Tom and Marcy were new arrivals to the North Dallas suburbs, moving here from the Austin area due to a job change. Tim was living in a motel and working night and day. Maria was making house-hunting excursions every week or two and getting more and more frustrated with each trip. She would arrive in town, scan a few websites and begin making calls to listing agents. Half of her calls were never returned. Half of those that were returned were to let her know the home of which she inquired was no longer available. Each trip her time would run out and she would return to Austin no closer to having a home than when she began.
Her plight is familiar to anyone who has navigated the torrent which is the rental home market in the North Dallas area. Most of the information available to the public is like shelves of milk with expired “use by” dates. The very best homes are often spoken for by the time they show up on retail websites. You feel like a dog chasing its tail.
The solution – find a Realtor to act as your tenant agent.
I received a voice mail message from Marcie seeking information about a home my broker had listed for lease in Providence Village. After a short conversation to determine if the home met all of her needs – number of bedrooms, location, price range, pets allowed, etc. – I set up an appointment to show her our listing and three others in the neighborhood that were also good matches for her needs.
We saw all four homes in about ninety minutes. We went back and viewed the her top two choices a second time. I gave her blank copies of the standardized lease applications and agreed to check with her the next morning for her decision.
A couple of notes here. You want to work with an agent who will return your phone calls. You want to work with an agent who will follow-up with you when he says he will. You want them to be persistent and consistent in their dealings with you because that is evidence that he will be just as persistent in dealing with the listing agent to bring your transaction to closure.
I met Marcie the next morning to pick up her application and application fees, and continued to follow-up with her and the listing agent over the next couple of days, right through the approval of their application, the completion of the lease paperwork and the move-in date.
She and her family have lived in the home for nine months now and will be working with me to find a home for purchase in the next couple of months.