This biweekly sponsored column is written by the experts at Gordon James Realty, a D.C.-based property management company that specializes in managing condos, single-family homes and multi-family properties in the metro region. Please submit any questions in the comments section or via email.
Despite frigid temperatures, spring isn’t far off. And that means now is the time to prepare for the spring rental market — including by doing projects that will pump up your property’s curb appeal.
You may be tackling indoor projects now, but don’t neglect to plan for the outside. When it comes to making your rental attractive to tenants, curb appeal is critical.
You can’t measure curb appeal like you can square footage. But it contributes significantly to a tenant’s first impression of your home. Along with location, size and amenities, it can be a strong selling factor. On the other hand, peeling paint, crooked and faded For Rent signs and overgrown plants can keep potential renters from even coming inside.
Start by inspecting the building.
Walk around and look at the home critically, with the eyes of a tenant.
You may need a fresh coat of paint on the shutters or some new trim. If you can see broken or bent blinds in the windows, replace them. Inspect and clean your front door, and polish the doorknob, the knocker and any other hardware.
Give the exterior a good power-washing if the siding or brick has dust and dirt caked onto it. Check under eaves and drains for nests, pests and debris. Clean out the gutters to eliminate wet and rotting leaves.
Spend some time on your landscaping.
Trim the bushes, weed flowerbeds and ensure the grass is mowed regularly. Put down some fresh mulch around your shrubs. Make sure your trees look healthy and that any leaves from last fall are raked up.
Around the front door, add some hanging flowers or a couple of planters filled with bright, vibrant colors. Small details are inexpensive and can make your property look extra welcoming.
Take a look at the walkways and driveways.
There should be nothing that blocks a person or a car from approaching the house. If you are leasing your property in this wintery weather, be sure to clear away snow and ice completely as needed.
Inspect your lighting.
A house that glows warmly begs to be rented. Make sure all exterior lights are clean and have working bulbs. For evening showings, make sure exterior lights are on, along with interior lights that can be seen from the front.
Paying attention to curb appeal will help you attract a larger pool of potential applicants. When it looks good on the outside, people will want to see more. For ideas for improving the interior of your property, this article offers tips to get your rental property rent-ready.
When you ultimately decide on a tenant and the deposit has been paid and the lease signed, you’ll be handing over the keys to an attractive, well maintained home. That will show the tenant you have high standards, and that you expect the place to consistently look as it does on move-in day.
The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of HillNow.com.