If you’ve got a property you’re planning to use as a rental home, here are 6 starting points to help you rent it more quickly and to save money later, too.
You’re ready to rent out your home for the first time. You have a lot more to do than just remove your things, however. Before you hand over your keys and cash in that first month’s rent, you have to make your home feel like new again. Along with thoroughly cleaning, you have a number of things to accomplish to remove the traces of your life in the house. Follow this guide so you don’t forget anything.
1. Take care of small repairs
Got a leaky faucet or squeaky hinges? What about those holes you made in the wall when trying to hang pictures? Look at the wear and tear on your home with a fresh eye. Identify areas that need to be repaired or that simply need some refurbishment. Do things like clean the grout in your bathroom and look for any loose fixtures.
Paint fades, chips, and gets dirty. Repainting will give your home a clean, fresh feel and will help you to rid it of any personalized aspects like accent walls or stenciling. Choose neutral colors that set off the ambient light and match the tile in your kitchen and bathroom, but don’t go overboard. Nothing too far from white or tan, or potential renters may not like it.
3. Spray for pests
Have a professional come in and do some thorough pest-control. Not only does this include checking the interior for bug infestations, but it also means checking the attic and crawl space for rodents and ensuring no birds or other critters have made homes in your eaves or gutters.
4. Change the locks
Over the years, you’ve made and lost copies of your keys. Ensure you and your renters are the only ones with access. Changing the locks is a good time to ensure your doors all shut and lock properly. If you anticipate having multiple tenants or renting for a long time, get a lock that’s easy to re-key.
5. Test the HVAC system
If you need to, call an HVAC maintenance technician to do an inspection of your HVAC system. The heat and cooling need to be in working order, and the ducts must be clean. You also will want to change your air filters and ensure that no debris has built up around the outside portion of your unit.
6. Have your carpets cleaned (or remove them completely)
While you can accomplish a lot of the cleaning yourself, either rent professional carpet cleaning equipment or call someone in to clean the carpets for you. Years of dirt, pet hair, and dust mites are ground into the depths of your carpet. Give your renters a clean, fresh carpet to come home to that’s free of stains and any funny odors.
7. Think about strategic furnishings
Some realtors advise you to leave your furniture inside the house so renters can see it staged. If this is the case, remove every personal belonging from your home until all that’s left is the furniture–which you should clean before anyone visits. By making your old space clean, fresh, and in good working order, you make it welcoming for new renters.
Rent sooner, save money later
This is the key balance of benefit to strike when you’re renting out a property. Some of the above will make your property more attractive, and therefore make it easy to rent out for the best turnaround time. But, cleaning, testing, and repairing will allow you to curtail any small problems from becoming large ones later, with the added complication of tenants in the mix.
Preparation, and documentation of the work you’ve done, can help you should issues arise later with your tenants. And generally, having piece of mind that you’ve done the best you’re able when it comes to renting out a property is also an added benefit that’s not to be underestimated.