Do You know What a Tenant Brokerage Agreement is?

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To many looking to rent a Home, a Tenant Brokerage Agreement is the last thing on their mind. Did you know that a lease rental is considered a Real Estate transaction?  Unfortunately, the signing of this document is not usually done by many Real Estate Agents. The reason? Many are afraid to come across the wrong way and avoid the document altogether. In this post, I will explain to you what this document is and why it is important for you to sign a Tenant Brokerage Agreement with your chosen REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent.

  • What is a Tenant Brokerage Agreement?

A Tenant Brokerage Agreement is a legal document that formalizes your working relationship with a REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent. This document details what services you are entitled to as a Tenant (Client) and what your Real Estate professional expects from you in return.

While the language used in the document is formal, renters should view it as an important and helpful tool for clarifying expectations, developing mutual loyalty, and most importantly, elevating the services you will receive. This document represents the official hiring of the Real Estate professional.

  • Do I need to sign a Tenant Brokerage Agreement if I am working with multiple Agents?

No. The Tenant Brokerage Agreement is meant to serve as a way to mutually decide to work together in the finding and rental of the home.  This legal document should only be agreed upon and signed with only one Real Estate professional. You signing this document with multiple Agents can cause future legal and financial disputes. Keep in mind this document entitles you to services you would not otherwise receive from your chosen Agent.

  • When do I sign the Tenant Brokerage Agreement?

The first thing I would recommend in choosing a Real Estate professional is to do your research. Once you have narrowed down your choices, interview them. Once you have chosen a REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent, they will more than likely bring this document up in your first appointment. Do not take this the wrong way. The intention here is to find you a place that meets your needs and future goals. Signing this document immediately without delay only tells the Real Estate professional that you are serious about leasing a home and you want to hire them to represent you.

  • How do I sign a Tenant Brokerage Agreement?

When you meet with your REALTOR® or Real Estate Agent, they will go over the document in full. There is a good chance that the Real Estate professional that you will be working with will have you sign the document electronically. With today’s technology, signing documents this way is more common practice. Electronic signing of documents are easier, faster, secure and it provides you with a better legible copy for your records. However, there are some REALTORS® or Real Estate Agents that still use paper contracts. If the chosen Agent does this, then you would be signing a paper document.

  • Where can I see a sample/draft copy of a Tenant Brokerage Agreement?

A sample/draft copy of the Tenant Brokerage Agreement can be provided for your review by your local REALTOR®. Keep in mind this document can be updated and changed usually yearly, by each individual State Association of REALTORS®. If you are looking for a sample of the document in your own state, please seek the assistance of a REALTOR® in your local area.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!

updated from a previous post.

As a Home Renter or Home Owner, do You know what NextDoor is?

NextDoor2

Nextdoor is a private Social Network for neighborhoods and communities. In order to join this network, you would need to receive an invitation from an already existing neighbor or by simply signing up and receiving a mailed verification at your home address. Through their site, you can sign up to have an account or download their mobile app to access the network.

Why use NextDoor? Why join another Social Network site?

NextDoor

Here are 5 reasons to join Nextdoor today:

  1. Nextdoor is the best way to stay in the know about what’s going on in your neighborhood—whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, learning about an upcoming block party, getting feedback or recommendations on local businesses, lost pets, wildlife animal sightings or hearing about a rash of car break-ins.
  2. Nextdoor is also available for Public Agencies. This means you can get immediate alerts any time your local city posts an update on community events, resident public input sessions and any other news affecting local residents.
  3. This neighborhood network has proven to be useful with over 99,000 neighborhoods across the country currently participating.
  4. As a home renter or home owner, this network will become useful as you engage with other home renters or home owners in your community. This will become a top source of information for research and/or finding out what truly goes on in your neighborhood from people near you!
  5. Just like any other social network, Nextdoor offers a timeline of updates posted by your neighbors with a reply/comment and “Thank” option for engagement. Being able to send a private message to a neighbor is also one of their options.

I hope you find this post helpful and use Nextdoor as a resourceful social networking tool.

Did you sign up? Let me know what you think!

Have questions or comments? Let me know!

Are You a Customer or Client in Real Estate? What’s the difference?

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Updated from a previous post in July 2014.

Customer or Client?

What’s the difference?

In real estate transactions, buyer-clients are entitled to a higher level of service than buyer customers. Becoming a client typically involves signing a Buyer Representation Agreement with a buyer’s representative, who then owes you fiduciary duties. This means that your buyer’s rep is expected to exercise discretion when acting on your behalf, including adhering to very specific responsibilities, obligations, and high standards of good faith and loyalty.

For example, if you’re a client, a buyer’s agent will seek to negotiate the most favorable transaction terms for you—and will not disclose any material facts about your situation that could hurt your negotiating position. If, however, you are only a customer, a buyer’s rep may not be in a position to answer even basic questions, such as “Why are they selling?” or “Is this home priced competitively?” This is because they are acting instead as a sub-agent for the seller.

YOUR SERVICES WILL VARY, DEPENDING ON YOUR STATUS.

If you are a CUSTOMER (no fiduciary relationship), an agent will:

  • Maintain loyalty to the seller’s needs
  • Tell the seller all that they know about you
  • Keep information about the seller confidential
  • Focus on the seller-client’s property
  • Provide just the material facts
  • Only provide price information that supports the seller’s listing price
  • Protect the seller
  • Negotiate on behalf of the seller
  • Attempt to solve problems to the seller’s advantage and satisfaction

If you are a CLIENT (fiduciary relationship), your agent will:

  • Pay full attention to your needs
  • Tell you all that they know about the seller
  • Keep information about you confidential
  • Focus on choices that satisfy your needs
  • Provide material facts as well as professional advice
  • Provide price counseling based on comparable properties and their professional insights
  • Protect and guide you
  • Negotiate on your behalf
  • Attempt to solve problems to your advantage and satisfaction

Customer-or-client ABR

*Note that not every state requires a signed Buyer’s Representation Agreement to create an agency relationship.

In some cases, an agency relationship can be formed if both parties simply behave as if one exists.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!

I need to Rent a Home, What expenses do I need to prepare for?

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If you are looking to rent a home, a condo/townhome, or even an apartment; there are certain expenses that you need to be prepared for.

Here are 6 Common Expenses that you need to prepare for as a Renter.

Application Fee

  • When you are applying to lease a property, an application fee will be charged to you by either the landlord or property management company. This fee varies from state to state, and may be a per adult fee. The application fee is usually an administrative fee to cover background and credit checks.

Pet Deposit Fee

  • The pet deposit fee can vary depending on the size of the pet and how many pets you may have. It is important to keep in mind that in most instances this fee is non-refundable. Be sure to ask your REALTOR®/Real Estate Agent for clarification. This fee is usually collected for any pet damages that may occur during the lease.

Security Deposit

  • The Security deposit will usually be due at lease signing. This amount is usually the same as the monthly rent. However, this amount can also be higher depending on your credit worthiness. This deposit is collected and kept in reserves to address any property damages that may occur during the lease period. The security deposit is usually returned to the tenant after the Move-Out inspection by the landlord/property management company.

First Month’s Rent & Advance Prorated Rent

  • Once your lease is signed, it is typical for you to have to pay your first month’s rent at signing. Keep in mind that if you are Moving-In a couple of days before the 1st of the month, you will be charged advance prorated rent for those days.

Renter’s Insurance

  • In most cases, the landlord or property management company, will require that you purchase a renter’s insurance policy as part of your lease agreement. A renter’s insurance policy protects you, as the renter, in the event of burglary, fire, natural disaster, etc. This policy will protect all your personal items and belongings.
  • Homeowners and Landlords usually carry homeowner’s insurance policies on their properties. However, this policy does not cover personal items for a tenant.

Real Estate Brokerage Fees

  • If you hire a REALTOR®/Real Estate Agent to assist you with the rental and leasing of your future home, you will be discussing their brokerage fees. This fee is charged for their professional real estate services and their assistance in helping you find the right rental/lease to meet your needs.
  • They will also be introducing to you the Tenant Brokerage Agreement. Read more about this agreement here.

Of course fees can vary by state. Be sure to seek the guidance of a Real Estate Professional in your area to guide you through the entire leasing process.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!

9-Step Guide to Finding a Dream Rental

Are you currently looking to rent a home, condo/townhome, or apartment? Take a look at this excellent article featured on realtor.com.

9-Step Guide to Finding a Dream Rental

 

numberoneKnow What You Can Afford
Whether you’re a first-time renter or an experienced renter, you must know what fits your budget. Learn how you can maximize your money to ensure you don’t over extend yourself. Read more »

 

 

number2
Identify Your Rental Personality
Before you even fill out an application, know what kind of rental might suit you. We have some ideas to help you narrow your criteria. Read more »

 

 

number3
Make Your Rental Search Mobile
So you’re ready to hit the road and look for a place. Before you do, make sure to download the realtor.com® Rental App. After you’ve installed it, we have tips and tricks to make your mobile search a breeze. Read more »

 

 

number4Know What to Ask a Potential Landlord
Find something you like? Before you walk in the door, ensure you make a great first impression with a landlord. Here are some surprising facts landlords wish you knew. Read more »

 

 

 

number5

Scope Out the ‘Hood
Make sure your rental is in a good area. Read up on red flags to be aware of when looking at a place in an unfamiliar neighborhood. Read more »

 

 

 

number6Make Your Application Shine
Don’t get shut out from a place you love. Once you’ve identified a dream rental, know how to make a good impression and avoid getting rejected by a landlord. Read more »

 

 

 

number7Read Your Rental Agreement Carefully
Before you sign on the dotted line, know what’s in your rental agreement. Here are a few handy tips on what to ask your landlord prior to sealing the deal. Read more »

 

 

 

number8Decide Whether You Need Renter’s Insurance
So you’re all moved in. But what about all your precious possessions? Without a homeowner’s policy, should you be concerned? Learn all about renter’s insurance. Read more »

 

 

 

number9

Know Your Rights as a Renter
If trouble arises with your landlord, how should you handle it? Learn what to do if you run into landlord problems. Read more »

 

 

Do you have any questions or comments? Please let me know!