The Ultimate Guide To Apartment Searching in NYC

Are you looking for apartments for rent in NYC? Apartment searching in New York City has consistently been renown for how lengthy, stressful and confusing it all can get. Most of us have spent hours scrolling through Streeteasy listings or even hunting through the housing section of Craigslist hoping to find a hidden gem. 

Have a read through our ultimate guide on apartment searching in nyc so you’ll know the real tips and tricks of navigating the NYC real estate market!


Before we go ahead and show you how to navigate the apartment rentals in new york, it’s important for you to be in the know of what certain real estate terms refer to. 

By having this knowledge, you’ll not only save a lot of time in your apartment search, you’ll also know exactly what to ask for if you have an idea of what kind of apartment and what budget you have. We’ve setup some easy to read and brief infographics for you to quickly browse through the most important terms!

Now that we’ve covered the two most popular terms: Fee and No Fee. We can move onto terms you’ll often encounter on listings or in relation to the actual unit you’re interested in. We’ll also discuss further in this article what the benefits of going for a fee apartment are as well as choosing a no fee apartment.

Now that we’ve covered four of the most popular terms in relation to finding apartments in NYC, we’ll give you an in-depth walkthrough of the entire process of apartment rentals in New York. 

We’ll start with what it’s like to work with a broker as well as deciding not to work with one.


To work with a broker or not to work with a broker, that is the question… 

The New York City real estate market and the world of apartment rentals can be seriously tricky to navigate if you aren’t sure where to look or don’t have much time to spend on research and listing searching. On top of this, you have to consider whether or not you’ll want to go at it solo or work with a fee broker, or a no fee broker. You haven’t even started apartment searching and all these added steps are already piling up!

In our experience, working with a no fee broker is usually the easiest and fastest way to find a great apartment without the hassle of apartment searching, spending time searching through hundreds of listings and of course, figuring out the lease signing process and approval process. This isn’t to say that fee brokers shouldn’t be used either! Fee brokers have many of the same benefits of working with a no fee broker, with the exception that you’ll have to pay a broker fee and add that on top of all your moving fees, hence why we tend to recommend working with a no fee broker instead.

If you do decide to work with a broker that charges a fee, make sure you know to budget for it as you’ll often be asked to pay the broker’s fee which is usually equal to a month’s rent or a month in a half. 

At Array Property Group, we’re a friendly group of no fee brokers and agents that strive on bringing you the most seamless and hassle free moving experience. We’ll give you a quick insight of what it’s like working with us and then we’ll walkthrough what it’s like approaching the world of apartment rentals in NYC without a broker so you can weigh your options.


Working with us can seriously save you time, effort and stress as we aim to simplify the entire apartment search process and make it all easy and seamless for you to enjoy! The majority of our brokers specialize in New York City luxury rentals on a no fee basis – as covered previously, this means you won’t ever have to worry about paying us any fees for helping you move!

So why is working with us so beneficial to you?

Have you ever seen a listing or apartment unit that you absolutely fell in love with only to find out it was already rented, not available or was just too good to be true? If your answer is yes then you’ll love what we do!

Our approach to listings is simplified and highly professional as to ensure a better experience to you. We’ve come up with a great system to make your life, apartment search and move-in process the easiest it can be! Instead of taking your time up and making you search through hundreds of listings, we simply ask you some basic questions regarding what you’re looking for in an ideal apartment. From this information, we run a thorough and in-depth search throughout listings that are currently available and we personally validate every single one. 

How do we validate the listings? We call the management companies or buildings and validate the information related to the unit (if it’s still available, if the pricing is accurate, if the amenities are appropriately described and many more questions). Once we’ve validated the listing, we send out agents to verify the accuracy of this information and we begin sending you building and unit recommendations. Doesn’t that sound so much better than scrolling through listings hoping to find the right one? Why not just have us show you all the best ones and save you all the time behind research!

Not only do we verify every listing to ensure the highest quality, we also offer you complimentary luxury car service to and from appointments and viewings, so you don’t have to worry about getting there or getting stuck in traffic! We also often offer promotions for working with us such as ubereats and uber gift cards!

 It is also important to note that not all no fee broker agencies in New York City will offer you the same perks that we do nor the same amount of personalized help but we’ll let them pitch you! Here’s a quick reference guide to how easy it is to work with us (again, all without having to pay a broker fee – how amazing!)

apartments for rent by array property group


In our experience, people who decide not to work with a broker usually tend to have an in-depth knowledge of the NYC real estate market as well as the conventional practices that go with apartment searching. 

Working without a broker can have certain benefits such as not having to rely on someone else for information and booking as well as a slightly more hands on and self-work approach to apartment finding. 

When approaching apartment rentals in NYC without a broker, it can be easier to find the appropriate apartments for your preferences if you know already know buildings you’re interested in or have very precise locations in mind. For example, if you’ve walked past a specific building with a sign out front advertising units for rent and you’ve decided the area is ideal for you then we wouldn’t recommend initiating a broker interaction as you can simply walk in and begin scheduling viewings immediately. 

Lastly, another reason why people may not want to work with a broker is if they feel as if a broker is not working within their best interests or are too focused on making a commission.

Although we hope this is never the reason you’ll choose to not work with a broker, we’ll tell you what we think all NYC real estate salespersons’ and brokers should be like and what traits they should have. 

  1. A NYC Real Estate Salesperson should have vivacity and a love for the work that they do. They should find it highly enjoyable to apartment search with you and be excited to be part of your moving process!
  2. Salespersons and brokers should be quick to respond and demonstrate a unique knowledge of the real estate industry. They should become your go to contact for any questions you have about moving or relocating.
  3. Although it may be a given, they should act in accordance to all the regulations set by the Department of State and always act trustworthy and transparently. 
  4. Last but not least, they should always go above and beyond what is required of them to guarantee you the best service in real estate.

These 4 tips are not an exhaustive list that will guarantee you that you will always have a great broker, but they sure are a good starting point!

Working with no broker at all can make the entire apartment search stressful and time consuming, as such, we personally always recommend working with brokers as they have experience with the real estate market of New York as well as the many buildings the city has to offer!

Now that we’ve covered the basics of working with a broker or no broker, it’s important for you to think about using a guarantor or not. We’ll cover the basics of guarantors in NYC below.

Guarantors: The  Requirements and When You Need One

Whether or not you’ll need to use a guarantor when moving into a new apartment is based on whether or not you fully qualify through the approval process given by buildings and apartment owners. Fear not! If you don’t qualify, it shouldn’t immediately mean you should move onto another apartment. There are many solutions and situations that can clear up the need for approval, such as getting a guarantor.

The ways in which you provide a guarantor can vary greatly. Whether you have someone you can ask who makes at least 80 times the monthly rent and can provide a letter of employment, tax documents and recent pay stubs is usually the most conventional approach to providing a guarantor. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you cannot provide one, you’re in luck! 

Companies such as Guarantors and Insurent are a great work around, as they are a third party service that act as your guarantor for the time of the lease. It is important to note that when using services such as these, you’ll often be asked to pay a fee for their services. 

The fee can vary per company but is usually a month’s rent. If you’ve got more questions regarding the approval process and guarantors, have a look at our in-depth guide on our FAQ and Approval Process pages.

Once you’ve covered whether or not you’ll need a guarantor, you’re one step closer to finalizing your apartment search! 

Documents You’ll Need Handy when Apartment Searching

Having all the documents handy on your phone or in person can help speed up the lease signing process as well as ensuring you’re prepared when you find your ideal apartment. We’ll briefly cover everything you’ll be expected to have handy below.

The usual paperwork required during the lease signing process can differ from building to building but usually remains the same. You’ll be asked to provide a W-2 Form (IRS Tax Form), a current letter of employment, your most recent pay stubs (to show proof of income and employment) and guarantor information (if you’ve decided to use one).

Having all of these handy will ensure a smooth lease signing since you’ll have everything handy you’ll be able to hasten the entire process!

If you do work with a broker or real estate salesperson, feel free to pick their brains regarding any requirements or paperwork that is being asked during the lease signing process. Real Estate salespersons are a great resource to have with you during the approval process and lease signing as they have been through it many times! 

It’s also usually the case that any good agent or broker will proactively find the best deal for you and work towards getting you the best apartment. 

Know Your Neighborhoods

Knowing the neighborhood in which you plan to move to is always a beneficial step to undertake when considering moving apartments. Apartments for rent in NYC tend to drastically change in pricing depending on where they are located. We’ve done plenty of in-depth research of each borough of New York City with added information regarding the best luxury buildings and the best locations. Just checkout our Neighborhood Guides Page to start!

Find Apartments For Rent and No Fee Apartments in NYC

Now that we’ve covered the basics of what you’ll need and how you’ll look for specifics in apartments, its important that you prepare yourself for the lengthy aspect of apartment searching. 

As we’ve mentioned earlier, if you do choose to work with us, you can skip this step as we’ll cover all the research and appointment making for you! If you’re generally interested in learning about the process and how to have the upper hand, read ahead!

Finding apartments for rent in NYC is infamous for its fast pace, hard to find inventory and not to mention the lengthy research time. With our ultimate guide to apartment searching in NYC, we’re hoping to help you the most we can with a few handy tips! 

Luckily for you, the age of technology and its wonders has brought a wide variety of websites that can simplify your apartment search, ranging from websites that offer many listings and search options to companies that do the research for you, you can easily simplify the apartment rental search. Our top three favorite websites that also happen to be the most popular when apartment searching in NYC are the following:

  • Streeteasy
  • RentHop
  • NakedApartments

Websites such as these tend to really help you with the apartment search as you’ll be able to add search options to narrow down the lengthy list of availabilities. Keep in mind that many of these websites have such a large inventory of listings that many of them can go un-updated or unverified and as such, you should always keep an eye on the details of the listings such as how long it’s been up for, when it was last updated and who are the managing agents. 

Additionally, we recommend finding 10-15 listings you are interested in and then following through with your own research on google. Simply lookup the address or the building and have a more in-depth research to see if the listing appropriately describes what you’re looking for, if it does, go ahead and schedule a viewing! 

If some of the listings you’re interested in are managed by brokers, keep in mind our earlier points regarding the differences between fee and no fee broker and sales agents so you’ll know what to expect when the lease signing process arrives and if you’ll have to budget additional expenses. 

Now that we’ve got you up and running with some tips on how to power through the apartments for rent in NYC, we’ll give you a quick insight of what it’s like to work with us and why we recommend you delegate the work load to us! 

Working With Us to find your NYC Apartments

Our Real Estate Brokerage Company Array Property Group, based in New York City, is largely focused on reinventing client interaction in the world of real estate. We believe that your apartment search shouldn’t feel as tiring as it does, nor as stressful as it usually is. 

You should feel empowered, happy and excited to be moving into a new apartment and as such, we have personalized a new approach to apartment searching where we truly focus on all of your needs and requirements when looking for an NYC apartment.

Why spend hundreds of hours scrolling through websites to eventually hope to find your ideal apartment when you can just delegate the research to us and pick our brains with our in-depth knowledge of the real estate markets in NYC. We run extensive research of the latest availabilities (updated every day) and undergo a strict verification process to make sure every single apartment we show you is up to luxury quality as well as exactly what you’re expecting it to be.

Once we’ve ran the extensive research on the latest and best buildings and apartments, we’ll start scheduling viewing appointments for you so you won’t even have to lift a finger while looking for apartments! Did we mention we also cover transportation for you by providing complimentary luxury car service?

If you skipped through the earlier sections of this ultimate guide on apartment searching in NYC, don’t worry! We’ll quickly re-explain that we’re a no fee broker company meaning all these incredible perks and benefits of working with us come at no cost whatsoever! You won’t ever have to worry about paying us fees or expenses as we get paid by the building owners and management companies.

In the end, you end up saving time and money, as well as moving into a new apartment in a truly stress-free way! Relax and let us do the research, booking and processes for you!