So you’ve put your house on the market for rent. Weeks have gone by and you haven’t gotten any real interest. You see other homes being rented, so what’s the problem?
If your home isn’t renting, there are a number of factors that could be contributing to this. Maybe you priced the home too high for the neighborhood. It could be that your photos don’t do a good job of highlighting the property’s features.
At Good Life, people often tell us that they’ve tried managing their own properties and it ended up being more than they could handle, especially when it came to getting the property leased.
We have perfected our process of marketing homes and getting them rented quickly. Here are a few reasons why your home might be struggling to rent.
1. You’re Charging Too Much
One of the main reasons why homes don’t rent is that they are overpriced. Everyone wants to make the most money they can from their property, but if you’re not careful it will steer people away.
Homes should usually rent within 2-4 weeks of being posted. If your home isn’t getting attention after week 2, you should consider decreasing by 5% each week it's still on the market. People often want to price as high as they can for the financial benefit, but this could end up costing you more than you would be making.
When pricing your home, you need to not only take into account the features of the home, but of the neighborhood as well. If the homes in your neighborhood are going for $2000-$2400, pricing it at $3000 is a stretch, even if you have added features.
This doesn’t mean your property’s features aren’t relevant. You can tack on extra for a pool, extra parking, etc. so long as it’s within reason.
It's a good idea to search Zillow and Craigslist for other homes in your neighborhood. This will give you an idea of what other homes are renting for in the area. You can adjust your price based on this and the extra features your home has.
People assume that a higher price will attract the best tenants, but that can have the opposite effect. A home that is priced too high will struggle to get attention, resulting in the landlord being more lenient with any applicant.
2. You’re Not Charging Enough
If you’re not charging enough rent, you might be losing out on money as well. Some people want to price conservatively in order to get a tenant in the home quicker. However, if you’re not renting your home at a competitive price, you will lose out on income you could have had.
Another downside to pricing too low is that potential tenants might think there is something wrong with your property. If all the 2 bedroom houses in the area are at least $2500 and yours is $1700, they might be worried that it’s too good to be true.
This means that your property is likely being overlooked for homes that are priced more competitively. While you see it as a good deal, they view it as a trap.
3. Your House is in Bad Condition
Another reason your home could be sitting vacant is that many of its features are outdated. These days, most people prefer modern fixtures and colors. If your home has dated wallpaper and vintage features, it might be scaring off potential tenants.
Updating your home before putting it on the market is very important. Both the interior and exterior of the home should be clean and in good condition. If the outside of the house is dirty, has overgrown or dying plants, etc., chances are potential tenants won’t even bother looking at the inside.
The inside of the house should be in good condition as well. This means no chipping paint, old wallpaper, stained carpets, or broken light fixtures. These issues will detract from the value of your home. It won’t matter if you have a pool or spacious backyard if the inside is falling apart.
There are simple fixes you can make to keep your home in pristine condition. Touch-up or repaint when needed. Get the carpets cleaned after each tenant and replace sections when necessary. For more tips on how to make your home rent-ready, check out our other blog post, 8 Cost-Effective Upgrades to Help Your Home Rent Faster.
4. You Aren’t Marketing Effectively
In most cases, people judge a book by its cover. If your home doesn’t look appealing in its advertisements, it won’t get a second glance.
Your home should be listed on all the major websites--Zillow, Craigslist, and Trulia. These sites get the most views and are your best chance at getting your home seen quickly.
The description of your property should be as detailed as possible. How many bedrooms are there? Is a washer/dryer included? Are pets allowed? These should all be answered in the description so you don’t lose out on anyone that doesn’t want to waste time asking.
Photos are a key part of successful marketing. It’s best to take the photos once your (or a previous tenant’s) furniture has been removed and carpets have been cleaned. People like to be able to picture their own items in the home.
You don’t necessarily need a DSLR camera to take the photos, but they should be good quality. They should not be grainy or blurry. You want to get shots of each room and of all the appliances as well. Listings that don’t show each room tend to get much less attention. For more tips on taking photos of your home, check out Zillow's Photography Tips for Your Rental Listing.
These are four things that might be causing your home to remain vacant for extended periods. Remember, first impressions are important and you want your home to be clean and presentable to attract the best tenants.
You have options when it comes to rental property management. For an in-depth analysis of these options, read our blog post titled Property Management vs. Self Management vs. Leasing Only: 5 Tips for Choosing.
If you think you might be in over your head and want to learn more about property management, visit our services page to see what we offer our owners.