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Photo By: Mathew Henry

Back To School With Bohemia: Why Use An Agent?

Posted on 02 September 2014 |
by Agent Michaela Morton
Photo by: Mathew Henry | Misc Information

By Bohemia Agent Michaela Morton

Early College Picture (cropped500px)When I first hit NYC, I was dedicated to finding a no-fee, no-broker, and (as I saw it) no-scam apartment. I had time and energy for the hunt, a tight budget, and a limited stash of cash intended to get me through my first few months as a teaching artist.

What I did not have was a clue about what the job of a real estate agent was – turning keys and opening wallets, I figured. In fact, I had no idea how or when I would even pay an agent, and spent my first three or four email exchanges with one trying to figure out the catch.

So it was a surprise to me and maybe to everyone else when I got into this job that I gradually started to see real estate as a kind of missionary endeavor – because yes, the rumors are true. There are some skeezeballs and hack-jobs in this industry looking to make a quick buck. But there are also creative, collegial, ethical companies trying to find people homes. That’s the job I signed on to do. So here’s the skinny on what your fee (or the landlord’s, if you luck out with a place where the owner will pay your agent) is actually paying for:

ON THE PAVEMENT:

Your agent streamlines your search by offering an expert view of the NYC rental market.  When not showing apartments, she’s researching and previewing them. A good agent knows the neighborhood, the landlords, and the apartments that will best fit your needs. She can’t create magically massive apartments or promise a stress-free move. And she won’t vouch for a challenge-less match between tenants & landlords. But she can and will advocate for you all the way.  Once you’ve found an agent you like and trust, stick with her. You’ll be rewarded with a fun, fast, and efficient search helmed by someone who is 100% committed to you.

ON PAPER:

If I’m your agent, making the application is my chance to prove to the landlord that you’re the right tenant for the apartment. In a market as glutted with potential renters as NYC, working with a good agent distinguishes your application. For the landlord, it’s the difference between a random pick-up in the subway and a date with someone Mr. Landlord’s best friend said was a perfect match.

Whoa, Michaela. What’s with all the dating analogies? “Trust”? “Commitment”? “Relationship”? I just want a freakin’ apartment! 

I get it. But here’s the thing:

When it comes to agents, you gotta stand by your woman (or man).

Yes, there are a few unethical hucksters running around this market trying to take you for a ride. But happily, most agents have access to very similar listings. And, since all members of the Real Estate Board of NY are legally required to co-broke, your agent can call around on your behalf to set up showings for any apartment you like. The broker fee you pay is not for the apartment; it’s for all the work the agency and agent you've chosen do for you.

(Plus, if you’re getting seriously studious and looking to buy -- maybe not as far off a graduation as you think -- an agent offers free-to-you aid!)

If you have any questions about the rental or buying process, now’s the time to ask a Bohemian – school’s in session year round.


Agent Michaela Morton

About Michaela Morton

An actor, writer, and fluent French speaker, Michaela has a knack for connection and loves nothing more than making friends of neighbors and neighbors of friends.

Agent Michaela Morton

About Michaela Morton

An actor, writer, and fluent French speaker, Michaela has a knack for connection and loves nothing more than making friends of neighbors and neighbors of friends.