The subject of how to prepare your home for rent has really changed over the last couple of years, due to the drought and the impact it has had on us over time. I used to enjoy driving down a street and pointing out the houses I managed and comparing those properties to the ones that were managed by someone else. We had great lawns with beautiful curb appeal. The other properties had dead lawns and weeds. But with the drought, we do business differently. We keep the lawns mowed and weeded and as green as we can get them.
Evaluate Your Property
The first thing we suggest is that you get in your car and drive across the street. Look at your house and decide what you like and what you don’t like. If you don’t like something about the property, prospective tenants probably won’t like it either, so change it. Always look for oil in the driveways, gutters that are dropping down, windows that are cracked and poor window coverings. Change those things because they don’t look good and they won’t get you the most rent.
Clean and Appealing Interiors
Take a look at the house on the inside. Would you want to live there? I periodically check my competition to see what they are renting their houses for. I am usually looking for the amount of money they are charging and the condition of the property. I’m always appalled at people who will rent out properties with cockroaches in it, carpets that are threadbare and walls that need paint. If that’s what your property looks like, you’re not going to get a high quality tenant. Clean it up, paint it and put new carpets in.
Take a look at things like smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Know the laws and comply with them. When you go to a house and there’s a carbon monoxide detector on a high ceiling, that’s something to be concerned about. If you’re sleeping on a bed and it takes time for the carbon monoxide to rise, by the time the alarm goes off, the people living in the house will have expired. Know what you need and get it corrected.