How to Rent Your House Without an Agent (Exact Steps I Took)

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People think they need a realtor to rent their house? What? Wake up! It’s the 21st century. You can do anything on your own. Here’s exactly how to rent your house without an agent.

How to Rent Your House Without an Agent (Exact Steps I Took)

I believe real estate agents are a dying breed. Sorry!

It’s a personal opinion. But one that I somewhat proved out by taking these very steps to find a tenant for my home with no interaction with realtors along the way.

I weighed the many pros and cons of renting vs selling my home. I was determined to rent it as I viewed the piece of real estate as a near “forever” home.

I linked it with my Personal Capital account and I’m ready to go. I don’t count my rental income to my personal net worth. I do count the house value and mortgage balance.

It simply had too many unique characteristics. The rental rates aren’t bad either!

It’s kind of fun to be able to take control of your outcome by renting your place. You save money along the way and you’re able to see your goals come to fruition.

For a long time now, I’ve been using my own spreadsheet to track over 1.5 million in real estate. It’s also helped me walk away from deals that didn’t make sense. Remember, numbers don’t lie.

Using it has helped me:

  • truly see the value of real estate and doing it for myself
  • track the exact numbers to know the ins and outs of my assets
  • answer the question “should I invest in this?” with any property I was curious about

You can have it, too. Just fill out the form below. It’s basically a super digestible, start-it-in-ten-minutes guide…with all the metrics you need to maximize your real estate profits, and avoid too much risk.

Steps to Lease Your House Without a Real Estate Agent

I want to dive right into it and give you the exact details of how I rented a HOUSE. Not condo.

A full-blown house that is 2,400+ square feet and has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.

Yeah, it’s not palatial.

It does the trick. At the end of the day, it checks a lot of boxes for investment value over the long-term. That is what led me to rent. I view it as a primary residence that happens to be rented.

With that being said, any dollar I pay to a real estate agent is less money in my pocket for financial return.

I just believe I can get the same outcome doing it myself (DIY) than if I hired a realtor.

Step #1: Use Rentometer to Get Smarter on Market Rent

Rentometer Logo

This isn’t a promotion. It’s an order.

You need to have Rentometer in your wheelhouse to start making money with real estate. Look up your address to see what the market rents are.

If you don’t you are simply burning money to the ground. Rents are usually never fully priced in. People get nervous that they will try to charge too much and the unit will be vacant for too long.

Use Rentometer to get smart on actual rental values in your area for free.

You can use it to get comps in a matter of minutes. That’s why I named it one of the best apps for real estate investors.

Step #2: Tee Up a Lease Agreement that Works for You

Believe it or not, your city or municipality WANTS you to lease your place. They need it. Generally speaking, affordable housing is at a shortage.

Therefore, many cities will provide templated agreements that help you lease your property. I used that for my house.

Here is a free downloadable city lease agreement as an example to what I used as a baseline for renting my house.

The city’s lease agreement is a great starting point. It’s not the end all be all, however. You need to tailor it to your property. Put in specific points to your property that are necessary.

For example, my wife and I owned a hot tub in the deck of our property. We scheduled out that separately to be based on the tenant’s needs.

Remember a lease agreement is something that carries weight over months if not years. The more clean and straightforward you can get the better.

It’s truly defined. Just keep that in mind at all times.

See Related: What Does It Take to Retire on Rental Income?

Step #3: List Your Property on Zillow or Redfin

What do you have to lose?

You can list your property and see what happens with little to no cost at all to you. Say goodbye to paying 1 month’s rent to a realtor.

It’s pretty easy to list your property on Zillow. When you do list your property, they will automatically post your listing on the following locations:

  • Zillow
  • HotPads
  • Trulia

This will help you get additional traffic and interest in your property.

Create a Listing on Zillow
Just type in your property info to get started.

Step #4: Clean Your House…

Alright, you might not need to hire outside cleaners for this one. You’ll see in the next step why you need to clean your house.

If you don’t know how to clean your house, I’m not the guy to help you.

Make sure your house looks appealing in every way, shape or form. If you need someone professional to help, then hire a cleaner. It’s worth the cost.


Clean house = More Appeal.

More Appeal = More $$$.

Don’t be lazy. Make your house look like a palace.

Step #5: Hold an Open House… Highest Credit Score, Income and Respectfulness Win

The most efficient way for me to rent a house out is to simply hold a 1-day open house. Bring applications or encourage people to fill out the application through Zillow.

This will help move along the process of getting your house rented.

Holding open houses is actually a lot easier than you’d think. You think you need big signs displaying your home?

Not really. People nowadays use their GPS, Apple Maps and Google Maps to get around. You won’t miss out on anything by not marking your home.

When people come in, just encourage them to take off their shoes and don’t be shy about asking questions. Just be prepared to be able to have definitive answers for each question.

Pro tip: Create a small factsheet about the house that people can carry around while they tour your home. This will give them something to look at and take home with them to remember the property better. 

See Related: Top Real Estate Investing Terms

Step #5: Execute the Lease Agreement

Executing is pretty straightforward so long as you have received your application from the tenant and made your decision. Most tenants will not argue your lease agreement, but it should be fair.

Most states are tenant-friendly. If you have something completely out of the market, you’ll likely get in more trouble than having something that is straightforward and fair.

Send your tenant the lease agreement and make sure they execute it. You should include an appendix that has a walkthrough assessment of the property.

This way you can ensure the condition of your property before and after you, tenant occupies the property. Once you execute the lease, you should direct your tenants to start finding the most cost-effective renter’s insurance quotes.

This will help them get the best option for the best price in a timely manner.

See Related: Triple Net Lease Pros and Cons

Step #6: Start Collecting Rent

Be as efficient as possible with collecting rent. Make sure that you have electronic lease payments set up and required within the lease agreement.

I use Cozy or PayPal to collect my rent virtually. You simply should not need to spend time collecting checks or going to the bank.

It’s the 21st century. Please make it easy on yourself. You should be able to collect with ease.

Remember our goal is to minimize our time while maximizing value.

See Related: Should You Sell to a House Investor?

Conclusion on How to Rent Your House Without a Realtor

I think the risk/reward benefit of trying to rent your house without a realtor weighs better in your favor. You don’t have much to lose to try it out.

I’m a big fan of having people work their way through real estate investing first. You don’t need a property manager for your first or second property. You should learn how to work through issues on your own to get a feel of how real estate operations work.

Then, you can think about finding a property manager to help take some of the time off your hands.

Can you lease your own house? Yes.

I did it.

It required about 4-5 hours of my time to truly to it right.

It saved my $2,000-$3,000 along the way.

What will you do to rent your place without a realtor?

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