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Find a reo property preservation professional near you

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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

Is it worth having a property manager?

While property managers do cost money, they can provide a lot of value to the client. They have marketing know-how and can advertise and perform showings of your property to the rental market. They can collect rent for you and screen potential tenants. They’ll also deal with tenant complaints and repairs, evictions and late rent. Finally, they can manage bill payments to simplify your paperwork and maximize your mental bandwidth.

Chat with top-rated property managers near you to find out if hiring one is worth the cost.

How do I find a good property manager?

You can find the best property manager in your area by starting with an online search. Compare profiles and ratings, and read customer reviews — these tend to give a snapshot of the manager’s quality of work and customer service. Additionally, customers may post photos of their properties that give an idea of the pro’s attention to detail.

Licensing is required in some states, so check to see your state’s policies on licenses and certification.

Finally, compare quotes and prices from at least three property managers.

How much does it cost to haul off junk?

The average cost to haul away junk is $150, though this price can be expected to vary between around $75 and $375, depending on several factors. 

The first factor is the quantity of junk removed. Most junk removal services charge by the truckload, and most residential projects only require filling up part of a truckload.

Another factor is the type of junk. E-waste like computers and TVs may cost more to dispose of, as will more hazardous materials like mercury, paint and used motor oil. It also may cost more to remove big items like beds and couches.

To find out how much it will cost to get rid of your junk, get free estimates from the best junk removal companies near you.

Are there ways to be safe if I hire a property manager when social distancing?

If you're hiring a property manager to look after a property that you own, consider the safety implications of in-person visits. Due to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines, it may be difficult for the property manager to collect rent in person or complete certain maintenance tasks. Check with your local government guidelines and consider implementing extra safety measures -- such as wearing a mask and gloves -- if you have to meet with them in person.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a property manager during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Ask the property manager if they can set up a virtual consultation or remote appointment using a phone or video chat. It’s best to avoid as much in-person contact as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If they can talk virtually, ask any questions you have about the work that needs to be done. Ask about their system for handling payments, and see what kinds of precautions they have in place to ensure safety and social distancing. 

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The best way to set up a consultation with a house cleaner during the COVID-19 pandemic is by using virtual, online tools. Start by performing an online search for local house cleaners. Message them to set up either a phone call or video call to perform a consultation. During this call, they can give you recommendations and may be able to estimate the cost of their services. Be sure to discuss whether they accept virtual payments and any precautions they can take to perform the job safely.

What does a real estate agent do?

Real estate agents help their clients buy, sell, and rent commercial and residential properties. There are also real estate agents that sell industrial and agricultural real estate, but the majority sell residential properties. To become a real estate agent, you must be at least 18 years old, successfully complete real estate courses, and pass a real estate exam. Be sure to check for any required licensing, too. Often real estate agents will earn 5 percent to 6 percent of the total home sale price for their work in representing their client. Typically this commission is split equally between the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. Here is an overview of what a real estate agent does, according to the United States Department of Labor:

  • Represent clients who are looking to buy, sell and rent properties.
  • Stay knowledgeable about regional real estate prices, mortgages, market conditions and related information, and advise clients accordingly.  
  • Determine competitive market prices by comparing properties.
  • Create and publicize lists of properties for sale, including details such as location and features.
  • Market properties through advertisements, open houses and listing services.
  • Show prospective buyers or renters properties.
  • Present purchase offers to sellers for consideration.
  • Mediate negotiations between buyer and seller.
  • Ensure that all terms of purchase contracts are met.
  • Prepare documents, such as loyalty contracts, purchase agreements and deeds.
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