The unique nature of older properties makes renting them out a bit of a challenge. While newer homes and apartments boast modern conveniences, older properties sing charming songs from an earlier era. They just don’t build ‘em like that anymore, the old fogies mourn. There’s truth to it: People are truly not able to recreate the age and qualities of an older home, unless you take the expensive route and custom build and design a home.
The challenge of preparing old properties for market fits the analogy of a beauty pageant like a glove (an old-fashioned Grandma glove, no less). Not only is your contestant up against the fierce competition of the newly-remodeled-three-car-garage-whirlpool-tub crowd, but her charm and character need to make a fast impression.
Most real estate agents and property owners emphasize that the most important marketing strategy is to foresee common buyer objections and address concerns with renting an older property. What can you do to showcase your elderly gem’s best qualities and minimize any concerns from cautious renters?
The best of old and new
Old homes are stereotypically smelly and dark, with out-of-date appliances, peeling paint and dirty carpet. Property owners may be tempted to scrap it all and invest heavily in renovations. The key, however, is to retain the character and uniqueness your old property boasts but equip it for modern living as best you can. Conducting a deep clean, ensuring the working order of major home systems and making small renovations will go a long way to beautifying your old property.
Make sure it looks good on the outside. Eliminate a new renter’s concern that the property is falling apart by making any big property renovations that must take place – like a new roof, chimney repairs, new windows, new siding, etc.
Check mechanical systems (water supply lines, drain lines, heating system, circuits, etc.). Make sure everything’s working like it should so that renters do not worry that something will break in the middle of the night.
Update ancient appliances. Ensure that everything works, and buy new appliances to replace near-death ones. Consider consulting a designer to make sure you choose appliances consistent with the home’s character.
Freshen up the bathrooms and kitchen. These rooms sell a house. New coats of paint, new hardware on the cabinets, and perhaps new countertops or mirrors all go a long way in maintaining the charm and loveliness of the property. Nobody likes the look of kitchens or bathrooms that are in disrepair, dark or dingy. You can update these without a huge investment. For the showing, set out new towels, soap and flowers.
Know the story. Time permitting, take a look at the history books, old newspaper articles and library archives. Having interesting tidbits on hand to share with your potential renters will help people value the property more. It’s not a bad idea to create some marketing materials specifically for telling the story. Often, older properties are located in areas with rich history and great ambiance.
Have a property inspection done. Do this before renters show up in order to give relief to suspicious prospects who think a big bad issue will crop up at any moment.
Once you have your older property all spruced up, it’s time to show it to potential renters. What are the secrets to showing an older rental property? That’s the topic of, “How to Show Older Rental Properties,” my next blog post.Be the first to comment »