Finding an apartment: an unpleasant, miserable experience for all involved

Finding an apartment: an unpleasant, miserable experience for all involved

3. Astronomical fees: In season two, an episode ran called “The Apartment,” in which Elaine is once again depressed about her apartment rental. When Jerry overhears his building managers discussing a neighbor who died, he offers the apartment to Elaine because of how affordable it is. He quickly starts having second thoughts about having his ex living so close, but doesn’t want to disappoint her. He is soon informed that the managers now want a $5,000 fee for Elaine to take over the unit. Jerry offers to lend her the money, despite his apprehensions, but is bailed out when the managers end up taking a $10,000 fee from someone else. Surely no one in our industry would accept bribes.

You have to agree, finding an apartment can be a miserable experience. You call around to find an agency, or you spend all day, and all of the night, looking online at craigslist.


Of course, rental agents think it’s a miserable experience, too.

Really, though, can we have any sympathy for them?

No, especially when you know that they’re thinking these thoughts, while talking to you:

It’s crucial to separate the winners from the losers as early as possible. The winners are hard to come by and more difficult to spot. The losers, on the other hand, often announce themselves quickly; sometimes seconds into a conversation.

“Yeah, uh, hi. Do you have any no-fee apartments?” It still happens, and it still drives me crazy. The moment this question is asked I know I’m dealing with a complete idiot. It’s no crime to look for a no-fee apartment, but why call a broker? You may as well ask if I have any free haircuts, or if I’m giving out free backrubs. I picture this same caller asking a bartender if he has any no-fee beer.

You want a no fee apartment? Call a landlord. If you don’t know any landlords try asking a super. When that doesn’t work, pick up a internet and hit every no-fee apartment you can find, but get there early. If all else fails, call me, but at that point, expect to pay a fee.



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Updated: January 2023 Boston Real Estate Blog

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