How to Survive a Competitive Multiple-Offer Rental Market
Finding a rental property, from apartments to luxury homes, used to be fairly straightforward. Even in tight housing markets like Silicon Valley the supply of rental properties was pretty good 3-4 years ago. These days, the rental market is just as competitive as the regular market - multiple offers, overbids, limited supply, and stiff competition. It's not just in California. Many other markets around the country are having the same problem. So, how do you compete in these situations?
Be A Prepared Tenant
You have to be just as "pre approved" as a home buyer when going after rentals. That means you need to show you've got the means to lease the property immediately - no questions asked. Before going out to look, you must have the following:
- Completed application (absolutely complete, no shortcuts)
- Multiple References
- Copies of recent credit reports with scores (the cheap reports without scores are useless)
- A checkbook so you can place a deposit down immediately
Conduct a Tour of Neighborhoods
Just like shopping for a home, you need to tour neighborhoods to figure out where you want to be. If you know the area really well, then you might be able to skip this step. Contact a good local REALTOR who knows the market and neighborhoods. Sure, you can comb Craiglist and Hotpads but those resources don't offer any insight into the best places to live, places to avoid, or unpublished opportunities. There are a significant number of rentals you'll never know about...that your REALTOR does.
Once the tour is over, you'll know more about where to live and be able to narrow down the choices as properties come on the market. This will save you significant time and frustration while also preventing you from becoming a "panic renter", desparate to rent anything.
Match Knowledge with Speed
When you've got an agent looking out for you, they'll send you a text or email saying "Here's a great property!" or something to that affect. Now, you might already be getting alerts from various places but your agent is going to be better at responding to the landlord with the right words to get you in the door...fast. That's where you need to listen and move quickly.
The secret to securing a property in these markets is to know about them, ideally before they're officially available. You need to:
- Know about the property before anyone else
- Preview the property before all or most other prospective tenants
- Make a fast decision (possible if its in a neighborhood you previewed)
If you do these things you've got a great chance at securing a home. When you do, you'll realize that having the agent there to map the process was well worth the time and better than calling 50 other agents hoping they'll all send you something. They won't. Call one and let them help you. It's what they do.
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Bryan Robertson, CEO | T: 650.799.9951 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Website: http://www.BryanRobertsonHomes.com |CA BRE# 01191946 | Catarra Real Estate, Inc | 171 Main St #220 | Los Altos, CA 94022