Frustrated with trying to find a place to rent in Seattle?

Are you one of those people beating the Craigslist bushes trying to find a decent place to rent? You probably did not know that real estate brokers also have access to a list of rentals that often are not marketed for rent anywhere else.

How do rentals work when using a real estate broker to find one?
It does not cost you, the renter, anything out of pocket. Much like a home for sale, it is the property owner who pays a commission to an agent who lists their property for rent. Often it’s part of the fee they pay to be provided full time management of the property. That rental listing agent decides what to offer to other agents who might bring a good tenant. The property (condo, house, sometimes small office) is listed in the NWMLS (Northwest Multiple Listing Service) and it says in the listing what it will pay to the agent bringing a tenant who passes screening and signs a 12 month lease. Most often it is one week’s rent in compensation, sometimes between $200-$300.  And actually, the money always goes to the brokerage first, the agent just gets whatever is agreed upon between them and their managing broker.  So in my case, my company would keep 35% of that, I would ultimately see only 65% of tbe a commission dollar amount. 

So why do it?
I feel called to help people with rentals. I first got my start in property management over 20 years ago, and have about 5 years in residential/multifamily property management experience, along with a couple years spent in retail/office management as well – all at the corporate office level. I understand tenant’s rights, landlord’s obligations, and from a home-search perspective, how to help the renter prioritize their life to pick the right place to live.

Of course the amount I get paid does not take into account how many hours it takes to match the right person with the right property. Last week I sunk 10 hours and three tours into trying to find a cohabitating couple a place to rent when they couldn’t even agree on what they were looking for. Ultimately they found their own place, probably off CL, which in itself is a miracle since they had been looking for 6 months. The fact that they had been looking for so long is actually a tip off that it would be nigh on impossible for me to find something that would suit both of them. I’ve worked with home BUYERS for much less time, shopping wise, but then there is the work of managing the sales contract to sucessful closing. When helping with rentals, all I do is tour people around, help them pick one, and then hand them over to the listing agent to manage the screening process and signing of a lease.

But I like a challenge and I love solving people’s problems. In last week’s sitation, it got me out into the field to tour rentals which I normally wouldn’t have seen and to observe human interaction, often amusing, sometimes frustrating!

Tenants deserve service too!
So that’s why I bother to help renters find a place to live. Tenants deserve service too! The competition for rentals listed in the NWMLS is equal to how many real estate brokers who “bother with rentals”. Honestly that’s not too many so if you team up with a professional working in your area they could really shorten your search and often you end up in a professionally managed property, making your entire rental experience so much better. No more lazy, law-breaking landlords! If you continue searching on your own you should target rentals being advertised by a management company, it’s an extra voice on your hebalf when problems happen with the property.

Seattle Homes and Condos For Rent
So as of Saturday afternoon Memorial Day weekend, this is what is currently for rent in Seattle

And my personal area of expertise? See what’s for rent in West Seattle

I am in town this weekend so if you want to talk about finding a new place to rent, call me at 206.686.HOME (206.686.4663)

Have a great holiday weekend!

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