A reader of the Best Chicago Properties Facebook Fan Page recently inquired about rentals: ”Craigslist has gotten so full of scammers and frauds that I don’t want to try to find an apartment that way. A friend said I should use a real estate broker / agent to find a rental. Can a broker really help me?” We asked Best Chicago Properties Broker Associate, Doug Boehm, CFA, to respond.
Working with a Broker / Agent to Find a Chicago Rental
For most of us, especially when we were younger, finding an apartment meant looking in the paper and driving around the neighborhood looking for signs that indicated places for rent. One often overlooked and underutilized asset is the real estate broker. Many Chicago real estate brokers would be happy to help you in your search for that perfect condo to rent.
Your Broker Will Provide Help And Guidance Making It Easier For You
Brokers are experienced in finding the right condo for rent. They will search the neighborhoods you are interested in, find units that fit your needs and budget and check for those deal breaking items like no pets allowed that are easy to miss. They will arrange showings, help you determine if the rent is reasonable and help make sure all the paperwork is correct.
Brokers can be particularly useful in fast paced markets like the West Loop. Condos for rent go very quickly often in less than a week. An agent can monitor a neighborhood for you and when a suitable place becomes available they will make sure you are one of the first people to see it.
Brokers will also handle all of the little things that may have otherwise fallen through the cracks. Condo owners get to set their own rules about things like pet restrictions, but building rules take precedent. The owner may say your Labrador is okay but the building may have a dog size restriction. An agent will be there to make sure everything goes smoothly.
As The Tenant, This Service Normally Costs You Nothing!
The cost for all this work that a broker will be doing for you is very often nothing. In most cases an agent will receive compensation in the form of a shared commission from the listing agent’s brokerage. In some rare cases, such as for rent by owner, where there is no commission offered, the renter may be asked to pay a fee. This should all be spelled out in an agreement between the agent and the client.