Working with Realtors
Good Practice Standards are guidelines the Boston Town & Gown Association recommend for all real estate professionals working with Boston University students. Your knowledge of these guidelines prior to working with an agent will be helpful.
Agency compliance is recommended but not enforced.
Disclaimer: The Boston Area Off-Campus Housing & Student Life Coalition has informed Real Estate Professionals/Agents of these standards, but does not investigate or endorse that the professionals/agents are in compliance.
Good Practice Standards:
- The Agency‘s broker and all its agents must maintain an up-to-date license issued by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons. Additionally, they must meet and abide by the statutory and regulatory requirements of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons.
- Abide by all standards and guidelines related to providing Rental Brokerage Fee Disclosure forms; clients will be provided, in writing, a description of the services the broker will offer in finding an apartment and detail the fee for such services, including when it is due.
- The real estate agent/agency will be forthcoming with clients that they represent the property owner, not clients.
- Agree to support and comply with all state and local housing regulations, including the City of Boston’s Rental re-inspection (CBC 9-1.3, full code inspection requested within 45 days) and Rental Standards (CBC 9-1.4; Move-in day fine-able offenses) ordinances; and Boston’s zoning code requirement which limits the number of off-campus undergraduate students that share an apartment to four.
- The Agency and all its agents must be in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.
- The Agency and all its agents agree to show clients actual available properties that are listed with them.
- The Agency must maintain a physical commercial zoned office location, where clients/potential clients can go to have questions answered.
You Should Know:
- A licensed realtor links prospective tenants with prospective landlords.
- Realtors are legally allowed to charge their clients a finder’s fee, or realty fee, for finding them an apartment. This fee can be up to the equivalent of one month’s rent. Only agents licensed by the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salesperson may charge this fee.
- Be sure to ask about the fee, whether or not it is negotiable, and when it must be paid.
- You pay the realtor’s fee only if you locate and rent an apartment through that agency. Otherwise, you pay nothing for any effort they invest in the search.
- Don’t feel pressured to rent any apartment or to sign any document. Read the rental application and all documents carefully before signing. Feel free to bring any documents and questions to Housing Resources for review.
Disclaimer: Housing Resources provides information to Boston University Medical Campus students, faculty and staff members solely as a courtesy, and in an advisory and referral capacity. Boston University does not endorse any realtors. Contact with persons listed herein must be conducted independently and at your own risk.