‘What if I’m Renting?’ - Archived

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I hope you followed my advice last week and stocked up on those buns, because Labor Day weekend is upon us! I can’t believe it is September already, but I certainly have been enjoying the cooler temperatures and fresh air coming through my open windows.

I was asked a question by a reader wondering if Realtors® assisted people in finding property to rent as well as to buy. What a great question! It’s easy for us agents, at least me, to assume the public knows to what capacity we can help in their real estate needs, but I totally understand her presumption that’s not within our scope of business. What a great opportunity to shed some light on many corners of this varied vocation.

The short answer to the question is yes, if you are looking to find a property for rent a Realtor® can most certainly help you in that task. Your needs as a renter can be unique and navigating the waters of finding the right property are no less challenging when there is a lease involved instead of a mortgage. Do you have pets? How long of a term do you need? How large of a property would be required to stay in compliance with zoning laws? What is the best tactic for negotiating terms? As with most things, having a professional by your side to assist with this is always a good idea. A professional agent will be able to ask the right questions of the prospective landlords, narrow down areas based on local laws, assist in negotiating acceptable terms between the two parties, and have resources at their fingertips you may not have at yours. So, what’s the catch?

Although there are some rental properties listed in the MLS through a broker, not all landlords go that route. Why does that matter? If a property is listed in the MLS, the agent you have chosen to assist you will earn a commission as part of the terms agreed upon by the brokers and the MLS platform. In layman’s terms that means, by no funds of your own, the agent will be paid for their services being provided to you. The pool here is limited, however, so you’ll want to have a candid conversation with your agent about compensation. If your needs are specific and likely not to fit in the box of what’s available to us through our typical resources, there is the possibility you will need to provide a reasonable fee to the agent’s broker once you’ve executed a lease. Should that possibility not be realistic considering your budget or other reasons, being upfront from the start and setting boundaries of services provided can help prevent unnecessary stress and difficulty as you wind your way toward locating your new digs.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to writing next week’s installment. In the meantime, don’t drop so many burgers off the grill your dog gets sick and let the kids run in the sprinklers even if it’s a little chilly. This is the last hoorah, after all, so enjoy it to the fullest…

Melissa Berube, 2019 MBOR President