If you invest your money in the right property, in the right place, and at the right time you can end up with a lucrative real estate investment. In fact, real estate investments have produced more wealth than any other industry investments.
However, just like any type of business, it has its challenges. Managing tenants in Seattle isn’t easy. There’s a lot for one person to handle, especially if you are a new landlord.
To succeed, it helps to have a team of real estate professionals by your side. A general contractor, for example, can help you keep your property in top-notch condition. A real estate lawyer can help you solve legal problems. In addition to this, a property manager can help you secure reliable tenants as well as manage them.
Forming ongoing relationships with real estate professionals can guarantee success in managing your Seattle investment property.
1. Property Manager
Property managers can handle a myriad of responsibilities. For example, rent collection, lease termination, lease negotiations, property inspections, and maintenance issues.
They also make sure that each property is in compliance with all safety laws and property codes.
To determine whether a property manager is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have the time to stay up-to-date on Seattle’s landlord-tenant laws?
- Do you keep comprehensive and accurate records?
- Do you know how to perform thorough and efficient screenings on potential tenants?
- Are you willing to be on-call 24/7?
- Are you ready to handle troubled renters?
2. Property Inspector
Regular property inspections can help you enforce your lease and protect your rental property. Generally, inspectors will look for things like:
- Any exterior damage including the property’s structure and landscaping
- Internal damage beyond normal wear-and-tear
- Additional occupants
- Items needing repair
- Proper tenant maintenance
- Illegal activities
Normally, there are four types of property inspections: move-in, move-out, seasonal and drive-by inspections.
3. Real Estate Appraiser
A property appraiser estimates the value of your real estate for insurance, development, financing, sales and tax purposes. They construct an opinion based on the prices of similar surrounding properties and the environment in which your property is located.
If you are planning a project aimed at improving the value of your Seattle property, the appraiser’s impartial eye can be beneficial.
During the appraisal, be sure that you are available for any questions they might have. It’s important that they have access to all utilities because making their job easier can help your property get a good report.
4. Real Estate Agent
Finding renters for your Seattle rental property can be time-consuming and stressful. A good agent is well-versed with the local market and knows how to market a property to the right tenant pool.
Besides filling vacant properties, agents can also help you set prices. You can also trust a good agent to show your properties and handle phone calls.
5. Real Estate Lawyer
Conflicts between landlords and tenants in Seattle are common. Common causes of disputes include, but are not limited to:
- Cost of cleaning and repairs. When a renter moves out, the Seattle lease agreement usually requires that he or she return the property in its initial condition. Failure to do so and the landlord reserves the right to make the appropriate deductions from the security deposit. Dispute commonly arise over the cost for these deductions.
- Property maintenance. Having a properly maintained rental is a tenant’s right and a landlord’s duty. Disputes can arise when the landlord takes too long to resolve maintenance issues.
- Property damage. Property damage is undoubtedly one of the main causes of landlord-tenant issues. A dispute may arise when a renter causes excessive property damage.
With a good real estate lawyer at your side any landlord-tenant dilemma will be handled smoothly and according to Seattle’s rental law.
6. Certified Public Accountant
Keeping track of paperwork is difficult. However, it’s a necessity, and it can cause problems for those who are unprepared and disorganized. This is especially true at tax time.
A good accountant will ensure that your files are orderly and your tax returns are accurate. In addition, a competent accountant can help you claim your tax deductions. As a Seattle landlord, you can claim tax deductions on:
- Legal and professional services. You can deduct the fees you pay real estate investment advisors, property management companies, accountants, attorneys, and other professionals.
- You can deduct the premiums you pay for almost any insurance for your rental property. This includes landlord liability insurance, as well as flood, theft, and fire insurance.
- Home office. Provided you meet certain requirements, you can deduct your home office expenses from your taxable income.
- Seattle landlords are also entitled to a tax deduction for most of the driving they do in order to manage their rentals.
- Property repairs. Good examples of taxable repairs include replacing broken windows, plastering, fixing leaks, fixing floors or gutters, and repainting.
Every year, millions of landlords pay more taxes on their rental income than they have to. Why? Because they fail to take advantage of such tax deductions. Having a certified accountant by your side can help you maximize your income and cut losses.
7. Property and Casualty Insurance Agent
Seattle landlords need more than just regular homeowners insurance. They require insurance against lawsuits, accidents, and natural disasters.
A good agent ensures that you are well protected from common mishaps – such as damage from rain and wind – as well as less occurring ones, like flooding.
To sum it up, these are 7 real estate professionals in Seattle, Washington that you can’t live without. They will help ensure your business has a decent cash flow while making sure your tenants live in comfortable and safe premises.