Preparing Your Rental for the Summer

The summer season is quickly approaching and with it all the seasonal tenants eager to start their stay at the shore. That means it’s also time for rental property landlords to begin preparing their properties to accommodate tenants. It’s important to make sure that everything in the property is in working order. Here’s what your preparation should include.

 

 

Deep Cleaning

Hiring a professional cleaning service is absolutely necessary, but there are some things that these services occasionally overlook or don’t include. For example, ceiling fans and ceiling registers tend to be forgotten, even though they accumulate a ton of dust. You should also hire a service to clean the HVAC system at least once a year.

Prior to the professional cleaning, it is the landlord’s responsibility to remove all food items from the cabinets and fridge. Tenants do not want your used condiments!

Remove Personal Items

If you and your family sometimes stay at your rental property, remember it’s best to not keep any personal items there. If you do wish to leave personal items, such as clothes, toys, shampoo, etc., try to store them in a locked closet or storage area. Seasonal tenants are looking to stay in a clean and uncluttered vacation property, not your home away from home. They do not want to be surrounded by someone else’s personal items. This includes removing family photos.

Necessities

While tenants do not want to see personal items, most are looking for a fully furnished home. Given how long seasonal tenants stay, they are not expecting to have to bring all of their own kitchen equipment, bedding, linens, etc. with them. Though some tenants will go so far as to bring their own mattress, it’s still best to make sure that your rental property is fully furnished and stocked with most everything that a summer tenant might need.

This is especially important for properties not vacationed in personally by landlords. It’s easy to forget to supply some of the standard home comforts. Clean and relatively new pillows and linens are key, as well as clean mattress covers. While tenants aren’t expecting a hotel resort experience, they also don’t want to use 20 year-old bedding! A fully stocked kitchen is just as important. Not everyone wants to eat out all the time, so make sure there are decent pots and pans, enough silverware and glassware, a bottle opener… you get the picture.

Think Like a Tenant

If you were staying at a summer rental on the beach for an extended period of time, what would you like the property to have? Try to think of things that would make the tenant’s stay more enjoyable. Does your rental have nice outdoor furniture, so your tenants can enjoy the summer weather? Is there a working garden hose or outdoor shower? And how about a BBQ?

These little things add up to a much more enjoyable stay for your tenants. Putting in the work ahead of time will mitigate any complaints you might receive. It’ll also help you find repeat tenants, ensuring that your property is easily rented each season. In the end, providing a quality rental experience is how you can make the most of your investment in that property.

The Importance of Pricing Your Home Right

Selling your house can be a long and emotional process. The hardest part for some is deciding how much their home is worth. While the sentimental value of one’s home may be high, it’s best to remember that both sellers and real estate agents have limited control over the market price of a property. Getting your money’s worth, so to speak, for your home is important. But it’s equally important to not price your home too high.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s why

It will take a lot longer to sell. If you house is priced correctly, it should generate a steady amount of interest from home buyers. It may not sell right away, but you should nonetheless start receiving offers. Of course this all depends on your local market, but even overpriced homes in highly active markets take a while to sell.

It will end up selling for less. When overpriced homes do eventually sell, it’s because the owner has resorted to drastically dropping the price. The longer a home sits on the market, the less interest it’ll generate from buyers over time. If too much time passes, the seller will usually end up selling their house for less than they would’ve had they priced it right in the first place.

You’ll attract the wrong kind of real estate agents. If you find an agent who’s willing to list your property at a price significantly above the other recommendations you’ve received, chances are that agent is looking to just get your listing. Unfortunately, there are agents out there who will agree to list your house for a price that’s too high because it’ll benefit them in the long run, not you. They will agree to overprice your house, and it will sit on the market for too long. Eventually, you’ll be forced to dramatically cut your price.

This is a technique some agents use to attract as many sellers as possible. Even if your house doesn’t sell, the agent will still get free advertising by having their sign in your yard for six months!

You’ll miss out on a bigger market of buyers. People tend to search within certain price ranges. For example, if you’re tempted to list your house at $315,000, it’ll be to your benefit to round down to $300,000, if only so you don’t miss out on a bigger market of buyers. Keep in mind, if your house is listed at a great price already, you’ll receive far more offers. You may also be able to negotiate a better deal overall.

Buyers may not qualify for a mortgage. Homes are appraised prior to a buyer receiving a mortgage. Banks can turn down a mortgage if the listed price of the home is significantly greater than the appraised value of the home. This is a very important, but easily overlooked consideration when pricing your home.

When it comes down to it, you should view pricing your home as a science. There is a strict range for a home’s value, and that range is determined by a home’s appraised value and its comparable listings.

 

Be sure to check out my page on seller’s resources for more tips!

Why You Should Become a Referral Agent

You’ve heard of real estate agents, but have you heard of referral agents? Referral agents are licensed sales associates who aren’t actively involved in the buying and selling process of real estate. They simply refer clients interested in buying or selling property to active real estate agents. In doing so, the referral agent will make commission on any successful deals involving the clients they referred.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Passive Income. Referral agents are required to partner with a licensed real estate broker in order to complete transactions, but otherwise they are free to refer to any real estate agent, anywhere in the country. Commission varies, but it is usually 25% of the commission received by the full time agent completing the deal. This is a great mutually beneficial relationship between referral agents and real estate agents. Referral agents have a fairly passive way to earn income, and real estate agents get more business than they might otherwise.

Minimal Overhead. While referral agents may not receive as big a cut of commission, they are not faced with the multiple and often yearly fees that active sales agents are required to pay. They are not obligated to pay MLS service dues, local real estate board dues, or purchase error and omission insurance. They are also not required to complete continuing education credits every two years. Full time real estate agents are often obligated to pay various fees at their brokerage firm in addition to the ones already mentioned.

Referral agents pay very minimal fees compared to their full time counterparts. They are only required to pay to renew their license every two years. And in some cases, the broker they partner with may charge them a small yearly fee. But that’s it! One successful referral and transaction per year would be more than enough to cover that.

If you’ve thought about getting into real estate and know plenty of people, but would only be able to do it part time, then consider becoming a referral agent.

Apex Prime Referrals is always looking for more referral agents to join our team! If you’re interested or would like to learn more, give Sherri Lilienfeld a call at 609-287-1795.

 

Featured Jersey Shore Home of the Week

For more information on this and other homes for sale on the Jersey Shore, please visit my Featured Listings page.

Sherri Lilienfeld, Helping You Live Your Jersey Shore Dream