Tips on renting your home
Having trouble selling your home in a tough real estate market? You may want to consider renting it out. Oregon property management companies, a Medford, Mass., realtor and an Alpharetta, Ga., realtor offer more advice:
Can you afford it?
Don't assume renting is a quick fix — see if you can afford it first. Erica Nimeth, principal at highly rated Maxxline Property Management in Tigard, Ore., says she's seeing an increase in people who are renting their homes, but they need to do the math. "They need to make sure they can rent for the amount they actually need to pay the mortgage and [other fees]," she says.
Look at your local market
It's not just your personal situation you should consider — take a look at your local housing market before making any decisions. "People who can keep paying if they get a good tenant but can't afford to sell and take a loss should definitely consider renting," says Deb Agliano, a realtor with highly rated ERA Andrew Realty in Medford, Mass. "But if you're staying in the area and moving up, it might be better to sell because the nicer homes have even better deals."
Check 'em out
"If you rent, I'd recommend you screen potential tenants very, very carefully," says Julia de Sosa-Rocha, a realtor with highly rated Home Sellers America/ New Homes America in Alpharetta, Ga. "Do interviews and ask lots of questions."
Let someone else do the work
Nimeth suggests potential landlords hire a property management company. "Put somebody between you and the tenant," she says. "We screen everyone, and once we have a tenant, we place them immediately." The cost varies. "The industry standard is around 8 or 9 percent," says Mark Lambreth, owner of highly rated Cascadia Property Management in Portland, Ore.