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Hatch Pro Tip of the Month: Preparing your home for a Tenant continued…

In last month’s blog post, we highlighted some of the key things you as an Investor of a rental property need to do to attract the ideal renter for your home.  As a continuation of this topic, we are going to talk about the 5 senses!

  1. Through the eyes of the beholder: Sight.  How does your property show on the exterior and the interior?  A good tenant will want to maintain your investment as if it was their own.  What you present to them on day 1 is how you want it returned to you on the last day.  Start your tenant off right with a perfectly clean home and a pristine exterior with inviting curb appeal.
  2. What’s that Smell? Nothing, besides the look, can kill a deal more than by smell.  No one wants to live in a place that smells like animals, smoke, chemicals, mildew, raw food, sewage, etc.  I think you get the point. A professional cleaning company can help with the majority of these issues by removing trash and a thorough cleaning of the entire property on the interior.  You may however need to hire painters to paint the walls to remove the look and smell of smoke. In addition, carpet cleaning is a must, and in some circumstances, a complete replacement is in order.  If you have plumbing issues, then hire a plumber to get the home in proper working order to avoid future sewage smelling issues. And as an added bonus, once you complete all of these items, one suggestion is to place pleasantly smelling air fresheners strategically hidden around the home to draw clients in.  If you are feeling extra ambitious, bake some cookies in the home the morning of any showings you have scheduled. Pre-made dough from the store is a great, easy option.
  3. Delicious! Taste is something that you probably weren’t thinking of in this scenario, but if you baked those delicious cookies that morning for your prospective tenant, leave a plate on the counter for a tasty treat.
  4. “What’s that Sound? Everybody look what’s going down”! Ever hear that song? Well, there is some truth to that.  If a tenant walks in the door and hears a sound, they are going to start looking around for what it is.  It could turn out that the furnace or air conditioning unit is faulty and is creating a very annoying sound or the doors are squeaking. This will deter that tenant from considering your property.  Get all of your appliances, hot water heater, air conditioning and heater units checked out prior to showing your property.
  5. Did you feel that? Touch is another sense that can kill a deal.  If the door knobs are greasy, or the counter tops are sticky, a potential tenant will notice. Remember to do a thorough cleaning, including door knobs and light switches!

 

 

Hatch Pro Tip of the Month: Preparing your Home for a Tenant

As a property investor, getting a perfect tenant in place is the ideal situation! Here are some tips on things you can do as the owner to prep your investment to attract the best renters!

– Curb Appeal! It’s the first thing a renter will see when they pull up to your property. This can make or break a potential tenant from wanting to see the inside. It is imperative that you keep up with your lawn until your new tenant moves in! At that point, you can negotiate who will maintain the outside of the property while the tenant is in place.

– Safety First! Did you know that smoke detectors have an expiration date just like food? Smoke detectors lose sensitivity over time and the average detector is only built to last 8-10 years. As a rule of thumb, you should press the test button on all detectors in your house each month, and change the batteries every year (even if it’s not beeping). When you install a new detector ALWAYS write the date you installed it in permanent marker on the back side (facing the ceiling) so it can be replaced at least every 10 years.

– Cleanliness: the White Glove Test! Nothing is more pleasing to a potential tenant than walking into a home that has been professionally cleaned. Floors, walls, counter-tops, cabinets (inside and out), bathroom, appliances (washer/dryer too), closets, balconies, and even garages if you have one. No one wants to move into a home that they then have to clean themselves before they can actually feel at home. They want that white glove test experience… where if they were wearing white gloves they can touch anywhere in the home and not have a smudge of dirt get on them. It’s a relatively small investment to take the time to do this between renters, but well worth it in the long run to find that ideal tenant!

Coming up on our next month’s blog… Think of the 5 Senses! Sight, Smell, Sound, Touch, and Taste. What on earth could we be talking about?!? We’ll let you think on that one for a bit. Stay tuned…

Winter Storms

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

When a snow or ice storm strikes your area, be sure to clean the snow and ice from your outside condensing unit of a heat pump system. See these before and after pictures. If you fail to allow air to flow freely in and around this unit it could burn out the motor and leave you cold.

 

I just had a brand new heat pump system installed in December and when I went outside to clear my unit it had ice and snow around 2 sides and you could hear the motor was running but the fan was not spinning. This was not good! After I cleared the snow and scraped the ice off, the fan started spinning again.

 

Please clear off your outside HVAC condensing units to ensure proper functioning.

Blocked by Snow HVAC Condensing Unit

This is an example of a condensing unit that is too covered with snow to run because it is starving for air.

 

Clean HVAC Condensing Unit

This is an after photo of the same condensing unit.

Pictures Say 1,000 Words

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

If you are in the market to sell or lease your home, make sure your real estate agent works hard to take the BEST quality photos of your property before it is ever listed on the market.

 

I see too many houses on the market today with dark photos that showcase the owner’s dirty dishes in the sink, shoes in the middle of the floor, or paint cans off to the side of the room. Do yourself and your agent a favor by decluttering rooms in your house prior to the photo shoot day.

 

Houses listed with poor quality photos tend to stay on the market 15-21 days longer and/or receive less than asking price. People are technology savvy and have probably already seen what the inside of your home looks like before even stepping inside, and the photos posted on the internet could cost you a sale or rental in a matter of seconds.

 

Staging your home and taking photos at the best time of day for each room of your house is so important. Add pops of color with accent rugs or wall decor in rooms that are darker or have limited natural light. Ask your agent to use a high quality digital camera or DSLR with a wide angle lens to photograph your home.

 

At Hatch Property Management, we have the experience and the tools to photograph your property professionally to attain the maximum value in addition to reducing vacancy days.

 

sarahhatch

Electrical Repairs Can Be Shocking!

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

Have you ever noticed a light switch stop working all of a sudden? Its a common problem in old and new houses, especially when renovation work has recently been done. Sometimes contractors work quickly and forget to tighten down all the screws to light switches or electrical outlets which results in a short circuit and could lead to a fire in your home. When both ends (including the grounding wire) are not screwed down tight enough the circuit is not complete and causes electrical arcing.

The best thing to do when you find that a switch is not working any more is to go to your circuit breaker panel and flip the circuit breaker for that switch (if it hasn’t been flipped already) and leave it off until a licensed electrician or skilled handyman comes to repair it. If you don’t turn off the circuit breaker and the light switch is flipped up (or in the “on” position), you could continue to have electrical arcing and possibly cause a fire.

I found this situation at a rental property recently and I was able to successfully replace the switch with a new one.

The top screw in this photo was the one that was loose, but the bottom screw was the one that you can see the electrical wire was burned.

The top screw in this photo was the one that was loose, but the bottom screw was the one that you can see the electrical wire was burned.

 

You can see the burned electrical insulation in the bottom of the blue electrical box when the switch was pulled out.

You can see the burned electrical insulation in the bottom of the blue electrical box when the switch was pulled out.

 

Closer look at the bottom screw and wire.

Closer look at the bottom screw and wire.

Smoke Detectors Expire

Hatch Pro Tip of the Week:

Did you know that smoke detectors have an expiration date just like food?

Smoke detectors lose sensitivity over time and the average detector is only built to last 8-10 years. As a rule of thumb, you should press the test button on all detectors in your home each month, and change the batteries every year (even if it’s not beeping). When you install a new detector ALWAYS write the date you installed it in permanent marker on the back side (facing the ceiling) so you can remember to replace it at least every 10 years.

Check your smoke detectors today to ensure you don’t have the problem I found in a property I recently started to manage where two detectors showed expiration dates of 2001 and 2002 and wouldn’t stop beeping even after new batteries were installed.

Hatch Property Management performs annual and semi-annual inspections of their rental properties and smoke detectors are always checked for proper performance.

Test button should be pressed monthly to emit a loud beep. This ensures your batteries are still good and the smoke detector is working properly.

Test button should be pressed monthly to emit a loud beep. This ensures your batteries are still good and the smoke detector is working properly.

Each smoke detector has an expiration date. This one expired back on July 22, 2002!

Each smoke detector has an expiration date. This one expired back on July 22, 2002!

This smoke detector expired June 7, 2001!

This smoke detector expired June 7, 2001!