Our office handles hundreds of rental properties and every single day we receive calls from prospective tenants. I have discovered the #1 mistake is not using one REALTOR to find their rental home. Most tenants find properties on the Internet and spend hours and hours calling office after office inquiring on rental properties. In some cases these tenants attempt to set up showing appointments with multiple real estate agents to see various properties. This process is frustrating for the tenants as well as the agents. In our market the professional property managers list their available rentals on the MLS (multiple listing service). In order to enhance the leasing process tenants should contact ONE agent who can narrow and find available properties that meet their criteria. This ONE agent can show all of the available properties to the tenant. This would dramatically improve the tenants leasing experience by streamlining their leasing process and would correct the #1 Mistake by Renters.
The golden rule of real estate is disclose, disclose, disclose and when you think you are done – disclose some more. On an average year I would estimate that I view, walk through, show, or inspect over 1000 houses on average. I have always told my sellers, owners, investors and clients, when it comes to property condition disclose everything! I have found the more disclosure up front reduces issues after closing and move in. Today I was showing buyers a condo built in 1982, this condo was a little over 700 sq ft and the seller required to be present during our showing. The seller stood in the middle of the kitchen during our showing and repeatedly claimed all of the appliances in the condo were brand new. I have always been very careful in using the term NEW, I prefer to list items updated or changed with the date completed such as Fresh paint 2012, New stove 2010, etc. As I stood in this kitchen with the seller and looked at the appliances they were reminiscent of appliances from the 1990’s, they may have been NEW at one time but they were clearly not NEW today during our showing. This seller made a huge mistake with declaring items were NEW when clearly they were not, NEW is a very very dangerous term in real estate, this seller actually caused the buyer to rescind their offer since after this type of disregard for disclosure the buyers were concerned about other items also not being disclosed properly. Disclosure is imperative and accuracy of disclosure is even more important.
To leave a fridge with a property or not – the answer lately is SELL THE FRIDGE! Our experience has shown that about 50% of renters have their own fridge, the owners that include a fridge with the lease have us list these items as as-is in the lease, this causes HUGE problems for both tenants and owners. Once the fridge leaks the tenant starts wanting the owner to fix it, if the tenant ends up fixing it does the fridge stay with the property? If the fridge totally breaks who hauls off the old fridge? In our latest cases the fridge failed, the food spoiled and the kitchen flooded, then the tenant was told the as-is fridge would not be fixed, obviously this resulted in an unhappy tenant. We have other cases where the tenant brings their own fridge and the owner leaves a fridge – does the owner fridge go in the garage? if it sits there for over 3 years – will it still work? My best advice for owners – SELL THE FRIDGE, Take it with you, give it to charity, do anything but leave it in the rental.
I have been to hundreds of real estate seminars, talked to hundreds of colleagues and they all tell me blogging is SOOOOO easy. Well here it goes… I’ve been told that some of the crazy things that happen to me should be compiled in a book. Since I don’t have a lifetime to write a book, the blog was the next best thing. So here it goes….