Yes, the phone is ringing! However, are these qualified tenants? Do you want to show your house 20 times per weekend to people that don’t even qualify to live in your home or make enough money to pay the rent? What is their credit like?
Renting out your home or property can be a frightening prospect if you’ve heard friend’s or colleague’s horror stories. I’d like to ease your mind in this regard, as hiring a professional to help you navigate this task is probably easier, and far less expensive then you may imagine.
I’m afraid renter’s will destroy my property or not pay their rent!
This is a normal concern, and a very valid concern. Hiring a professional that has access to credit reports and background checks will help you see “red flags” that a true pro can spot out. How is their credit? What is their income? How much do they make compared to their total monthly obligations? What is their previous history with former landlords? There are ratios that we use to limit the possibilties of a slow or non payer. I think it is extremely important to hire an agent that has rental properties of their own. I currently own 7 rental properties, all of which I manage myself.
Furthermore, getting a solid deposit from a tenant will not only put your mind at ease, but also create a happy tenancy that promotes good maintenance and care for your property, as trust me, they will want their deposit back! The maximum security deposit allowable to charge is two months of the agreed upon rent. When I market a property for lease, I always advertise with a 2 month security deposit, and if they have perfect credit and great rental history, then it can become negotiable. By asking for the two months up front, it weeds out people that don’t have the financial security to pay such a number up front. Again, if they are savvy and have quality financials and a great back ground, you are most likely safe with less of a deposit, but cross that bridge when you get to it. We want renter’s not afraid to pay the deposit for YOUR HOME!
How do I get qualified renters to see my home and how should I stage it? What if I live out of state or out of town? How can I trust someone to handle my rental?
You will see in my recommendations, from Trulia to Yelp, that I work constantly with out of town landlords and sellers. Trust is a huge commodity and doesn’t come unearned. These questions are truly relevant and if you choose to hire a professional to help you, which I highly recommend, be sure to interview them, ask for testimonials and be sure they have a great web presence. Make sure they answer the phone when you call and should return emails promptly.
From afar, it can be difficult to know what past tenants have done to the property and what needs to be painted, or fixed, or cleaned. A lot of money can be spent doing such things, but in the end, this is a rental, so spending TOO much to prepare a property could result in lost earnings and over spending. For instance, instead of changing carpet, there is a good chance the carpet can be professionally cleaned. Instead of replacing broken window fixtures, maybe remove them all together and allow the new tenants to provide their own window treatments. There are ways to stage and property without spending a ton of money.
Marketing the property is of the utemost importance. PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS ARE EVERYTHING! It blows my mind how some agents get listings, and they go in to the property and do not stage anything, sometimes fail to open windows or turn on lights, and take photos with their smart phones. I’ve seen listings of up to 10k a month with HORRIBLE photos! Find an agent that is willing to invest their own money into your property so that everyone can realize a quick and simple transaction with highly qualified tenants that love the property as much as you.
Hiring a professional is most likely much cheaper than you think. In my market, West Side Los Angeles, generally the total fee is less than 1 months rent. Normally, we charge a percentage of 1 year’s rent (providing it’s a 1 year lease or more) and then we would split that fee with any other agents who may bring qualified tenants to the property. I can’t speak for other agents, but my fee I charge is generally just 6%. On a property that leases for $6,000 per month, my total fee would be $4,320. That’s less than one month’s rent. Hiring a professional like myself will not only save you time and energy, but the fee is so low that you could end up earning MORE money over the course of the tenancy with accurate pricing, quality tenant placing and extremely effective advertising a pro like myself would provide. Every day a property goes unrented is lost money.
Be protected, have representation that has decades of experience and the resources to qualify renters, get the top dollar for your home, call a professional, call me, Jeff Curtis, for a consultation.