Q&A: Does a Broker Have My Best Interests in Mind?

I started using a broker, but found that he actually gets paid by the landlord. How do I know he has my best interests in mind and should I even use one?

True, Landlord’s pay brokers a commission for closing a sale or lease transaction. The actual commission, however, is based on the market and is typically the same rate regardless of what building you decide on. In addition, your rental rate is unaffected by whether commission is paid or not because lenders require Landlord’s to include commissions in their building’s balance sheet. That being said, it is vital you trust that your broker is looking out for your best interest before starting the process. A true tenant broker is trying to do his/her best for you because he/she does not have buildings to sell or lease, and his/her long-term livelihood depends on your continuing business relationship. An experienced broker knows market rates, trends, market concessions, and pitfalls that a landlord will try and use to his advantage. You might negotiate your lease once every 3, 5, or 10 years. A successful tenant broker negotiates and is in the sales/leasing arena every day.

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