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How do realtors get paid for renting properties? Who pays?

  • July 20 2013 - North End
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Answers (10)

Agents are compensated by either the lessor, the lessee, or shared by both. By convention, the total fee has been one month's rent and that fee is split typically between the agents for the lessee and lessor. Occasionally, large rental complexes will pay the fee so that the principals to the transaction do not have to do so. 
  • April 04 2014
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In Boston, it is rare for a property owner to pay fees to agents. It is mostly the tenants who pay.
  • March 25 2014
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Who and how much depends on each situation and agreement between the landlord and the realtor.  I have seen situations where the fee was anywhere from zero to a full month, and paid in whole by the landlord, in whole by the renter, or split between both.  If you are looking to rent, make sure to ask that specific question before even looking at an apartment - who pays the fee?  how much exactly?  - you should also find out what other monies are due up front - sometimes it can be as much as 4x monthly rent (first, last, security, fee). 
  • March 22 2014
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It varies, in some markets the landlord will pay, in the market I work in the only time an owner pays our fee is if they need to offer an incentive to get it rented, meaning the apartment is not too nice vs other options.
The common practice I have seen is a one month fee, I have also seen percentages of the term rent.  In Boston there is no maximum or minimum I am aware of, an agent can charge what ever they want, if your client really likes you and thinks you a great guy they can pay you 3 months of rent or whatever amount they like in excess of one month if they so choose.
If anything has changed vs what I am writing please let me know.,
In cases where it is split between renter and owner anything is possible too, 50/50 is common, I have seen 60/40, 75/25 too, depends on what time of year it is. 
  • February 26 2014
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The 'it depends' answers are right, the rest are not.  The rule of thumb is the higher the demand for the rental, the better chance the renter is paying the realtor's fee (which is almost always one month's rent).  In Boston where there are an abundance of renters, it's usually the renter paying.  Outside the city where it's harder to find renters, it's usually the landlord
  • February 23 2014
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depends on the local market. Sometimes landlord, sometimes tenant, sometimes some kind of a split. 
  • July 22 2013
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It is property specific.  Some rentals the tenant pays, others the landlord pays.
  • July 22 2013
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If it's in MLS, it's usually the landlord.  
  • July 20 2013
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If a landlord is advertising using an agency/agent, the payment for agents has already been identified.   If the landlord is advertising without an agency, it is negotiable but often the renter pays.    We (as landlords) advertise without agents, and will not pay for an agent bringing us a tenant as they charge far too much for their services and we can do it ourselves for far less.

  • July 20 2013
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The sellers end up paying, just like selling a house but a pro rated amount for the rental.
  • July 20 2013
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