Renting out your Puget Sound property is an excellent idea. You’ll have the opportunity to earn some rental income while your asset grows in value. If you’re wondering what you need to do first, we have some tips for you.
Prepare the Property for the Rental Market
Your first step is to make sure the property is rent-ready. What does this mean? It means that a tenant should be able to move right in. Before you can place an ad and start collecting rent, you have to make sure it’s clean, empty, and in excellent condition. A few things to pay attention to are:
- Remove any personal belongings. Tenants won’t want your old sofa or the extra linens you think you should leave behind.
- Completely inspect the home to make sure everything works. Check light switches, outlets, and appliances.
- Make any necessary repairs or improvements.
- Clean the property thoroughly.
Once you have prepared the home for the rental market, you can take some great pictures and prepare to put it on all the popular rental websites tenants are using to find their next home.
Price the Property Correctly
Establishing a rental value for your property is the next step. Remember that the market really drives the price. You may have a number in mind, but if similar homes in your area aren’t quite at that level, you’ll need to adjust your expectations.
Conduct a comparable rental analysis, and make sure you have access to good data. Don’t rely on the prices you find on Craigslist. You want to know what homes rented for, not what they were listed for. You also want to consider how long they were on the market. There’s no sense in losing money on a long vacancy when you could have rented the property immediately for $100 less per month. In the long run, an occupied property is always more profitable than a vacant one.
Screen and Place a Great Tenant
The tenant you choose will have a huge impact on your rental experience. Make sure you have the tools and resources to screen your applicants in accordance with all state, federal, and local fair housing laws. You’ll want to check for credit, income, and criminal and eviction histories. Put together a set of rental criteria so you can consistently look at each application. Once you’ve found a qualified renter, collect a security deposit and get the lease signed. Then, you need to discuss a move-in date.
Work with a Puget Sound Property Management Company
These are only a few of the early steps you’ll need to take when you’re renting out a property. The process of leasing, managing, and maintaining your rental home can get pretty complex pretty quickly. Experienced investors use property managers to effectively care for the homes because they know we have the expertise, the time, and the experience to make sure you have a profitable and positive lease term. You’ll save money when you work with a management team, and avoid the headaches, stress, and risk that comes with renting out your Kent, Tacoma, Seattle, Renton, Maple Valley, Enumclaw, Des Moines or Federal Way home.
Contact us at People’s Real Estate & Property Management for more information on how to get started as a landlord.