Wear your home hunt on your sleeve

 T-shirts by Jason Solarek

In addition to listing your apartment with brokers or on Craigslist, you can now advertise your real estate search on your chest.

East Village graphic designer Jason Solarek has created T-shirts with the phrases “I need an apartment to rent” and “I have an apartment for rent,” giving people an opportunity to facilitate real estate transactions during an ordinary day.

Solarek, the creative director of advertising agency Solarek Studios, came up with the idea for the shirts because he kept running into people who were talking about trying to find, or get rid of, apartments. He launched the shirts on his Web site last week.

“A lot of people are always asking friends [about apartments], or mention things in passing. There are a lot of missed opportunities to be able to exchange information,” Solarek said, adding that his T-shirts could inspire conversation between people in real estate limbo.

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The shirts come in male, female and v-neck versions, and are priced at $25 to $27. Whether people wear the shirts for fashion or to actually advertise their apartments remains to be seen.

Paul Purcell, co-founder of Charles Rutenberg in New York, said sellers obviously still need a broker’s services to sell homes, but “it forces us to think in different ways,” whether it’s advertising on a T-shirt or on Facebook. In November, one man took selling his
apartment into his own hands
by walking around the city with a
cardboard ad, yelling “apartment for sale!”

And even if the shirts — or the apartment pins that were just created today — don’t help someone find an apartment, Solarek says they are appropriate for the city’s obsession with real estate.

“In New York, the first thing people say to each other is ‘Hi, nice to meet you, how much do you pay for your apartment? Or do you have an apartment for rent? Or I have an apartment for rent,” Solarek said. “I think that the shirt is apropos for the time and a tongue in cheek representation of our New York real estate mindset.”