Tips for Preparing a Unit for Listing

Preparing a unit or home for rental can be a daunting process.  Where to start?  What to do?  Prospective tenants (much like potential home buyers) want to walk into a unit that is clean and move-in ready.  Furthermore the law provides for a warranty of implied habitability, which in essence means that the dwelling must be considered habitable and any known problems must be fixed before a tenant occupies a unit.

A clean home will usually rent much faster.  Tenants need to be able to envision themselves living in a unit, making a home in a rental property, living a lifestyle that they desire.

1)       Make sure that the carpets have been professionally cleaned and a fresh coat of paint has been applied (depending upon the length of the previous tenant).  Having holes, chips and scuffs on the walls implies that the unit has not been taken care of.  Neutral colors are always a safe choice. Too much color or “personality” in the paint and it feels like someone else’s style.  Keeping colors neutral will take that out of the equation making it easier for the tenant to concentrate on the more important aspects of the property like the overall space and geographical location.

2)      Ensure that all appliances have been cleaned and are working properly.  The cleanliness aspect will be evident to the eye, but the functionality of the appliances will not. Broken appliances will only add to the stress of the new tenant upon moving in– and create more issues down the line as well.

3)      Clean all closets, storage areas and, if applicable, garages prior to showing.  Closets are one area that tenants frequently neglect when they vacate a property. Showing the unit and or storage spaces with someone else’s belongings sends the message that this unit is still being lived in.  Make sure that these areas are completely cleaned and that any abandoned property is handled appropriately. The previous tenants may need to be tracked down and notified that they have forgotten their belongings. Set a specific reasonable response time, and if they do not respond, the property can then be discarded.  Check state’s landlord tenant laws as each state varies on the length of time required before discarding personal property.

By applying common sense and keeping an eye toward cleanliness re-renting a unit should be a breeze.

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