Perhaps more stressful than moving into an apartment is actually finding a new apartment to move into — and it almost always ends up costing more than you thought thanks to additional fees. Hiring a broker can end up costing an apartment hunter up to one month's rent or 15% of one year's rent, according to Curbed. So a no-fee apartment, when a landlord pays the fee or there's no broker to begin with, is the most price-conscious option.
It might sound like a pipe dream but no-fee apartments are definitely on the market. Although there's always the vast hit-or-miss (and by miss, we mean scam) marketplace Craigslist, several other websites have popped up with aims to make apartment hunting easier — on the mind and the wallet.
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Below are four sites to reduce the pain of finding no fee apartments:
Naked Apartments has thousands of no-fee apartments, and also verifies and screens their listings so Craigslist-esque mishaps are reduced. The site also groups duplicate listings into one place so people can see how the different brokers (who are getting paid by the landlord) describe the place. Naked Apartments is only available in New York.
Most of the rentals on NYBits are no fee, and lets users search by neighborhoods. It also displays property manager contact information, building type and expiration dates to ensure safer apartment hunting.
RentHop seeks to only offer renters with quality listings, according to its website. The company goes straight to landlords to receive the listings, essentially taking the place of the broker — but minus the fee, Tech Crunch reported. The incentive to landlords is that they will want to use RentHop to move their apartments faster. The site's interface is also easy to use, and apartments can be mapped out. RentHop is available in major cities like New York, Dallas and Washington D.C. RentHop also gives landlords and agents a HopScore, or a rating on their service provided.
Apartment-finding site StreetEasy offers a no-fee section that has thousands of listings across New York. Users can look at listings in both list and map view, plus the site helps in breaking down rentals by neighborhood. Each listing breaks down nearby subways and its price history, especially helpful for New Yorkers.