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!

Complimentary passes to Get Motivated! – Fabulous lineup of speakers June 7th (Value: $225 at the door)

Get Motivated! – Fabulous line up of speakers and entertainment June 7th. I am handing out 120 complimentary tickets to the KeyArena or ShoWare Satellite location.

What a lineup of awesome and inspiring speakers to get everyone recharged midway through the year. I ordered 120 tickets to this event and I am giving them to people who will really benefit from this injection of energy and expertise.

Here’s who’s coming:
Former First Lady Laura Bush is a Special Guest
Rudy Giuliani, America’s Mayor speaks on Perseverance
Bill Cosby, America’s Favorite Comedian speaks on Success
Joe Montana, The NFL’s Greatest Quarterback speaks on Teamwork
Brian Tracy, America’s Authority on Selling speaks on Sales & Negotiation
Gen. Colin Powell, World Famous Soldier Statesman speaks on Leadership
Dan Rather, Award Winning Journalist speaks on Communication
Howard Putnam, Acclaimed CEO of Southwest Airlines speaks on Management
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Celebrated Four Star General speaks on Excellence
Steve Forbes, President and CEO of Forbes, Inc. speaks on Business Skills

You need to connect with me in person before June 7th to get your free ticket(s). The speakers will be live at KeyArena, and they will be broadcasted at the Satellite location ShoWare Center. If you go to the ShoWare Center you get lunch, a workbook voucher comes with your ticket, and many of the speakers will be coming directly from KeyArena to ShoWare for in-person Q&As and to autograph books.

I will be attending the ShoWare Center event with my husband. I have 120 tickets total between the two locations. At the door it will cost $225 to get in. I will give you tickets for free. Contact Wendy Hughes-Jelen, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Executive, by email at or call her AccessLine at 206.686.4663.

MINI SUVs – drive and compare on May 25th in Fife

Sophia, Italian greyhoud, co-pilot and sidekick

MINI Rocks the Rivals competition driving tour arrives at Northwest MINI in Fife next Wednesday. This is your chance to test drive a MINI Countryman (4-wheel drive) and then also drive and compare it to a Nissan Juke, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Toyota Rav.

I’ll be there at 2 pm. I am still waiting for the MINI Electric – but if they GAVE me one I would take it. A chance to win a 2011 MINI Countryman just for showing up!!!

Of course there IS no comparison to a MINI, in my opinion. A Rav, seriously? hehe

Read about the KISS-inspired MINI Countryman SUVs and see one of them on Wednesday.

“Remodeling at Highest Level in Four Years”

Gee, look at this. Right after I posted information about a loan available for remodeling/energy efficiency improvements to your home! I guess we already knew this.

Remodeling at Highest Level in Four Years
Spending stalled across the board in the housing market over the past few years. As lending tightened, many buyers found themselves foregoing moves and holding off on remodels. That trend is changing, however, as consumer confidence returns and homeowners once again gear up for remodeling projects.

Read the Full Story

New PowerSaver loan will help people stay in their homes longer

The new PowerSaver loan might be an option for those who want to stay in their home or *would* stay in their home if it was more comfortable and cost less money to heat or cool each year. Since it is difficult to sell real estate in many parts of the country right now, a little remodeling to green a home means the current owners can live there longer in peace and comfort. Pass it on!

From Inman News:

FHA backing energy efficiency retrofits 
PowerSaver loans provide up to $25,000 for insulation, HVAC, solar

Read the whole story

Homes and condos for rent in West Seattle

I was busy poking around looking at all of the rentals on the Westside today after showing one of them and thought I would share what is currently out there. This is before the May 10th deadline of giving notice for people who are currently renting and plan on moving by the end of the month.

The rental market is very tight, due to homeowners being foreclosed on and becoming renters. Thus supply is low since rentals are in demand, allowing for higher rents than in past years.

If you are a tenant now and interested in moving in the next few months, send me an email as I have past experience in property management and love showing rentals too!

See West Seattle homes for rent