As much as I do not like real estate agents when it comes to renting, it has become the norm in NYC.
Many charge a substantial brokers fee while other are paid my the landlord.
I went through an entire process with Barskaya Group Real Estate under the understanding that there was not a fee on the apartment I was looking at.
Filled out the application (with the broker fee section left blank by the realtor), had it approved and submitted.
Then last minute when I was coming to sign the lease had the realtor state there was a $2800 broker fee.
I would avoid this realtor all together if possible. Untrustworthy and very sketchy business practices.