Bidding wars for a rental

Asked by lrowley, Seattle, WA Mon Aug 20, 2012

I put my rental house on craigslist on Friday. By Saturday morning, I had more than 50 emails requesting to view the property. I am having an open house this evening and 3 people have already submitted applications without seeing the place. One of the respondents warned me that I may have a bidding war. Are there any suggestions out there on how to handle this?

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Nicole Larsen, Agent, Burien, WA
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Agree, I do not get into that with possible applicants, I am looking for the best applicant for the property that will pay the rent and take care of the property.

I have inquiries non-stop on a Ballard listing, I have just been processing applicants as they were received to avoid any discrimination claims, etc...

That way you are fair, honest and ethical..which in the long run will grow your business the most, not a short term bidding war....
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Keith & Kins…, Agent, Verona, WI
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Vacancy rates are extremely low and rentals are in high demand lately. I'm not sure of your areas laws, but here in Wisconsin I recently had lots of calls and showings on a rental duplex. I manage several properties, and I'm always cautious of discrimination and fair housing laws. I simply stuck to my planned screening criteria and price and took the first qualified applicant, which happened to be the 3rd person that applied.
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Jeff Strand, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Despite price, make sure you choose the candidate who will pay rent on time and leave the place in best condition.
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Ray Akers, Agent, Seattle, WA
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Advice? Chill the champagne.

Seriously, screen all tenants carefully. The person willing to pay the most might also have the most 'issues' in their credit or rental history. Don't be distracted by hype and noise or offers of more money. Your goal is a stable, responsible tenant, who pays their rent on time. According to today's headlines, the rental boom is expected to turn to bust by 2014. So, choose the best tenant, the one who will pay and also STAY the longest. Good luck!
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