What Makes a Good Rental Listing? Here are 5 Things to Look Out For

Because you would want to make the task of looking for a place to rent easier, always look for these five things whenever you are considering rental listings.

Have you ever experienced falling in love with a rental prospect—whether a house or an apartmentonly to be let down after talking with the owners and finding out it’s not everything you hoped for? Did it leave you wishing you had gotten the whole picture in the first place? Well, with rental listings that are incomplete, unspecific, and mediocre at best, that tends to happen.

Looking for a place to rent is a difficult task, so it’s understandable that you would want only the best rental listings to help you out with your decision-making. The better listings are available to you, the easier your job would be.

So, before you start visiting your prospects, begin the process with researcha lot of it. You’ll be spending a significant amount of time online, so it would be wise to keep a kind of checklist of all the information you’ll be looking for in listings. Good listings will ultimately help you refine your choices by showing which places meet all your needs. Plus, a high-quality rental listing in itself is already a positive sign—it conveys that the person you could be dealing with in the future is professional and communicates well.

But how do you know which listings are high-quality listings? Here are five things that you should always look out for:

Important Details

Of course there are the obvious specificationsyou’ll need to know the size of your potential new digs. There’s also the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Kitchen, dining area, living room, check. Is there a garage? A yard?

It would also be really helpful if listings included a little information about the neighborhood, especially when it comes to safety. Practical details, such as proximity to shopping centers and markets as well as forms of transportation in the area are great additions to rental listings.

Straightforward Terms

Aside from price, you should also look for clearly specified terms in listings. Does the place require paying an advance or deposit? For how many months? Are they refundable? How long will the lease be? You should also look out for indications of additional fees–for pets, parking, etc. The more clear-cut, the better.

All the Features

Look for listings that detail the amenities as much as possible. It’s okay to be particular about this because owners/landlords would want to make the properties as attractive as possible, thus giving you more room to evaluate. Nitpick. Are there enough windows? Is there air-conditioning, have there been recent repairs? They should also include information on practical amenities (such as laundry services) and shared spaces (such as roof decks, front yards, verandas, parking areas).

Policies (Including Make or Break Ones)

So, you think you’ve found the perfect place, but right when you’re about to seal the deal you discover they don’t allow petswhich might just be a dealbreaker for you. It would have saved you a lot of time and effort if the information on such policies were included in the rental listings.

Another important thing to look for are rules on the maximum number of people allowed to stay (for apartments and condominium units), parking, etc. Make or break policies should be considered in the early stages of decision-making, not at the last minute.

Great Photos

Perhaps the most obvious indicator of a high-quality listing is whether it includes high high-quality. It’s not just about what the photos are of, but how they’re taken. They should appeal to renters in a practical sense, by helping them visualize how they’re going to utilize the space.

Firstly, make sure the photos are of the actual unit and not just a similar one. Then, look for updated shots—both interior and exterior. Then, see whether there are photos of shared areas and the property’s immediate environment. A small map showing how to get to the place would also be greatly helpful.

The best listings give you a picture not just of the place itself, but of what it’s like to live there. Once you know what to look for in rental listings, it should be easier to search for the right place for you. But keep in mind that it’s always better to do additional research on your own so you can truly determine which property that is. Environment and history, for example, require a little more digging rather than relying on listings. It’s also likely that you won’t get everything you want 100%, so be ready to make a few adjustments here and there. Remember, doing the research and asking the necessary questions is key—and as with any long-term commitments, so is knowing when and how to compromise.

 Sources: Retipster, Homelight

Read our previous journal for more tips.


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