Renting Out Your Home Part Two: Making Your Home Rent Ready
By purchasing your first home you want to rent out, you have entered a world of possibilities; but investment property ownership also comes with its share of hardships. Do you know what it takes to have the home “rent-ready?” With that question in mind, we at Real Property Management Delta have laid out a few basic steps to help ensure that your property is rent ready.
Step #1- Take a look from a tenant’s perspective.
The goal of preparing a home for rent is simple: create an environment where the prospective tenants can see themselves living and prospering. In order to create this, you have to put yourself into a prospective tenant’s shoes.
Once you do that, you will be able to see the “curb appeal” that you need, including:
- Landscaping – plants, weeding, grass
- Hardscaping – sidewalks, steps, ramps
So you may be thinking to yourself, whew… glad I am done…right? Not quite. Do not neglect the interior of the home in this process. Inside the home, you want to do the same thing as you did to the outside- ensure that potential renters can imagine themselves living, growing, and changing while they are there and leave your property in good condition upon move out.
Try not to show the house if there is any construction or major remodeling that needs to be done. This will ruin the first impression of the home because the tenants will not be able to envision themselves there.
Additionally, the renters may not leave the property in good condition when they move out because they will have a hard time “unseeing” any flaws.
In order to do this, you will have to do a few things:
- Repair anything that is necessary, starting with safety concerns.
- Check every appliance for proper function. Turn on all burners to ensure they work, check the refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher, and all faucets. Repair any leaks and malfunctions as these items will need to
be operable and in good repair after you rent your home. Remember, all appliances and “personal property” such as washers and dryers, lawnmowers, etc., will have the same rule. Make an informed decision and make sure before leaving anything in the home that you plan to keep it in good repair for the length of your new resident’s tenancy.
- Ensure that the doors, windows, and locks are in working order. Also, change the locks if you’ve rented the property out previously.
- Fix cosmetic issues.
- Look at the caulking around tubs, sinks, toilets and window seals, and don’t forget to check the weather stripping.
- Check the plumbing.
- Ensure that all detectors are in working condition and have fresh batteries.
- Make sure there aren’t any mold problems.
- If you have a fireplace and the chimney has not been cleaned in the last year, now is a good time to do so.
- Replace any burnt out light bulbs.
- If you notice or have had an issue with pests in the past, a pest control service may be in order.
- Hire professionals to clean the home and shampoo carpets before showing.
Completing this process yourself can take anywhere from 6-20 hours depending on the condition of your house. It’s always tempting to cut corners to save time or go cheap and save money, but you need to remember that any time and money spent on getting the property rent-ready will be worth it in the long run as it will keep tenants happier for longer periods of time and hopefully result in fewer vacancies for your property.
In addition, consider using professional services. Using professional services will take less time and likely will do a better job than you can do on your own, however they require more in terms of cost. Also, you need to be careful to check references and ensure the vendors can complete the job in your time frame. Whichever way you choose to go, making sure that your home is truly “rent ready” will save you time, money, and headaches in the future.
Step #2- Think about the rent.
After doing all of the necessary decorating,cleaning, and repairs, then and only then should you determine the rent rate for both the condition of the home and the area.
Consider the following when concluding what you should ask for in terms of rent:
- If you go too low, you run the risk of attracting the wrong tenants and that will eat into your profit margins.
- If you go too high, you run the risk of causing vacancies to last longer than they should or potentially not filling the vacancy at all.
Take a look around your area and see what similar homes have rented for and use that as a starting point. This information can sometimes be hard to come by, especially around the Searcy area. Real Property Management Delta keeps an extensive database of local properties and we may be able to help you determine what the market rent of your property should be.
There’s a lot to cover when preparing your property for rent, and to be honest this post only scratches the surface of the process. Look for more information to come in the following weeks involving advertising, showings, and much more.
As always, feel free to call us @ (501) 404-0674 or shoot us an email @ [email protected] should you have any questions or concerns.
Don’t worry, we won’t try to pressure you into a sale. We’re here to help.