Today’s rental market is more competitive than ever. Leaf, Realtors® can help you gain an advantage in the current rental market by streamlining the process, keeping you informed, and negotiating aggressively on your behalf.
Before you start looking at properties, you’ll want to collect the following information that you’ll need to provide to a prospective landlord with your offer to lease their property:
- Proof of Income/Employment — Most often, this takes the form of a letter from the tenant’s employer confirming the employee is currently employed, how long they have been employed, and their compensation.
- Credit Report — A few landlords will insist on running a tenant’s credit report themselves, but most will expect the tenant to provide a full report including FICO scores and a breakdown of credit information. You can obtain a copy of your credit report on line directly from credit reporting companies (www.experian.com, www.transunion.com, www.equifax.com) or at www.annualcreditreport.com or www.myfico.com.
- Tenancy Application — A tenancy application includes information regarding each adult tenant, including the number and types of pets to occupy the rented property.
These days, in all of our local markets, the demand is so high for rentals compared to the supply that a prospective tenant needs to be prepared to make an offer if when they find a suitable property, as there are often multiple offers on the properties that are in good condition with competitive rents.
Looking at Your Options
Leaf, Realtors® can help you identify rental properties available to you. We find them by searching the Garden State Multiple Listing System (GSMLS), as well as tapping into our network to identify properties not-yet-listed on the GSMLS. We have systems in place to check multiple times per day for new properties that come on the GSMLS to help you know about new properties as soon as they become available.
Once you’ve identified properties that you think might be suitable, we will coordinate a time to view the properties. There’s a lot you can learn from viewing properties and sometimes, visiting the properties helps you better understand exactly what fits your needs.
For out-of-area tenants or those with a busy schedule, we offer previewing services by Skype and video. This means that you can “view” a property from wherever you are with a Skype connection — your home, your office, or anywhere you have a smartphone! We strongly encourage in-person visits to properties as we don’t yet have the benefit “smellivision” but in cases where a live visit is impossible, this is the next best thing and just one of the many ways in which we use technology and advocacy to help our clients.
Negotiating Like You Mean It
At Leaf, Realtors®, we pride ourselves on our negotiating skills that we’ve honed over the years. We are strong advocates for our clients and explore creative solutions to reaching an agreement on terms between landlords and tenants. Our goal is to achieve outstanding results for our tenants despite the shortage of available rentals relative to the high tenant demand.
A Word About Ethics
An agent at Leaf, Realtors® will never represent both landlord and the tenant in a lease negotiation. Although New Jersey law permits real estate agents to do this with the proper disclosures, we believe this is unethical — it’s impossible for an agent to represent one side aggressively if that agent is also loyal to the other party.