To fee, or not to fee? Whether to pay a broker’s fee for a new apartment is a polarizing question for New Yorkers, one comparable to whether or not you take your bagel toasted. For many renters, there is no grey area — you either do or you don’t. And certainly there are pros and cons of both working with a rental broker and searching independently. If, however, shelling out the standard 15 percent broker’s fee is as antithetical to your existence as a toasted everything with lox, read on. Here we highlight the top 10 NYC neighborhoods with the highest density of no-fee listings.

Image of no fee apartments neighborhoods nyc

In Search of No-Fee? Head to Neighborhoods Dense With High-Rises

Your top three bets for no-fee apartments are neighborhoods known for new development and/or sprawling apartment complexes. Stuyvesant Town handily takes the number one spot on this list, offering 100 percent of its rental listings without a fee. All buildings in Stuytown are managed by the same company — Stuytown Property Services — which standardizes amenities, services and no-fee status for all units across the neighborhood.

Downtown Brooklyn and Hunters Point come in a close second and third, offering 92 and 90 percent no-fee listings, respectively. Both areas have seen a proliferation of luxury development in the last 15 years and now are packed with amenity-laden rental towers.

‘No-Fee’ Does Not Mean ‘Cheap’

It is worth noting, however, that although these areas offer high densities of no-fee listings, their rents are not low. In Stuytown, the median asking rent last quarter reached $3,907, well above the Manhattan median of $3,150. And the neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens with the most no-fee listings are some of the boroughs’ most expensive: The median asking rent in Downtown Brooklyn last quarter was $3,257, compared to Brooklyn’s $2,450 median. In Hunters Point, the median rent is $2,967, compared to Queens’ $2,150 median.

Other neighborhoods with high densities of no-fee listings include Hudson Yards, the Financial District and Long Island City, with 82, 81 and 77 percent of rentals advertised as no-fee, respectively. Like the others, these neighborhoods are known for their shiny glass towers, substantial new construction and high costs. After Hunters Point, Long Island City is the most expensive neighborhood in Queens, with a median asking rent of $2,871. Averages in Hudson Yards and FiDi both exceed the Manhattan median at $3,320 and $3,595, respectively.

Three Good Bets for Budget-Friendly, No-Fee Options in Brooklyn

You don’t have to limit your search for a no-fee apartment to expensive neighborhoods. Three of the 10 best areas for no-fee rentals are Brooklyn neighborhoods with rents either below or close to the borough median. In Bushwick, Bed-Stuy and Stuyvesant Heights, renters will find both good value and a high density of no-fee listings.

Bed-Stuy and Stuyvesant Heights have median rents of $2,300 and $2,350, respectively, both below the borough median of $2,450. Bushwick offers a slightly higher density of no-fees and a slightly higher rents, with a median of $2,475. Unlike the other neighborhoods on this list, these budget-friendly Brooklyn neighborhoods are known for more for smaller multifamily buildings and low-rises. You likely won’t find luxury amenities, but you will find a more laid-back, residential atmosphere, which is arguably much harder to put a price on.

Hey, why not like StreetEasy on Facebook and follow @streeteasy on Instagram?