Renting myself or with RE Agent? Fort Lauderdale, FL

5 Replies

Hey Guys,

I am a new landlord, I rented my house previously to tenants and overall it wasn't a great experience. I did the background check, all came fine but just their behavior was not so great. They're gone now and I've spent time to refurbish the place and fixed all minor issues including new paint. I have several prospects came in and they all seems to love the place but very few get back. Maybe it is issue with the rent price or I am thinking since it is not listed on MLS, I am not getting full exposure, Monthly rent is $2100. I have it listed on zillow and all the related sites including Craigslist. Should I just go ahead and have RE agent to put it on MLS? What should I look for in the agent? What is their typical charge to place the right tenants.

I am not sure what the market rents are in your area, but here is what went down for me in Cincinnati.

I listed a 3 bed 1 bath at $1650 a month on Craigslist, Zillow, etc. I had multiple showings but no one got back to me. I lowered the rent to $1550 after a week and the same process repeated itself. After another week, I lowered the rent $1450 a week later, and that got me multiple offers within a few days. I needed to get at least $1200 to obtain my desired ROI and ended up getting $1400 for two years.

Unless you need the $2100 a month, I would recommend:

-Researching the market rents for your area to make sure you are asking for a fair rental amount

-lower the rent slightly and see if you get more interest

I would probably suggest it has more to do with the price point you're at.  I'm not familiar with the area but, typically, when you start hitting that 2k rent number, your ability to rent the house out drops.

Have you tried listing it in the local newspaper? Believe it or not, the newspaper ads do help drive traffic. And at the end of the day, it really comes down to a number thing.

I don't think MLS listings are worth a month's worth of rent though. And if you think a realtor is going to do a better job screening than what you did, I just don't see it. All they can do is run the same checks.

Couple of standard notes:

1) Are you priced right? Is 2,100 for the size and finish of that home at or a little under the market? If you want to rent fast, I typically recommend being a little under market. 

2) Is the house rehabbed right? Eliminate the biggest detractions - if you have any - and add one or two things that really stand out.

3) What exactly is your screening process. No evictions. No major criminal? 3 times rent. No red flags on job history or residence history (i.e are they moving out every year? are they switching jobs every year? Is their job commission only that varies from month to month? etc)?

@Imran Raz I am both an agent and an investor. I actually tell my clients who are landlords that they should rent it out themselves instead of using me to do it.  I recommend only using an agent as a last resort.

However if you have a working relationship with an agent, they can likely tell you why the unit is not renting.  I give this information out to people all the time. They can tell you if the price is too high, or if something else is stopping people from renting that you may have overlooked.

As an agent I frankly not only think it is a waste of money for the landlord to use an agent to place a tenant (Generally speaking, sometimes if you are having trouble, or do not want to deal with it, it is well worth the money). Also as an agent I dont want to deal with rentals. I hardly make any money on them, and the liability is considerably greater than just working a sales transaction. I only will deal with a rental for either an existing client, or someone who is likely to use me for a normal transaction in the future.

Thanks @Theo Hicks I have Implemented your advise right away and lowered the price by $100. 

@Mike H.  I had it rented for $2149 previously, however I probably got lucky. According to Zillow, the rent range in this area is around $1900 / month. I lowered the price form $2149 to $2049 and will test it out for a week. 

I believe it has rehabbed fine, all the prospects came so far seems to like the place. No one complained about the place. Some people mentioned if I am flexible in price and I've told them my priority is to get the right tenant and I can work on the price.