which applicant do I select for my apartment

7 Replies

So I recently purchased my first investment property. It is a duplex and I just finished renovating the downstairs and have it on the market. The area is not bad but also not great (rural town). Thanks to the advice on here we have weeded through a lot of potentially bad tenants. We were getting a bit anxious and final told an applicant we would move forward with him (but have not signed any paperwork, I'm currently doing verification of his info). He meets 99% of the criteria and seemed like a good fit. The day after we get an inquiry from someone who on paper blows this person out the water, far more qualified. Also they are looking to move in a month sooner. 

Am I obligated to stay with the first applicant we told we would move forward with? Any advice for this situation. 

Thank you in advance. 


@Jake Hutchins If you only said moving forward and have not signed a lease then I think you are under no legal obligation.

I would have them both apply, pay the application fee and see if the second person is really better or not.

You could tell applicant number 1 that they are in the qualification stage but that property is still being advertised until you sign a lease. Then you could tell them a more qualified applicant applied during this phase and you have selected them.

You could consult a local attorney to confirm this is the best path.

Two things to consider:

1. We don't know what state you're in, which makes a BIG difference in whether or not you're "Obligated" to stay with an applicant. I.E. Texas is a verbal contract state...so even if you simply said it over the phone the applicant could pursue civil action and attempt to force compliance to the agreement.

2. This is your first decision as a Real Estate professional. The absolute most important ingredient for your success is how much people like and trust you. This is especially true in the residential market.

I'm not going to tell you which decision to make because I don't know you or your business well enough. The second applicant could absolutely be the best pick, I don't know. Just be sure to put a lot of thought into the full impact your actions have with the public...because it's damned near impossible for a new business to bounce back from a negative reputation.

@Jake Hutchins I would be inclined to say go with the guy you had a verbal agreement with. The new person that supposedly blows them out of the water may be a compulsive liar or some other personal issue like hIgh maintenance or whatever . It’s an advantage on paper yes but may not be in Real life . It’s a uethIcal business practice to jack people around and it’s a reason why today a handshake is worthless and courtesy is tossed out the window . The others chImIng In may be more correct but my vantage point is from a person who had been told something and lost out many times In my life because of a renig
@Jake Hutchins That's the whole reason why you have a minimum requirement to be accepted. Take them on a first come first served basis and first one who meets requirements gets it. What happens if the next day you find someone else who makes even MORE money? Then do you tell applicant 2, that you are now passing them up for applicant 3, just like you did to applicant 1?

Sounds like the over all consensuses is to stick with applicant one. I appreciate everyone's feedback. This was my original plan and thought. However being new to this game I just wanted some feedback or maybe even some reinforcement that I'm making the right decision. 

This community has helped so much in getting my first property off the ground and I'm looking forward to many more.