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Rentals in Cobble Hill : Real Estate Advice

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Activity 3
Thu Jul 18, 2013
Trevor Curran answered:
Good afternoon Patti,

I’m no real estate agent, just a humble Mortgage Banker, but I can give you some guidance on your search for the right rental apartment.

In my experience in the real estate trade, I’ve discovered that the consumer is best served by adopting some simple strategies, whether you’re buying a home, selling one, or renting an apartment.

First: remember that real estate agents work on commission. The better quality agents---and those with the most experience---will be testing you from the initial contact to determine if you’re serious and will commit to using their services. Why? Because real estate is like any other business. You don’t get to stand in line at the fast food restaurant just to stare at the menu without actually buying some food at one point. It’s the same idea: the experienced real estate professional has to earn a living by renting apartments to serious and qualified prospective renters.

Therefore, the smart consumer should be well-prepared and committed to respecting the real estate professional’s time. That means: know your requirements for the apartment you wish to rent in terms of location, amenities (one bedroom versus three bedrooms; elevator building or private house), and location (proximity to public transportation or need for parking), and price. If you present yourself as well-prepared you’ll have a better chance of working with an experienced agent who will work hard to find you the right apartment.

Second, start with the internet---especially TRULIA.com---but stay “local.” Don’t think at real estate agent in Brooklyn can find you an apartment in Queens, or vice versa. Here on TRULIA.com you can easily find a local professional by clicking on “FIND a PRO” at the top of this page. There you can hone in on a seasoned professional in exactly the area where you wish to rent your apartment.

TRULIA provides exceptional tools to help you as a consumer understand the quality of the professional you’re working with. Read the agent’s profile; check out the recommendations from previous clients; get to know the level of experience of the agent and the areas that agent covers.

Third, real estate agents are prevented by Federal regulations from answering certain types of questions. They cannot discuss schools or school districts, crime statistics, and a variety of other issues prohibited by Fair Housing regulations. If your agent is vague when you ask certain types of questions, no you know why.

Finally, demonstrate your level of seriousness to your real estate agent. Show up on time for your appointments to view apartments. If you’re required to submit documents for the Landlord to review with your rental application, get them into your agent’s hands pronto. Not only does this help you potentially get one step up on a competing renter, but you’ll be viewed by the Landlord as a responsible renter. Landlords prefer responsible renters, don’t they?

I hope that helps you improve the results of your search for an apartment, and helps you with a better quality experience.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
1010 Northern Blvd. Suite 234
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
NMLS#3528

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Mon Mar 18, 2013
Ryan McNeil answered:
Hi Aaron,

Definitely agree with Alison that you should check back closer to October. However, I have clients that I work with months in advance of their move in date. It's usually just to see in person the properties that are available in their price range in the neighborhoods they want. Pictures tell a lot but it's always good to see properties in person. We try to arrange it so we start previewing the apartments in the neighborhoods just to see what's out there, then by the time they are ready to actively look to sign a lease, we know exactly which neighborhoods/buildings etc to look at.

Regards,
Ryan McNeil
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Wed Sep 5, 2012
Rod Murray answered:
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