Factors to Consider when choosing a REALTOR or Deciding to put my home on the market
Q: How much will your condo rent for?
A: There are currently 4 on the market – the good news is that 16 Tall Oak is the highest priced lease in the past 12 months .. so if you are closer to that condo .. we will have better luck with yours because it will be in a quieter area closer to the greenbelt .. Some will depend on the upgrades ..
Q: How do I screen my tenant?
A: One of the biggest mistakes is meeting someone and simply thinking they look OK or you hit it off and make a selection without the proper tenant screening. Generally speaking it is a good idea to get a thrid party screening report that is specifically designed to screen for a rental application. Don't hake a credit report ran by a mortgage broker or a car dealer. These applications don't consider eviction records. When screeing, check their credit scores, contact previous landlords, look online for civil and small court cases and and verify the information on their application.
Q: Do I need a property manager?
A: The need for property management is necessary when you have a property that is high maintenance, you require someone to collect your money and pay your bills, or you simply do not want the tenant to know your identity. With a condo, escpecially one that is new, there generally is little maintenance and will require a low amount of time to manage the property and is generally not worth the cost to manage. Generally the cost to find a tenant is 6% of the first year term (at least) and another 8 - 10% of the monthly rent to manage the property. Try it yourself and see how much work. You can always hire a manager later.
Q: What happens if I have a tenant that doesn't pay?
A: The best thing to do is start an eviction process RIGHT AWAY. Do not stop the process or take partial payments, that will only cause the process to start over. Complete it and make it quick. When done properly an eviction should not take more than 60 to 90 days and should be done with an Eviction professional. If not properly done, an eviction can take from 6 to 12 months and there could be damage done to your home. There are is now an insurnace policy for $250 per year that will cover landlords in the event that a tenant doesn't pay .. that is a cost of $25 / month.
Q: Should I rent to someone with credit problems because of a short sale?
A: Generally speaking, short sale tenants can be the best tenants. They are used to owning their home and will probably care for it better than a non homeowner. Additionally you will probably have lower turnover because they won't be able to purchase for a while until their score goes up and time goes by. Reduced turnover and attention to the care of your home will cost you less in the long run. Be sure to review the credit report in detail and see if the short sale is an exception and one time event or if there is a pattern. If there is a pattern over time, then you should probably consider another applicant.
Q: How long will it take to lease the condo?
A: Average time on market is 29 days .. for the units priced higher, it might take you two months .. 16 Tall Oak took 60 days but once it was bacant, it took about 20 days ..
Q: What services do you provide to lease my condo?
A: When we lease a condo we provide the following support to get the highest price in an optimum amount of time:
- Use a Professional Photographer to photograph your condo (so that if you decide to sell later photos are taken before it is tenant occupied)
- Feature as a property on the Homepage of Condosetc.com (more than 400 unique user visits per day)
- Feature on our YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/condosetc )
- Feature on Realtor.com, Zillow.com
- Post to Craigslist.com
- Provide a tenant screening process that screens for evictions and credit .. we also search court case files to see if the applicant is involved in lawsuits (to determine if they are litigious)
- Show the properties
- Fully document the Move In condition of your property so that in the future if there is any dispute, there has been a tenant signed Move In condition
Q: What are the costs for this service?
A: Our charges are 6% of the cost of the first year term. We share our commision with the procuring agent if another agents brings the tenant. This generally is a little over a half month’s rent.
Q: When do I pay my fees?
A: For the cost of securing the tenant and getting them moved in the fees are deducted from the total move in costs.
Q: How much wiill I get at move in?
A: At move in the landlord will receive a Security Deposit, that generally is equal to one months rent, a key deposit, usually ranging from $150 to $300, a pet deposit, usually $500, and the first month’s rent and any pro-rated portion of the month .. LESS the realtor’s commission.
Q: Should I allow pets?
A: That is a question that is a personal preference. If you are not a pet lover, there will be a renter for you , but you should know that in OC in the last 12 months, 65% of the homes rented, allowed pets and rented in 34 days versus 38 days, for those who would not allow pets. So 10% less time on market for those who allowed pets.
Q: Am I better off to rent furnished or unfurnished?
A: Renting your home furnished will take you 1.5 times longer to lease than unfurnished. Only about about 8% of the homes are furnished. Most people tend to prefer unfurnished and bring their own things.
Q: Is it better to lease my condo while it is occupiedor when it is vacant?
A: When units are vacant they appear to be available whereas the units that are occupied appear to a tenant as though it will take longer to rent. Remember that tenants are not looking at this as a “forever” home and are usually looking at how long it will take them to move in and get settled, and whether or not it will be a hassle.
Q: Do I need to paint and clean the carpets?
A: A condo should be a nice neutral color, but preferably not white to look like an apartment. Generally condos that have a color that is warm but neutral tend to lease faster. An odd color, walls in poor condition, or a unit in disrepair will cost an owner twice as much as the cost of paint, repairs or cost to clean the carpet and the chances are you will still have to make the repairs and paint and may have to take a price reduction if the home sits on the market too long because of the condition.