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By Rob Massey

RISMEDIA, April 15, 2008-A common mistake made by novice landlords is a lack of preparation or work on the home before putting it on the rental market. The reality is, however, that the most discerning prospective residents, who normally are your ideal renters, demand attention to detail. Here are a few vital tips:

Painting-The rule is simple. The house needs to look as though it was just completely painted. The reality is that it’s not always necessary to have just completely painted the entire house, but it needs to look as though it has been. This is easily achieved by starting with the same neutral color throughout the whole house. massey_rob_bw.jpg

Housecleaning-There are different definitions of clean, but most knowledgeable property managers insist that there needs to be a clean smell throughout the house, perfectly clean kitchen appliances, and bathrooms that invite use without the need for prior cleaning.

Carpet cleaning-Not only will your carpet look and smell better, but it will actually help extend its life. A thorough cleaning of the carpet between vacancies should never be skipped.

Outside condition of the property-This is the part that will formulate a “first impression.” Make sure the shrubs and trees are properly trimmed; the grass is cut and tidy; the walks and driveway are edged and groomed. The exterior paint condition is critical as well. Peeling or dirty exterior paint is a sign of an untidy house and not what you want to convey in your first impression.

Attracting desirable residents starts with the proper preparation of the condition of your rental house. Don’t fall short in this most important step in this process. RE

Rob Massey is the founder of and vice president of industry development for Contact him at