When to close the application process

4 Replies

I just finished a rehab, it’s my first buy and hold soon to be BRRRR. I am starting to get a decent amount of interest. I am using the tenant screening process under tools on Bigger Pockets (Smartmove). The first two applicants gave me a decline recommendation the third was an accept. I have 5 move people scheduled to see the Home this week.

My question is when do I stop? Should I call it quits when I find the first good applicant? Should I wait and go two weeks then pick the best available during that time frame?

Also any suggestions on turning people down? How do you go about it? What do I have to be careful of. I know it’s easy for the ones who don’t meet the qualifications but what if 3 people all qualify and I pick one because they seem to be a better fit. Do I just say it’s been filled or do I need to advise them of the reason they were not selected.

I would love to hear what other people do. Thanks for the help. This site and podcast are changing my life!!!


As far as I know (and from reading the book Landlording on autopilot) once you have an applicant who meets your criteria you really aren't supposed to keep processing applications because it could turn into a discrimination issue. But I'd wait to hear from more experienced landlords before making a decision!

I stop showing the property after an applicant qualifies and i have received the security deposit.  My rental application has a disclaimer on it indicating the property remains on the market until such time.

It depends on your criteria. Does the applicant meet/exceed *all* your criteria or just the major criteria? After I rehabbed a place, I insisted on *best* qualified vs *first* qualified. My process was exclusionary. I had a laundry list of written requirements for a SFH. The bigger pockets application form was thorough and most decisions to exclude were made looking at completed app and my own investigations. Only the tenant that made it through all the 'hoops' went thru smart move.

I did not contact/follow up with those that provided a completed application. Those that contacted me asking for a status of their app, I would just tell them  I 'didn't think it was going to work out'.  Of those that wanted to pursue it further, the reason for exclusion was noted on each app that was reviewed (cya).  Lying on the app was common, another candidate didn't have enough move-in money, another who lived around the corner didn't make the minimum income requirements.  All legal reasons based upon criteria.

 I did group showings/open house. I kept advertising and speaking with/qualifying potential tenants until the new tenant signed a lease. 

It's on my application that home will go to first qualified tenant to sign lease and pay security deposit and first month's rent with certified funds.   I also state that I review landlord history and verify employment before requesting tenant pay Smartmove directly for background check, so delay in verification may hold up their application.  I used to try to hold for a qualified applicant.  You wait days, losing other qualified applicants to other landlords, and they never sign a lease.  No, thanks.   I have had some upset applicants who waited too long after being qualified or didn't complete their Smartmove request timely and lost out to another who did, but I direct them to where the application states my process.  

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