Sometimes I think I’m too exacting or specific when giving advice a client about how to find a place that’s right for them.
If you’re not an expert (and if this isn’t your job, you’re probably not an expert) it’s important that you find someone you can trust to educate you about what’s available.
That’s my job. For example, radiator heating will be in older buildings, new construction usually has granite and stainless steel, and if a place is pet friendly it might not be as nice.
Examples of bad advice:
1. Take your time: Once I showed a guy and his roommate a place in a very popular neighborhood for a great price during high season. I rented it the next day. Two weeks later, they decided they wanted to take it.
2. Assume that once you get in to the apartment, all the things you didn’t like from the listing will fade away: If you need an apartment at a lower price but can’t stand garden apartments, the apartment will not un-garden itself once you’re in. This is a hard one to face.
3. Say you don’t have pets when making an appointment to see a unit that doesn’t allow pets, then after the showing admit that you have a 60lb dog: Your agent should know how serious about pets the landlord is. It’s best to be up front with their agent so they can do some negotiating for you. Some have a $2000 fee if you bring an animal into a building.
5. Don’t tell the agent you have Section 8: This is bad advice because the buildings have to be certified for Section 8 compliance. A landlord doesn’t have to certify their building. Even if you like the place, you can’t use your vouchers.
Getting into a place and looking at an apartment will not help you if you don’t know what you want. Talking about needs and wants always helps my clients get a clearer visions of what their needs are, and brings us closer to finding a solution that works for them. Have a vision first. Then start looking.