There’s nothing better than summer in NYC. The leaves are green, the birds are chirping and everyone is smiling. But as the weather heats up so does the pressure of finding that perfect place. Due to a vast increase in demand renters are faced with the challenge of dealing with the uncertainty of trying to be the first to complete the tedious application process in the midst of very competitive market.

For most, the stressful process of renting an apartment comes with highs and lows.  As a manager who oversees an office of 30 agents (and as a former agent myself), I have experienced heartbreaking tales of people falling in love with a place then applying an hour later and being told that the apartment is no longer available.  It’s something that a lot of people will unfortunately experience this summer season.

So the question is what can you do to avoid the heartbreak of losing out on the perfect place?

Paperwork– When things move as fast as they do during the summer rental season, preparation will most likely be the difference between someone obtaining their ideal place or losing out on it. Supporting financial documentation (tax returns, bank statements, letter of employment) is required with every application regardless of who the landlord is. Too often, people make the mistake of thinking that an application alone will keep an apartment on hold for them. It will not! You need a complete application which includes all of the necessary documentation.  So why risk it? Have all of your paper work ready before you start your search in order to avoid wasting precious time looking for it at application time.

Move in date- If you plan on moving in more than a months’ time; don’t bother looking until you get a little closer to your move in date. Most landlords will not rent an apartment more than 30 days out. If it’s early June and you want to move July 15th, be prepared to sign a lease that commences on the 1st. Keep in mind that in this situation if you offer a July 15th start, a landlord will not view it as gaining a tenant down the road but rather losing two weeks of rent. This is the reality of summer rentals in New York City.

Brokers Commission– Picture yourself standing on a long line waiting to purchase a pair of limited edition shoes. You get to the end of the line, pick out a pair that suite you and then ask the sales person to give you a discounted price. What do you think they would say to you? This is what asking a broker to show you “no fee” apartments during the summer is like. Landlords have no reason to incentivize brokers during a time when there is a long line of people waiting to rent apartments.  Haggling over commission will delay the process and increase the risk of losing a great apartment. If you plan on using a broker this summer, expect to pay a commission.