Trying to navigate the housing market without a realtor is painted to be a near-impossible task.
From spending exorbitant amounts of time searching listings to trying to secure a location, it seems hiring a realtor to help out is the only way to accomplish anything. However, this is not the case.
It is possible to secure a rental unit without a realtor. There are definite benefits to having a realtor, but drawbacks exist as well. Before determining if you are going to forego hiring a realtor, there are a few factors to consider.
These factors include becoming more organized, thinking like a seller and not a buyer, as well as learning how to read the listings. The internet is the place most go to find a home, but the sheer number of places to look makes the task daunting.
A few tips and tricks easily help you narrow down the field, search only on sites with higher probabilities and get the best deal on your next rental. With a little knowledge you do not have to use a realtor to find a great rental deal.
Learn About the Pros and Cons of Having A Realtor
Making a decision about hiring a realtor should be done after a careful consideration of the benefits and drawbacks. Creating a list to determine the pros and cons is a helpful visual aid. One of the biggest benefits to a realtor is the amount of time saved.
A realtor searches through listings and organizes viewings of properties. From there, any leasing documents or other documentation requirements are gathered for you. Often, realtors have exclusive access to properties in the area you may not know about. This is ideal for anyone moving to a new region and city.
Realtors earn money from commissions and fee-based plans. As you pay your annual rent for a realtor’s service, a percentage of the money goes to them. Many times, it is the price point potential renters are uncomfortable paying. If you do not want to spend a lot of money on someone to search for you, you do not want a realtor.
In this business, you get what you pay for. If you are going to hire a realtor, do not hire a cheaper agent to save some money. You need to have a good relationship with your realtor so the agent gains a better understanding of your situation or needs.
If a realtor has no clue what you like and need, the spaces he or she pulls for you are a waste of time and your valuable money.
Some real estate agents may even be running you into a scam by showing apartments perfect for you, only for the apartment to suddenly become unavailable. Worse yet, you love the apartment but it is at the extreme high range of what is affordable for you. Any of these instances cost you more money and put you further back than just doing it all yourself.
Why the Internet Is Your Friend for Solo House Hunting
When you decide to find an apartment on your own, a wealth of sources are at your fingertips. Online researching is the best place to start. To narrow down your search, stick to the areas in which you are most interested.
There is no point in wasting time searching in areas you do not feel comfortable in or are convenient for you. If you are experiencing difficulties narrowing, make another list for the areas in which you are looking just outside your preferred area. Whichever area has the most benefits, start from there. Try to keep the areas you are interested in few.
As much as possible, try to have an idea of what you are looking for in a space. The type of apartment or home you are looking at impacts the price. The rent for a studio apartment is seldom the same price as a two-bedroom apartment. Have a running list of the most important features your future home needs. Whatever is outside of the core list, make a point to stay flexible.
After ironing out details about the area and type of apartment, try a no-fee real estate listing site. These sites provide a wealth of listings from well-known to hidden gems. Having a few different sites, including nationally reputed sites, provides you a wide variety of homes and prices from which to choose.
The last step in the online search is to jump in and begin searching. The more you refine your searches, the more efficient the process is. Start compiling a list of the apartments meeting your criteria and delve into the research as much as possible.
When you decide on what apartments to tour, you want to be as informed about the complex and apartments as possible. Do not be afraid to go to links leading to other real estate websites for an interesting listing. You are doing all the research on your own, so be thorough and take your time.
Learn About Finding an Apartment in Person
It may seem outdated but plenty of people still find apartments in person. You would be surprised the number of apartments not listed online and that are only found through physical signs and word of mouth.
However, trying to find an apartment on foot is time consuming. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks to employ to make the process just a little faster.
The first tip is to take a walk. Once you know the areas you are interested in, take a stroll in the neighborhood. You experience the atmosphere of your potential neighborhood and have a chance to speak with future neighbors.
Do not be afraid to ask your potential neighbors questions. The people living in the area are an underutilized source. Who better to explain the benefits and drawbacks of living in an area than the locals?
Try to converse with someone who lives around the area. Ask how long he or she has lived in the area and what he or she feels about the area in general. If the conversation progresses, begin to ask about any potential openings for rentals.
You would be surprised at the amount of people who know of listings not found online. Visiting popular hangouts is another underemployed method. Popular locations have many locals who may know better neighborhoods or rental areas to check out. You find out more about the area and potentially make beneficial future connections for your housing search.