How A Real Estate Agent Can Help Renters

When people think about real estate agents doing their thing, helping a customer locate homes for rent probably isn't the first job that comes to mind. Many of the skills that go into buying and selling properties, though, translate well to hunting for a home for rent. Let's look at what value a real estate agent might bring to someone who's looking to rent rather than buy.

They Know the Landlords

Barring some sort of inheritance or perhaps a tax sale, most landlords and neighborhood associations purchased the properties they own through the usual real estate buying process. That means agents and landlords know each other, especially when it comes to individuals and businesses that are renting out multiple properties.

Ground Knowledge

When people move into neighborhoods, they often have questions about traffic, schools, where to eat, and whom they'll be living next to. Agents have answered those questions many times over, and the good ones make a major effort to keep up with local trends. If a neighborhood is booming, they can point you to it. Someone who wants a quieter neighborhood can look in the opposite direction.

Rules and Regulations

Every municipality has its quirks regarding the rental of properties, and it can be helpful to have a guide. While you might not want such things to happen, it can be advantageous to know what the rules are regarding things like evictions, late payments, guests, pets, property usage, and other parts of living in a home as a renter.

Search and Selection

It can be hard even for a person who has the time and is searching in a limited area to scope out all the available rental properties. Real estate agents have a number of computerized tools available to them that can quickly narrow or expand your search according to certain criteria. If you want to find all the places that are within walking distance of bus stops and subway stations, for example, the real estate agent can rule out locations that won't be ideal.

Looking at Places

Especially when someone is moving to an area for work, particularly when moving across the country while still working at your original location, there may not be time to go to each prospective property and find out whether it's a winner. You can ask a real estate agent to work from the list you've developed and see whether the listing data and pictures match the reality.