Whether you’re renting it out for the first time or turning it over between tenants, it’s essential that your St. Louis rental property is ready for the rental market before you start advertising and showing it. If you’re not sure what you should do to prepare it, we have some tips.
Remove All Debris and Clutter
The first thing you’ll need to do is clear it out. If this is a home that you or a family member once lived in, take out any remaining possessions. If former tenants left behind personal items, move them out. A new tenant will want to move into a property that is completely empty. Don’t leave things in the garage, the extra bedroom, or the closets.
Make Sure Everything Works
You cannot rent out a house that isn’t functional. Walk through the property and inspect everything to make sure it’s working. Keep a list of anything that needs to be repaired or replaced. It’s important to be thorough, otherwise you’ll be making repairs and attending to maintenance as soon as a tenant moves in. Check all the appliances. Look for leaks under sinks. Turn on every faucet and flush every toilet. Test the electrical outlets. Make sure all the locks work on every door and window. Tighten up the knobs and drawer pulls. Look for loose or cracked handrails or steps. The home has to be safe and habitable, so make sure the smoke detectors are working, there’s plenty of exterior lighting, and there isn’t any damage to the roof or the foundation.
Make some Cosmetic Upgrades
With everything functional, it’s time to consider a few inexpensive things that will help you attract good tenants quickly. Fresh paint on the walls is essential, and consider your floors. If the carpet is in good shape, just have it steam-cleaned. If you’re going to have to replace the carpet because it’s worn or stained, think about upgrading to hard surfaces. They’re easier to maintain and less expensive in the long term. You can put down a high quality vinyl or laminate wood floors.
Professionally Clean the Property
Once everything is removed from the home, and you know that all of the repair work has been completed, it’s time to clean. Unless you really love scrubbing floors and disinfecting toilets, we suggest you hire a professional cleaning crew. They will have an exceptional attention to detail. You want the home to really shine. Have the ceiling fans dusted and the baseboards scrubbed. The inside and outside of every appliance has to be cleaned, and you want to make sure you get all the dust, crumbs, and debris that can gather beneath and behind refrigerators, stoves, and washing machines. Prospective tenants won’t even consider a property that isn’t clean and ready for move-in.
Create Some Curb Appeal
You need to create a good first impression. Prospective tenants want to feel a welcoming and comfortable vibe, and a good way to set that tone is with curb appeal. If a tenant arrives at your property and it looks run-down or old and tired, they probably won’t bother going into the house. Make sure the outside is clean. There shouldn’t be any newspapers gathering at the end of the driveway or overgrown weeds climbing up the front door. Pay attention to the yard and the landscaping. Give tenants a reason to want to live there.
These are just a few steps you can take to get your property ready for the rental market. Once this is done, you can take some great pictures and begin marketing your home.
A good St. Louis property management company can help you have a better leasing experience. If you’d like help renting out your property, please contact us at AMOSO Properties.