With a cooler real estate sales market, more owners are turning to renting.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with BIG Realty

I wasn't to surprised to see the following article in the The Philadelphia Business Journal.   Titled, "Too hard to sell the house? More turning to renting."  Due to an influx of just too many homes on the market, it is this Main Line real estate blogger's opinion that sellers are artificially deflating the market.  Not surprising, when owners can't sell their homes, they are turning to renting instead.  Many hungry agents, snapping at too little money, are turning their business to renting homes instead of selling them.

From the article: 'From Tredyffrin to Gladwyne, homeowners who have struggled to sell their properties are finding that renting is an alternative in this sluggish real estate market.

While it has been more common and relatively easy for Center City developers who constructed unsold condominiums to make the switch to rentals, the trend has stayed at bay in the single-family market. In the last few months,that's changing as "for sale" signs have been replaced by "for rent" at hundreds of single-family homes throughout the region. Chester County has 355 houses listed for rent and there are 533 in Montgomery County, according to the Multiple Listing Service. Delaware County has 232 listed.

The abundance of houses on the market for rent has created a new phenomenon in the housing market: Competition among homeowners who are trying to get their houses rented.

"There used to be so few homes for rent that you were lucky to find anything habitable," said Lavinia Smerconish, an agent with Prudential Fox & Roach. "Now people are seeing rental as an alternative to selling at a number that is under value for the house."' 

To read the full article, click here: Too hard to sell the house? More turning to renting.

The only surprise from the article I came away with is that it shocked me to hear a Main Line real estate agent say that to rent homes they are now staging.  Staging a home is not cheap, and even if a home is renting for $10k a month, a $3000 - $5000 staging bill doesn't seem to appetizing to me.  I would tell more homeowners, if you want you home to rent, listen to the market and adjust your price!

As a Main Line Realtor and Property Manager, one of the issues I also have with the current market is that I am concerned about so many "new" landlords.  Being a rental property landlord is not easy.  There are so many rules and laws to follow that homeowners could be breaking local ordinances and not ven know it.  For example, one of them being a local rental permit.  I know for a fact in Lower Merion township and Radnor township that they are cracking down on where students are renting.  Many Realtors don't know about these student-rental restrictions and are not advising their clients properly.  Long after the commission is paid and the tenants have moved in, it is the homeowner who may be stuck appeasing the township!

Words of wisdom: If you need to rent instead of sell, seek good advice from a property management company who will not only fill a rental, but manage it as well.


Comments (1)

Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Good post, Christopher.  I too fear that some agents are taking on landlords as clients without knowing what they are getting into (as you point out, property management is a different animal than residential sales and it comes with a whole slew of requirements that are continually changing).  Hopefully, wise agents will know that it's best to either refer the rental to someone who is familiar or educate themselves before putting their client at risk.

Mar 01, 2009 09:58 AM