Do real estate agents help find rentals?
If you are familiar with the difficulty of finding an apartment online, the idea of ââan agent who can help you with your property search may seem like a godsend. We all know that agents help people buy real estate, but did you know that you can also use a real estate agent to help you find rentals?
While you can always find apartments for rent near you with a search on realtor.com, some prefer to get help from an agent when searching for a home. An agent can point you in the right direction and save you from having to research landlords and property managers from rental listings, especially in larger cities. However, keep in mind that the services they provide (and the fees they charge) vary by location. Here’s what you need to know about using a real estate agent to find a rental.
Do real estate agents help find rentals?
What a real estate agent does to help you find a rental property depends on the location (whether it’s a large town or a small town) and the agent.
Sometimes the agent will guide your search for a place to rent from the start, helping you find the right neighborhood, apartment size and price range, and then accompany you to view the property.
More likely, however, you will have already decided on a lot of this information, and the agent will send you new listings that you might be interested in and offer to show you the property.
Either way, once you’ve chosen a rental, made an offer, and approved by the landlord or management company, your agent should help you read and understand your real estate lease.
“Most tenants can find accommodation without a real estate agent, but they forget to look for someone who can help them figure out what they are signing when they sign a lease,” explains Dillar schwartz, a real estate agent in Austin, TX.
Your lease contains all kinds of vital information, including what repairs you will be responsible for, late rent penalties, security deposit conditions, and even lease breach conditions.
You want to be sure that you don’t sign a rental agreement that puts you in a bad financial position or violates your rights as a real estate tenant.
Where you are looking to rent makes the difference
In cities like New York or San Francisco, with huge tenant populations, it’s common to hire a real estate agent to find a rental. Entire agencies are specialized in real estate rental.
In some cities, it is more common for agencies that focus on real estate rental to be referred to as âapartment locatorsâ, to differentiate them from agencies that focus on real estate sales. Essentially, however, they provide the same service.
In places where rentals are not as common, you may find that apartments, townhouses, and condos are more often managed by the management company of a resort. People who rent homes in suburban areas that are primarily owner-occupied, especially those with HOA, will often use local real estate agents to help them find tenants who meet the neighborhood association’s requirements.
Using a real estate agent to find a rental: How to find a real estate agent who takes care of the rental?
âA place to start is realtor.comÂ®, and do a search for rentals in the area you want to live in, then contact the agents who represent those properties,â explains Teri Andrews Murch, a real estate agent in Auburn, California.
Personal references are also a great way to find a real estate professional. Ask your friends for the names of reliable real estate agents they have worked with. Even though these agents don’t work with rentals, they probably have a colleague they can put you in touch with.
Finding someone you trust to work with you on your property search is important because that person will help you find your new home.
How much are the estate agent’s fees for rentals?
Another thing that varies widely depending on the location is brokerage fees. In many places, the landlord pays the real estate agent to help them find a desirable tenant. Apartment locator services are almost always paid for by the owner.
In more competitive rental markets, the tenant will often be responsible for real estate agent fees, sometimes referred to as âbrokerage feesâ. In fact, even if you find the listing on your own, some rentals will require you to pay a fee to the owner’s broker for listing the property.
Costs can be as low as $ 50 to $ 75 for a credit check or application, but the most common rates are one month’s rent, or 15% of the apartment’s annual rent. Before you start working with an agent, be sure to ask what fees you will be responsible for paying.