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Preparing the property

Final preparation

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Remember that the immediate impression that a tenant gets when they first see your home will have a lasting impact on whether or not they take up the tenancy. So if you have the chance, you should do everything you can to get the property up to tip top presentation standard in time for any viewings.

The outside
The first thing that a prospective tenant will see is the outside of your home. Particular care needs to be taken so that the first impression doesn't immediately put them off. So take a long hard look at the front of your house and make sure that it has what is commonly referred to as 'kerb appeal'.

  • If you have one, then, spend a bit of time making the garden look respectable, by mowing the lawn and making sure that the garden is not too overgrown.
  • Make sure that the garden, path, stairwell, lift or other approach to your home is clean, tidy and looks well maintained.
  • If the property is being seen at night, always light the approach to the front door.
  • Make sure that there is space for the viewers to park, if that is how they are likely to arrive at the property.

It is not wholly uncommon for tenants to turn up at a viewing, see the outside of a property and not bother to take it any further. If you can do anything to make sure that this doesn't happen, then it has got to be worth it.

The inside
Remember that all redecoration and cleaning must be completed before you arrange a viewing. Tenants are often as untrusting as landlords and many will not rent a half-finished property for fear it will still be half finished when they move in.

Your home should be reasonably clean when viewers come round. You don't need to bleach the whole house, but make sure that there's not too much on the kitchen floor for the rats to feed on, and that you wipe away the mould from it's home on the walls.

Bathrooms and kitchens are the most important for cleanliness as, it is a bit more acceptable for the other rooms to have a bit more of a lived in feel to them. Make sure that you get rid of all the lime scale deposits in the bathroom, give the place a quick polish and get rid of empty or nearly finished toiletries. These make bathrooms look too cluttered.

In the kitchen, the watchwords are clean, hygienic and spacious. Keep the work surfaces free of clutter and wipe everything down so that it doesn't have the appearance of a bacteria cultivation laboratory.

General pointers
Here are some general tips for making sure your property is presented in the best possible light:

  • Things should be clean to the touch. In other words, make sure you dust before viewers come round. This includes ceilings and shelves.
  • Getting your carpets cleaned is not a bad idea. It's amazing how much life it can breathe into a room.
  • Clean the windows. Grimy windows make the place look a bit tatty and neglected.
  • Clean or repaint the skirting boards, especially if you decorate anywhere else.
  • Dry-clean or steam clean the curtains.
  • Avoid clutter by removing anything that is not going to be made available to the tenant.
  • If it is winter, have the heating on. Nobody will feel that welcomed by a freezing cold home.
  • In the summer, try to make the property as airy as possible, by opening the windows. Hot stuffy rooms will not be all that appealing.
  • Make sure that the house is well lit. If it is a little gloomy outside, or your house is not naturally well lit, leave the lights on.

If you want to take things even further, why not read the advice given to vendors in the 'Sell your home' section.

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