The Los Altos market is very competitive for rentals just as it is with purchases. A home for sale, well-priced and in good condition will get offers right away. The same goes for rentals. The range of rentals in Los Altos is wide with everything from $1000/month studio apartments to $15,000/month. While the more expensive properties are obviously not getting as much action as the lower priced ones, there is still competition and demand at all price levels.
Timing is everything in this market and you need to move fast to get good rental properties. Right now, good homes and apartments are getting several applications within the first 1-2 days. The landlord may entertain backup applications but generally they're off the market after that first couple of days. So, to get what you want or be able to take advantage of an opportunity, you need to be prepared. That requires having everything you need to show interest and capacity to be a great renter. Besides having a good income and employment history, you need to show that you want the home and are willing to do everything necessary to get it. Here's what you need:
- A completed application
- A credit report, preferably with employment verification
- A list of references
- A check for the deposit and first months rent
Depending on the situation, this package should be enough to ensure the landlord has everything they need to make a decision about you...on the spot. While some landlords will take additional time to review the information you've submitted, it's in your best interest to convey your desire for the property at the time. If you have a hard time "selling" yourself to the landlord, that's the perfect opportunity for your real estate agent to step in and help with negotiating. If you're a qualified renter, that needs to be conveyed to the landlord so they don't pick your application over others.
This same strategy applies to other local markets besides Los Altos. Basically, if you see something good, you've got to apply for it immediately or it'll be gone. Another consideration is that when rentals come on mid-week, you'll have less competition than on the weekends because many people can't get off work to see the property. Keep an eye on the various rentals on Craigslist, Padmapper, and Hotpads to find what you want and move on it as fast as you can.
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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