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If you want to land your dream apartment, apartment viewing etiquette should be a top priority. Everyone wants to apply for a place and receive the keys tomorrow, but it isn’t that easy. The landlord or broker needs to sell the apartment, and you need to do the same – for yourself! Otherwise, they’ll choose the next interested person.
Here are the steps for proper apartment viewing etiquette:
- Schedule an appointment
- Design a checklist for questions to cover
- Consider your credit score
- Arrive early
- Be as prepared as possible
- Send a follow-up message
1. Schedule an Appointment
For the most part, potential tenants can’t have an apartment viewing without notice. Some complexes offer open houses or walk-ins, but it’s typically common courtesy to contact the real estate agent and schedule an appointment. Wondering how to schedule an apartment viewing? After you find a few apartments that you want to see, make sure to call or email whoever’s listed their name on the post. Then, find a time slot that works best for both of you.
2. Design a Checklist
If you want to have proper apartment viewing etiquette, it’s essential to prepare before you visit an apartment. Like any interview, you want to come with questions and knowledge about the space! Put together a checklist that covers each topic, from monthly rent to square footage to late fees. You should also ask about aspects that don’t seem immediately obvious. For example, what’s the typical response time for maintenance requests? Take this checklist to your visit so that you can write down answers and reference them later.
3. Consider Your Credit Score
Before a property manager can approve renters for an apartment, they need to conduct background and credit score checks. This information protects them because they can gauge whether or not you’ll pay rent on time. Most landlords won’t approve your application unless your credit score reaches 650 points or more, so take a look beforehand.
You can see if there’s a discrepancy to fix or if you need to raise your credit score altogether. You’re entitled to a free check once a year, so it’s smart to look ahead of time. Then, you’re ready for any inquiries or concerns from potential landlords.
4. Arrive Early
You don’t want to wait outside for an hour – but when you show up 10 minutes beforehand, the landlord should know that you’re serious. This time also allows you to see the outside of the apartment by yourself. Take a few moments to walk up and down the street. Ask yourself questions about safety, transportation and noise so that you know what’s to come. The more you observe, the better!
If you want, you could chat with residents to find out more information. After all, they live there. Most of the time, the broker or landlord doesn’t. In any case, arrive at the appointment early enough. You’ll look professional, which makes a massive difference!
5. Be as Prepared as Possible
At your appointment, it’s crucial to show your best self. You’ve brought your checklist and seen your credit score – and now’s your time to shine. Here are a few tips on the most important items to take so that you have an ideal experience:
- Bring your spouse or roommate: If you plan to rent with others, make sure that they’re present. Otherwise, capture a lot of pictures and videos.
- Take the correct documents: These papers include tax forms, bank statements and employment history. You’ll need your checkbook and references, too. You may not use these materials, but you should prepare to pay and sign at any moment.
- Mention your assets: Landlords want to know about their renters, so don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. You’re reliable, tidy and quiet, right? Try not to sell yourself too much, but a few comments make a difference.
Of course, you want to remember to conduct a thorough overview of the apartment. Look under sinks and behind counters for possible bug problems. Check the faucets and toilets for water pressure. Then, ask the real estate agent if you can tour the rest of the building. You don’t want to find out that you can hear people pick up their mail after you sign a lease.
6. Send a Follow-Up Message
After you leave, send the landlord a follow-up message. If you liked the apartment but couldn’t sign immediately, try to set up another appointment. You need to maintain consistent interest so that the broker doesn’t forget about you. That said, maybe this specific place wasn’t for you. In that case, you should still write a quick thank you note to maintain proper apartment showing etiquette. After all, they took time out of their day to help!
You may want to ask about other rentals, too. You can still maintain a relationship with the real estate agent, even if you weren’t a fan of this apartment.
Use These Tips to Make a Terrific First Impression
An apartment hunt can feel like a job interview, so it’s always essential to show your best self and use proper apartment showing etiquette. When you’re prepared, determined and respectful, you’ll find your dream place.