For most renters, the process of finding a new place to call home consists of walking into a leasing office, taking a tour, and leaving with the keys. But did you know that working with a REALTOR® to find a rental opens up a massive amount of opportunities?

REALTORS® not only have access to all of the listings in a given area, but they may even have the scoop on properties for rent that haven’t hit the market yet.

Are you worried the process might be too complicated with a real estate brokerage? Believe it or not, the process of renting through a real estate company is simple and FREE.

Here are the steps to the rental process when working with a REALTOR®:

  1. Contact a real estate agency. When it comes to working with a real estate agency to find a rental, any Real Estate agency should be able to assist you. Simply call and let them know your situation and what you’re looking for. The office will then connect you with an experienced agent who will help to guide you through the process.
  2. Find your rental. You can continue to search online for rentals you might be interested in, just as you would on your own. Meanwhile, your agent will be scouring the local Multiple Listing Service for any properties that might not be found on popular rental search sites. They will also be asking around all their real estate contacts for any properties soon to come on the market. Really, by enlisting a REALTOR’S® help, you’re doubling your efforts to find the perfect place.
  3. Fill out the rental application. Once you’ve found your new home, your agent will then have you fill out a rental application, and provide documentation of your income. Processing includes rental history, verification of employment and salary, verification of information on the application, criminal history search in any state that applicants lived and of any AKA, and a search of social media and any other checks that might come up during the process. This is the same sort of standard application and background check for many rental properties. Prices vary between brokerages, but each person over 18 that will be occupying the space will need to fill one out.
  4. Complete the leasing agreement. It’s usually at this point that you will meet the landlord. You will sign a standard leasing agreement, and fortunately for you, you have a REALTOR® on your side to help you navigate the lease and ensure that your best interests are kept in mind.
  5. Provide deposit and first month’s rent. Once you’ve completed the lease agreement, you will be expected to provide a security deposit and the first month’s rent. Just like with any rental, pets will most likely require a separate security deposit and an additional monthly fee.

And that’s it! Your REALTOR® will be compensated by the landlord. You pay no additional fees to have the added help of an experienced professional.

Still have questions?

Feel free to contact us about any rental questions you might have. We’re always happy to help!

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.