You made the plunge and purchased a rental property. You think that it’ll be an easy way to make money. All you have to do is find some tenants and that will be simple enough, right? Well, before you even think of tenants, you need to get the home “rent-ready” – cleaned, repaired and ready for new tenants to move right in. This can be a daunting task, but stick to these key points and it should be ready in no time.
Hire a professional house cleaner to come in and give the property a top to bottom deep cleaning. Renters expect to walk into a property that has been thoroughly cleaned. Sure, you can vacuum and wipe down the cobwebs, but a professional cleaner will get into the nitty-gritty that you won’t want to – the tedious task of wiping down baseboards; the unappealing task of scrubbing down the produce drawers in the fridge.
If the cleaners don’t take care of the carpet — which they probably will — make sure you give it a good steam cleaning.
Inspect, repair or replace doors, windows and screens. Ripped screens can allow pests in, which will end up costing you money down the road. Windows and doors (especially sliding glass doors) can build up dirt, which may prevent them from operating correctly. Cracks reduce the energy efficiency, letting heat or air conditioning out.
Change the air filters and clean in and around vents. To save you time, you may consider replacing reusable air filters with disposable ones, which don’t require monthly cleanings.
Give the landscaping a little love. Is the fence in the backyard slowly falling down? Do you have some dying shrubs that you’ve been meaning to pull out? Now is the time to do it. Add some fresh flowering pots. Use a power washer on the driveway, patios, porches and walkways.
Spray for pests. This should be part of your routine maintenance, but it’s important to do in between tenants, as bedbugs and fleas tend to make themselves right at home in carpeted areas.
Slap on a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the place. Tend to any obvious repairs – a loose railing, a hole in the wall. Do you need to re-grout the tub or around the toilet? Are any of the faucets leaking? Replace any damaged tiles or fixtures. If the carpet didn’t come clean after you hired a professional, now is the time to consider replacing it.
Lastly, re-key the locks. Don’t just stick to the front and back door. Remember that you’ll need to change out locks that may be on a garage or shed. Reconfigure alarm codes. You never know who may have had access to these.
The Eberle Real Estate Experts would love to help you purchase a rental property in Albany, NY or the Capital Region. With well over 1,200 total transactions with over 500 of them as a principal including foreclosure purchases, owner financing, lease options, short sales, substitution of collateral, etc., Bob Eberle is one of the area’s foremost experts in the field of real estate and investment properties.