Curb appeal is extremely important because it’s the first thing a potential tenant will see. Even if you don’t have a lush, green lawn, it is important to put your best foot forward and make sure the outside of your property is appealing. Everything should be nicely trimmed. Add some mulch and flowers in the garden beds. The paint should be in good shape, free from fading or chipping. Trees should be trimmed back from the property so that a prospective tenant will drive by and want to see more. If the outside appears to need work, you’ll scare away good individuals.

Equally as important as curb appeal is the interior of the home. The walls should be freshly painted in a neutral color, and the carpet should be clean and in good repair. There should be no odor from pets or cigarettes. As you prepare the house, ensure all the appliances and cabinetry are clean and in working order. Additionally, make sure the doors are functioning with properly working locks.

View the property with an objective eye. Would you want to live there? Older properties are fine if they are in good condition, but remember, most people don’t want dated features. You will either need to price your unit lower or match the standards of the similar properties on the market.

Address any problems, especially those that could be harmful, such as mold or mildew, before you put the property on the market. Mold is a big no-no in the industry, and it can cause landlords unwanted hassles. Avoid problems before they occur by ensuring that everything is in working order.

The following checklist will help you determine whether your unit is rental-ready:

Exterior

  • Exterior paint looks good and isn’t faded or peeling
  • Bushes have been trimmed
  • Yard has been mowed and is free of debris
  • Planters have been mulched and look appealing
  • All windows have screens
  • Fences are in good condition
  • A yard sign has been placed on the property (a great way to inform potential renters that your property is ready for them to call home)

Interior

  • Everything has been freshly painted
  • Baseboards have been painted and are free of dust
  • Flooring is clean and in good condition
  • Window coverings are in good condition
  • Appliances are clean and operable
  • Plumbing fixtures are in good working order
  • Bathroom tiles are in good repair without cracks
  • Windows operate normally
  • All doorknobs function and locks are in good working order
  • Garage or storage area has been swept clean
  • Air filters have been changed recently

A quality product will attract a quality tenant.

Photo: Brigitte Ferauge from Pixabay

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Excerpted from Obtaining Long-Term Wealth in Real Estate: Insights and Strategies to Avoid Costly Mistakes by Sandy Ferrera. Available in hard copy and for Kindle on Amazon.com. Sandy Ferrera is the CEO and founder of All County Property Management, one of the world’s first, best, and most comprehensive franchises in property management, with more than 55 franchises in 16 states across the country. All County provides white glove property management services: tenant screening, negotiation, placement and renewals; rent collection; maintenance coordination; and online accounting to maximize your rental home’s ROI.