How to find a discount-fee rental broker

If you’ve been in the market to buy or sell a home at any time in the past dozen years you’ve become familiar with the concept of discount-fee real estate brokers. On the sell side they typically charge a reduced commission to the seller, sometimes for providing limited service. On the buy side, discount brokerages rebate a portion of their commission to buyers. Redfin, for example, offers discounts to sellers and rebates to buyers.

If you’re in the market to rent rather than buy you’re unlikely to find a rental broker advertising commission rebates. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a broker who’s willing to give back part of the commission.

Renters should be aware that real estate commissions are negotiable, and that a number of properties are currently offering rental services higher than normal commissions and other incentives to encourage agents to steer renters their way.

How do you find a rental service agent who will rebate part of the commission? Start with the agent in front of you, and negotiate. Or you can just roll over and let your agent try to arm-twist you into the place that’s in his best interest rather than yours.

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