Is it me? My agents? Would truly appreciate feedback on rental

3 Replies

Hello BP members,

I would love your feedback please: I have a rental unit that I listed with very promising agents, had the contract reviewed by my attorney - Yet something feels wrong.

This is my second time leasing out my rental. I put a lot of work into it as it was my personal residence, then the first tenant trashed it upon leaving. I hired agents that live in the community and seem to be dominating the market. I know I was frazzled the day they came in with their sales pitch, but point was they were professional - we verbally discussed "staging apps for online photos" and "candles, scents" for showings.

Come to find out; all that is for listings that are for sale, not rent. I had that property rented right away last year, but my agent was there for all showings and I would leave the house with zen music and essential oils which is what led us to our quick discussion. I then had my attorney review the contract and it was "fine".

We got a full price offer, as a neighbor of mine called my house after 10pm the night I signed with the agents, but I know them personally and have had issues with them before. I asked the agents to please "humor me" and at least allow a few days for the MLS listing to syndicate with all the other websites; Zillow, Trulia, etc. Turns out there was a glitch or something so that took a few weeks to fix.

Meanwhile, a several offers have come in but only 3 in writing. The second, I got another one while I was traveling and didn't see it until the next day (perfect tenant, but they had already walked), right before the hurricane came through. We reduced the price and I got another one that came in last Wed evening after 9pm, by 10am the next morning my agents were pressuring me for an answer. However, this offer came with structural changes that I needed contractors to see if I could comply. I told them YES to the tenant, but I needed to verify the changes. On Thursday morning they were telling me "never in their career have they let so many offers go".  Not sure that's very fair -

We've reduced the price. They are telling me how much they are working, but other than the MLS and photos, they have it on a lockbox with agents entering on their own. Their is a "quirk" with the door, but they must not have remembered and now the door is broken.

I've gone and put waters in the fridge, air freshener and toilet paper, etc. As I know, a barren empty house that's been boarded up and through a hurricane needs some care. 

Now that I carefully reviewed the CTL, they have me locked in for 1 year (normal), but even if I change it for business reasons to my llc or a partnership within a year - they are asking for 6%, had I known that I would have negotiated different terms. Am I better off paying the $1000.00 cancellation fee to the broker and listing and marketing this rental by myself? I feel awkward as they really came off strong but there is tension now with an offer. I am also seeing that they are not running credit or background checks; I would have preferred that my agent did that on my behalf.  Right now, I feel like I could do more in terms of marketing and screening tenants that I feel they are doing. Plus, they are impatient with me when I am the one liable for what the CTL states, additionally - anything I do from here on forward; they are getting a significant cut even if they have nothing to do with the new transaction. *I admit I am not easy to work with, but I've been burned with tenants and contracts before. Would truly appreciate any feedback? 

They did a beautiful job with the photos, but no staging or open-house. I want to keep marketing it, but don't know if I should move forward with them or not? *locked in until July 2018.

THANK YOU, Isabel.

Hi @Isabel Chaves ,

Get your house to the true market value. 

The tenants should be applying first rather than giving offers. If they are giving offers, there's something wrong with the price. The agents should be calling you saying they have an applicant for you. Their convo should say, "they are a family/single, they have X pets, making the income requirements, have good credit, no criminal or eviction history, and they want to move in on this date." So that your reaction is a yes, no, or they have to give a higher deposit because of this blemish on the application. 

The only thing you should allow them to negotiate on is whether they can paint a room. If they do ask that, say yes, but on their dime, done by a pro, and a color you have to agree with.

The agents aren't making enough money to stage it, just nice photos. It should be marketed on the MLS, the 143 different sites it goes to, Craigslist, and Facebook/Instagram.

The only time I'll do an open house with a rental property is if the house got so much attention that I couldn't schedule individual showings, rather just stayed there for 3 hours and let whoever was interested come during that time. 

The property should be CLEAN, and it's landscaping done. 

To be honest, the agents you hired sound like they are really good at selling properties, not renting them. Not sure if they have a property management division, but if they don't, that's a red flag. They won't have the process down to a tee to get you the right tenant. Also, if you're local, manage it yourself. Hire them to procure the tenant for you. 

Good luck!

Agree with @Tom Parris and wanted to add: there shouldn't be any "quirks" with the door - everything should be fixed before the listing. Not only agents can't disclose the quirks but other agents are not going to care to remember.

The listing should be treated as public accessible space where people just walk by.

Tenants will break anything with "quirks" right away and it will be on you. 

If your location is correct on the profile, you can't manage the rental yourself: you must be pretty local to the Rental. People don't show up for appointments, they will negotiate something only in person and you'll spend plenty of time driving back and forth for nothing. It won't worth that 1 month rent you pay your realtor.

The choice of realtor should be very specific: you have to choose among at least three PM companies who are licensed to do property management. Realtors who mostly work to sell/buy houses, are not necessary have E&O insurance, covering rentals.

Besides, there are specifics on each market: listing houses for rent and for sale is not the same.

In the end of the day, everything what's going wrong - is on you. It's your business, your choices and that realtor won't care about your business as you do. Choose carefully

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