Renting out your property is not unlike dating. It takes care and thought. It helps to be in good shape. And great photos are key. Just as you want to look your best, you want your property to look its best too.
Are you planning to rent out your flat or a spare room in your apartment? How can you make your house attractive and memorable? Preparing your home for rental enables you to attract the best tenants and giving your property a makeover can also allow you to optimise your rental income. A stylish property that’s in good condition is also likely to encourage existing tenants to stay longer.
You want to catch people’s eye as they scroll through property listing websites. And you want them to like what they see. This might require a deep clean of your property, hiring a gardener, or installing high-tech fittings. Or it might mean some tasteful lighting and clever photography.
In a world of Instagram and plastic surgery, looks matter, and your property is no different. You want to make your property as photogenic as possible. With these tips on how to properly prepare your house for rental, you can be sure your property listing will dazzle home-hunters.
Repairs and cleaning
Repairing major problems is imperative. Leaking roofs, clogged gutters, broken electrical outlets – houses in need of repair appeal to nobody.
Replace broken furniture and make sure all fittings are in good condition. Ensure smoke detectors are in working order and you’ll also want to equip the kitchen and each floor of your home with a fire extinguisher. Perhaps have the heating system serviced and check that all doors and light switches work properly.
Cleaning is also vital. No one is going to think twice about moving into a grotty property with black mould in the bathroom, a kitchen coated in decades-old grease, and carpets that look like they might be infectious. Consider hiring professionals for a deep clean. They’ll do everything, including floors, windows, carpets, and blinds. And don’t forget about outside. Lawns will need to be mowed and adding flowers to a patio is also a nice touch.
Modern fittings and appliances can give your property a boost online. Contemporary cabinets and surfaces make an impact as kitchens can often be a dealbreaker for home-hunters. Similarly, ‘smart’ features like thermostats or smart door locks can allow you to charge more for rent.
When considering upgrades, though, think about who you’re renting to. While students may be less interested in state-of-the-art fittings, families will be keen to have time-saving appliances like dishwashers and dryers.
Decor choices should err towards warm, neutral, and simple. A property should feel welcoming and sophisticated. Neutral colours give people free rein to personalise with their own additions – think ‘blank canvas.’ But at the same time you don’t want it to look like a boring hotel room. It needs to feel like a home.
Simple decorative additions can transform a space. For example, a rug makes a room appear cosier or gives a space a bit more personality. Meanwhile, long curtains make small windows seem larger and mirrors make rooms appear bigger.
Stage your property
Home staging means preparing your home in a way that will most appeal to potential buyers. Preparing a property for rental is similar to preparing a property to sell, and you can apply many of the same principles as when dressing or staging a house for sale.
Staging a house is more than just a quick tidy or clean. It’s about the careful and considerate use of artwork, lighting, and other accessories to make your property look as desirable as possible.
Firstly, get rid of any clutter. Put it into storage or hide it away in a cupboard that will be off limits to tenants. Keep floors and surfaces tidy to make rooms appear more spacious and to allow tenants to imagine their own possessions in the property instead.
Next, arrange the space in a way that highlights the room’s best features and assets. Floor-to-ceiling curtains make ceilings seem higher. Similarly, furniture with exposed legs make spaces feel bigger. Lots of small knick-knacks make a room feel cluttered so opt for a few larger pieces.
Attractive artwork is preferable to blank walls – but make sure it’s nothing too crazy. Throws and cushions on beds can do wonders for making them look comfy and appealing. Fresh flowers and fruit bowls are small details that can make a real difference. And use lamps to illuminate dark corners.
When putting your property up on online search sites, you want images that stand out on small phone screens. These images are the first thing thing that attracts prospective tenants. People will scroll through photos before reading anything else.
Amateur photos can put off home-hunters. An out of focus picture taken from a weird angle will just get ignored. But while you want your property to look like a magazine spread, taking professional-level photos is notoriously difficult. Do you have a wide-angle lens, tripod, and high-quality editing software? Exactly.
Opting for a professional photography session is preferable. Spotahome, for example, sends round Homecheckers to photograph and record your property for you.
But if you do want to take your own photos, remember that natural light always wins. Take photos when the sun is bright. Rainy and overcast days won’t do you any favours.
Photos should be taken from an angle that includes every little detail and using a wide lense. Make sure all vertical lines are perfectly vertical, all horizontal lines horizontal, and you want to capture more floor than ceiling.
Finally, cameras should offer at least 5-megapixel resolution and saved files should be as large as possible to ensure a high-quality image.
Need help preparing your property for rent? Spotahome’s homecheckers can make your house look good online. Get in touch today and we can help you find the perfect tenant.