Have you been so busy with the semester that thinking about where you are going to live next year just hasn’t crossed your mind? Or maybe it’s your first time to think about renting and you have no clue where to start. Now that finals are finishing up and the fall is creeping closer, it’s a great time to lock down your next place for the fall semester. How can you get ready to sign for the fall? There are some things you should be prepared for:
- Pick ONE Realtor
- Have a list of 3-4 properties
- Set a budget
- Application fees
- Lease signing
I go over this process with clients all the time and they always seem a little shocked at what goes into renting/leasing.
Picking ONE Realtor will save time and headaches. I get so many clients that tell me they have called 5 or 6 different companies and talked to 10 Realtors. By the time we speak, they don’t even remember what property they were calling about. The good thing about choosing one Realtor is that they typically have access to everything else the other Realtors do. Wouldn’t you rather communicate with one Realtor about 20 properties, than play phone tag with 20 agents about 20 properties?
Make sure to have some properties in mind. It’s a good idea to do a little research. The process will be much quicker if you have 3-4 properties in mind or at least an idea of the type of property you need. Not 12-20 properties. If you don’t have some already in mind, have your Realtor help you.
You need to set a budget. I get calls from people wanting to see properties that differ $500-$1000 under their price limit. If you can’t go over a certain number, bottom line… don’t look at properties over that number. This is ultimately going to waste time and get you further away from reaching your goal of finding the perfect place.
Once you and your Realtor have shopped around and finally decided on a place, there will more than likely be an APPLICATION FEE. A lot of people do not know these exist and they can vary. Some start as low as $35 and go as high as $100. You have to be prepared to “shell out the dough” at this point. The application fee is going to allow the agents to run background checks and make sure you are fit for the property.
Now the paperwork begins. First off, you have to fill out the application in its entirety. Do not leave blanks if you can help it. I have had clients leave lines blank that are absolutely necessary to process the background check. What does this do? Slows down the process and lessons the probability that you will get the property you want.
Lease signing can be confusing. These are legal documents created to confuse you. Let’s face it. Who reads leases in their spare time besides Realtors and Lawyers? Not many. This is a time to ask questions and do not feel bad about doing it. Most leases are pretty similar in their basic structure and then catered to the Landlord’s preferences. Make sure to READ it and get an executed copy.
Lastly, you will need a deposit ASAP. The time frame on the deposit can vary. Most will require it within 48hrs of signing the lease. Some companies require it upfront if you want to guarantee a hold on the property. Unfortunately money talks in leasing and the sooner you have it, the better.Best tid-bit I can give you: It’s a race! First come first serve, so be quick about every step in the process.