Reader Email: Paying for an Agent's Time?
Off-Campus Housing Response: Agents are due their fee if they are the procuring cause of your lease agreement. If you signed a lease for a property the agent had previously shown you, then you would owe the agent their fee, as they would have been the procuring cause of that lease agreement. However, if you found a place on your own directly through a landlord, then you would not owe any fee. In the case you described, you would not need to pay the agent anything, as they were not the procuring cause for the lease that you ultimately signed. It is important to keep in mind that agents are not paid for the amount of time they spend on the sale or rental, but rather they earn a commission when a sale or lease is completed. Finally, the commission rate should also be defined (in writing) when you first start working with the agent.