Preparing to sell your investment property

Looking for a better return on the sale of your rental property? Carolyn Parrella from Terri Scheer Insurance offers her advice.

Putting a rental property on the market is no small feat. There are a number of things to consider, which can make it a stressful time for landlords. Taking the time to make the asset an attractive proposition to potential investors, however, may help increase your chances of selling the asset faster and give you a better return on your investment.

Address maintenance issues 

First impressions count, therefore it is essential to make sure that 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 carpets can make all the difference between achieving an average price and a great price.

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

If the home 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 action any maintenance issues prior to the property going on the market and, if a tenant is in residence, 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 help to add value.

Vacated dwellings that are fitted out with furniture and styled well can generate more 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 backyard in the best light. The way a garden is presented can shape favourable first impressions among homebuyers and help sell the home.

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 on-site during the sales process that has not been attended
to, may give rise to a legal liability claim for the landlord.

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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