Pros and Cons of Finding Tenants Without a Realtor

Landlord giving keys to a tenant
Jirapong Manustrong / Getty Images

Finding tenants for your rental property is something every landlord must deal with. However, you have two options for getting it rented. You can try to fill the vacancy yourself, or you can hire a Realtor to do so. Learn four pros and four cons of finding tenants for your investment property without a realtor.

Pros of Finding Tenants Without a Realtor

There are several benefits to filling a vacancy without using a Realtor. You do not have to pay a Realtor's commission and you can use your knowledge and passion for the property to appeal to prospective tenants. 

Save Money

If you do not hire a Realtor to show the property, you will save money because you do not have to pay the Realtor’s commission. The amount you have to pay as the commission will vary greatly, but you should expect to pay the Realtor the equivalent of at least one month’s rent for finding a tenant for your rental.

  • Why Are You Moving From Your Current Apartment?
  • How Many People Will Be Living on the Property?
  • How Long Have You Worked at Your Current Job?

Screen Tenants

When you are the one who is actually showing the property and meeting with and screen all tenants, you can ask the questions that a Realtor may not. You must make sure you ask the same questions of every prospective renter and that you adhere to the Fair Housing rules so that you are not accused of discrimination.

Passion for the Property

Since you are the actual owner of the property, you will have a passion for the property that a Realtor will not. The property is your baby, and your ability to make a monthly mortgage payment may depend on getting the property rented. Your passion could also convince a renter that he or she loves the property and wants to live there as much as you do.

Knowledge of the Property

While some Realtors are great, have extensive knowledge of an area and do their research about your property and comparable properties in the area, others make no such effort. In these cases, it is in your best interest to be the one showing your property. You will be able to explain all the great features and amenities of your property and you will know what the property taxes and the average utility bills are. You will also have a better knowledge of public transportation and nearby parks and stores.

Cons of Finding Tenants Without a Realtor

While there are several benefits to finding tenants without the use of a Realtor, there are also several negatives to this approach. It can take a lot of time and effort to find a tenant and you will lose out on the Realtor's connections.

Safety Risk

Letting a stranger into your property can pose a risk to your safety. While most people have no intention of harm, there are those that do have ill intentions. Whether it be to rob you or to steal from your property, you must take measures to protect yourself from these types of criminals.


Another con of showing the property yourself is the amount of time it takes. You may have to rearrange your schedule or convert time spent relaxing on the weekends into time spent showing prospective tenants and buyers your property.

Smaller Market

You may not have access to all the resources that a Realtor does to market your property on a wide scale. While you can surely still market your property online and in print media, you may not be able to easily reach the broader market that a Realtor has access to. It can also be time-consuming and expensive to place the ads.

Lose a Salesman

Realtors are salesmen. Some may be better than others, but day in and day out, their job is to sell a property to potential buyers and renters. If you choose not to hire a Realtor, you can lose out on this expertise in marketing your property and making it appealing to renters.