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Old 05-01-2009, 09:56 AM
 
172 posts, read 296,541 times
Reputation: 51
Default Residential rental locater service?

Is there a business that specializes in helping people locate rental properties? Being new to the area, we have no idea where we want to reside and there are a ton of rentals to consider. I'm assuming most realtors would rather spend their time with buyers/sellers, even though they may have a property or two, as we've contacted a couple of them who had a rental listing & either didn't receive a reply or just got basic info w/no followup. Are we basically on our own? TIA.
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:18 PM
 
412 posts, read 632,866 times
Reputation: 237
We worked with a Realtor when we found the house we're currently renting, and now that we're moving out of it, we've had no potential renters come for a look without a Realtor along. In fact, our property management company has instructed us not to allow potential renters who are not accompanied by a Realtor to view the home. So yes, Realtors do work with renters in this area.

Sounds to me like your first couple of calls just happened to be to dud Realtors. Give it another shot! And good luck with your search!
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:13 PM
 
399 posts, read 467,971 times
Reputation: 256
I agree. You need to work with a realtor who specializes in "property management." I know a good one whose company handles over 150 rental properties if you're interested.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,021 posts, read 45,001,394 times
Reputation: 10838
Just be very careful when you go to tour rental properties. From our experience while every leasing agent at every complex was polite, friendly, and cordial, nearly all of them lied to us or were merely misinformed on one front or another (with the leasing agent of my current complex quoting us an estimated monthly utility bill that is much lower than the trailing reviews indicate). Also be leery of the way that utilities are dispersed. I was very unhappy to learn that my new complex has "socialized utilities." What this means is that the complex gets one large lump sum bill, subtracts 5% as a fudge-factor for public/common area usage, subtracts out any vacant units, and then distributes the rest on more or less an even scale per building. In other words there is no incentive whatsoever to conserve resources in order to save money because anything you save could very easily be OFFSET if you have wasteful neighbors (i.e. if you're a single bachelor who uses water sparingly while all of your other neighbors have young children who leave the water running while they are unsupervised).

Make sure you ask EVERYTHING and then double-check facts and figures with existing tenants who are strolling about.
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Old 05-01-2009, 02:50 PM
 
23 posts, read 47,214 times
Reputation: 15
As others have said, your best option is to find a realtor who specializes in rentals. And there are quite a few of those in the NoVA area. Our listing agent and property manager are fantastic, so if you need a name and number, drop me a message and I'd be happy to give them to you.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Falls Church, VA
722 posts, read 1,191,268 times
Reputation: 306
I just signed a lease on a place with a Realtor a couple weeks ago. You're right that you're not their first priority, but they will work with you.

What worked for us was calling a local office (in our case, it was Long and Foster) and not asking for any one person - just explaining that we wanted to see a rental listing. That way, the office staff could direct us to the person who would be most willing to help. It had to be the youngest/least experienced person in the office - I swear this Realtor looked about 14 - but we saw several good properties and I have no complaints. I suspect that renters are seen as a good way for newbies to cut their teeth, sometimes.

Otherwise, there are some Realtors who advertise specifically to renters on Craigslist. You can sometimes find them mixed in with the apartment/housing listings. I did a search primarily through Craigslist last year, and never had a problem with any of the Realtors on there getting back to me. That route is good, too, because if someone is taking the time to write out an ad on CL then you know they genuinely want calls/emails from renters instead of seeing rentals as a burden on their time.
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Old 05-01-2009, 03:23 PM
 
172 posts, read 296,541 times
Reputation: 51
Thanks, everyone, for you helpful replies. We will definitely find a realtor to help us. We plan on leasing for a year, then buying a house once we've determined the area that's right for us, so if we find someone to help w/a lease, we'll most likely be calling them again to help us buy.
Please post or PM me your referrals - I'll be glad to contact them. Thanks very much!
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:00 PM
 
1,221 posts, read 4,067,327 times
Reputation: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Also be leery of the way that utilities are dispersed. I was very unhappy to learn that my new complex has "socialized utilities." What this means is that the complex gets one large lump sum bill, subtracts 5% as a fudge-factor for public/common area usage, subtracts out any vacant units, and then distributes the rest on more or less an even scale per building. In other words there is no incentive whatsoever to conserve resources in order to save money because anything you save could very easily be OFFSET if you have wasteful neighbors (i.e. if you're a single bachelor who uses water sparingly while all of your other neighbors have young children who leave the water running while they are unsupervised).
I had never heard of such a thing. Usually when this happens, utilities are included in the rent price.
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Old 05-01-2009, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,021 posts, read 45,001,394 times
Reputation: 10838
Quote:
Originally Posted by mlv311 View Post
I had never heard of such a thing. Usually when this happens, utilities are included in the rent price.
Nope. No utilities are included in my rent price of $1,135/month. I saw complexes I liked better, but in this sense it was location, location, location that sold me in the end.
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Old 05-01-2009, 05:57 PM
 
1,221 posts, read 4,067,327 times
Reputation: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScranBarre View Post
Nope. No utilities are included in my rent price of $1,135/month. I saw complexes I liked better, but in this sense it was location, location, location that sold me in the end.
I'd be upset too. I've always been pretty conscientious in conserving resources as part of our budget.
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