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Old 11-21-2011, 10:54 AM
 
60 posts, read 53,159 times
Reputation: 62
Default leasing agents

I've never rented a house, so I don't know how this works.

If you own a house and rent it, how much does the real estate agent who finds a tenant charge? Is it a one-off, or a monthly charge? Also, does the real estate agent follow up, i.e. if the people don't pay the rent or whatever - is it the leasing agent who deals with that?

If the owner of a house finds a tenant - do they have to go through a leasing agent and if so, does the leasing agent charge the same amount even though they didn't find the tenant? Who does background checks on potential tenants?

What's the difference between a leasing agent and a property manager?

Questions, questions.. thanks!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,067 posts, read 18,433,190 times
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Thank you for moving this to the Renting forum from the Austin forum.

A landlord does not have to work through a real estate agent or leasing agent, they can do it all themselves.

If you ask a real estate agent to help you find someplace to rent, they will probably charge you a fee.

Practices may vary from place to place, but in Austin there are numerous apartment locators who will help you find an apartment or a house and they do not charge the tenant, they are paid by the Landlord. Some landlords have leasing agents and property managers working for them, many do not.

Once you have connected with a landlord or leasing agent, most will expect you to pay a non-refundable application fee which covers their costs of doing a credit check and sometimes a background check on you to verify if they think you might be a good prospective tenant.

I have never used a real estate agent to find a tenant for me so I do not know what they charge, but it is probably a one time charge.

After that it is up to the landlord or his property manager to deal with the tenant.

A leasing agent and property manager are often the same, but it is certainly possible that one could have a leasing agent who handles only the initial lease, then a property manager does the rest. Or the landlord does it all themselves.

There is a lot of good information available from the Austin Tenant's Council here:

Austin Tenants’ Council/Tenant-Landlord Fact Sheets

You can read more about the Texas landlord-tenant laws from the links in the Sticky thread at the top of this Renting forum.
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:28 AM
 
60 posts, read 53,159 times
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Hi, and thanks for the link - I'm posting this for a friend of mine who bought a house and has to rent it out - so I'm looking more from the landlord's point of view than the tenant's.

My friend had a response from one real estate agent who said he charges 80% of the first month's rent to do all the paperwork (but didn't find the tenant, my friend did) and then seemed to say that she would have to find a property manager who would charge 10% of the monthly rent - the real estate agent wouldn't do anything else.

Seems weird to me - I told her I'd try to find out.

Thanks!
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Old 11-21-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
14,067 posts, read 18,433,190 times
Reputation: 6178
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheoBald View Post
Hi, and thanks for the link - I'm posting this for a friend of mine who bought a house and has to rent it out - so I'm looking more from the landlord's point of view than the tenant's.

My friend had a response from one real estate agent who said he charges 80% of the first month's rent to do all the paperwork (but didn't find the tenant, my friend did) and then seemed to say that she would have to find a property manager who would charge 10% of the monthly rent - the real estate agent wouldn't do anything else.

Seems weird to me - I told her I'd try to find out.

Thanks!
That does not sound too unusual from what I have read in other property managers posts. I own only one rental property, my first house. I have done everything myself, but I'm not as intimidated by contracts as many people are, as I spent my whole career managing architectural and engineering contracts, and I have the skills to do almost any repair needed on my own.

There are lots of threads here in this forum that can educate you or your friend regarding how difficult it can be to be a landlord. There are some real nightmare stories out there.
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