Over the past few years, renting has become increasingly popular. The percentage of US households that rent increased from 36.1 percent in 2006 to 41.1 percent in 2014. With this influx of renters, inventories are lower than ever in many cities across the US. Renting in a tight market can be incredibly difficult, especially in big cities. Finding a place that's affordable and in a good location can take awhile. However, it is possible to rent an apartment in a tight rental market. Here are three tips:
Watch Listings Carefully
In a competitive rental market, any property that becomes available is likely to be taken quickly. In many areas, properties are secured just a day or two after being listed if not on the day of the listing. Anyone searching for an apartment to rent should keep a careful eye on listings and be ready to pounce whenever something becomes available that meets their needs. Weekdays are a great time to watch listings and get a head start on other renters who may be working.
Hire A Real Estate Agent
While many only search out real estate agents when it's time to buy a house, they can also be a big help during the hunt for an apartment to rent. Real estate agents can be particularly helpful in the competitive rental markets often found in major metropolitan areas. These agents often have the inside scoop on new listings and can help renters rent an apartment quickly. Realtor fees for apartment searches can vary depending on location and the individual realtor. However, in competitive markets, the fee is often between 25 and 50 percent of one month's rent. This may seem pricey but a real estate agent can give renters a big advantage over others who are searching for an apartment.
Have All Financial Information Ready To Go
Time is of the essence in tight rental markets. This means that whenever a suitable apartment is found, renters need to have everything in order ahead of time in order to ensure that they don't miss out on a great opportunity. Having a deposit as well as first and last month's rent on hand is a great way to ensure fast acceptance on a new lease. Credit checks are also something that many landlords will do on their potential tenants. A credit score of 620 is usually the minimum requirement for being able to obtain a lease without hassle. Renters should also make sure that they have things such as pay stubs or other proof of income on hand as well.
Renting in a competitive real estate market can be difficult with great apartments going fast. However, there are a few things that can be done to make getting a great place a more likely outcome. Renters should stay on top of new listings and strike fast. Hiring a real estate agent can also make a big difference and open up new properties to the renter. Having all financial information ready to go is also important in fast moving rental markets.