As fewer renters upgrade into home ownership, navigating the rental market in a major urban centre like Toronto can be a daunting task. Even in a development boom, the stock of affordable properties boasting all the amenities on your wish list can be hard to come by. While scrolling through Craigslist or Kijiji can be a scintillating way to spend what little free time you have, more and more renters are opting to employ the services of a real estate agent to help them in their quest for the perfect apartment. Why? Check out some of the most common reasons, listed below.
No. You don’t need to clean your ears out. Real estate agents offer their professional advice and local expertise to help you navigate the rental market in your desired neighbourhood from A to Z at zero cost. So what’s the catch? Well. It’s a bit of a trade-off. Agents take their commission from the landlord, so in essence, the landlord pays the realtor to snag a quality tenant (that’s you!). Given the competitive nature of the rental market in big cities, this means that agents are more likely to partner with working professionals who are looking to settle into mid-range properties.
When it comes to finding a property, agents are like the fly on the wall of the real estate market. An experienced agent will know all the down and dirty details about a property: location, price, amenities, condition of the building, nearby facilities and much more! Say, for example, you’re looking for an apartment within biking distance of U of T, with ensuite laundry and a dishwasher for around $1500.00 per month. A real estate agent will have a ready-made list of properties that meet your specific requirements, minus any potential nasty surprises that might come along with trying to source a place on your own.
YOUR PERSONAL SHOPPER
Agents have tools and resources to find and vet worth-while rentals for you so you don’t have to. They’ll sift through hundreds of listings to find the most suitable options in your price range. Today’s rental market moves quickly, so having an agent on your side means you’re first to the door when that ideal property hits the market.
Arranging multiple viewings on Craigslist or Kijiji can be a nightmare in a competitive marketplace, but thankfully, working with a realtor is like having a walking, talking Google calendar: they will organize your appointments and make sure that you get to them on time, hassle-free. What this means? You don’t have to worry about anything other than getting yourself to the right place at the right time. And, as a cherry on top, some agents will even go so far as to play chauffeur, shuttling you around the city to view multiple listings in one day.
Once you’ve found the perfect place and are ready to sign a lease agreement, an experienced realtor can help you read the fine print surrounding rules for security deposits, rental increases, rental due dates, lease renewals and subletting. An agent can also help you to tackle other considerations like maintenance responsibilities, parking fees, utility costs and pet policies. The end result: you should be able to avoid sticky situations that arise from sketchy landlords or confusing sub clauses.
In short, working with a real estate agent to find your next rental property can help save you valuable time and resources, so that you can find the right fit for you, without the muss-and-fuss of flying solo.