I have been doing property management in Richmond Hill, GA for over 20 years, and one of the questions I get asked repeatedly is – how do I get my property ready to rent? I start by going over to the house and walking through it with the homeowner. We make a list of the things that are needed. Every home is different, but there are general things that everyone needs to do to get their home ready for the rental market.
I’m very systematic, so I start at the mailbox and then work my way in. If your mailbox is rusted and pitted, you should spend the $20 to replace it. You can also paint the post if it’s peeling and chipped and put new numbers on it so it looks clean. If you have an older home and the flower beds in front of the house are overgrown, you really need to trim those down. It helps the house to look better and it also makes the landscaping more manageable for the tenant. Pull out anything that’s old and hard to manage, and put some fresh pine straw or mulch in. This will give your property wonderful curb appeal. Look at the front door and the shutters. If the shutters are sun faded, it’s inexpensive to take them down and spray paint them. Paint the door too, if necessary, because it makes a huge difference.
Interior Paint and Cleanliness
Inside, the home needs to be neutral, and that does not mean white. The paint must be in good condition and if it’s not, consider painting. I know that’s a pain, but it’s something most property owners can do, and it will make a difference in the amount of rent you charge and the time your property spends on the market. The longer it’s on the market, the less money you will net. If you can’t paint the home yourself, hire a painter. You’ll want a medium to high grade paint that’s washable and flat. It won’t show any defects in the wall, and when you’re ready to paint again, you won’t have to sand it.
These are important things that will save you money. If you have neutral paint that’s in good shape, look at your trim. You may just need to run a thin coat of white paint over the trim and door jambs. Freshen those up because it can go a long way. The house must be clean as well.
How to Rent Out Your House: Maintenance
I also recommend taking care of maintenance items, such as your HVAC. These systems work hard in Georgia. You should have a maintenance agreement in place to have the HVAC maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. If it’s not, this is a great time to set that up. Your system will last longer, and if a technician can come over while you’re there, you can get some insight on how long your system will last. There’s no magic answer, but if you have some idea, you can anticipate when this big ticket item might need to be replaced.
Keep your termite bond, and call your insurance company. The insurance you’ll need for a tenant-occupied property is different than what you have as a homeowner. I always ask that you add me as an authorized person with the utility companies to connect and disconnect services. I won’t have to ask you to make the phone call when tenants are moving in and out and the utilities need to be switched over. I can get everything transferred for you if I am authorized to do so on your behalf.
These are some general things that every home will need. There are other things you can do that are inexpensive, and we’ll talk about those in the next blog. If you have any other questions about getting your house ready to rent or Richmond Hill, GA property management, please contact me at Cecilia Bird Re/Max Accent.