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How to find your next rental

February 18, 2009 by  
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For Rent

You want to find a great new place to rent. So what can you do to make that happen?

Did you know you can have a Realtor represent you and help you with this process, and the landlord pays us? We are free to you the tenant but we are worth much more!

Here is the basic process:

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  1. Find the house, townhouse, condo, or apartment you wish to rent
    • With our industry leading interactive map based search, you can browse the listings on a map. Drag the map to see available rental listings in any direction. Change the search criteria to limit price/rent, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, detached home or condo or etc., and even search by things like days on market. No zip codes are required which greatly simplifies the search.
    • If you wish to take advantage of our expertise and skill, we can help you with the search or you can sit back while we send you listings. 
      • Just tell me what type of property you are looking for and in which areas. 
      • Do you have pets?
      • What length lease are you looking for? 
      • Do you desire rent to own? 
      • Next, I’ll send some listings for you to look over.
      • Ask us how you can still buy a house with zero percent down!
    • Once you have chosen or found some homes you would like to see, just tell me which ones you wish to see in person, and we go and see them together.
    • Now you narrow your choice to one, or we continue the search until you choose a suitable home.
  2. Get Approved
    • You fill out the application and give me certified funds for the application processing fee.
    • I deliver the application and fee to the landlords’s agent who then processes the application, runs credit report, researches your information.
    • The landlord’s agent then will contact me if they need additional information.
    • The landlords agent presents your information to the landlord/owner and then the landlord makes a decision to approve your application or not.
    • If approved, I will prepare the lease according to the landlord’s instructions.
    • Approved: We will then meet to sign the lease, you will provide certified funds for the first month’s rent, and I will deliver these items to the landlord’s agent. The landlord will review and sign the lease. Then prior to you the tenant taking possession the security deposit will be provided by you to the landlord (most likely in certified funds) and then the landlord will give you keys to the house.
    • Not approved: If not approved we will find out why and then we will decide what strategy we might need or what to change to get approved for the next house. Credit issues are common with renters, and many times things go through fine. But a solid housing rental or mortgage history is the most important part of your credit. If you had problems here, then we need to present the story or reasons that might convince a landlord that things are different now. The landlord usually has a mortgage to pay, and they need to be convinced that approving your lease is not risky. If you have the income, ask us how to get private cosigning insurance.
    • Application approval process usually takes 2-5 days for all the verification steps.
  3. Sign the lease and move in!
    • Lease preparation can be completed the same day as the approval, schedules permitting.
    • Exchanging keys and funds can also be completed in the same day as the lease preparation as long as all parties are available.

Sometimes I can help to save some time and fees if the landlord’s agent will accept a credit report run by my mortgage person. That is also a good way for us to review ahead of time if there are any credit issues that might present a problem and to work to resolving and explaining the issues. As early as possible in your search, you should provide us a Long & Foster Rental Application (no fee until we are ready to submit this for a particular application), and fax us your written permission to pull your credit report (ask for the form). Fax all documents to me at fax# (410)741-3601.

Photo credit, Shawn Zehnder Lea. (Modified)