Now that you have made the decision to rent your home using our MLS Rental Listing service, there are many things you can and should do before the first agent and tenant arrives. Here are a few recommendations:
"Curb appeal" is the first impression your house makes. Keeping the grass cut and the outside area tidy will help make a great first impression. Your lawn should be cut, edged, well watered, and free of brown spots. Rolling up garden hoses and putting away gardening tools will help to give it a great first impression. Check your landscaping. It should be at least average for the neighborhood. If it is not, you may want to buy a few bushes and plant them. If you have a flower area, bright and colorful flowers will help to bring out the beauty of your house.
The back yard should be tidy. If you have a pool or spa, keep it freshly maintained and cleaned. Pet areas should also be kept clear of "debris."
Check the gutters and chimney and clean them as necessary.
If the home is Vacant: Make sure that all of the rooms in the house are neat and clean. The carpets can be freshly steam cleaned, the windows washed and all of the previous tenants belongings should be removed. You may want to paint the inside walls to give the home a "fresh look". Or if painting is not necessary you may want to wash the walls with a little soap and water (i.e. wall paper, paneling).
If the home is Tenant Occupied: Make sure that the current tenants belongings are neat and clean and each room of the house can be viewed during the showing. Make sure that the home is readily available for viewing. We suggest an MLS lockbox be placed on the door of the home. It allows for viewing when the tenants are not home and is easily removed when privacy is needed.
Pay attention to pet and/or cigarette odors.
Apologies to pet owners, but pets come with odors. You may have become used to them, but they may be quite noticeable to potential renters. For those with cats, be sure the tenants empty litter boxes daily and use plenty of baking soda. For dog owners, it may be best to keep the dog outdoors as much as possible. You might also try sprinkling "pet odor" carpet freshener on the carpet before a viewing.
Another idea is to place scented potpourri around the house for an inviting smell or putting in a batch cinnamon roles before a viewing.
Above are some things to consider when getting ready to rent your house. Even though it may take you a little time and effort to get your house ready to rent, it should definitely pay off with a great, qualified renter.