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SpecialistMichael, MS, CSCS
Category: General
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Experience:  Senior Information Specialist
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Im looking for a new apartment and Im overwhelmed. I figure

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I'm looking for a new apartment and I'm overwhelmed. I figure a real estate agent could probably pull off what I want in a fraction of the time and likely with better results than I can do myself... but apartments are rentals, not sales - how does that dynamic work? How do they get paid?

Do all realtors do apartment searches, or is it a specialized agent I'm looking for? How would I find him/her?

And finally - is it worth it?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: General
Expert:  SpecialistMichael replied 4 years ago.
I absolutely understand the predicament you are in. Many people have actually gone through similar and have a hard time finding something in reasonable time simply because it takes so long to find, call, look and decide on a place to live.

To answer your question about the real estate agents, if you find the right one you won't need to pay. Agents still make commission off of booking apartments but the payment either comes through the agency(remax immediately comes to mind in my area) or the private owner for whom the agent is working for.

So ideally you only need to contact a few agencies, and they will do the work for you as their commission or salary is dependent upon the people they are showing for and advertising for, it doesn't come out of your pocket - only the property owner or management's.

As far as ease of use, I think you should get in touch with a few agencies and ask to speak with the person doing the rental portion. They will have a nice big database and should be able to narrow things down by area, price and a myriad of other factors to really dial in the place thats right for you. This way, all you need to do is go look at them to see if they "feel right" for you. Your other option, would be looking online at housing listings, but I can speak by experience some of the best landlords I had during my time renting, and some of the best places I was fortunate enough to rent were actually found through craigslist listings. Obviously if you are unsure of the area or the streets it would probably cause some confusion or maybe end up looking at something that is not what you wanted, but in my area a lot of quality spaces and very personable and respectful landlords use craigslist to advertise their spaces for rent - but obviously this will be highly dependent on the city and area.

So I would definitely recommend browsing craigslist in your area, but DEFINITELY call up some real estate offices and ask to speak to the person in charge of rentals - you will save a lot of time for absolutely nothing out of your pocket!

If this has helped so far you can press accept so I am credited. We can still continue our correspondence after an answer is accepted by hitting reply.
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