to broker, or not to broker

I’ve received some pretty strong opinions on this topic. There are people on both sides of the fence here. Some think that brokers are a ridiculous unnecessary additional expense you should be able to avoid if you put enough time and energy into your search. Others think they’re the only way to go — the only way you’ll ever be able to have quick and easy access to that perfect new rental home in Manhattan. Until yesterday, I wasn’t part of either camp… but now, I’d say that’s perhaps changed.

As much as I wanted to sleep oh until after noon yesterday, I got up bright and early to get ready and even head out to brunch (ahhh 7A – we’re such creatures of habit) to be able to meet up with our broker by 10AM. She was with Citi-Habitats and proved to be extremely helpful with my sister’s East Village apartment hunt. Now it was my turn. I’d sent her a small novel of an email, outlining the areas in which I would be interested, what subway stops I wanted to be nearby to, and even a summary of my personality. I was pretty set on what I wanted. She did try to get me to be open to the idea of the Upper East Side, but yeah – shot that one down.

I was quickly impressed. After the weeks of “informational” scouring of Craigslist, many findings of which were sketchy and dishonest (my favorites including picture after picture with the phrase “photos are representative of apartments in this building and may not be of the actual apartment available” – um, NO?), I was instantaneously pleased. She pulled out a big stack of apartment summaries…. square footage (ahhhh, what a beautiful piece of information ommitted from 99% of Craigslist postings), location, montly rent expense, and exact location (with associated subways). It was like NYC apartment hunting for dummies. Score.

She then pulled out a stack of keys for all of the apartments which matched my needs. We ran through the order of places we were visiting and she checked to make sure I wasn’t going to cave on the UES (no, no, no…) and then we were off. It was definitely interesting to compare the different neighborhoods. It wasn’t quite the ridiculous mess of catastrophic proportions I thought I would find. It was exhausting though… starting at 10AM and running through 4PM, at which point I was ready to eat my hand.

I found all sorts of places… many of which would do, one of which I just loooooved. So, the application on the favorite is in already – held hostage due to (1) it being a weekend and (2) Columbus Day weekend (PS, who cares????), at that. Perhaps I’ll have the verdict come Monday, or perhaps not until Tuesday.

In the interim, the search continues. I’ve got a couple of back-ups, which definitely pale in comparison to the one I truly like. And perhaps today’s search will bring some other decent options. Who knows.

There’s definitely some more funny stories about yesterdays hunt, but I’ll save those until after I’ve definitely decided not to take that one place. Might just be divulging more info about a potential home than I really want to share online…

But yes, I think the verdict is I was pretty impressed with the broker. There’s no way I would have been able to accomplish even 1/4 of what we did yesterday. For the person needing to make a quick transition, it’s making all the sense in the world.

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2 thoughts on “to broker, or not to broker

  1. I am so envious! I wish I were apartment searching right now (soooon maybe I hope)….

    Where are you looking?

    I don’t blame you for not wanting to go to the Upper East Side. It’s nice there, but trains are really inconvenient and really crowded.

  2. Yeah, I get the pros on UES, but I can’t seem to lose my focus on the cons =)

    I was looking at East Village/Union Square, Midtown, and Lower East Side. I ended up in Midtown — which ironically I wasn’t even really looking at originally. So glad to be done!!

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