Rental Basics in Chicago>Question Details

Bd, Home Buyer in Tampa, FL

How to approach a homeowner who has house listed for sale about renting?

Asked by Bd, Tampa, FL Thu Jul 7, 2011

After much searching for a place to buy, we would like to rent instead. During our househunt we did find one place that might be perfect to rent. How should we go about approaching the owner about this prospect? Should we just call the agent? Send them a letter? Any advice about how to approach them and how to make the deal enticing for them would be much appreciated.

Help the community by answering this question:


Just ask the agent if they are willing to rent. Not every home owner is willing to do this. A lot of people look at it like its a pain. And the laws in Illinois protect the tenant, not the landlord, so a lot of people are skeptical of renting.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 8, 2011
You don't go to sellers about renting, you look for homes that are for rent. Sellers are selling for a reason, renters are doing the same, each have totally different goals for their property!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 8, 2011
Since the owners listed their home, the best approach would be to contact the agent. You can present your offer like any other and the agent should relay it to the owners.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 8, 2011
Here is another idea.
Just have your agent ask the listing agent if the sellers would consider renting.
if they say yes, then you've got a good communication channel established.
if they say no, then you either accept their response and move on, accept their response and allow them to go another 60 or 90 days on the market without being able to sell or go direct to the seller and knock on their door and ask them personally. Face to Face is always more powerful than indirect communication.

Also, is the agent you are working with a rental specialist? If not, you may consider engaging an agent that focuses on rental is definitely different from an agent who specializes on homes for sale.
Consider contacting TJ Rubin @ Fulton Grace Realty, they specialize in rentals, are quite knowledgeable and prompt.

Hope this information helps....and fyi, the rental market is VERY strong right now (aka competitive)

Michael Hobbs
PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jul 8, 2011
If you've developed a relationship with your realtor and have some since of loyalty you will advise your realtor of your wishes, then take directions from this person. They may approach the realtor for the seller and see if they are interested in your offer of being a tenant. If your realtor is not interested in representing you in this type of deal they will advise you of this. The reason you want to advise your agent of your intention of renting a place that they've shown you is because if they rent it to you they may pay her a fee for the services (this is how we pay our bills) and they would know that if you should approach them on your own that you are not being disloyal.
This type of behavior may throw up a red flag that you would not be a honest tenant. The person who may even more offended is the realtor for the seller's. Its best to respect all of the relationships because if this place is not for rent your realtor may be able to connect you to a place that is available for rent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Thanks for all the great responses. I forgot to mention another possibility which would be asking the agent we have been working with to contact their agents to see if there might be some interest in renting. I don't know if that puts too many cooks into the kitchen but would appreciate your thoughts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Your idea to send a letter to the sellers would be a better option. The agent may not relay your request. If
the sellers just want to sell the property contact me and I will send you a list of rental properties in your
area. Debbie Bergthold-Smith Classic Real Estate 708-267-5552
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Hi Bd, If the property is listed, you should contact the Realtor who has the listing and tell him/her that you are interested in the property but only as a rental and would the seller/owner consider doing something like that and would they be in a position to be able to do that?

The Realtor knows the situation of the Seller and would earn a commission on rental vs sale if that is the seller's willingness to rent vs sell right now. One never knows. But to by-pass the Realtor on the listing is disrespectful to the relationship that the Realtor has with the Seller.

Just my two cents, but I have seen it come to pass. I have done it myself for one of my sellers when approached on the situation.

If you want to make the deal enticing, then pay for the water bill, all utilities, maintain the yard, do upkeep within the house with prior written permission. Renting depends upon how long you would want to stay there as well. As the market is still adjusting, the seller could take a further loss and that is always something you need to consider as well.

Also: do go behind the agents back is a tad "shady" and that might set off the seller and not give you the opportunity if you just do the right thing and respect the relationship with the Realtor to the Seller.

Barb Van Stensel
Keller Williams Lincoln Square
2156 W. Montrose
Chicago, IL 60618
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
who ever showed you the home is the person top talk to
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Just send them a note and ask. I would not contact the agent because the agent might not pass the request on to the owner since the agent makes much more $$ by selling. It is impossible to know how motivated the owner might be or even if renting is an option, but no harm trying.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jul 7, 2011
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer