Anywhoo does anybody know how long does a rental property stay on the market?
A nice (clean) place appropriately priced for Aug or Sep 1? 3 days if you are lucky.
Best to go looking prepared so you can apply immediately when you find something you like - this means a package with the top 2 pages of your last 2 tax returns, copies of you bank and brokerage statements. Proof of ownership of any other major assets (car, property, etc) a signed offer letter and a blank check.
The typical rule of thumb is that they want to see 40x rent in income. 80x for your guarantor.
Be forewarned that most rental co's do not accept foreign guarantors (and may hassle you if they are out of the tristate area).
Rent is seldom negotiable and don't expect any incentives like a free months rent. Broker fees tend to be 15% of the annual rent unless it is specifically stipulated as no fee (this is negotiable, however).
If you have the ability to prepay the whole year, you may be able to use this as leverage.
As MRoss said, if you look off the island of Manhattan, things become much easier.