When you’re renting out a property for the first time, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the number of details that require your attention before you even list the home and start looking for tenants. If this is a home you have been living in yourself, you have to detach from it emotionally and start to see it as the business it’s about to become.
If you’ve rented your home out for years and you’re simply preparing to rent it to a new tenant, you can still benefit from these reminders about what’s needed to get it market-ready.
Here’s a brief list of the most important things you’ll need to do when preparing your property for the rental market.
First – Clear Out the Property
You don’t want any clutter, old furniture, or linens at the property before you begin to show it. Even those cleaning supplies that are under the sink – which you might think would be helpful to new tenants – should be removed. New tenants want to move into a completely empty home. They don’t want your cleaning supplies or your old toaster or any of the things that former tenants may have left in a closet.
If this was once your own home, take out all of your personal belongings. If it was once rented to other people, make sure it’s been completely emptied. None of the new prospective tenants who come to see the home want to be reminded that someone else was living there. You need an empty property.
Do a complete scan of the property to make sure it’s empty. You’ll leave major appliances in place – like washers and dryers and refrigerators. However, take the vacuum home and clear out the garage. Make sure you clean up after any vendors as well. You cannot take good marketing photos if there is plastic on the floor or painter’s tape on the walls.
Start on the Outside With Curb Appeal
Before you make the interior of your home rent-ready, take a look at the outside of your property. Does it look welcoming and attractive? Would someone want to come inside the place based on how it looks from the street?
This is curb appeal, and curb appeal counts.
It’s your chance to make a good first impression on tenants who are driving by to get a look at your property. With good curb appeal, you’re able to make an immediate emotional connection with potential tenants. That’s going to help you rent your home quickly.
When prospective tenants drive up or walk up to your property, they need to see a home that’s well-maintained, attractive, and inviting. If you’re renting out a single-family home, you want to be sure the lawn has been cut, the bushes are trimmed, and the yard has been cleaned up. You don’t want your tenants to see any debris, bent window blinds, or cobwebs clustered around the front door.
Clean up the trash bins and sweep the front walkway. Make sure the driveway or walkway is free of twigs, branches, and trash.
If you’re renting out a unit in a multi-family building, you want to be sure that the exterior is bright, clean, and easily identifiable. Take a look at the common areas and make sure they’re clean and inviting. It should be easy to navigate the parking area.
Make Necessary Repairs at the Property
Once the property is empty, take some time to inspect every system and function. This does not have to be a professional inspection with a home inspector. It can be you, testing everything that should work inside the property.
It’s important that everything works. You don’t want new tenants spending their first few days frustrated that there’s no heat or upset because the back door doesn’t lock.
- Turn on every appliance
- Look for leaks under sinks and check plumbing
- Test each outlet and look at all your property’s electrical functions
- Make sure all of the doors and windows can easily open, close, and lock.
- Run the heat and the air conditioning.
- Flush all the toilets.
- Turn on the water in each tub or shower. Make sure it gets hot.
Everything should be move-in ready when you’re preparing your home for the rental market. Don’t list it if there’s still work to be done. Schedule and complete the repairs and the maintenance that may be needed before you begin the advertising process.
Professionally Clean Your Santa Clara County Rental Home
Not having a tenant in place when you’re preparing to show a property is a huge bonus. It’s much easier to market and show a vacant unit. Because there’s no one living in it right now, you can really give it a good clean.
Unless you love cleaning and have the time to spare, hire a cleaning company that will pay attention to all of the gritty details. You want them to pull the appliances out from the walls in order to dust and sweep behind them. Clean baseboards will get the attention of tenants. Ceiling fans need to be dusted.
Have your cleaners pay special attention to the kitchen and the bathrooms. Appliances should be cleaned inside and out. The sinks need to shine. Tubs should not have any dust or debris, and there shouldn’t be any wet dust collecting behind toilets.
Evaluate Your Need for Upgrades and Updates
A well-maintained home does not need a lot of expensive renovations.
But, it may help you rent the home faster (and for more money) if you make some updates and upgrades.
These can be simple, fast, and cost-effective. Simple things like a fresh coat of paint or updated lighting can make a big difference. Even new hardware on the kitchen cabinets and drawers can make your property look modern and pretty. Consider making these small changes to attract the best local tenants.
If all of these things have been done, you can say your property is ready for the rental market. It’s time to attach an accurate and profitable rental price and take some marketing photos.
Need help with this part of the process? Please contact us at Metro Property Management. We’re a San Jose, California based property management company serving Santa Clara County, including South County, Campbell, Saratoga, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Los Gatos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Gilroy and the surrounding areas.