Do you need to find a new apartment or house? Have you had trouble wading through all of the ads for places that appeared to be something other than they really were? You might be thinking about using an apartment finder service, real estate agent, or apartment community management company (which may also have houses for rent) to find a place. All of these people can help you, but the best type to go with depends on what you're hoping to find and what you want to know. If you can match up your housing goals with the right type of home finder, you should have a lease in hand soon.
People dealing with limited budgets might not want to apply separately to several different complexes, leading them to work with an apartment finder service or a real estate agent. These people may do one credit and background check overall while helping you look for a place to live. However, real estate agents and apartment finders might charge you a fee for their services. It does depend on the location; for example, apartment finders in some states charge you a fee to help you find a place, while those in other states offer free services to you and get a commission from the complex in which you eventually rent.
If you really want to cut costs, a management company that oversees several complexes may work for you. Instead of applying to each complex separately, talk to the main office and see if you can file one general application and pay for only one credit check, and then use the results from that to find an apartment in one of their complexes.
Apartment finder services and real estate agents are likely to steer you toward specific properties simply because those are the ones they handle. They may be unwilling to show you others, so if you are interested in properties they don't handle, you won't get to see those. However, you will get to see a diverse selection of places if you work with a finder service or real estate agent. If you contact an apartment management company, you will be limited to just the complexes they manage, too. If you want really complete listings, you may actually want to try working with two different types of finders, say, an apartment finder and an agent or an agent and a management company. Note, though, that if you really want a house, a real estate agent and management company may have more listings than a finder service that tends to stick to apartment complexes.
Apartment complex managers don't have to have real estate licenses to work; they're just hired as regular employees by the management company. Agents, of course, have to have real estate licenses, and finders might have licenses as well. If you're really concerned about all of the home finding process being done according to law, look for licensure.
Finding a home might seem like a huge undertaking, but with the right help, it can be rather easy.