Prospective owners we talk to want to know what will get top dollar for a rental property. That’s an important question, and if you want to earn as much as you can, your property has to be rent ready. This is different than what you would do to get the property ready for the sales market. With a rental, someone will be moving in and living there. A renter needs to have an idea of what living there will feel like.
Give the Property Fresh Paint
A fresh coat of paint looks clean and nice, and the color should be neutral. It’s hard for tenants to picture themselves living there if taste-specific colors are on the walls. So, neutrals like soft whites go a long way. If one room is purple and another one is orange, prospective tenants will have to visualize their children and their guests in those rooms. It can be hard to determine whether their own furniture and décor will match. Neutrals are always better.
Eliminate Personal Clutter from the Home
Take away any personal items. You don’t want to have mail on the counter or a ton of pictures on the walls and picture frames all over the surfaces. Remove personal items in the bathroom, and make sure that beds are made. When someone is coming through the property or you’re doing showings, less is more. Many times, owners will stay in the property until a tenant moves in. Edit out what you can, because it’s hard for people to picture how they will live there if all of your stuff is there.
Pay Attention to Kitchens and Bathrooms
Kitchens and bathrooms are the biggest items that prospective tenants look at, especially when you have people who love to cook. You want good appliances and rooms that are clean, updated, nice, and in neutral colors. Cabinetry and cupboards should look good. This doesn’t mean you have to do a whole kitchen remodel. But, if the varnish on the cabinets is off and they don’t look clean, you’ll want to paint or replace them. The $200 you’ll spend to paint cabinets will make a huge difference.
We also have vendors who do wonderful things with linseed oil. Your cabinets will look brand new. You can also update hardware and replace faucets. A new microwave, fresh paint in the bathroom, and a new toilet seat cover are all inexpensive updates that tenants will notice.
Manageable Yards and Landscaping
You might think you’ll be able to charge more rent because you have a huge yard and some lovely fruit trees. This might be great if someone is buying your house, but renters are not interested in taking care of fruit trees. Your large yard will only mean higher costs for you because you may need to hire a gardener. These things need to be maintained during a tenancy. So, something that you might see as a plus – a big yard – might be narrowing your tenant pool to large families only.
Market for the Season
In the summer, when it’s 100 degrees, having a pool is a plus. It can generate more money. Tenants find it’s a lot more fun to rent a house with a pool than it is to own a house with a pool. It’s attractive to renters because they don’t have to worry about the maintenance. In the winters, we’ll shift to promoting your fireplaces and your garages.
Another good way to make your home attractive to potential renters is by advertising your energy efficient appliances. If you have solar, that’s great too. Like you, renters don’t want to pay huge electric bills.
This is a good reason to have a property manager. We know what people are looking for, and we know how to market your property according to the season.
Properties Must Sparkle and Shine
Finally, cleanliness is the most important thing to consider when you’re getting your house ready for the rental market. Think of it as a hotel room. When you walk into a hotel room, you notice if it’s clean. You don’t want to feel like you’re staying in a place that someone else just stayed in. It should be airy, open, and neutral. It has to sparkle and shine.
We offer complimentary tours of your property that can help you prepare it for the rental market. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to schedule a tour or contact us at Sacramento Delta Property Management.
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