Preparing your home to rent requires the same amount of preparation as selling it. Get in the competitive frame of mind because you are competing with all the other landlords for that rent money and you want to have as many choices of potential renters that you possibly can. Staging a house to rent will also depend on if you are living in the home or the home is empty. The key to staging is eliminating as many negative variables and distractions as possible and focusing the client on the positive and unique features of the space. Here are tips suggested by realtors and landlords that might give you the competitive edge in the market.
Things You'll Need
- Boxes or garbage bags
- A trip to a donation site
- Cleaning supplies
- Home repair items
- Home improvement items
- Good smelling candles or aromatherapy candles
Staging a House to Rent
Remove the clutter If you are trying to rent the house while you are living in the house then it is imperative to remove any and all clutter. Clutter can also include many personal items that fill up your end tables or all the foliage you have on top of your cabinets or furniture; basically the brick-a-brack that consumes your home. Think minimalist. Removing clutter also includes your closet. Consider it your time to donate all the clothes that don't fit or have gone out of style. Remember the potential tenant wants to see the space, not what fills the space. If you need a good de-clutter rule try this...if you haven't used it, seen it, missed it or needed it in six months, and it's not a holiday item, then you don't need it. Toss it out!
Clean. The most noticeable areas of cleanliness are the bathrooms and the kitchen. If these two areas are dirty, you can bet they might perceive that rest of the house might be dirty. Take the time to tidy and freshen up these areas. For the rest of your home, detail cleaning can help improve the aesthetics of the home and certainly make it appear well cared for. Detail cleaning means carpet cleaning, window cleaning, dusting the tops of cabinets and door trim or cleaning the floor boards and walls.
Fix it. Is the paint chipping off the patio? Is the sprinkler head broken? Is the sink handle loose? If you have these little things in the house that maybe you have lived with for sometime, it would be advantageous to get those little things fixed. If you had previous tenants, then scan the house for things that need attention or replacing. If you have a fairly noticeable repair or damage, inform the realtor prior visiting that the problem will be fixed before the tenant moves in. If you can't afford to have someone fix the property, check out local hardware stores that might offer "do it yourself" classes or go online for ideas and assistance.
Whether you have had previous renters or are residing in your home, mix and match colors throughout the home could become a distraction for potential tenants. It might be a good idea to grab a bucket of paint and neutralize the house with a base color. A base color could be simply white or some form of lighter brown or tan. The consistent color throughout the space may make the home appear to be larger. Each new tenant has his own taste and providing a base color allows them to begin decorating with their eyes.
When potential tenants come to your home, do something that sets you apart from other landlords. Maybe it's fresh flowers or a sheet that further describes the house or flower pots in the front and back yard. Just do something that will make your home seem warm, inviting and different from the rest of the rental houses.
Each home has it's own smell, and if your home smells bad, it will immediately turn off a potential tenant. Items that can make the house smell fresh and clean could be fragrant fresh flowers in the common areas or bathrooms, plug in air fresheners or put Febreeze cloths in the closet. Whatever you choose make sure the scents you carry throughout the home are light and fresh.
Tips & Warnings
- Try to set appointments so you can have enough time to freshen the house before the potential tenant arrives.
- Every night tidy the house, especially the kitchen and bathroom, then you have less to do in the morning.
- If you have kids in the home, do your best to keep the toys contained during the time you show the house.
- Each morning air out your house and allow the freshness to consume the home. This will help rid of some of the musty smell that finds itself in the corners of the house.
- Think minimalist. The client wants to see the space, not what consumes the space.
- Keeping your house up while you allow potential tenants to come through can be stressful, especially if you are living in the space. Do your best to keep things tidy and presentable. Give yourself enough time to prepare the house before realtors start rolling in.
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