A common questions by those looking for somewhere to live is, how can a real estate agent find me a rental? Starting the search for your next home online, whether it is a rental or purchase, has become common, if not fully expected. But when it comes time to tour homes and narrow your options, it might seem like only homebuyers have the benefit of calling on a real estate agent to help them through the process.
But renters should not sell themselves short.
There are several real estate agents who will happily represent a renter searching for his or her next place to lease; it is just a matter of finding the correct professional who is very familiar with rentals in your target area.
Real estate agents who are involved in lease deals often gather a commission or finder’s fee from the landlord, which is typically equal to one month’s rent, when an eligible renter signs on to move in. However, in some parts of the country where finder’s fees are not common, for instance, Seattle, agents are going to instead collect a flat fee of a few hundred dollars or more from the renter, which depends on the level of service.
By recruiting the help of an agent, you get all the advantages available to a homebuyer: professional experience, local information and complete understanding of all your budgetary constraints.
Here are the top six reasons you might benefit from using a real estate agent to help you find your next rental.
Your location calls for it
If you are going to be living in the heart of downtown in one of the major cities in the USA, having a professional agent on hand is going to be very helpful, and in a competitive market such as New York City, a real estate agent is essential to help you get appointments to tour available spaces.
You are relocating to a new city
As someone inexperienced with a city’s layout and neighborhoods, it could be a huge advantage to call in a professional who spends their days searching neighborhoods for all available homes and apartments. Some employers also take in agent representation as part of their transfer packages.
You are busy and cannot look at yourself
Whether you cannot make it to your next city until your move date or you just have a lot of important meetings, taking the help of an agent can help to eliminate that time crunch you have been struggling with.
You want to rent a single-family home
Unlike apartment buildings where a property manager is often on site, single-family home rentals can be difficult to find listings for and schedule tours. A real estate agent is going to have access to the local multiple listing services and will know which houses are for rent, and would be able to get you to access in a suitable manner.
You want to rent in a mom-and-pop building
Similar to the single family home rental issue, a desire to rent in a smaller building owned by a private stockholder might make visiting the property more difficult. A real estate agent who has knowledge of all the buildings in the area and acquaintance with the local investors will make it easier to find out if there is an open unit in that quad plex or three-floor walk-up.
You are having problems scheduling a property tour
If calls or emails to a property manager go unreturned, or you make it to the leasing office just after closing, it is a real estate agent’s job to make that connection for you. With an agent who is representing you, it may be possible to schedule an after-hours showing or guarantee the property manager knows you are serious about your inquiry.