There are countless advantages that real estate agents provide to prospective renters in Toronto, yet many people are hesitant to use one. For one thing, you bear no cost when using a real estate agent when looking to rent, so it is a no-brainer from a cost-perspective. In conjunction with that, a real estate agent is able to give you access to all available units on the market, while also making the rental application process as smooth as possible, something that you can easily take for granted.
Detailed below are the key advantages that real estate agents provide in the rental market in Toronto.
It's a "Free" Service
As a tenant, it costs you nothing to have a realtor represent you, as the agent is paid by the landlord looking to rent their property. Knowing that, why wouldn’t you have a licensed professional show you homes all around the city, negotiate on your behalf, and offer you solid advice? No need to overthink the renting process - use an agent!
Access to More Homes
Licensed real estate agents are the only people that have access to properties listed on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is where you find the majority of rental listings - especially in the downtown Toronto area. A real estate agent provides you with more options for listings that meet your criteria than you would otherwise find on your own, which is one of the biggest pros of using an agent for your home search. Without access to the MLS, a prospective home renter could potentially miss out on thousands of listed properties.
Real estate agents are licensed professionals, first and foremost, and they know how to best position you to find an ideal home to rent. If you had legal issues, wouldn’t you enlist a lawyer to help you sort through it? Real estate agents offer the same kind of expertise in the real estate market, so you are not out there on your own, trying to figure out how the process works. You would have a professional by your side that has plenty of experience and knows how to get the job done for you. A local Realtor will know not only the best neighbourhoods and buildings, but would also know what paperwork you need to help you secure a rental home.
Security & Safety
Surprisingly, rental scams are not uncommon, and usually involve someone losing their deposit or discovering a home that they only saw online did not meet their expectations in-person. So, how can a real estate agent help you avoid these scams? Firstly, all properties listed on the MLS are listed by other real estate agents that verify the ownership and existence of the property. If you are moving from abroad or do not have the time to see the home, your dedicated real estate agent can go view the home on your behalf, provide you with a live virtual tour of the home, and/or maybe even share a video of the home
Secondly, all deposits for homes listed on the MLS are held by the real estate brokerage that listed the property in what is called a Real Estate Trust Account, and the funds are not released to the owner/landlord until the tenant has received the keys to the property.
Having a licensed realtor assures you little risk in losing your deposit and removes most surprises when it is time to move in. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry!
Negotiating Price & Terms
There are tons of small details and peculiarities when it comes to understanding the terms and conditions of a rental agreement. A local rental real estate agent will help you understand those details and explain market trends (e.g. when the best time in the year is to look for the rental), tenancy laws (e.g. if a landlord can or cannot request a security deposit), and other factors that might stand out in a deal.
In a competitive rental market as competitive as Toronto , the norms tend to be different than smaller markets. For example, it's very common for applicants to offer more than the required first and last month deposit in order to distinguish their offer amongst other applications. However, an agent can advise you about what is necessary to make a good offer without putting too much on the table.
Why Choose Dwelly?
First and foremost, Dwelly has all the MLS listings made available by multiple real estate boards to make sure our clients have access to all rental listings in Toronto and the surrounding areas. Not only that, the Dwelly team has helped over 500 tenants happily find a place they call home in Toronto - and we have the reviews to back that up. Consider us when the time comes to look for a new rental property in Toronto!