Since the 2008 fiscal crisis, the number of people looking to rent homes has increased, as has the number of people leasing their homes instead of selling them. This trend in the housing market has also changed lives for some realtors, who now are not only in the business of buying and selling, but also are tasked with renting and leasing.
“There [are] a lot more homeowners that call me now and say, ‘I can’t sell my home. I’m leaving the state. I can’t afford two mortgages,’” said John Beaver, real estate broker and owner for Elite Property Management based in St. Charles. Beaver said he saw that trend start to double and triple after the 2008 fiscal crisis.
Even with more demand for leasing and renting homes, Beaver said he hasn’t needed to add to his staff. What has changed, however, is that more real estate agents are doing that work.
“Who’s filling the gap is fellow real estate agents now willing to market these homes for lease,” Beaver said. “In years past, they wouldn’t be. They’d be busy selling homes.”
Stephanie Hug, real estate agent at Coldwell Banker Gundaker, said in an email she wouldn’t have known how to help a client find a tenant for his or her house five years ago, but leasing homes now comes with her job.
Hug said the reason people would mainly rent out their home instead of sell it is because they wouldn’t be able to sell it for enough money to cover the cost of what they owed on it. Homeowners would rent out their home for a few years as a temporary fix. But Hug said it’s something happening less.
“For most people, it is always a last resort to try to rent it out,” Hug said. “Most people do not want to be a landlord in any way.”
La Nora Kay, president of the Missouri Association of Realtors said now it’s a realtor’s responsibility to point clients in the right direction, whether those clients are sellers, buyers, renters or landlords. Today, some real estate brokerage houses have property management teams who are responsible for clients who come in and want to lease and rent homes. In an earlier interview, Kay also said rental rates have increased nationwide because of the increased demand to rent a place.
Kay, who is from Branson, Mo., said that five years ago, the city had two property management companies. Today, Branson has six, to meet the higher demand, she said.
Kay also noted the criteria for getting a home loan is stricter than it used to be.
“I think the lending criteria is much tougher in today’s market than we used to experience, but I think we’re being responsible,” she said.
There is still 100 percent financing available and that interest rates have stayed down, Kay said. For example, if someone is buying a home for $100,000, he or she would need to put $3,500 down on the property.