Working with a real-estate agent for a rental

by Tom Simplot

Sep 27, 2015

Driving around the neighborhood, you see a “For Rent” sign on a house that looks perfect for you. By the time you call and check in with the real-estate agent the next day, you learn that the place has already been rented. In a housing market like Phoenix, where certain neighborhoods are seeing buyers and renters move quickly, having a professional on your side can make all the difference.

Even some of the best online tools will have out of date information on home rentals because the market is moving so quickly. Your best bet in a market like this may be to use a real estate agent to help you find your next rental home.

Access to information: Many rental homes don’t even have signs on them. Homeowners often list those homes exclusively with real-estate agents to make the rental process easier and attract qualified renters. Real-estate agents can help you search for homes that meet your needs quickly and efficiently by using their professional tools.

Timing can be important: If you decide to work with a real-estate agent and you know what the timing for your move is, your agent can be working for you and finding that right home. Again, in a tighter rental market, having a professional assist you can help you find the best rental at the right price, and a realtor may be able to convince the owner to entertain your offer before signing a new lease with someone else.

Negotiation time: When it comes time to negotiate your lease, having a real-estate agent assist you can save you money. They can negotiate the length of the lease, how payments are made (electronically or in person) or the rates for security and pets deposits.

Running checks for you: Most rental owners will ask for credit checks and employment verification, just like an apartment community. For those who may have a spotty history on either front, a real-estate agent can help a renter explain the history and ensure that you have the needed backup information.

Renters don’t pay the fees: In a rental transaction, usually the fees for the real-estate professionals are paid by the owner of the home. This should make the decision to use a real-estate agent even easier since there aren’t hard costs for you.