We plan on selling our rental property next spring because we’re retiring out of state and want to buy a rental near the community we are moving to. We don’t want to have to throw a lot of money at it just to get it sold. How do we determine what has to be done instead of what would just be nice to do? All our friends say we should redo everything to get top dollar.
The first thing I would do is hire a good home inspector to do a full inspection. You’ll end up with a list of possible safety problem that must be done, out dated things that need replacement or repair, and a few items that he or she will point out that just look tired.
My point of view is that you shouldn’t do a whole house remodel! You will probably not get that money back when you sell. Plus, in my experience, most buyers will want to do their own upgrades. So, unless it really looks shabby and dated, just tidy up and clean. Clean every inch of the place inside and out like it’s never been cleaned before. Be sure the windows are cleaned, and any carpet is cleaned or replaced. The place should shine. Tidy up the yard so it looks beautiful from the street. A few new plants, getting rid of weeds and a well-maintained lawn go a long way to making it appealing.
I believe that any rental property should always be sellable within 60 days. Does that sound too extreme? I have worked with clients who had an unexpected job transfer, illness in the family that required them to move closer to parents, or serious financial set backs that meant they had to sell fast. It cost them a great deal just to get the place moderately presentable and I know they left money on the table. If it’s in good shape and always ready to sell you will make top dollar and not be totally stressed out when it comes time to sell. Good luck.