Bad Rental Advice

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.

Then I meet someone who I have to remind that the goal of looking is to find something. Any activity without a defined goal is pointless. You’re just going to waste your time.

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.

granite, stainless kitchen

This unit is not pet friendly

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.

4. Assume you’re going to find a place outside your preferred neighborhood. I think I’ve beat this topic to death.

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.

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2 thoughts on “Bad Rental Advice

  1. […] they don’t want to rule out anything just because they don’t know what’s normal. Here’s an example of some bad rental advice. When I have a client moving from out of state, it’s my job to make them comfortable with what […]

  2. […] been a lot of people looking at it?” Which could be code for “How long can we put off making a decision?” Because making a decision about where to live for a year seems hard. And I know that’s […]

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