Preparing your home or condominium for rental is much like preparing it to be listed for sale. Photos have become as important in the rental market as they are in real estate sale, as most people looking to rent will begin their search online.
Freshen and Clean—We recommend thoroughly cleaning your property from top to bottom; if you do not have the time or inclination to do this yourself, we can recommend a service. Replace any furniture that shows wear and tear or stains. Repaint any surfaces that show stains, scuffs, or damage.
Limit Visibility of Personal Items—Store children’s toys, magazines, newspapers, and family photographs. Remove calendars, refrigerator decorations, bulletin boards, and anything that could date your photos (example: seasonal decorations).
Clear Clutter—To make your home look more spacious inside, you may want to decrease the amount of furniture in each room and carefully group what is left. Clear kitchen and bathroom counter tops, and limit objects on surfaces. Make sure toilet lids and showers are closed. Trim back books and knickknacks, and remove your closet contents. On the outside, remove empty planters, hoses, trash cans, games, balls, pet houses, etc.
Brighten—Before you start snapping photos, create as much light as possible. Turn on all interior lights, and open up drapes and blinds for maximum amounts of natural light.
Accessorize—Add “pop” to each room: attractive vases, colorful afghans, and new towels are all quick, inexpensive options that make a big difference. On a broad counter top, display one small attractive object (for example, a unique espresso maker) to provide scale and perspective. Outside, replace dead plants and add bright-colored flowers in pots or planted in the ground.
Now that you’ve gone through all of this work to stage photos for your property, it should be in great shape to start being shown to prospective renters, as well!