House-hunters can find homes on their own. So can renters who are not quite ready to take the leap into homeownership. But do you really want to go it alone? Why not let an agent do the legwork for you?
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Hiring an agent to help with your search for a rental apartment may be a big-city phenomenon, especially in places like Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. But real estate agents everywhere can help renters find suitable accommodations just as they help buyers find houses.
And perhaps more importantly, they can make the search much easier.
To hear Lee Lin of RentHop.com tell it, using agents to find a rental — a house in a nice neighborhood, perhaps, or an apartment close to work — is becoming more common. There are any number of reasons for this, most of which ring true whether you are renting or buying.
“The main reason to use any real estate professional is to save time and utilize an expert’s knowledge of the market that can take decades to build,” says Lin, co-founder and chief executive of RentHop. The site sorts apartment listings by any number of variables, including location, doorman and elevator.
“The best deals change daily, and market trends can be highly localized to specific neighborhoods or even streets within the same city. And every case still requires a scheduled physical inspection of the premises.”
Although it’s a given that agents can relieve you from a lot of legwork, they bring other benefits to the search. Often, for example, a trusted agent develops a personal relationship with a particular landlord or staff member. And as such, he or she may learn about upcoming availabilities before they are officially listed.