When looking for the perfect apartment in Germany, competition is often fierce. Sometimes the little things decide who is allowed to sign the lease. Find out the 9 tips that will help you convince landlords and realtors.
Most apartment hunters are familiar with the scenario: the advertisement sounds extremely tempting, the rent is right, and so is the size of the apartment. And on top of that, it also has a south-facing balcony – but when viewing the apartment, a horde of other interested parties are at the door. Now it’s time to take a deep breath: those who are well prepared can convince landlords and brokers despite the competition.
- Tip 1: Get in touch
- Tip 2: Prepare to view the apartment
- Tip 3: Compile documents
- Tip 4: Choose clothes and plan your appearance
- Tip 5: Convince landlords and brokers
- Tip 6: Respond skillfully to questions
- Tip 7: Take a close look when viewing the apartment
- Tip 8: Photos as a reminder
- Tip 9: Show interest and keep in touch
- Tips to convince landlords and realtors: Summary
Tip 1: Get in touch
In most cases, you can find out from the apartment advertisement whether the landlord or broker would prefer to be contacted by email or phone call. If in doubt, an email is recommended. In it, the interested party can already name important information and address the landlord directly:
- Salutation: If the name of the landlord is in the advertisement, a direct salutation is recommended.
- Name which apartment it is about, for example with the number of rooms and address.
- Formulate the interest in this apartment.
- A sentence or two about yourself.
- Ask the broker or landlord for an appointment to view the property.
- Farewell greeting: for example “Sincerely,” “Kind regards” or “Thank you in advance”
If the landlord answers then, people looking for an apartment should make an appointment for a one-on-one viewing in daylight. Unfortunately, this is not always possible and compromises are necessary.
Tip 2: Prepare to view the apartment
Those who come well prepared to view the apartment have better cards to get their dream apartment. It is enough to think in advance which information is important for your own decision and how you can make the best possible impression.
Write down questions
After viewing the apartment, the prospect should have all the information he needs to be able to decide for or against the apartment. Some of this information can certainly be found in the apartment advertisement, the rest can be obtained on site. To do this, he can create a questionnaire as a checklist.
- What does everything belong to the apartment? For example, is there a parking space, a basement or an attic?
- Is there also space for a bike or a stroller?
- What additional costs are there?
- And what are the costs? For example, costs for heating and hot water, TV connection and building cleaning.
- What are the expected heating costs?
- Does the fitted kitchen belong to the apartment, does it have to be replaced and is there any other furniture that the previous tenant would like to hand over?
- Which tasks and duties apply in the house community ? For example, fixed rest periods, use of washrooms or cleaning tasks.
- Is there a good infrastructure? For example, are there shops, public transport, green spaces or doctors nearby?
Tip 3: Compile documents
Potential tenants are not obliged to disclose personal information about themselves before viewing the apartment. However, the interested party can bring information with them to the appointment that will help the landlord to make a decision. Receipts with which the future tenant can prove that they are paying their rent reliably are often helpful. For example:
- A credit report such as from SCHUFA.
- Salary slips: for example, pay slips or bank statements in which all non-relevant data has been blacked out.
- A rental debt exemption certificate from the previous landlord: The previous landlord does not have to issue this certificate if he does not want to.
- A parental guarantee for young tenants.
Anyone who brings such documents with them has more chances of being awarded a contract. In this way, the landlord can get a good picture of the applicant even if only the agent is present when viewing the apartment. The tenant self-assessment has a similar function.
Tip 4: Choose clothes and plan your appearance
In most cases, simple but neat clothing is the right choice for a viewing appointment. This can be, for example, a decent pair of jeans and a clean blouse or a crease-free jacket.
If you are looking for an apartment together, you can come to the viewing appointment together. Even those who are alone and insecure can take a friend or colleague with them.
NOTE: If other people accompany the prospective tenant, this could give the landlord the impression that the prospective tenant does not want to move into the apartment alone, but with other people.
Tip 5: Convince landlords and brokers
Group visits cannot always be avoided. The prospect should not be impressed by competition. It is better to ignore the other interested parties and to go through with the viewing appointment.
Appear polite and interested
In contact with the landlord or broker, you can score points with manners: introduce yourself briefly, shake hands, keep eye contact – that’s it. ( Due to the corona pandemic, the contact rules should be adhered to) . Especially when it comes to group visits, interested parties should refrain from long conversations. The landlord is usually not interested in small talk with the prospective tenant. However, if you have specific questions about the apartment, you should ask them: That shows real interest.
Tip 6: Respond skillfully to questions
Most landlords give the tenant a questionnaire in which all information relevant to the landlord is queried from the prospective tenant. The same applies here as in a personal conversation with the landlord: Anyone who has a good and honest answer to a question is welcome to give it, but he doesn’t always have to. If you have questions about family planning or politics, interested parties may refuse to answer or even lie.
Those interested in housing should definitely leave out one important thing out of the conversation: haggling over the rent. Anyone who demands a lower rent than the one stated in the advertisement and criticizes the allegedly poor condition of the apartment for it, is more likely not to be accepted.
Tip 7: Take a close look when viewing the apartment
Tenants should look carefully when viewing the apartment – but they should only address some damage when the apartment is handed over and the rental agreement is concluded. Then there is time to record any defects in the handover protocol and to talk about necessary repairs. But if you can’t live with the ugly tiles in the bathroom, for example, you should ask when you are viewing whether the landlord would be willing to renovate.
Apartment inspection checklist
Some things that prospective tenants should pay close attention to when viewing the apartment:
- Is there enough sun shining in the apartment or are there rooms that hardly get any light?
- Does the room layout match your personal needs?
- Is everything available in the apartment that the interested party could wish for? For example a bathtub or a balcony?
- Are there passageways that could be a nuisance?
- Is the existing storage space enough?
- Are there potential nuisances in the area, for example sources of noise?
- Is the apartment badly soundproofed or less?
- How is the apartment insulated?
- What kind of heating is used?
- Are there any traces of mold or water stains?
- Is there any visible damage in the apartment?
- In what condition are the windows, doors and floors?
- Are there enough sockets in the rooms and in the right places?
- Is there a satellite or cable connection for TV?
If questions about ancillary costs, parking spaces or other details from the apartment advertisement remain unanswered, tenants should also ask these.
Tip 8: Photos as a reminder
Photos of the apartment inspection can be helpful for later comparing with other apartments. But: Simply taking pictures is forbidden, interested parties must first ask the landlord or broker for permission. If the apartment is still occupied, you should leave the camera in your pocket: photos violate the privacy of the previous tenant.
Look for an app such as the immobilienscout24 or the immowelt apps which help with viewing the apartment: those looking for an apartment can directly view the property’s exposé:
- Save viewing appointments
- Record your own questions and the landlord’s answers
- Save photos of the apartment
Another plus point is the sun balcony feature: It reveals the position of the sun – even on cloudy days and shows whether and when the sun is shining in a room. . In addition, search requests can be created according to the criteria of apartment size, area and equipment.
Tip 9: Show interest and keep in touch
Towards the end of the apartment viewing, prospective tenants should briefly review everything and ask themselves: Do I really want to have this apartment? Only then should you express your interest to the landlord before saying goodbye. In addition, they should clearly clarify whether and by when the landlord will contact you again.
Tips to convince landlords and realtors: Summary
If a rejection comes later: Do not react offended, but ask the landlord or broker whether they have a similar apartment on offer that is or will be available. In this way, both sides could save themselves another group tour.