Question: I want to put my rental property on the market, how should I present the property to potential investors?

Answer: By Carolyn Parrella, Executive Manager, Terri Scheer Insurance

Putting a rental property on the market is no small feat.

There are a number of things to consider when preparing a property for the market which can make it a stressful time for landlords.

However, taking the time to make it an attractive proposition to potential investors may help increase your chances of selling the property faster and give you a better return on your investment.

Address maintenance issues

First impressions count, therefore, it is essential the property is presented in the best possible light when open for inspection.

A fresh coat of paint and a thorough steam clean of the carpet can make all the difference between achieving an average price for the property or a great price.

Ongoing maintenance issues such as regular gutter and drain cleans, gas appliance services and changing air-conditioning filters should also be addressed prior to the property going on the market.

If the property is almost due for a routine inspection, you may wish to bring the date forward and conduct it before open inspections commence.

This will allow you to identify and action any maintenance issues prior to the property going on the market and if a tenant is living in the property, it will help limit interruptions during the sales process.

Bring in the professionals

In some cases, it may be worth seeking professional advice on the look and presentation of your property which can to help add value.

Vacated properties that are fitted out with furniture and styled well can generate greater emotional appeal and generally attract a greater pool of potential buyers.

If the property isn’t tenanted during the sales process, consider hiring a stylist or interior decorator to provide professional advice and tips on arranging furniture and colour schemes. They may suggest hiring furniture, adding artwork or other design features.

Also, consider hiring a gardener to present the front and back yard in the best light. The way a garden is presented can shape favourable first impressions among home buyers and help sell the property quicker.

There is, of course, a cost involved in hiring professionals to help, but you may be surprised how much value small improvements can add to the final sale price achieved.

Appropriate insurance

Specialised landlord insurance can cover landlords from many of the risks associated with owning a rental property and provide peace of mind if the unforseen should occur during the sale process.

This includes malicious and accidental damage, loss of rental income and the landlord’s legal liability as standard building and contents insurance policies usually don’t cover landlords for these risks.

Damage, or injury or loss resulting from a safety hazard that occurs at the property during the sales process that has not been attended to may give rise to a costly legal liability claim for the landlord.

For instance, damage or injury may occur during open inspections.

Generally appropriate insurance can protect you in the event of a legal liability claim.

Check your insurance policy before you put the property on the market and seek professional advice to ensure you have the appropriate coverage.

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Carolyn Parrella

Carolyn Parrella joined Australia's leading landlord insurance specialists, Terri Scheer Insurance, in 2004 and was appointed Executive Manager in 2009.
 
Carolyn oversees all operations within business, which aims to protect landlords against the risks associated with owning a rental property. These include malicious damage by tenants, accidental damage, legal liability for occurrences on the property that cause death or bodily injury, and loss of rental income as a result of damage to a property or a tenant absconding.
 
As a South-Australian based national insurance firm, Terri Scheer Insurance is the only company in Australia to specialise solely in landlord insurance.
 
Carolyn also owns two investment properties.

For further information, visit www.terrischeer.com.au or call 1800 804 016.