The best Atlanta tenants want to move into homes that are clean, safe, and desirable. You can attract great tenants when you present a great property. Make a splash in the tenant pool with strategic marketing and a constructive showing experience. But, remember that before you can advertise your rental home or let prospective tenants see it, you have to make your home rent-ready. Getting a property ready for the Atlanta rental market means making sure it’s spotless, habitable, and attractive.
Consider some of these tips to ensure your property stands out from the competition when potential tenants are looking for a great place to live.
Creating Curb Appeal to Attract Atlanta Tenants
Creating a positive and appealing first impression is not difficult. Look at your property objectively. Does it look like a home you’d want to live in? A tenant’s first impression of your home will decide whether that tenant bothers to see the inside and whether they will fill out an application.
Provide some great curb appeal in a few easy ways. A bit of gardening and landscaping will help. You don’t have to invest a lot of money; simply trim the bushes, mow the lawn, and make sure there isn’t any trash or debris outside the house. Place a pot of colorful flowers right outside the door to brighten up the entry.
Power-wash the property if it looks dirty. Consider new exterior paint if it’s chipped or worn. Clear away any dust and cobwebs outside of the doors and windows. Replace any bent or missing window blinds and make sure the doorbell works.
If you’re renting out an apartment or a multi-family unit, make sure the outside common areas are clean. Pay attention to the paint and exterior lighting. Sand and seal any decks, patios, or balconies. Your property isn’t ready for the rental market until it looks inviting from the outside.
Empty and Clean the Rental Property
You may be an Atlanta landlord who is renting out the home you once lived in. Be sure to clear out all of your personal belongings. Don’t store blankets in closets or leave tools in the garage. You might think you’re helping your future tenant by leaving a lawn mower in the garage, but that actually creates a lot of liability and risk that you don’t need.
The property must be completely empty. It helps renters get an idea of how their furniture and possessions will look in the home. They won’t want to see any clutter or things that belonged to other people. Remove anything that past tenants left in the home before putting your property on the market.
Present a clean property. It’s important to hire professional cleaners to scrub every surface. When potential renters visit the home, they will look closely at the condition of the appliances, the sinks, the tubs, and the toilets. Don’t let them see dust on ceiling fans or hair in sink drains. Work with cleaners who can wipe down the top of the refrigerator, polish the hardware on cabinets, and clean the inside of the oven. Have your carpets cleaned. Everything has to look clean, fresh, and new. Good tenants will not want to live in someone else’s dirt.
Provide a Functional Atlanta Rental Property in
Your rental property must be habitable before you put it on the market. Inspect every room in the house while you’re making it rent-ready. Turn on every light switch, check every outlet, and flush every toilet. Look for leaks under sinks, test the water pressure in the showers, and make sure all of your appliances are working. The locks should be operational on doors, and windows should open and close without a problem. Clean out the gutters, and check for holes or leaks in the roof. Floors should be in good condition and paint shouldn’t be chipped or scratched.
It’s a good idea to invest in a few affordable upgrades and updates. You don’t have to rehab the entire house, but new counters can make your kitchen stand out, especially if yours are old. Cleaning the carpet every time a tenant moves out can get expensive. Instead, think about installing vinyl, tile, or hardwood flooring. There are some affordable options in hardware and home stores, and you’ll really appeal to tenants. Not only do hard floors look better, they’re easier to maintain and keep clean. Even new faucets or light fixtures can really make a house look brand new.
Cosmetic touches can help, but mechanical and structural issues are non-negotiable. If you show the property and it’s not up to par but you promise to fix the things that are broken, reliable tenants will not apply to live there. The best renters want a move-in ready property. So, make sure everything is in good working order before you put the property on the market. It has to be ready for your tenants.
Correctly Pricing your Atlanta Rental Property
As soon as you have the property looking good, it’s time to think about your price. No one wants to underprice their home. That leaves money on the table, and you’ll always feel like you’re catching up with the market. But, overpricing it can be even more dangerous. Overpricing a rental property is a critical mistake that a lot of landlords make. When you ask too much for a rental home, you risk leaving it unrented for longer. A vacancy period that lasts for weeks and even months is expensive. It means you’re not earning any rent at all. Holding out for more money is a big risk, and you will never recover the money you lose during a prolonged vacancy.
When you’re pricing your rental home, seek help from a professional Atlanta property manager. Talk to an expert who understands the market and can help you evaluate your property’s value. A comparative market analysis is extremely helpful when you’re pricing your home. The help you can get from a property manager is often invaluable.
If you’re pricing your property on your own, do your own analysis and look at what other homes are renting for. Consider their size, condition, and exact location. These are the things that can impact a price. Try to get information on what the homes actually rented for, not just what they were listed for. You might go online and see properties like yours listed for $1,400. But, don’t be too quick to attach that price to your own home. Maybe the owners had to reduce the rent to get a good tenant in place.
Be flexible when it comes to rental property pricing. Pay attention to the Atlanta market and the local demand, and get an idea of what tenants will be willing to pay. If you aren’t getting any interest at all once your home is listed, you might want to consider dropping the price.
Logistical Preparations for Rent-Ready Atlanta Properties
There are a few other details to consider before you put your property on the Atlanta rental market.
Talk to your insurance agent. A homeowner’s policy won’t work for you, so if you’re moving out of your property and renting it out for the first time, it’s important to convert your insurance to a landlord policy. The coverage will be different, and include an increased liability protection as well as insurance against loss of use. If you don’t change your insurance policy over and there’s a claim against you, it’s possible you won’t be covered.
When you show the property to tenants, you’ll want the lights on and the water running. So, keep the utilities turned on until your tenant is ready to move in and has turned on the utility accounts in their own name.
Establish important service contracts before you put your property on the rental market. Talk to landscapers and pool companies if these things apply to you. With a professional contract, you won’t have to worry about the tenants not maintaining the yard or the pool to your satisfaction.
Be prepared for the application process and the lease signing. Gather all of the documents and paperwork you’ll need to begin the tenancy. You must have a set of written criteria to provide your prospective tenants so they know what you’ll be looking for during the screening process. This protects you against fair housing claims. Put together a pet policy so you can rent your home to tenants that have pets. You’ll need an application that tenants can fill out immediately after seeing the home. You’ll also want to be prepared with the lease and any of its addenda. These are not things you’ll want to be scrambling to find once a tenant is interested in your property. Have them ready.
Preparing your property for the rental market is an important first step in proper marketing and tenant placement. If you’re offering a clean, functional home that’s priced competitively, you’ll have an easy time finding a highly qualified tenant.
If you need any help preparing to list your property, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Specialized Property Management Atlanta.