Whether you’re a first time renter or have been through the process to rent in Boston many times, here are a few things to expect during your Boston apartment search in 2012.
1. The Boston rental market.
Doing a simple Google search will tell you what the market yields this coming rental season, so if you have friends in a 2 bed in Beacon Hill for $1500 a month, don’t expect that to be the same this year. The rents have increased due to the amount of renters and the sheer lack of inventory we are seeing. That’s not to say to be discouraged—but to be realistic when renting.
2. The broker fee.
There are times when you will see a landlord paying the full fee, but for the most part this is not the case. What is a fee you may ask? Typically, and for the most part, the fee is one month’s rent. You will see some half fee being paid or even full at times, but the fee pays the agent you have chosen to work with. Want to learn more? Turn to Michael DiMella’s blog on why there is a fee and how much actually goes to your friendly neighborhood rental agent.
3. A loyal customer, a loyal agent.
So you see an ad on craigslist for an apartment that looks perfect, but you have been using an agent who is different than the agent on the craigslist ad. What do you do? Boston is a small market and many of the listings that are out there are shared by the majority of offices. If you see an ad on craigslist, but are loyal to the agent you have been seeing apartments with, don’t be afraid to send what you have found on your independent searches to the agent you feel most comfortable with. Chances are the listing you are seeing is something you can still see with your agent. Other listings, which may be exclusive listings, can still hold the possibility of being shown by your agent in coordination with the listing agent to incorporate what is called a co-broke (where the two agents split the commission). Why use 8 different agents, explaining your needs over and over and fielding hundreds of calls and emails, when you can just use 1?
A good leasing agent can show you how much you can afford in rent and then also help negotiate your rent, among other things. Here are 5 more good reasons to utilize a leasing agent for your Boston apartment search.
4. Viewing appointments not going according to plan.
Because of the tight market, things are changing. FAST. Why rent right away? You can refer back to my blog, Choose a Boston Apartment Fast, or Else, to get a sense of how fast things are moving. What else can go wrong you may ask? Besides the place you are scheduled to see potentially getting rented, things can go wrong. Keys don’t work. Tenants refuse to let you in. Information you saw on an ad can be misleading, such as price, number of bedrooms, etc. The Real Rental Agents of Back Bay sheds a comedic light on all that goes into being an agent in Boston and all the things that go into a preparing for a showing.