Even Brooklyn Nets athletes try to avoid paying broker fees

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Professional athletes: They're just like us. At least when it comes to real estate. The New York Times reports that many Brooklyn Nets players are experiencing sticker shock now that they're settling down in their namesake borough, and are feeling a little squeezed even on a pro's salary.

Take shooting guard Joe Harris, who has opted against having a car here, after finding that a spot in a garage would cost around $450/month. As we've written previously, that astronomical number is just about average for a parking spot in the city. On the flip side, forward Luis Scola brought a second car with him to Carroll Gardens, assuming finding street parking (in addition to the one designated spot in his building) wouldn't be a problem. He now calls the process of finding a spot "comical." 

But our favorite story was from second-year forward Chris McCullough—a native New Yorker, we'd note—who searched for four months and through 40 apartments to find a rental, in large part because he didn't want to pay a standard broker fee, which can cost as much as 12 to 15 percent of the annual rent. (Rather than dive into Brooklyn's overheated sales market, it would seem most of the Nets are renters for now.)

"We only looked in Brooklyn," said Bronx-born McCullough, who ended up settling on a three-bedroom in Crown Heights after dilligently combing StreetEasy for options and, with the help of his uncle, tracking potential apartments in a notebook.

As we've written previously, New York is pretty much the only rental market in the U.S. where broker fees are standard (and we're unlikely to get rid of them anytime soon), but if you want to take your search beyond StreetEasy and its "no-fee" search filter, there are an increasing number of options out there, including Naked Apartments, NY Bits, and Zumper. 

Just think of all the extra money you'll save to spend on, say, Nets tickets.