Avoiding the Scams

March 14, 2016

  In this blog, we regularly advocate working with a rental  agent that you can trust .  

New York is a fast moving, highly competitive housing market, which means you need to know who you are working with. Sadly, there are many people in the world who try to take advantage of this. If you do decide to work with someone outside of Oxford or want to try and navigate renting on your own, here are some tips to avoid being scammed:

  1. If you are skeptical about an agent, call the main office of the company they work for and confirm the agent works for them. You can also ask to see an agent’s real estate license.

  2. Never send money without seeing an apartment first. There are often many fees to contend with and an agent may ask you to pay them before showing a property, but it is important to make sure the listing is real.

  3. Never give cash directly to an agent. There is less risk if you deliver it to an office site of a larger firm, but generally, cashier’s checks are the safest way to pay.

  4. Always demand a receipt on company letterhead for any money paid.

  5. Be wary of any apartment that already has multiple applications pending.

  6. Unless you are applying to a condo or coop, application fees should generally cost no more than $100 per application. There are exceptions to this rule, but if they do exceed that amount, be sure you know why.

  7. Your money isn’t the only thing at risk! Protect your identity. If interacting with an agent online, be wary of being redirected to websites that ask for a large amount of personal information. Ask if you can provide a credit check from a service you trust if you have reason to doubt the website they provide.

  8. Remember if something seems to be too good to be true, it is. There is probably no such thing as a one bedroom in Manhattan for $1,000 a month.

  9. Look for references when working with anyone. In fact, ask your friends and family members for recommendations if they’ve moved in the area you’re looking.


New York real estate can be difficult to navigate and sometimes, the most important step is figuring out who you can trust. Oxford prides itself on having agents who are not only top-notch professionals, but people who know and understand what you’re looking for in your next move. This is where you’re going to be living – don’t settle for anything you don’t completely trust.  

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At Oxford, we realized that we could empower our agents by providing them the best resources and access to everything they need to do business quickly and efficiently without having to worry about massive company overhead. As a result, we were able to draw in over 600 of the top agents in New York.

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