First impressions count, and this is never more true than with rental properties.
Preparing a property for rent means a lot more than just advertising it and showing prospective tenants around.
If you want to get the best possible rental income / return from your property, you may well need to make some changes before you (or your Letting Agent – I recommend Myrings) start viewings as it will make a big difference.
Most people pretty much make their mind up about a property within moments of stepping across the threshold. But – just as a couple of examples only – even if the communal area isn’t the best, or the property is a long walk from the nearest bus stop, there are still a number of ways to present the property in its best light and you don’t need to spend lots of money.
Here are some useful ideas which will help you to maximise your rental potential.
- A fresh coat of paint.
When you enter any home, one of the first thing you notice are marks or chips on the walls / woodwork – always bear in mind that walls painted in neutral colours have the widest appeal.
- Maximum colour appeal
Neutral colours seem best and consider replacing some of the fixtures A few new door handles or modern taps in your bathroom are not expensive , but they could help rent your property faster and for a better price. Or, lets to put it another way , you won’t be able to charge “ top dollar “ if there’s water running constantly in your toilet and some of the light switches are broken. Replace or mend any blinds with broken slats, invest in a couple of new lighting fixtures and call in a professional plumber or electrician to do any repairs that you can’t do yourself.
Lighting has a huge effect on the perceived value of a home.
If you have large windows that floods in natural light, make sure to maximise this delight when showing potential tenants around, especially if the view is also very good. Pop in fresh / brighter light bulbs, and consider using LED lights which are longer lasting and better for energy efficiency.
- Kitchen and Bathroom
Whatever the condition of the rest of the property, the key deciders are often the kitchen and bathroom so you must make sure these two rooms are up to spec. A good deep clean, that fresh lick of paint (as mentioned earlier) and well-polished fittings will go a long way. Mould / mildew tends to accumulate around taps or grouting, so look at re-grouting around sinks, baths and showers. Check the toilet seat hasn’t come loose and pay attention to the walls and floors around toilets. If there is any damp or mould on the ceiling or walls in a bathroom , this could be a sign that the ventilation isn’t doing its job properly. Check that ventilation is working and, if not, consider replacing it with a more efficient system. In the kitchen, check areas around cookers and stoves, sinks and under fridges and dishwashers. Extractor fans and oven hoods can easily accumulate grease so check those too.
- Kerb appeal
We’re told not to judge a book by its cover, but we often do. When potential tenants first approach a property, it should be tidy and welcoming and some simple preparations can make a huge difference to the first impression.
However when it comes to communal blocks, some of the first impressions can be out of your control but you can still make the property look good. A freshly painted door, clean windows, new door numbers, a new welcome mat, and perhaps some potted plants on the doorstep can all enhance the kerb appeal of a property.
- Carpets and flooring.
Carpets seem to show wear and tear more than most of the other parts of the house especially around entrance doors or in central areas like hallways. Previous tenants may have done something to ensure the carpet is as clean as possible, but eventually, even after a steam clean, there’s just no getting that carpet back to its best days. A well placed rug can sometimes hide the worst, but for the sake of a quite modest spend , a fresh carpet can make all the difference between getting your asking price or forced down.
- Plants and shrubs.
A well placed planter or window box, a nice yucca tree or a colourful and scented flower bed right by the front door can greatly improve the first impressions.
All the above suggestions apply to Rentals across a very wide property / price & condition range – but are especially relevant if the apartment / house is a little run down or in a less fashionable area. With some work and a relatively modest spend you can present the best features and minimise the impact of the less desirable aspects of the property.
If you wish to discuss the above or are interested in the Property market in Harrogate then please come along and see us and enjoy a free no obligation chat about the property services we provide.