With so many online real estate brokerages offering a full service that cuts out the middleman, some buyers might be tempted to think they can safely go it alone without the services of a real estate agent.
That may be true, but a recent blog post from Apartment Guide reveals that when it comes to searching for rental, hiring an agent can still be beneficial.
Apartment Guide lists five reasons why a real estate agent can help smooth the process of finding a place to rent, and also save you, the renter, a decent sum of money in the process.
One of the most obvious benefits is that a real estate agent saves time in finding a place. Simply tell them what you’re looking for in an apartment, and they’ll do the leg work for you, narrowing your choice down to a few select items that best meet your requirements. Agents can also coordinate a showing so it fits with your schedule, or even view the property on your behalf if you’re unavailable, Apartment Guide says.
A second and often overlooked benefit is that an agent can often negotiate a better rental price than you can.
Real estate agents can also make the lease signing process easier as they’re familiar with all of the contractual terms and know what to look for. They’ll be able to explain what the contract says in layman’s terms, and also draw up all of the documents you’ll need before you can sign the lease, including W-2s, bank statements, pay stubs and photo IDs. In addition, many real estate agents these days can complete the whole document process online, further adding to your convenience.
A fourth benefit of having a real estate agent get your back is their knowledge of the local area. This is a great reason for anyone new to the area to use their services, as they can serve as a great resource when it comes to recommending everything from schools to day care centers, places to shop, restaurants, dog parks and more.
Last but not least, did you know that in many cases landlords will actually pay for the services of your real estate agent? Many listings on the MLS for example, will state they will pay the real estate agent’s commission in the hope of attracting better tenants.
This commission arrangement should be disclosed at the beginning, when you first start working with an agent. However note that when the landlord doesn’t agree to pay the commission, the agent may charge you a month’s rent or a percentage of that.
Talking to a realtor to find out if it will be beneficial for your apartment search costs nothing. They will focus on your needs and protect your interests. Doing so may save you a lot of time and energy as well as make the process seamless.