Finding a place to rent is a stressful experience in its own right, especially when you have a tight deadline. There are two options when renting: to find a real estate agent or to handle everything yourself. Although managing these issues yourself is important in gaining a sense of responsibility, relying on a real estate professional when buying or selling but also when renting is helpful most of the time. If you are not sure which way to go, here are some of the benefits of working with a real estate agent.
Real estate agents have access to many rental properties
First of all, real estate agents have information regarding the real estate market in a particular area, perhaps more than any outsider. They can find more properties because they have access to MLS listings. They can see the units that are currently available, as well as what properties will become vacant soon.
Furthermore, there are certain properties which can be leased out only by real estate agents. This is the case in luxury real estate where potential tenants undergo a comprehensive screening process.
Real estate agents schedule showings for you
Imagine yourself dealing with ten landlords and trying to find an opening in your already busy program to go and check their property. You’ll probably spend a lot of time speaking on the phone and rescheduling meetings if something unpredictable pops up. With the help of an agent, you can spend less time on this task. Communicate what hours work for you and let the agent do the scheduling. All you have to do is to show up and decide if you like the place or not.
Allow plenty of time for your personal home inspection, though. You should have a checklist for a thorough inspection to make sure you go through all the important areas.
Real estate agents are good negotiators
Thanks to their experience with homes and apartments, real estate agents have an eye for detail and they know how to help the client during a negotiation.
Moreover, the real estate agent is your witness and they can testify on your behalf, in case anything unexpected happens.
Renters don’t have to pay the real estate agent
When you engage the services of a real estate agent, the natural question that arises is who pays the agent. As a tenant, you owe nothing to your real estate agent because the landlord is responsible for the commission, which in most cases is the equivalent of a month’s rent. That is the case with most properties that show up on the MLS. However, be aware that you may still owe money to your agent if you find a place to rent without their help. So, make sure you understand the commission schedule and ask questions to prevent any unexpected situations.
In a nutshell, the benefits of using a real estate agent as a renter are:
- Unrestricted access to the MLS rentals through your agent’s brokerage firm
- Your agent schedules showings on your behalf
- Your real estate agent is the middleman between you and the landlord
- Your agent will explain the clauses in your lease or rental agreement and make sure you understand what you sign
- Only real estate agents may lease the apartments in upscale buildings or gated communities
- Renters don’t owe any commission to their real estate agent