Should You Use a Realtor to Find an Apartment?
Finding apartment rentals is easy in some cities, but in others, it is a hassle. That is why many people turn to realtors to help them find an apartment for rent. What is it like working with a realtor when you are looking to rent rather than buy?
Find an Agent Who Knows Your Area of Interest
Just as you would pick an agent who was an expert in single-family homes in your coveted suburb if you were thinking of buying there, you need to find a realtor who is an expert in apartments in the area where you want to rent. One of the advantages of working with a real estate agent on a rental is that you can benefit from that person's years of experience in the field. Your agent knows the different parts of town, understands each building's pros and cons, and can find you an apartment with the features you want.
Why do you need a real estate agent? You may need help finding the right apartment, or you could need help negotiating a better deal. According to The San Francisco Times, a real estate agent can also do all the searching for you or involve you in the process, depending on your time constraints and needs. Be clear on your needs for a realtor, and be clear on your housing parameters as well, such as your desired amenities and cost.
Get the Inside Scoop
In a hot rental market, you want to make sure that you are the first in line for a new apartment. If you can be there before the lineup begins, so much the better. According to The LA Times, a trusted agent develops a personal relationship with a particular landlord or staff member. And as such, he or she may learn about upcoming availabilities before they are officially listed. You have a sound credit history and excellent references. What more can you do to get into the market quickly? Working with a realtor allows you to get ahead of the game when it comes to finding an apartment rental in a market that is saturated with prospective tenants.
Stay Ahead of Rental Trends and Deals
In a fast-moving rental market, you could spend time working out where the cost of a rental is changing most quickly and where there are deals to be found. However, that is a realtor's job. Real estate agents do this job for all customers, and you can use their expertise on the local rental market to understand what apartment buildings are the best deal or what street tends to have the highest rate of apartment turnover. Realtors also know who is willing to negotiate and who always sticks to the official rental cost.
Paying a Commission
Cost is one reason that people do not use a realtor to find an apartment rental. However, the cost of the real estate agent depends on the particular situation where you live. Some real estate agents charge a finder's fee directly to the tenant. In other areas, landlords will help with the realtor's commission, giving them the finder's fee.
Be clear on what fees you will pay before you enter into a realtor-tenant relationship. Know that it is often financially worthwhile to work with a realtor even if you pay a fee, since the realtor could find you an apartment deal or an apartment with the exact amenities you need.
At Open for Homes, we are here to support your housing search. Whether you want to buy a new house or you are investigating apartment rentals, we have the information you need to make the best housing decisions for your family. Take a look at the blog at Open For Homes today.