As the economy is heating up more and more renters are finding themselves in rental bidding wars in cities and neighborhoods across the U.S.. If there’s a certain property in the area you want, you’ll need to bring everything you can with you to secure the place. The main problem is, however, that many good and potential renters find themselves in the exact same position as many home buyers. There are more offers for a rental. It’s simply the law of supply and demand.
See the Apartment First
How can you see the apartment before anybody else? In some markets renters can use an agent to find and secure their next home. Whether it’s a single family home or an apartment, agents talk with each other and are constantly networking. They may know of something coming up on the market before anybody else. You might have to pay them a fee, but it is well worth it. Remember a real estate agent is a professional and might be the best way to find the rental of your dreams.
Make an aggressive offer:
Anyone hoping to win a bidding war without paying full price will be disappointed. In a tight rental market you will be expected to pay the asking price per month. Don’t waste any time trying to negotiate with the landlord or apartment manager.
By the time you try that technique, they probably will have already leased it out to their next tenant. If you like it, then go for it at full asking price!
Make a Sign Unseen Offer
Many apartments are either occupied or have tenants who are preparing to move out. The landlord is unable to show the home. A renter might not be able to see the home until it is vacant. It might be worth it to you to put a deposit down sight unseen to secure the unit. This will give you the first right of refusal. You can always come back and cancel before you sign the apartment lease. But securing the place is certainly worth it to some renters who can find anything in their neighborhood at their price. You might just need to go for it!
Write a personalized letter:
Writing a letter to the landlord could definitely give the renter a boost in a bidding war. This usually only applies to a house. There is no such guarantee that it’ll make a difference. Keep the letter good, light, and small. It is the perfect opportunity to introduce and personalize yourself. Did you know that some people will include photos of themselves too!
Have your paperwork ready to roll
Documentation and paperwork are extremely essential in the process. If your application package is shoddy or incomplete, yours will be discarded or put at the bottom of the pack. Chances are someone else provided the kind of detailed information that gives landlords an accurate picture of what they are looking for in their next tenant. This will include previous references, pay stubs, and everything else needed to approve an application.
Keep quiet at the time of showings:
Sometimes there is so much interest in an apartment that a group showing will occur. This is more for the landlord than for you. They don’t want to have to show the apartment individually to all the renters that have expressed interest in the property. Don’t try and haggle or negotiate rent on the apartment during the showing. This is the time that you can decide quickly if you want the place and ask questions. If you do, then get all of your paperwork ready and be sure to pay asking price at the minimum.
Bring More Money With You
Offer to put down more money as a security deposit. Or you might even consider paying the months of rent in advance. Anything that can make you stand out, is a good thing. As they say money talks, and when a landlord can secure more money for a deposit, it definitely gives them peace of mind that you are either a serious renter and you don’t want to waste any time. If you walk away from the apartment, the landlord gets to keep the cash.
A rent increase before lease signing:
Rent increases are becoming more common, especially with prices throughout the country on the rise again. As a renter, you’re entitled to basic tenant rights, but your landlord also has rights of their own.
Be Ready to Make Compromises
If you lose out to another renter or can’t seem to secure the properties in the area you desire, it’s time to look elsewhere. In fact all renters should have backup options and be ready to relax their search criteria in order to find a place. Remember, if doesn’t have to be perfect, but your new apartment should check most of the boxes.