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When Should You Use a Real Estate Agent to List Your Rental?

As a real estate agent, you would think my response would be “Always!” but here is my unbiased opinion on this matter. Choosing a tenant, although time consuming, is not exactly rocket science; however, there is some skill involved. For this reason ...

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As a real estate agent, you would think my response would be “Always!” but here is my unbiased opinion on this matter

Choosing a tenant, although time consuming, is not exactly rocket science; however, there is some skill involved

For this reason, brokers may be necessary to make the lives of property owners easier; but this convenience comes at a cost.  Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you decide to hire a broker or DIY. 1.     Can you afford it? Is the investment revenue from your rental enough to justify the real estate broker’s fee (typically one month’s rent)? If not, consider screening and choosing the tenant on your own, or requiring a two-year lease so the real estate agent’s fee gets you twice as much time. 2.     Is your rental in demand? Demand is based on how many people are looking for your type of unit, the price, and the time of year

If your unit is in demand, and it’s the right time of year, you’ll save money by doing it yourself

However, if it’s the dead of winter and the applications are few and far between, using an agent can save you money

They can put your property on the multiple listing service and get it in front of many more people than your “for rent” sign

With all the extra exposure, it will take less time to find a good tenant using a professional. To help determine demand you can always try on your own for a week or so and gauge the response

Also, keep in mind that spring is a much easier time to rent than winter, and a smaller affordable unit is easier to rent than a big house, since you have a larger pool of candidates to choose from. 3.     Do you know how to put your listing online and which websites to use? Several years ago, there were only a few places to list your rental online, so the decision was fairly simple

Now there are hundreds of websites that offer this service

It’s difficult to know which one will work best without spending hours manually listing your rental on each of them one at a time

Without knowing which website is best in your area, you could be wasting your time

One of the most useful services a real estate broker provides is exposure for your rental

A lot of brokerages pay for services that send your listing to tons of online sites, not to mention the benefit of having your listing automatically marketed to other real estate brokers, who stand to make a commission if they provide a qualified renter. 4.     Do you have the time to deal with it? Finding a tenant takes quite a bit of time; you’ll be taking calls, setting up appointments, driving back and forth to the rental, running and reviewing credit checks, writing up a lease and getting it signed, and more

This could be particularly time consuming if you live far from your rental or price it wrong

Choosing the wrong price can lead to many people browsing and checking out your unit, but never actually applying

All of this can cost precious time and money. 5.     How well do you know the market? Pricing your unit can be tough if you don't have intimate market knowledge

You can learn about the market by checking other websites for comparable rentals in your area

However, brokers have access to more information via their local multiple listing services and may be able to get you a higher price than you thought. In this case, a broker’s fee may be justified if they secure a higher rent for you. 6.     Do you understand the laws and restrictions in your state? Do you know how to write up a lease, and what to do with a security deposit? It’s always recommended that you get educated, but if you don't want to become an expert on the topic, you may want to hire one. The decision to hire a real estate agent or do it yourself hinges on many factors, so consider all of your options before you choose

If anyone out there is looking for a real estate broker in the Chicagoland area, feel free to reach out! My website is Post a Comment: Follow Us: Please log in or sign up for free to post comments. try { // to refit images in article body var divs = document.getElementsByTagName("div"), articlebody = Elem("div"); for (var indx = 0; indx < divs.length; indx++) { if (divs[indx].className == "articlebody") { articlebody = divs[indx]; break; } } var images = articlebody.getElementsByTagName("img"); for (var indx = 0; indx < images.length; indx++) { if (images[indx].parentNode.firstChild == images[indx]) images[indx].style.marginTop = "3px"; if ((typeof(images[indx].style.cssFloat) != "undefined" ? images[indx].style.cssFloat : images[indx].style.styleFloat) == "left") images[indx].style.marginLeft = "0px"; else if ((typeof(images[indx].style.cssFloat) != "undefined" ? images[indx].style.cssFloat : images[indx].style.styleFloat) == "right") images[indx].style.marginRight = "0px"; } } catch(e) {} var Comments = new ArticleComments( 716, "When Should You Use a Real Estate Agent to List Your Rental?", "/articles/news/716/when-should-you-use-a-real-estate-agent-to-list-your-rental/", Get("DivCommentSection"), Get("DivCommentError"), Get("ctl00_mainContent_TextBoxComment"), Get("ImgSubmitting"), false); Comments.Display(); View related threads in the Real Estate & Landlord News Forum » .ArticlesSubmenu { border-bottom: 1px solid #D2D2D2; line-height: 20px; font-weight: bold; font-size: 13px; padding: 5px 0; } .ArticlesSubmenu > a { display: block; padding: 4px 4px 4px 7px; } .ArticlesSubmenu div { margin-left: 10px; } .ArticlesSubmenu div a:hover, .ArticlesSubmenu div a.Active { color: #dfb511 !important; } .ArticlesSubmenu div a.Active { font-weight: bold; } .ArticlesSubmenu div a.Inactive { font-weight: normal; } .ArticlesSubmenu a, .ArticlesSubmenu a:hover, .ArticlesSubmenu a:visited { text-decoration: none; } div.ArticlesSubmenu > a.Highlighted { background-color: #3366cc; color: white !important; font-weight: bold; } Real Estate & Landlord News State Law Summaries New Landlord Guide Ongoing Education Tenant Screening/Advertising Real Estate Investing Leasing Issues Move-Out & Eviction Property Management Tax Strategies var highlighted = null, divs = document.getElementsByTagName("div"), submenudivs = new Array(), metacategories = { "LandlordNews" : "ctl00_ContentInfoColumnTop_SubmenuArticlesControl_LinkLandlordNews", "StateLaws": "ctl00_ContentInfoColumnTop_SubmenuArticlesControl_LinkStateLaws", "LandlordGuide": "ctl00_ContentInfoColumnTop_SubmenuArticlesControl_LinkLandlordGuide", "Educational": "ctl00_ContentInfoColumnTop_SubmenuArticlesControl_LinkEducational" }; //""}; for (var indx = 0; indx < divs.length; indx++) if (divs[indx].className == "ArticlesSubmenu") submenudivs.push(divs[indx]); function Highlight(elem) { if (highlighted != null) highlighted.className = ""; if (elem != null) elem.className = "Highlighted"; } function UnHighlight(elem) { if (elem != null) elem.className = ""; if (highlighted != null) highlighted.className = "Highlighted"; } highlighted = Get(metacategories["LandlordNews"]); if (highlighted == null) highlighted = Get(metacategories[0]); Highlight(highlighted); for (var div = 0; div < submenudivs.length; div++) { submenudivs[div].onmouseover = function() { Highlight(this.getElementsByTagName("a")[0]); }; submenudivs[div].onmouseout = function() { UnHighlight(this.getElementsByTagName("a")[0]); }; } Email this article to a Friend! var sendEmail_ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl = function (e) { SubmitOnEnter(e, function () { Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_btnArticleEmail").focus(); Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_btnArticleEmail").click(); }); }; Pliner.Util.Display.SetInputPlaceholder(Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtMyName"), "Your Name"); Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtMyName").onkeypress = sendEmail_ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl; Pliner.Util.Display.SetInputPlaceholder(Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtMyEmail"), "Your Email Address"); Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtMyEmail").onkeypress = sendEmail_ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl; Pliner.Util.Display.SetInputPlaceholder(Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtEmail"), "Your Friend's Email Address"); Get("ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl_txtEmail").onkeypress = sendEmail_ctl00_infoColumnContent_EmailArticleToFriendControl; Recent Educational Articles Tenant Screening/Advertising WARNING! Problem Tenant Ahead: 5 Red Flags When choosing a new tenant, it can be difficult to navigate the information overload that confronts you

You must analyze each tenant's work history, references, number of occupants, and the like

Here are five red flags that can act as shortcuts, and weed out some potentially problematic renters

While these aren’t 100 percent accurate all of the time, they will save you from headaches most of the time! If your prospect does any of these things, take a step back and ask yourself, is it worth the risk? Read More » Real Estate Investing Does Selling Your House FSBO Really Save Money? Selling 'for sale by owner' does not guarantee more profit in your pocket just because you are saving on realtor costs

Furthermore, while some FSBO do work out well, they are not all equal, as they depend on the house and the market. Read More » Leasing Issues Tenants Overdoing Halloween Decorations? A realistic dummy laid on a lawn in Michigan each Halloween caused panic when passersby didn’t realize it was a prank

Many thought someone was seriously hurt and called 911 as the homeowner giggled inside the house

A much more gruesome scene, hosted each October on a front porch in Texas, included a child’s crib filled with zombie babies

And, in Illinois, a homeowners association felt compelled to enact new rules about Halloween displays after receiving complaints about a home whose decorations included 2,000 lights that blazed for weeks. Read More » Move-Out & Eviction How Does Eviction Work? More rumors surround the subject of eviction than perhaps any other rental topic

Landlords and tenants alike seem to rely on word-of-mouth information, which seems rather inappropriate considering that the eviction process follows fixed guidelines

States and local municipalities set these guidelines, and very few are identical

One feature of virtually all eviction laws is a requirement that landlords give tenants written notices before filing eviction court cases. This is where things get confusing

It takes more than a notice from a landlord for a situation to become an eviction case

A complaint must be filed in court for a case to be officially recorded. Read More » General Property Management Does Accepting Prepaid Rent Make Sense? More and more tenants are requesting to pay their rents all at once, for many reasons

Whether they just sold their house, or they want to offer a lump sum due to a poor credit rating, the occasional tenant may want to put a large quantity of cash in your hand

While that sounds like a dream come true, it is important to evaluate why the tenant is requesting this, and if this makes sense for you. Read More » Tax Strategies How to Appreciate Depreciation Depreciation is a tool used by landlords to lower their overall tax bill

It is a deduction that must be paid back when you sell your property, whether you have claimed it on your taxes or not. Read More » Contact Us! Live Assistance Available 1-877-367-6771 Call us with questions or comments ez Landlord Forms products and services are reviewed and approved by attorneys, accountants, fellow landlords, or industry experts. ez Landlord Forms is not a law firm and our products and services are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Copyri

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