You have been searching for what seems like forever for the perfect apartment. You have your list of needs and wants, and you have researched a few areas you are focusing on. Maybe you have the money ready to cover moving costs, and you might even have a pile of boxes just waiting to be filled. Then, one day, you get online to scan the sites you usually do, and suddenly there is this gorgeous loft downtown listed. It has spacious closets, hardwood floors, and a Roman tub, and it is only a few miles from work. You can’t help but do a little dance.
Well, before you get your hopes up, keep in mind that if you are this excited, there are likely many others doing their own version of your touchdown dance. You have to act quickly, be prepared, and make a strong first impression if you are going to fight for that perfect apartment.
You certainly do not need to put on a suit or a nice dress, unless, of course, this is what you wear to work. However, you also do not want to go view the apartment when you are dripping sweat after a spin class or game of basketball. Business casual attire is appropriate.
Avoid wearing perfume or cologne. Many people are sensitive to strong scents, and you could get hurried along just to get out the door. You should look like someone you would be interested in renting to if it was your apartment.
Don’t Play Hard to Get
When you are buying a car, it is expected to play hard to get. You might even leave the dealership and wait for the call that they will drop the price even more. When you call to get quotes for movers’ costs, you may do a little version of this, too. This is definitely not the approach you want to take in this situation though. The landlord knows that if you are “not sure” you like it or you “don’t know” if you want to pay that much, one of the other 10 people viewing right after you will.
Having a copy of your credit report is a good idea. You are probably thinking they will run your credit anyway, so why bother? They probably have a busy schedule, so the less they have to do the better you look.
Arrive with a copy of your credit report. If you have a blemish on it, be ready to provide an explanation. Alternately you can type up an explanation for them to read later. Some landlords honestly do not look at credit reports. They trust their instinct and just want proof they can afford it.
Have check stubs ready. You may even want to impress them with a copy of your renter’s insurance binder to show how responsible you are. A list of references should also be included.
Be Ready to Close
Some landlords may want to take all your information, along with the applications from other interested parties, and think about it. Others are ready to sign the paperwork immediately, so they can get on to other things. You will find this a lot with landlords who own multiple properties. Therefore, you should have your checkbook on you, or at least enough cash for a security deposit (make sure you get a receipt).
Don’t Be Blinded By Surface Beauty
That apartment may be the perfect place in theory, but you should still inspect it thoroughly. Are there any red flags? Maybe there is a reason the last tenant moved out. Now, you don’t want to play hard to get, but if something is telling you it isn’t right, then you should think about it, even if it means a lost opportunity.
If you close, make sure you find out the regulations regarding move-in procedures. When you call to get quotes for moving costs will be, you will want to discuss these regulations with the moving company.