Finding Rentals With a Real Estate Agent or Realtor
When you are buying a home, it is evident that a real estate agent is going to be able to help you. But if you are looking for a rental, is it worth your while going to a real estate agent?
The right agent will have a wealth of local knowledge and be familiar with the rental market. They could make a big difference to the success of your search, finding you a better home at a better price. However, fewer real estate agents deal with rentals than buying and selling, so you could find it more difficult to find someone suitable.
It also is important to note that there is a difference between a Realtor® and a real estate agent. Realtors are held to a higher standard than your typical agent. When becoming a Realtor, you vow to follow what is referred to as the real estate code of ethics. Essentially, a Realtor must always put the interests of their clients ahead of their own.
You may want to ask any agents you’re considering hiring whether or not they are a Realtor. Lots of people interchange the words real estate agent, broker, and Realtor when they all have different meanings.
Let’s take a look at what a real estate agent or Realtor can do for you when you’re looking for a rental property.
How a Real Estate Agent Can Help
An agent can help you assess what you are looking for in a rental and guide you through your options. They will be able to give you a range of possibilities which meet your budget and fit your requirements.
If the rental market in the area you are looking in is tight, it could take you longer to find a place. And if you find a property that you like, you will need to move faster. A Realtor in the area will be able to speed up the process. They will aid you in getting you a more suitable rental in a neighborhood that is right for you.
This could be invaluable assistance, which will lead to you finding your dream rental within your budget.
They will also provide a personal touch that you won’t get with an online search. The process will be streamlined to make it easier and faster for you. You will better be able to avoid focusing on rentals which aren’t right for you.
If you are busy, an agent can do the leg work for you, providing assistance to schedule tours of homes that meet your needs. You could avoid the problem of unanswered calls to property managers, letting them know you are serious about the rental and get the appointment.
If you are looking to rent a family home rather than an apartment, this could be more difficult to find. The Realtor will have access to the multiple listing service in the area. The MLS will show them which houses are for rent and provide all the information to match up with your requirements. It is even possible the agent could know about homeowners who are looking for a rent to own situation. If you fall in love with the property and eventually want to become a homeowner, this could become the perfect situation.
Additionally, real estate agents sometimes have pocket listings the general public might not be made aware of. You might be wondering what is a pocket listing? These are properties that the listing company keeps in-house and does not let the masses know about.
While a pocket listing or in-house property is often described with homes for sale, it can be with rentals as well.
Having a broker working to find you a suitable property to lease reduces the things you need to sort out when moving. There is, of course, some paperwork which you will need to have ready to secure your new home sooner.
The majority of landlords will need references along with a way to check your income levels. They will also check your credit score, so it is advisable to make sure your credit is excellent and correct any errors before entering into the process.
As well as the first month’s rent, you will need to provide a security deposit, which will double this amount. If you have everything ready, you will be able to move on a rental before anyone else beats you to it. In a competitive market, this could be crucial to finding the home you want. Be prepared to fill out a rental application and get it back to your agent as soon as possible.
How Much Does it Cost to Use an Agent?
Most of the time, it isn’t actually going to cost you anything to use the services of a real estate agent to find a rental. The landlord will typically pay a finder’s fee to the agent, which usually amounts to a month’s rent.
Some agents may require you to pay them a broker fee for their services, check what their arrangements are before agreeing to have them work for you. In some areas, the landlord only pays their real estate agent and not the agent who brings the tenant. But even if there is a cost for their services, it could help you find a cheaper rental and work out better in the long run.
Be careful of some unethical agents who will try to charge the renter when they are also getting a commission from the landlord; make sure you know what the situation is before you commit to an agent. Double dipping is frowned upon in the real estate industry when all clients involved are not made aware of the situation.
Professionals who are experienced in the rental market may be more difficult to find, but when you do, they can give you many advantages to find your ideal home.
Finding a rental property in a competitive real estate market without the help of a real estate agent is not always easy. Can it be done? Sure. If you decide to go this route, make sure that you make looking online and in the daily classifieds part of your daily routine. Ask friends and relatives to keep their ears to the ground on any potential rental opportunities. If all else fails, you can cave and find an agent to assist you in your search.