Presenting your property for market
Published on: 05 June 2023
Presenting your property for market
Having bought your property, you need to do five things before even thinking about letting it out:
1. Refer back to your strategy and consider what your ideal tenants are looking for and subconsciously will want. Does this mean that certain aspects of the property will need altering to fit their requirements. This would include the whole property, but a good example would be to look at the garden and its usage – a young family with children will want an easy to maintain lawned area for the children to play in; an older family might want a nice entertaining area and a colourful garden whilst an older couple will probably want a mature but easily accessible garden.
Different age groups will have varying aspirations and drivers, and you need to be able to offer the right one to your target group. The same process will equally well apply to inside the property and you just need to make sure that what you market will appeal to the tenants that you set out to let to.
2. Will it market well? This may be little things but could affect the way prospective tenants look at both the initial photographs when it is marketed and how they see the property at a viewing. This is so important at an early stage as the camera cannot lie and if you dress the photographs up and the reality is different you will have lost a lot of potential trust. You may also fall foul of the Consumer Protection Regulations for misrepresenting a property!
You want your property to tick as many of the tenants` “wish list” boxes as possible, without overspending yourself. If you can align your strategy to the ideal tenants then you should have satisfied occupiers who will view the property as their home and hopefully want to stay longer.
3. Has the property got “kerb appeal”? If it has, then anyone turning up to look at it will be a lot more interested and positive. This could involve some clearing, gardening and painting to make the “First Impression” of the outside count. You will need to run a professional eye over the condition of the property, internally as well, especially for dirt and poor repair because if rooms look uncared for with old decor or old fraying carpets, the impression you are giving is a negative one. The tenants will be wary that if you can`t be bothered to present the property in good order, what chance is there that you will be prepared to do any maintenance! If you are serious about being a landlord then care to detail is paramount and this has to start at marketing.
4. Ask the question “would I live here”? This refers to it`s current condition and how you want to market and let it out. Many landlords have no interest in the property as they see it and a tenant as a business and have no deep involvement. Those landlords who do invest more subjectively in their properties tend to find better tenants and they stay longer because they appreciate that their landlord is taking an interest in both the property and them. If you would feel happy living there, you will want to maintain its standard and deal with any problems and issues both promptly and efficiently. This boosts the tenants confidence in you as their landlord, as someone who will be fair and care.
5. Lastly, you need to be aware of the changing regulations, particularly the Renters Reform Bill and the future Energy Performance Regulations (raising the bar from a current E rating to a C rating, currently suggested to be from 2028). Both of these will have a potentially dramatic effect on your portfolio, so again you might want to re-think your strategy. You need to make sure that you either buy a property which is currently C so that you have no worries in the future or one that can remain empty whilst you do the necessary work to upgrade it before marketing it.
Similarly, if any major works are required from a full redecoration to replacing Bathroom or Kitchen units, it is so much simpler for the contractors to do this in an empty property – it will most likely end up being both cheaper and quicker for you. Tucked in the Renters Reform Bill is the Decent Home Standard and this includes supplying a property that has usable Kitchens and Bathrooms that are reasonably modern (yet to be confirmed).
Whilst both the EPCs and the definition of decent may change before becoming legally set in stone, it will pay to look at the proposed legislation and the direction of travel that the government (both Conservative and Labour) intend to go. If you are proactive to maintenance rather than waiting for a tenant to complain once the tenancy has started; you will be ahead of this curve.
Letting a property can be as difficult or easy as you the landlord want to make it; but planning for the future is a much safer and simpler way of doing the job. By offering a property that is in good order and is energy efficient to run, you will have a much happier tenant, there will be less complaints for repair and maintenance and your tenants will stay longer! Most importantly the property should let quickly and achieve a good rental however the market is behaving. If you need any advice on any aspect of the above you should seek professional advice to make sure you set off on the right path.