When you are getting ready to head off to your next duty station, and you decide to make the choice to live on base, finding a realtor for your rental is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. But using one isn’t just for buying a house. Realtors might be just the right person to make your transition to a new city or state a little less stressful.
Why should you consider using a realtor?
Debbie Ingram from Ingram Team, Realtors in the DC Metro Area, suggest using a realtor for several reasons. First, it costs the prospective tenant nothing! The owner of the home pays all the fees. Second, a realtor will work hard to cultivate a good relationship with you. Their hopes are that you will remember them when you want to buy a home, or refer them to someone else. It is a lot of work for a realtor, with very little immediate reward, so you will often find newer realtors doing this kind of job. Third, the realtor can tell you about the neighborhoods better than most people, and will make sure you get all the information that you need including school information, pictures of the house and area, and can answer questions for you immediately.
Real Life Examples
Megan Harless, Army Spouse and owner of Military Spouse Chronicles, used a realtor specifically because they were moving to an area with a fast-moving market. “Many houses listed for rent one day, would be rented the next day.” After Harless reached out to a Realtor, explained what they were looking for, they spent two days looking at different places, being able to tour each home before they made a decision. When we moved to Virginia it was extremely stressful looking for a home, and using a realtor is one thing that I wish we would have done personally. If you are moving to a place with a fast moving market, using a Realtor might be just the way to go.
Jennifer Morrison, military spouse and social media manager, gives some food for thought for those looking to rent in New York. “In most places, the owner/seller pays the commission fees for a Realtor, but in New York area the Buyer pays for it!” The Morrison family was looking to spend about $3500 in rent, but by the time they were done paying deposits and commissions they had forked over around $10k in fees. Morrison also cautioned that in New York using a realtor was almost necessary as very few people were listing their homes themselves, and those that were not reliable or trustworthy. While this isn’t the case in all states, its something you should spend a little time researching before you choose to either use a Realtor, look for yourself or live on base.
Whether you choose to live on base, rent off base, or buy a home at your next duty station make sure you do your research, and if you can’t spend any time in the location before you move, reach out to your military community. Learning as much as you can about where you are headed is easier now than it ever was before! Good luck and enjoy your next duty station!
Written by: Rheanna Bernard