To prepare your property for the Seattle rental market, you need to be aware of what the market demands in terms of pricing and attracting tenants. There are a few to-do items that are critical to take care of before you list your home and schedule showings.
For starters, make sure the property is priced competitively. The Seattle rental market is changing almost daily. You need good data that tells you what similar homes in your neighborhood are renting for. Every investor wants to earn as much as possible in rent every month, but you don’t want to extend your vacancy period or chase away good tenants with a rent that’s too high.
Once you have a rental value established, you’ll need to pay attention to the property’s functionality and aesthetics. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you’re ready to rent your home to great tenants.
Make Necessary Repairs at the Seattle Rental Property
Our high cost of living in Seattle requires quality tenants to pay a significant portion of their income towards housing making it extremely important to be sure everything in the property works. In exchange for the thousands of dollars in rent each month, tenants expect a well-maintained property. Leasing your home to high-quality tenants that will continue to maintain your property throughout the time they live there is much more likely if everything has been tested and is in good working condition when they take possession of the property. An opportunity to demand a high standard of maintaining the property in excellent condition is missed if at move-in we have to welcome tenants into their new home by promising to fix things that are broken or missing.
It is important to test every appliance, check plumbing and electrical functions, perform routine maintenance before you put your home on the rental market. Showing a home with a broken window or obvious defects will not only reduce the likelihood of leasing at your desired rental rate but will also deter those sought after highly qualified tenants that will stay and care for your Seattle rental property for years to come. Everything should be move-in ready when you’re preparing your home for the rental market. Don’t list it if there’s still significant work to be done. Schedule and complete the repairs and maintenance quickly so you don’t lose a lot of time getting it on the market. Every vacant day is expensive.
Professional Rental Property Cleaning
Showing a vacant unit is easier and more effective than showing a home that’s still occupied, especially now in the pandemic.
When you have a vacant home, you also have the opportunity to give it an exceptionally deep and thorough cleaning. This is more important than ever. Prospective tenants will appreciate extra sanitizing and care. We recommend that you hire a professional cleaning company to perform a deep cleaning that will pay attention to the details such as:
- Dusting behind and under all the appliances. Have the oven and the fridge pulled out so those crumbs and dust particles can be swept away.
- Clean the baseboards, exhaust/heating fans grates/grills, and ceiling fans. These are easy to miss, but professionals will be detail-oriented.
- Make sure your bathroom sinks and tubs are sparkling.
- Remove any trash, debris, or belongings that were left behind by former tenants.
A completely empty property will be ready for the rental market. You want prospective new tenants to walk in and immediately imagine themselves living there.
Consider Seattle Curb Appeal
First impressions are very important when you’re renting out a house or a unit in a multi-family building, so make sure the place looks inviting and welcoming. There shouldn’t be any trash or debris in front of the property, and it’s a good idea to pressure wash the building or the driveway if it’s looking old or worn.
Sweep away cobwebs from the front door and windows, and consider fresh paint if things look faded. The yard should be well-landscaped with the grass mowed, weeds pulled, and branches trimmed. The cleanliness and condition of the property and landscaping when it is marketed and the tenants move-in sets the level of what we can demand from tenants when they move out and return the property to us.
Cosmetic upgrades and updates for the interior and exterior are also a great idea. Outside, having a professional come do a one-time landscaping clean-up trimming, edging, and spreading new mulch/bark and make some upgrades to your building or your property. Inside, everything should look brand new. Fresh paint, hard surface flooring, and even minor things like new drawer pulls in the kitchen or the bathroom can make a big difference to prospective tenants.
When it comes to getting your property ready for the rental market, we can help. Our team is skilled at making recommendations, effectively preparing and leasing properties in Seattle and throughout the surrounding communities such as Tacoma, Burien, Normandy Park, Des Moines, and Federal Way. Contact us at ACRES Property Management, and we’ll share more tips.