Philadelphia Real Estate Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re a young professional looking for your first apartment in the city or a business owner who is looking for a new facility, PhillyLiving is here for you. Unfortunately, the world of property management, real estate, and tenants can be complicated. That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in our industry. If you have any other questions or would like to discuss your options, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
Home Buyer FAQs
What is the process in Philadelphia for buying a home?
When buying a home in Pennsylvania, there is a basic process that real estate professionals follow. The steps include:
- Obtain mortgage pre-approval
- Select needs in a buyer contract
- Select properties to view
- View properties
- Write an offer to purchase
- Negotiate terms
- Offer accepted
- Obtain funds for closing
- Conduct inspections and title search
- Obtain mortgage financing and title insurance
- Close on property
How much do you have to put down when purchasing a home?
You might be surprised that the amount of money needed to purchase a home could be less than the industry touted 20%. The average first-time homebuyer puts just 6% down on a home, and certain loan programs allow as little as 3% or even zero down. It’s a good idea to discuss a home purchase with a mortgage loan officer and get preapproved for a loan before talking with an agent.
How much is the commission rate paid to a real estate agent for buying a home?
The commission rate paid to a real estate agent when buying a home is based on the purchase price of the home and is anywhere between 1% and 6%. This percentage should be discussed and agreed upon with your agent.
Home Seller FAQs
What is the process in Philadelphia for selling a home?
When selling a home in Pennsylvania, there is a basic process that real estate professionals follow. The steps include:
- Sign a listing agreement
- Home staging (if needed)
- Photos and listing description
- Establish a competitive price
- Officially list the property
- Market the house, host open houses, and obtain showings
- Receive and negotiate offers
- Once an offer is accepted, navigate the process with the buyer, all the way to closing.
How much is the commission rate paid to a real estate agent for selling a home?
The commission rate paid to a real estate agent when selling a home is based on the purchase price of the home and is anywhere between 1% and 6%. This percentage should be discussed and agreed upon with your agent.
How is rent collection handled?
Tenants are encouraged to use their online portal to pay rent and any other fees associated with their lease, such as pet fees, utilities, parking fees, etc. If they cannot use their portal we will accept personal checks delivered to our office. We do not accept cash. Your landlord statement will show all detailed activity for each account for each month.
How long of a lease do you sign?
We sign a minimum one-year lease but encourage securing a longer lease for you.
How much security deposit do you charge the tenant?
We require one month’s monthly rent in security deposit. Occasionally, we might request an additional month of security deposit based on the renter’s qualifications.
How soon can you start managing my property?
As soon as today! Just reach out and give us a call.
What type of properties do you manage?
We manage all types of properties, including:
- Apartment buildings
- Commercial buildings
Who holds the tenant security deposit?
This is up to you. Either you can hold it, or we can. It’s important to remember that after the lease ends, you are required to mail it back to the tenant within 30 days. Failure to return the security deposit can result in doubling the check back to the tenant.
How is the property protected if the tenant causes damage?
The security deposit usually covers most minor damages caused by tenants. Our screening process checks all tenants for criminal, credit, job history, and eviction records.
How do I get my house ready to rent?
To get your house ready to rent, you should conduct the following processes:
- Have your house professionally cleaned, especially the carpets
- Paint any room that has dirty or marred walls, preferably a neutral color
- Freshly mow and care for the lawn, including trimming leaves, removing debris, and weeding
Can I use my service personnel to make repairs to my property?
We can decide to work with your service personnel.
What happens if the tenant leaves before the end of the lease?
The tenant is responsible for rent throughout the lease term.
When do you need a rental license?
If you plan on renting your property to others, you need to have a current rental license. You can find more information from The Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. We can handle this for you for a fee as part of our onboarding process.
What are the essential documents to have for a residential lease in Philadelphia?
Philadelphia requires the following essential documents before residential leasing:
- Residential lease.
- ‘Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home’ pamphlet.
- ‘Mold, Moisture and Your Home’ pamphlet.
- ‘Partners for Good Housing’ handbook.
- PGW Landlord/Tenant cooperation addendum.
Can you hold a place before I apply?
We require one month’s rent non-fundable deposit to hold the property.
Is the deposit refundable?
The deposit is only refundable if you are denied for poor credit.
How do I pay rent?
The easiest way to pay rent is online through your portal. You may also mail it in or drop it off at our office. We do not accept cash.
Who is responsible for paying for repairs and maintenance requests?
Each problem is addressed based on the responsibility of the tenant or the property owner.
What are the important criteria used to qualify for renting a home?
Many aspects go into qualifying a tenant for renting a home. They include:
- Good credit history
- Monthly income equal or greater to three times the monthly rent
- No outstanding judgments
- No past evictions
- Employment verification
- Criminal record check
- Present/formal landlord references
What forms of payment do you accept for my rent?
We accept ACH checks, PayPal, and Credit Card payments. We do not accept cash for security reasons on our premises.
What should I do if my roommate wants to move out?
If you are planning on staying in the unit after your roommate moves out, notify our office so we can plan the proper paperwork.
How long does it take for my application to be processed?
We usually process applications in 48 hours.