You may begin doing it yourself online, but when you’re looking to buy or sell a home, you probably think of hiring an agent at some point (as you should). Renters, though, typically don’t use an agent (or even think to) and wind up selling themselves short. Many agents will, in fact, represent renters, and it usually costs the renter . . . nothing. That’s just one of the reasons why you should consider using an agent when looking for a rental. So let’s examine in a little more depth why you should work with an agent to find your rental property.
Although the specifics depend on the location and the particular agent’s area of expertise, your agent can help you find potential rentals. “Sometimes the agent will guide your search for a place to rent from the very start, helping you find the right neighborhood, apartment size, and price range, then go with you to view the property.” But even if you’ve already decided on much of that, your agent can send you new listings that you may not be aware of and show you those properties. If you work with an agent to find your rental property, you’ll be able to cast a wider net and have some search help. Your agent will do all the onerous legwork for you, and then you just accept or reject what she puts in front of you.
An even greater benefit of choosing to work with an agent to find your rental property is that your agent can help you read and understand your lease. All that legalese and real estate jargon is far from easy for the layman to understand, and your agent can help you make sure you know exactly what you’re signing. “Your lease,” according to the experts, “has all kinds of vital information in it, including what repairs you’ll be responsible for, the penalties for late rent, security deposit terms, and even the terms for breaking the lease. You want to be sure you’re not signing any rental agreement that puts you in a bad position financially or violates your rights as a real estate tenant.”
Fosters Honest Relationship
Keep in mind, too, that there’s no money involved to cloud the picture when you work with an agent to find your rental property. Typically, the landlord pays the agent’s fee, so there’s no impediment to you and your agent finding you the best deal with respect to location, amenities, and price. Removing money from the equation like this promotes honesty and removes ulterior motives and stress.
It has been said that everything in both life and business is negotiable. And that’s particularly true for real estate, including rentals. But it takes experience, training, and skill, as well as a good measure of innate ability, to be an effective and persuasive negotiator. And besides, most of us don’t relish getting dirty and sweaty in the arena like that, so let your agent do it.
Here’san example: “In Chicago, IL. If a landlord lists a one-bedroom unit at$1,800, the tenant might come back and offer $1,700, and this is an accepted practice. Another person might try and get a discounted monthly rent for a longer-term lease. If you are at all uncomfortable with these types of business dealings, your renters’ agent can help as they will be the go-between for you and the landlord.”
Ultimately, if you don’t work with an agent to find your rental property when it comes time to negotiate, you may wind up on the short end of the rental stick.
How to Find the Right Agent
Now that you’ve decided to work with an agent to find your rental property. , you have to find the right one – the agent who is familiar with your market and can best meet your needs. Certainly, you should begin your agent search online, making sure to pay attention to reputable reviews. And do listen to and weigh carefully recommendations and referrals from friends and family. In all of this, you will be looking for someone you can trust to help you find your new home.
More and more people today are opting to rent for reasons that range from being too financially strapped to buy to not wanting the ongoing expenses of homeownership to desiring the freedom of renting to preferring to invest elsewhere. Now that you’re among them and have chosen to work with an agent to find your rental property, make sure to find the right agent for you. Don’t stop at an online such and recommendations. Contact a reputable agency or two to see exactly what they have to offer.