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Apartment Hunt: Finder Services

By September 14, 2011


Last week, a reader who plans to relocate to Seattle asked us about apartment finder services. I’ll admit, I was stumped. So when I checked in with the Marlborough, Aspira, LINK, and the Station about their occupancy rates, I also inquired if they have any finder services to recommend. The result of my inquiry is a much longer list than the whole-lot-o-nothing that I had last week.

Surprisingly, despite the number of services mentioned by the leasing agents, I got only one name of an actual person. And after chatting with her on the phone, I’m naming her one of your best bets: Laura Ko at Windermere.

Laura primarily works in real estate but before she become an agent, she spent 9 years managing apartments. That means she is well-networked in the scene and is hugely sympathetic to out-of-towners that are in search of their first apartment in Seattle.

If after a consultation she can’t help you, Laura is likely to refer you to your second best bet: Seattle Apartment Finders (aka 800-473-3733). The service has been around forever and it’s free and it was mentioned by every single lease office I spoke with. I figure that’s not nothing.

Two other real estate agencies were mentioned: John L Scott and Ewing & Clark. However, no specific agents were named so you are on your own there.

Beyond that is a long list of services that cater to short-term furnished and corporate rentals:

Major corporations in the Seattle area such as Amazon and Microsoft commonly use these services when relocating new hires, but *in theory* individuals should be able to make use of their apartment finder services as well. You can guess that this won’t be the cheapest option, but might be an acceptable alternative if you want to spend a couple of months feeling out the city before committing to a longer lease.

That’s what I’ve got. As always, we’d love to hear recommendations from readers so feel free to toss in a recommendation or two.