Hiring an Agent to Help you Rent

Buying | January 14, 2020 | written by Corbin Chivers

a couple having pancakes on the floor

If you’re looking for a rental in a city, you may have struggled to find apartments that fulfill your expectations. Because of this, you’re forced to make compromises to land a space of your own. Perhaps you even thought about hiring a real estate agent to help your search. The question is, is there any advantage between looking for a rental by yourself or seeking the assistance of an agent to do it for you? 


The advantages of an agent

It’s no surprise that the Vancouver and Fraser Valley real estate market is hard to get into, especially for younger homebuyers or people who are looking to rent. Costs are sky high and demand significantly outweighs supply. The local real estate market is a battlefield as there are limited opportunities to find a new home that checks all the boxes for what you are looking for. When the market is this competitive is when a real estate agent can help. 

Agents are one of the first who have access to multiple listing services (MLS). Although MLS is accessible by the public, there is a 48-hour wait between when a new listing is posted and when the public is able to access the information. With the help of agents, they can arrange viewings and hunt down rentals that fit your requirements, which saves you time. 



Though there are advantages that come with seeking assistance from an agent, there are few drawbacks for you to keep in mind. First, they’ll claim that they can help you filter out the sketchy leases from the good ones. Though that may be true, there will be some conflict of interest between you and the agent. As tenants, you must realize that the market, and the agents, move fast. They’ll tend to take on as many clients at once, meaning they won’t have much time to help you in your search. Also, the agents will most likely be working with renters even if they don’t explicitly say it. In such situations, they represent the landlord, taking on lease listings, and represent you, the tenant. This is called “multiple representations,” and isn’t allowed unless the tenant signs an agreement that consents to this type of arrangement.

While it may seem helpful to work with an agent, most won’t take on clients who are in school or have a low credit rating. This is, unfortunately, due to the competitive nature of the rental market in cities.


Tips for you

It is best to do your research to help search for an agent! When selecting an agent, make sure that the listings you receive have pictures to support them and are listed on the MLS. Don’t forget to ask your real estate agent lots of questions before proceeding.  If they aren’t, they most likely aren’t committed to helping you find the best rental and are helping landlords. Your chosen agent must have a webpage that adequately describes them. Also, don’t be afraid to sign the Buyer Representation Agreement, which forces you to stick to only one agent. This is because most agents won’t ask a tenant to sign one unless they have an offer ready. If you do feel pressured to do so, then take your leave. 


The world of rentals is a fast-paced game. To make sure that you find the right apartment, do your research, and consider the best agent to help you.

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