Now you have a vacant property. You have been in the house so you know that some work needs to be done before you can rent it to someone new. Several things need to be considered whenever a property needs turned.
The outside of the home is the first thing people see and sometimes determines whether or not you get a call for a showing. Attractive “curb appeal” will easily double your calls for information.
You need to make sure that the lawn and surrounding areas are free from litter and trash. Yes, all of those cigarette butts and dog piles need to be cleaned up. Any bushes and trees should be trimmed and the lawn should be kept neat.
Make sure the decks and fences are in good repair. When was the last time the decks and/or fences were stained? Is the paint chipping on the house or trim? The perfect time to start some of these big projects is while the property is vacant.
The best comment you can get when you walk someone through your property is “this is so clean.” If you are not hearing that, chances are, you need to do some cosmetic work.
At the very minimum, the house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom. Yes, people will notice the dust on the baseboards and the cobwebs on the ceiling. Any torn or ratty blinds really need to be replaced. Now is a good time to consider replacing flooring and painting. Just remember, anything that is old, dingy or dirty is going to stick out against fresh paint.
Finally, it is imperative that all mechanical functions of the house are in good working order. Make sure that the furnace/AC works, the water heater works and does not leak and all kitchen appliances are functioning. It is always a good idea to replace the furnace filter... then you are sure that the filter was new prior to tenants moving in.
This may seem like a lot but your hard work will pay off. You will fill that vacancy faster than if you were to do nothing and you will be able to get a higher monthly payment. Another bonus... if everything is clean and/or new when a tenant moves in you can require that they be financially responsible to leave the home that way!