Rental Basics in Wildwood>Question Details

Jenstina Ent…, Home Buyer in Wildwood Crest, NJ

Is it easy to rent on your own? Do you charge less than if you used a realtor? Do you use contracts?

Asked by Jenstina Enterprises, Llc, Wildwood Crest, NJ Tue Jan 6, 2009

A realtor mentioned that most folks rent through realtors. I find that to be just non-sense. How does he know? Look at all the "rent by Owner" sites out there. They would not exist if folks were not able to rent on their own. With the ability to use contracts and lessor rents, better service since it is your own place (you don't have 300 places to try to rent if you were a realtor, etc.).

Help the community by answering this question:


Your objective in renting a property does not change if you decide to do it on your own - you want to find a reliable tenant with good credit and the means and commitment to pay you the rent on time and in full for the term of the lease. What does change is the exposure and assisance you will have in reaching and securing that tenant.

You mention lowering your rent if you do it on your own - why would you want to do that? An agent will help you determine what the market rate is for your property and rentals are strong now, so you should try to get the most the market will bear. That is what we do for a living, whether we are assisting landlords or sellers.

What you or the tenant pays comes in the form of commission which is generally equal to one month's rent and that can be paid by landlord, tenant or split between the two in some fashion. So if you do it on your own, that expense will be saved,

But you will work for it - yes, there are places you can advertise, some for nothing - like Craigslst. You will have greater reach through the syndication efforts of a broker - there is no disputing that. And it the more people you reach, the greater your chances for success.

No matter the appproach you take YES, you should use a contract and take the same care in evaluating a possible tenant that you would if you were enlisting the support of a tenant.

Good luck to you,
Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
Is it possible to rent on your own? Of course! Anyone can pay to put an ad in the newspaper or up on an internet site! Anyone who has ever done it knows that it is a time consuming and often frustrating endeavor. That is why a lot of landlords use a realtor to help.There are plenty of advantages to using a realtor.
Realtors pre-qualify the clients before they bring them to your door. We do credit checks and background checks. This helps insure that they have the financial resources to successfully pay their monthly rent, utilities and insurance. Something to think about if you live In New Jersey and other states that have laws that are "tenant friendly". It is very difficult to get a tenant out once they are in. There are also safety issues to consider. Advertising your phone number and address and then opening your home and possessions to an unknown stranger may not be the safest step especially if you are alone. Realtors advertise your home, pre-qualify and accompany tenants, write the lease contracts and if you'd like collect the monthly rent. Tenants contact realtors for help finding an apartment knowing there is a ready made list for them to see that fits their price range. It is simply easier for them to have someone do the the leg work for them. Do they charge for this yes. Only you can decide if you want the hassles of doing it yourself
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
Most folks use a property manager though these managers could in fact be Realtors.

Being a landlord isn't easy, and if you do decide to do it on your own you should be able to get to the property easily to maintain it and deal with any issues.

Of course you use a contract, and they should be detailed and specific as to what you're providing and what's expected of your tenants.

As to rent by owner sites all all say is that they may exist and they make money for the site operators whether they really work well for the people advertising on them is hit and miss.

While you certainly could charge less, you run the risk of attracting a lower quality tenant, if you're going to maintain your property properly and be responsive to your tenants then there's really no need to lower your rates. Focus on adding value (better TV, cable package, wireless internet, good set of pots, pans, tableware etc) rather than discounting prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
Several of my clients use websites such as as well as list their property with multiple agencies so that they have more agents working for them to rent their property. You only pay the commission (which averages 12% in the Wildwoods) to the agent that rented that week for you. There are a few really good rental offices in the area that screen renters for you to insure that your property is as you left it. Having a good housekeeper to do your turn-overs also helps
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 12, 2012
You can rent your own property out, absolutely. I will say that using a professional can be a wise choice which would save you both the time and headache of having to conduct your own property showings, screen candidates, deal with no shows, etc, etc. For me, even though I have my own efficient process for renting out properties, I may still consider a Realtor or other professional just because I don't want t to spend the time doing it. Like everything in life, it's a trade off between saving time or money, and only you can answer that question.

In regards to your it easy? it depends on market conditions, your property, and your strategy/processes in place to deal with marketing, prescreening, showings, etc.

With all the marketing sites out their you can easily market your property on your own..craigslist, trulia, zillow,, etc.

To determine your rental can use resources like to get an estimate of what other properties in your area are renting for.

You can easily get a NJ Standard lease contract online. Then use legalshield's (used to be prepaid legal) attorney's (17.00/month) to review them.

The point can do it on your own. You just need to put in the time to make sure you find somebody worthy of staying in your rental property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
Realtors have access to the MLS and clients that you don't. They also can run a credit check and back ground check on the clients for you! You should also realize that NJ is a very tenant friendly state. That means it is difficult for a landlord to get bad yearly tenants out. Chose your tenants carefully! Good credit is an absolute must! If you can, get reference letters from past landlords. It may take a little longer to rent doing this but in the end you'll be thankful you did! If you are counting on the rent to pay your mortgage and your tenants stop paying, you can loose your property, your investment and your credit rating!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 30, 2012

Thanks for the answer. Associating with a broker: ok so I'll need to be hired by a Weichert, or Coldwell Banker, etc.? How about an individual broker not associated with the big ones? Can I associate with them?
Or how about a Re-Max so I keep all the commissions?

good info: I knew if I were to sell homes I'd need to associate with a broker. So renting is the same? ok thanks for the info. Like I said "Knowledge is Power".

I own about 40 websites on the web now and have just started building them this year in my spare time (ha! not much since I work full time, I play basketball once a week, have two side businesses, am a girl scout leader, have two very active kids in HS (one daughter is in 6 choirs, the school play, is working on her Gold Award for Girl Scouts, works in a kennel, is on the bowling team, attends antioch, and is a social butterfly, etc. while the other plays soccer, basketball, softball, is a girl scout working on her silver award, leads youth group, is a peer leader, spanish club, does lots of community work, etc.). Whew - looking forward to retirement!!

I have 260 domain names and they are beginning to pop up with all kinds of search terms. Giving me good residual income. But I think rentals will be fun and it will allow me to live at the shore and it will pay my condo fee/taxes and the last few years of my mortgage! Most of my work will be on Saturdays and Sundays during the season but of course there will be other problems that arise during the week. Anyway - we'd be at the shore - not having to rent our own unit out!

Looking forward to retirement!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 8, 2009
Hi Jenstina,

You could do everything you said, but also list and sell homes in Wildwood. The first step once you retire is to become a sales agent by getting your license and associating with a broker. You could use the broker's office to meet clients but the rest of your plan is great. If you have the expertise to leverage the Internet to your advantage, and it sounds like you do, I think you would have a fantastic retirement career that would be fun. Challenging also, but fun. The thing is, with a sales agent license, you do have to associate with a broker, and they get a cut of your action. The cut itself is completely negotiable. But if I were your broker I'd probably give you 70-80% since you are doing most of the work.

Now after 2 years of full time experience, you can get your broker's license. Once you do that, it's all yours. You can open up your own brokerage and do whatever you want. One rule though: In New Jersey, I'm pretty sure you cannot operate a brokerage out of your home, you need an actual office. Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that one. So you rent a small office somewhere, no big deal.

Anyway, as you get closer to retirement, you might want to start part time to begin building your visibility in your community. Then you can hit the ground running once you retire completely.

If you have other questions call me.

Good luck!

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
I will tell you this.. Majority of my rentals come from myself. My sign and web ads. However my last minute difficult weeks are rented by the realtors. Last week in Aug. Fourth July week. These have always been difficult weeks for me. Most of the vacationers are weekenders for the holiday not weeklys The realtors pulled out those weeks for me and got top dollar...

Remember your seasonal rental situation is much different than tenancy or 1 year lease. I will say when I rent I have more control of the renters and who they are. I am a firm believer the more money they pay the more respectful they are to my place. Thje security has alot to do with it
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Thank you!
I am about 6-8 years from retiring. I thought about getting my realtor license, living in our Seapointe place during the season and handling rentals for folks at Seapointe only for 15%. My service would be to find the renters (through my website and future sites I am creating), show them the place to rent if they wanted to see it beforehand (very few need to see it in person), send the contracts (I email them), make sure the place is clean (I would hire someone to do that and just check on it), wash the sheets in between renters, keep the place supplied with basic cleaning supplies, put chocolates on the pillows (ha!), meet them at the gate with their keys and parking pass, supply a mailer to return the keys to my Seapointe condo or meet them on their way out, etc.

My question is would there be a problem running a biz from my condo if I did not have anyone come to the condo? Legally I mean. Like is there some kind of ordinance?

Thanks for the help.
Someone with a great location in Seapointe used two of the realtors you mention below one year (she gave it to them in December) and by end of April only had 1 week rented. I've heard this from several people at Seapointe.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
27% is nuts!
Most they charge in Wildwoods is 15% never heard of such a number 27%!
2300 sounds very reasonable too...
North Wildwood ERA, Oceanside (has an upfront virtual tour photo charge but one time only), Weichert Ocean Joe Zarrolli, FASY,
( NOT HOFFMAN.. You can take that info for what it's worth...)

Also a great site if you decide to use these guys can you use me a referral #1921 I think they give a referral incentive. I send a lot people to them. Everyone loves them.
I'd appreciate it... Thanks! They do a good job for me!

Martin Realty does a nice job but only does exclusive... They also have services such cleaning and management... A little expensive though.

Blue Ocean Realty next to Mr D's Steaks. They are nice outfit too. Frank in that office is good.

Any way hope that helps you... Good luck! in the Crest is Daniels too nice company...

Need more ideas call me
609-868-1171 Don;t mind sharing!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Hi Jenstina,

27% does sound like robbery. If I were you I'd do it myself. Actually it sounds like you'd be a good Realtor period!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Hi all,
Thanks for all your answers. It is a weekly rental I am talking about in an oceanfront resort. The realtor takes 27%!! Yes a crazy 27%.

So... for a weekly rental of $2300, they take $621. There are 500 units (don't know how many folks rent out of the 500). So I thought if I did it myself, I could charge $75-100 less, make $521 more a week and be more sure of it getting rented expecially for June and Sept rentals. If I charged the same, I might get less weeks rented. I'd make more charging a bit less.

I know I have the ability and patience. Some folks can read and learn and do. I am one of those - my whole life I have done things (like adopt two kids on our own, build our second home, sell a home, etc.) by reading and learning. Knowledge is power. So to the realtor who said "Although I can tell by the tone of your post, you know it all and you think it is an easy task. ", please let me know where there was a "tone" in my post?

I never said it was easy. We'll see. So far two realtors could not get me fully rented so I am going to try to do on my own. I can rent it for 2 weeks less and make more!! 10 weeks thru a realtor would give me $16,800 rent. 8 weeks thru myself @ 100 less per week would give me $17,600. So why not? I could use two weeks myself.

It's a Seapointe Village rental and I am using the site below (I just created it - took me one month in my spare time and it's still in the works) in Web Reference. For non-seapointe rentals, the listing is currently free. So this will be my test! My site (if it doesn't get enough exposure, I'll pay for another site to list.), and my contract, etc. I'm gonna try it. Think this will be a tough year to try it?

I have another unit that is yearly so i am familar with Truth in Renting. I have a yearly rental and a realtor brought me my first tenant (she hired the realtor). She went bankrupt on me within 18 months (she was divorced with two kids). I didn't want to take her as a tenant because altho she had $30K in the bank, she just barely made enough to pay the rent. Since then I've done it for the next 21 years myself with great success. So why not my weekly rental? It'll be more work checking emails each day, talking to renters, sending contracts, returning deposits, making sure it gets clean, etc. I do not want seasonal folks - weekly only.

The service I am speaking of (to answer Mr. Sarlos question) is cleaning supplies left for tenants, sheets washed in between, etc.

I guess some of you thought maybe I was talking about a yearly rental. Some realtors do have up to 300 vacation rentals and each one could get lost in the crowd.

Thanks to those who encouraged me to go for it!
Hope that answered all your questions.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Laura yes...
But if
Jenstina Enterprises, Llc is renting seasonally many people use a realtor going to the shore,. As we all know today the younger generation uses the internet and the Rental sites are flourishing . There are few realtors who have really capitalized on the rental market at the shore, anywhere for that matter. I know of only 1 realtor Oceanside who actually puts out a virtual tour for the owners. It's free to use their site but the virtual tour is a one time upfront fee of about 175.00 And of course they charge their 12% thereafter as do all the others.
But I like the realtors at the shore because they talk to each other. If they rent your place they contact the others to let them know to take the property off the market for a certain week. Again I am renting seasonally only. No tenancy laws!

Jenstina Enterprises, Llc do not take less money for your rentals just because you can rent them yourself. That is the same problem with FSBO's They sell it themselves and it ends up costing them more and getting less net than if they paid a realtor the full commission. It's a common mistake that is so misunderstood. Renting is a little different but the same principle applies to market value... Why take less? Yes if you want some wiggle room, but don;t play into the consumer's game of hunting... If a renter comes to me and is hunting for a deal I shoot them in the foot so they never come back. I don;t want them. i'd rather have it empty for that week. They are the problem givers...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
I'm a Realtor, a landlord and a homeowner. When I was a tenant, I never used a Realtor. I think a Realtor would be most helpful if you are not familiar with the area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009

There are many sites available to help you get your place rented. Yes. and Yes, most landlords use a Realtor. Why?

Although I can tell by the tone of your post, you know it all and you think it is an easy task.
I am hired because of my ability to bring credit worthy tenants, that are employed, can pay the 1.5 months security deposit, have a clean background check and get the place rented in a very short period of time.

I do not usually take rentals, I had taken a few in the beginning and to tell you the truth, they are not really worth the headache... But I have a number of clients that own very good investment properties that I rent for them. My most recent rental was taken in a place where there were 8 other rentals on the market.. for 1 - 4 months. I had rented it in 1 week.

The process of finding a good tenant lies with a good Realtor and how they attract tenants.
How do I do it? These tips I do not share with anyone.

Use contracts, you can get them from numerous publications that are out there. Yes you can rent it yourself.
I suggest you try it first and see how it goes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Becasue you are in Wildwood Crest, Can I ask are you renting seasonally in the summertime or are you creating a tenancy by a yearly contract?

I rent my places in Wildwood. But I strictly rent weekly where no tenancy is created.

I am a realtor however I use other realtors in the shore area and I also rent my self. If i was not a realtor I would do the same, as long as I had the experience to handle the contracts and know what the screening processes are. I use rental websites and only a couple of them. There are many that I feel are useless. My signs are what drives my business to me due to the fact I am close to the beach and boards. That attraction alone brings people to my sign. My property further from the beach gets little traffic from signage. That property totally depends on advertising and other realtors.

So the answer is yes you can by owner. Do I rent for less because it is my self absolutely NOT. I get more in many cases than the realtors and that all depends on the ownership and what they want. If you leave it up to a realtor you may find you are getting more.

It is important to know what you are doing with contracts and tenancy laws, otherwise don;t rent! Use a realtor to help you. Deposits need to be considered and returned.

As for service.... what service are you speaking of?

If you give it to a realtor ask them what it would be worth for a rental. They'll be honest with you.

Good Luck! Any questions email me or call.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
You've received excellent advice here from Realtors already. I am not only a Realtor in NJ, but also a landlord here and in other states, too. If you do nothing else before you rent, get a copy of Truth in Renting.

You don't mention if this is your first landlord experience (but it does sound that way) The laws are so slanted towards the tenants in NJ, you really need to know what your responsibilities are legally and what is expected from you as a landlord. (And, if you corporately own the property, vs. individually, it's even tougher to get things done!)

So, yes, there are FRBO sites and I'm sure people get good results there. Just remember that a lot of those tenants look there who would not pass a Realtor screening process.

Why would you charge less for a rental than it's worth?

And, I'm not so sure you would provide better service by being an owner rented property. Realtors do this for a living. We are professionals at listing and renting rental properties. As agents, we don't try to rent out 300 places at a time--only one at a time to a perspective, qualified tenant.

Good luck in whatever you decide.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
The main reason to use a Realtor is because most states' landlord/tenant laws are definitely slanted toward the tenant. You'll be fine renting on your own if you take some time to research landlord requirements in your area. Second question. I wouldn't charge any less just because you're managing your own property. Rentals aren't like sales. In sales, for sale by owners usually end up with less because the buyers know they are not paying commission and want a piece of the savings. In rentals, there is much less money involved and most tenants aren't in a strong negotiating position. Third question. ABSOLUTELY you need to use a good contract. As I said, most areas' laws are slanted toward the tenant. Make sure you have a document that covers your interests. If you're just starting out you may want to consult an attorney for adequate wording. A word of caution about using attorneys. Make sure you talk to an attorney that is familiar with real estate. Follow those steps and you should be fine. You may even consider talking with a couple of other investors who have managed their own properties. No point in reinventing the wheel. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Hi Jenstina,

Of course you can rent on your own. There are plenty of websites to advertise your rental property. Using a Realtor means they advertise the property in the MLS and on the Internet, they do the credit/employment check on your potential tenant, and they handle the paperwork. It's a service, just like any other. If you do not want the service, don't use it.

At least up here in northern NJ, the tenant usually pays the commission. So it's almost a slam dunk for a landlord to use a Realtor. But it is certainly not mandatory.

Using a Realtor means no discrimination however. Whoever can pony up the cash and has good credit gets the apartment/house period. If you want to get picky about a tenant for politically incorrect reasons, certainly DO NOT use a Realtor. Realtors strictly follow fair housing laws.

Good luck with your rental!

Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
Hello Jenstina!

Well you'll probably get an array of answers here, and since there are so many of us that are in fact Realtors, I'll step off the deep end and answer first.

Whether you can rent on your own, i.e., interview the applicants, run credit checks, complete lease forms, furnish any required disclosures, be available 24/7 for maintenance issues, etc., etc., relaly depends on your temperament and personality. An experienced, professional Realtor that specializes in property management can be worth a ton of gold! But if you're of the mndset to go it alone, then by all means, go for it!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 6, 2009
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