The number of renters in the United States is currently 40 million and expected to increase by 5 to 6 million in the next decade, according to the National Association of REALTORS.  Owning a rental property can be a lucrative experience.

Take these  9 steps to prepare your property before you jump into the rental market:

  1. Take pride in your home– Make sure your home is freshly painted, clean and the carpets are free of stains. Having a home that is pleasing to the eye will attract more tenants and give you a better chance of choosing a good tenant.  Keep in mind that you are setting precedence with how you want your tenants to treat your home by your presentation.
  2. Inspect your home– While your home is empty, inspect for potential maintenance issues such as leaking roofs, dripping pipes and plumbing fixtures. Tenants gravitate to a well maintained home and keeping your home maintained can save on costly repairs.
  3. Evaluate for safety– Look for any obvious safety issues such as ungrounded electrical outlets, exposed wiring or inoperable smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. Taking care of these now can avoid a costly law suit in the future.
  4. Check with your insurance company– Rental homes require a landlord policy.  Normally these policies are less expensive because they do not cover the contents in the home.  Also, you should ask if any pets are excluded from your policy.  Some dog breeds can be excluded such as pit bulls and rottweilers.
  5. Decide how your property will be managed- Managing a rental home can be time intensive and requires skilled care. You may want to hire a professional property manager if you do not have time to dedicate to your home management.   Interview property managers prior to listing your home.
  6. Determine the rental value of your home– Making sure your home is priced competitively can reduce the amount of vacancy time. Your property manager can help you determine the value of your home.  If you are self managing, study Zillow, and for similar properties in the same area to determine your optimal rental price.
  7. Advertise your property– Make sure you take high quality pictures to attract potential tenants. Post your listing on as many sites as possible.  Zillow, Hotpads and Craigslist are all good places to list your rental for free.
  8. Find a good tenant screening company– Your tenant selection can make or break your experience. Make sure you do extensive screening on all applicants regardless of your impression when meeting them.
  9. Do your homework– It is important to know the landlord/tenant laws locally and federally before renting your home. Knowing these laws can prevent you from ending up in court in the future.

Need a little help?  Let Secretary of Estates provide you with a free market analysis of your home.   Call us today at 303-660-8888.  We look forward to hearing from you.