Home staging is an important tool for real estate sales but it can be just as effective if you want to lease your property. Getting a property management firm involved in the process is a wise move. In addition to taking care of the financial side of things, many of the top property management companies use home staging to help you get the best rental rate possible. The following is a brief explanation of home staging and four places where your property manager can offer some sound advice.
Home Staging for the Rental Market
Home staging is the process of making your home as desirable and photogenic as possible. In a rental situation, you are appealing to tenants that are typically willing to spend more for comfortable, enjoyable surroundings for long or short stays. Your property manager can help prepare your home for listing it online as well as for onsite inspections.
Four Places Your Property Manager Can Help
The Art of Decluttering
When you decide to rent your property, you must decide to rent it unfurnished or furnished.
If offered unfurnished, the entire home must be cleared. Some property managers list a property as partially furnished if the fridge, stove, and other major appliances are included. In this case, you must make sure everything is squeaky clean.
Renting your home furnished requires more thought. Your property manager can help you decide what items to include. It's common to leave furniture, such as a sofa, easy chairs, and even entertainment systems in living room areas. That collection of beer steins or rock crystals is better off in storage, as are the wall-to-wall art and photography collections. A few wall hangings or bits of art accenting the room, along with a few throw pillows, tie the place together nicely without making the incoming tenants feel like they're living in a museum.
Decluttering your front and backyard is also a must. Improve your curb appeal by making sure the outside paint and roof are in good shape. Make sure the lawn is cut and shrubs are trimmed in both front and back. Clear out any worn or unnecessary items. If you've decided to rent to families with children, that new playground set in the backyard may be welcome. Check with your property manager before deciding.
Painting and Floor Coverings
Once your rental property is de-cluttered, your property manager will inspect your home and advise whether you need to repaint or replace floors or carpeting. Any carpets that are worn, faded, or dirty should be replaced. The same goes for the floors. Worn hardwood floors may need resurfacing, and tiles may need replaced. Cleaning may work in some cases, but you'll usually get a higher rent for something brand new.
Spruce Up the Bathroom
Bathrooms are rarely rental-ready as is. Yours may be in good shape, with the toilet, tub, shower, and vanity just needing thorough cleaning. A stained toilet that just won't clean up properly should be replaced. That goes for worn shower curtains or shower doors. Consider updating the faucets, shower heads, and vanity hardware. If you are including bathroom towels and floor mats in your rental agreement, invest in some new ones. A nice bathroom typically helps justify a higher rental rate.
Make the Kitchen Welcoming
If you're like most people, the kitchen is one of the most used parts of your home. It is also one of the rooms most scrutinized by potential tenants. Cabinets, counters, floors, and appliances, if included, must be in top shape and meticulously clean. If your rental agreement includes a fully furnished kitchen, make sure the utensils, dinnerware, and cookware are in good shape. The same goes for that coffeemaker, microwave, and other small appliances you've left in place. Make sure all the electrical outlets and lights are working property, in this and the other rooms of your home.