If you are an absentee landlord, strapped for time, or live too far away from your rental property, you may need to enlist the help of a real estate agent in leasing out your property. Having an experienced real estate agent at your disposal can also be invaluable for new landlords who may not be well-versed in the minutiae of running a rental property.
Before selecting a real estate agent to handle leasing your property, you’ll need to research them thoroughly to see if the agent is the right person to handle your interests. Since you won’t be interviewing your tenants personally, be extra careful when selecting the person who will represent your interests.
Here are some tips for finding the best agent to help you rent your property.
- Ask for referrals. If you are looking for an agent to lease your property for you, ask other landlords for suggestions. They may be able to refer you to a reputable company with which they have had positive experiences. If you can’t find any referrals, you can begin interviewing different agents in your area to see if they’ll be able to meet your needs.
- Look for an experienced agent. Not all real estate agents are qualified to handle rental properties. Look for a professional who has previous experience in renting properties.
- Pay close attention to the agent’s reputation. Some absentee landlords have found that agents have lied to applicants to get them to rent properties. If you have any concerns about the business practices of an agent, keep looking.
- Research your agent’s past. Does the realtor have any past claims filed against them in reference to discrimination or other issues? Antidiscrimination laws are getting stricter, and you’ll will need to ensure that your agent has not had any successful claims launched against them. Since you are the property owner, you may be ultimately responsibility for any settling any claims. Perform a background check on the agent to uncover any past issues.
- Insist on regular contact. You will need an agent who is willing to keep you frequently updated on the status of your rental property, new applicants, and what is being done to fill any vacancies.
- Decide how involved your agent will be in the tenant-selection process. While you are entrusting someone else to rent out your property, you should have the final say in approving tenants.
- Select an agent with whom you get along. Personality clashes can poison a working arrangement and lead to more than just hot tempers. Make sure that you get along well with your agent before entering into a working relationship.
- Weigh the cost of the service. How much will your agent charge you for his or her work? Before entering an agreement, be sure you understand all the implications, including any fees that may occur while the agent is working on your behalf. If you’re having a hard time finding an agent to assist you in leasing out your rental property, check with your state’s real estate licensing board. It may be able to direct you to a qualified, licensed professional who can help you with your property.