the West Village, Chelsea and East Village. These apartments are usually in smaller buildings, with fewer amenities, however the trade off is that the general public saves considerably on the rent they would have had to pay on more premium high-rise apartments in the same markets and areas.

So, keep looking out. The beast known as the No Fee apartment may be just around the corner.