If you make the decision to rely on a real estate agency in your housing search you should be well aware of what you are up against.
While this simplifies the search (shortening your time and requiring less energy), there are some disadvantages that should not be underestimated: the costs you face often rise substantially, the ambiguous figure of the real estate agent looms over your heads.
As for costs, agencies generally demand, as a fee for their service, a monthly rent (if you sign a contract for 200€ for 10 months you spend 200 x 10+200=2200€) and a registration fee that varies depending on the agency you trust (some do it for free). Then add to this the fact that generally, all things being equal, a house taken through an agency has a higher monthly rent than a house taken directly by dealing with the landlord, partly because the landlord himself has to pay the agency.
We now come to what may prove to be the second “cons”: the real estate agent.
In introducing yourself to a real estate agency,with your nice student air, two things can happen to you: the employees look at you snobbishly, uttering things like “students?We don’t deal with students…we just want decent people,” or they are all strangely kind to you and are very helpful and accepting of all requests.
In the former case there is little you can do…in the latter case, however, you will have to bring out all your skill (and distrust).
Granted that there are serious real estate agencies and excellent real estate agents, you may come across someone who will offer you a pile dwelling by painting it as a palace, where “the carpet in the bathroom is to keep the heat” e “the absence of heating is not a problem, because the palaf…er, house is thermally insulated and very warm by itself…on the other hand…no one has ever complained!!!”
In short, when you find yourself talking to a real estate agent always keep in mind that his only goal is to get you to sign the contract, and everything after that interests him relatively.
That said, you now know essentially what awaits you if you decide to jump into the world of real estate agency. The advice is to keep this solution on hand, but to try, at least initially, to find your accommodation another way.
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