... NestApple is also handling rentals. For apartments where renters pay the standard fee of 15 percent of the annual rent, the listing agent would get 7.5 percent while NestApple would get the remaining 7.5 percent. The firm then would rebate 5 percent of the annual rent to the tenant, Benoliel said.

Even on no-fee apartments -- where landlords pay brokers' fees -- NestApple would still give renters a rebate.''


Benoliel decided to pursue the idea after buying a $500,000 investment property without using a buyer's broker. He felt sour about seeing the seller's broker earn about $30,000 for what he believed was very little work.

"Maybe the service is worth something," Benoliel said, "but the money they charge for the service they provide is too much."

The Chelsea resident noted that in his native France, brokers earn about half the commission on sales than in New York. For rentals, landlords pay the fee, not the tenants.

In expensive markets like NYC, brokers and RE agency companies often have a stranglehold on the RE transaction process, creating a de facto pricing cartel. Brokers often provide quite a bit of value, but not everyone needs that (and it's arguably overpriced in most cases anyways). The situation is ripe to be busted-up... at some point, some company (or companies) is going to do it (they may, however, need to team up to create a unified listings platform -- otherwise only the brokers will "have" all the listings...)

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