Agent

Think twice before buying rental

Financing, HOA rules among potential drawbacks

DEAR BENNY: In approximately one year, my wife and I are going to sell our house and move to Arizona. Selling the house is not a problem, but we have decided to rent out the next property we buy, whether it be a house or condo. We have already inquired about a real estate agent and we have talked to a friend of a friend over the telephone. We intend to meet with him on our next trip to Phoenix this year. My question is: How do we determine what an appropriate fee is for this agent's services? I know he will not do this house hunting for free, but is there a contract drawn up, is there a flat fee or is there a rate depending on the number of houses/units we look at? Are there other things we need to know ahead of time? --Patrick DEAR PATRICK: First, I am glad to hear that you don't think you will have problems selling your current house. That's good news. There are many things you need to know in advance, in addition to finding a good real estate agent. First, do you really ...