Hello everyone,

I am really new to all of this and was wondering how do I set my rent, how do I set an actual price or how to go about finding out what others in my area are charging for rent?

Thanks in advance.

There are several ways you can find out rents in your area. Check Craigslist under the housing section. Check your local paper and any “want-ad” circulars in your area. Drive around and call numbers from “for rent” signs in the yard. Some local Realtors may have some properties for rent too.
It’s kinda like you’re conducting a market survey. The more you call, the better idea you’ll have where your house falls in the price range. Keep in mind prices will differ based on the area of town, size, bedrooms/bathrooms, etc.
Once you find your market rent, I suggest charging just slightly below market rent. You’ll actually maximize your profits by lowering your vacancy. If you take care of your unit and provide a good value, people are more likely to stay longer. Think of how long it would take to make up an extra one month of vacancy because you were trying to push the market and charge $25 more per month.

In my area, the rent prices varie widley by neighborhood.
I call the numbers on for rent signs.

I figure out what market price is and I charge that, no less.
I figure that the way I fix things up, compared to the sometimes unlivable rentals around the neighborhood, I should be able to command more than market rent, so this way I get them rented out quick.

I found a pretty good site where you input your address, rent price and number of bedrooms, and it then let’s you know if your rent is reasonable, middle or overpriced by using green for good, nothing for median and red for overpriced. Got this linkfrom Thomas Lucier’s site

As noted above, figuring out what price you should set is called taking a market survey. When I look into buying a property part of my due diligence process is to figure out what I can rent it for. This has gotten incredibly easier with the use of sites like craigslist. I make a spreadsheet and use craigslist, local newspaper classifieds, and call numbers on for rent signs on comparable properties. Shoot for a list of 10 to 20 comparable properties and look at the average or median price. From there you can judge whether or not to be above, below or right in the middle. If your property has a unique feature you may be able to charge more, but you have to sell that feature (ex: pool, large yard).

Craigslist is good because it has photos and nearly every LL posts their vacancies on it (because ads are free)

Also check the web pages for the rental agencies. They will have photos and usually addresses for their listings. You can see what the professionals think they can get for rent.

If you call on signs, please tell that LL that you are a local LL looking for information. Don’t pretend to be a tenant. I’ve never had another LL refuse to talk to me. They love to discuss local rental conditions and quality of tenants with another LL and you will learn things that a tenant would never hear.