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Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

new york
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Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

My family and I want to rent a condo or townhouse at the shore soon for our vacation. We are interested in going for just a week. This will be our first time going and I don't want the kids to be disappointed. I am grappling with the decision about whether it is better to rent directly from the owners or is it easier and safer to go through a real estate agent in the area. Is it more expensive to go through a real estate agent?

Please I need some help fast from those who have experienced the difference. Thank you in advance for your help.

Rehoboth Beach...
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for Myrtle Beach
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1. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

There are pros & cons.

Renting direct from the owners is usually cheaper, because they will often offer you the net price they receive from an agent after fees/commissions. Owners will know & can describe their properties better than an agent. You will get the house rules set by the owners, not generic agent rules & policies. And, sometimes owners can be more flexible about rental periods, check in/out times, key pick-up/drop-off, etc.

Perhaps the biggest drawback is availability. Many owners use agents to fill up rental periods & then directly rent the remainder. Repeat customers will get first dibs.

Here's another: if the owner is not local (and many aren't), will there be someone nearby to contact about problems/repairs, etc? This is where renting through an agency can be worth the extra cost in peace of mind.

The opposite situation can also be a problem: if the owner lives VERY nearby (like next door or on the other side of a dividing wall) you might feel a lack of privacy.

We have rented through vrbo.com and had generally good results.

North Wildwood
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2. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

I have rental property, I rent exclusively myself. I don't use an agent, my property aren't in a rental pool. I find I can give my tenants a much better deal and more personalized service. Many owners have their own rental websites, with loads of pictures and info about the property you won't get from a realtor.

I live onsite, I find most aren't bothered. I rarely see them, an occasional good morning otherwise, I don't impose on them unless they initiate a conversation or have a question. I do my thing they do theirs, with no expectations, other than a business transaction. I find most who are troubled by me being so close, are often the ones, who overload my properties, so I don't want to rent to them anyway.

You didn't mention when you plan to vacation or where? I would move quickly, some weeks have been booked since last year. Good luck in finding a home to meet your needs.

Enjoy!

new york
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3. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

Thank you Daddio361 and Wildre for your comments. I will take what you've said into consideration. We are still undecided about the particular town along the shore we're going to choose. I guess I still my homework cut out for me. I will visit vrbo.

When renting directly from an owner however, how do they collect the fee? Agents offices are equipped with credit card machines but private citizens do not. Any insight on this?

CT
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1,419 posts
13 reviews
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4. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

Most will state their payment policies and cancellations policies on the site on which they are listing. I have run into a few that have begun to accept paypal, but many will take a personal check. If the cancellation and security deposit policies are not written, make sure to ask. I have rented from www.homeaway.com and www.shoresummerrentals.com as well as www.vrbo.com. Most owners who are not also local have a handyman/tradespeople lined up to call with problems. I agree to start looking as many sites are booking up. Homes new to rental may have more open weeks, as they don't have the return customers (yet!). Post again if you have questions about which town you may be considering. You will bring out the different towns "cheerleaders' or search the forums for previous discussions. Have a great vacation!

new york
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5. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

Thank you YankeeMom for your reply. All three websites you suggested were helpful. I have a new question now. Once you come to a rental agreement with a condo owner, how does one pay? The accepted terms of payment listed are money order, personal check or cashiers check.

In your experience, which is the best way as far as ease or safety? My husband is worried that once you send in the deposit and/or rental fee, that the 'owner' will take the money and run. What have you come across in your transactions that may be helpful for me to look out for?

I appreciate everyone's input.

CT
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1,419 posts
13 reviews
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6. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

i probably am a little too trusting, but I ask questions, get the owners name and if possible a land line number. Get a lease so you may have some recourse if the terms are not met. I think a check would at least give you a little more control compared to money order, and a wire transfer screams scam. Get references (recent ones) and use google earth to see if the property is as close to ammenities as described. All that said, if it worth your peace of mind, go with a realtor.If you are not as familiar with a town it is harder to assess location or convenience. An honest owner has a lot more to loose from an unruly tenant than a renter does i.e. handing the keys of at least a half million $$ property to a total stranger compared to cost of the weeks rental.

CT
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1,419 posts
13 reviews
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7. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

I just found this link that you may find interesting:

www.vrbo.com/global/protect_yourself.htm.

Have you decided where you want to visit?

Malvern, PA
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205 posts
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8. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

SupermOm, To add to the other responses that have come in, and as an owner. I rent my property both directly and thru a few agencies. Most of my rentals are directly with the renters. I live in PA and I am not on site during my renters stay. With that stated, if there is a problem I can be contacted and I have different contacts to resolve the issues. For example one year with our old house the refrig. went. We called Johnsons and a refrig was delivered a few hours after the call. Another time the tenants locked themselves out of the house. They had rented from me directly. I called one of the agents and they dropped off the key to them for me. I have since fined tuned that scenario in case if it happens in the middle of the night.

Many of my tenants like going direct. They save money, no extra fee's, have the keys before they arrive on the island, and get to know the owner a little bit thru e-mails &/or phone calls.

It is understandable on your husbands concern about sending money and not sure if the person will run with it. That is a tough one other then communecate with the owner. If it is earlier in the season take a ride to see it. Now it is a little late and would be tough to get in to the properties.

As for payment most owners payment is personal check, money oreder, or certified check. IF check-in is to short of a time period for a check to clear then many will only accept the other 2 payments. At least that is my policy. Like your husband I am concerned on the oppisite problem of some one using the house and the check bounces.

Here are some more sites that you maybe interested at looking at:

www.ourtownrentals.com/index.php?a=2&b=619, http://www.rentatjerseyshore.com/fsbo.html, http://www.shoresummerrentals.com/start.asp, vacationrental.com/vacation-rentals/New-Jers…

My property is in Ocean City, NJ, and is pretty much booked but feel free to take a look at it on line.

Good luck and enjoy your vacation.

9. Re: Renting direct from owners vs Real Estate Agents on Shore

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