How do you determine market rent ?


How do you determine market rent in your area ?


Look at the “For Rent” ads in your local newspaper.


There is also a web site that lists government subsidized market rents for almost every area of the country:

I usually do a search for it online. You can get a good idea of the area’s rent rate due to square footages, the area and pictures that compare to your property.

Classifieds, craiglist & by calling a property manager in the specific area.

These are all good answers. Also keep in mind that when the market is changing like it is now in the Puget Sound region, you need to test the market a bit to see if you can get higher rents. We have been doing phenomenal increases in the last 6-8 months and getting them. So pay attention to the general market . . . if you see employment improving, availability of units decreasing, etc. you may be able to push those rents up and get them.

In a declining market, you’ll see the reverse and you’ll see other landlords starting to give rent concessions (free rent, microwave at move, etc.)

Stay cutting edge. It’s how you get the higher rents in the good markets and how to keep your units full (by adjusting downward quickly) in a down market.

Good luck.


The MLS not only shows what house prices are being asked, but what they actually sold for. It also works for rents. It shows what rents are being asked for and what the units actually rented for and days on the market. These are the units that are listed by agents not for rent by owner.

Besides ads and craigslist, we invite local rental agents to come take a look, and list, but not exclusively.

The wife’s been a realtor, and she tells me to call places both as landlord looking to rent out a place, and as tenant looking to rent. This is due to agents telling owners “I can get you this much…”, and telling tenants I can get you something “as low as …”

Another thing is the condition of competitive units. I got a SFH, and I always clean and paint prior to renting, and people tell me that other owners expected new tenants to come in and paint and clean.

Also, determine your position in the market. Once, I was asking $2,000/month, 10% below market for me, for a SFH, and SFH in the area starts ar $2,200 with tenants doing the painting and cleaning.

I had more applicants than I expected, and found out the 3BR apartments were gong for $1700 to $1,800 coming with 2 parking spaces at most. The driveway of my SFH can park four cars, and being a corner lot, another seven cars.

I got folks looking to see what they can get for another $200/month. It turned out there was nothing in the $2,000/month category, as SFH houses were higher and 3BR’s were lower, and my pricing straddled two markets.

I am a big advocate of “DRIVING” your farm. Know your area like the back of your hand.

Call all for sale signs, look through them, so you can see what features they have and the asking price.

The same goes with all homes that have FOR RENT signs. This is the best way to know what rents are. CALL THE FOR RENT SIGNS.

Good luck!