Hey, Spencer Sutton here with gkhouses. And today I want to answer the question that I hear all the time and that is, “How long will it take you to rent my Birmingham house?”
And that’s really an important question because most people don’t want their house sitting vacant for very long and so we get that and we like to answer that question in three ways.
So there’s three things that help us determine how long your house is going to take to rent.
Your home needs to be market rate. And so I’ve talked to a lot of owners over the years and, you know, owners like to push it.
I’m a rental house owner myself, I like to push that up to the upper tier but you really need to be very, very aware of how much houses are renting for in your area.
So you should be able to pull up some comps. You can probably easily find houses that are for rent in your area, but you might have to dig a little bit deeper to find true comparable of houses that are currently rented.
We use an internal software, our software that we use is called Rent Range and we look up and can pull up different comps all around your rental house to determine, hey, based on bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, and year built, is this a comparable or is it not comparable?
And then what we would share with you is based on the price that this gives out, you know, that’s probably market rate.
So just I would say be very, very realistic because if you price your home at the very top of the market, somebody else has a price down the street from you that’s a little bit…is at market and the product is the same, the house is the same, 9 times out of 10, probably 10 times out of 10, they’re going to rent the other house.
And when you sit on a house and you’re missing rent, however much that rent is each month because you’re priced over the market, then you are doing yourself a disservice.
Because if you cut the rent a little bit, got it down to market rate, then you wouldn’t have lost, you know, several thousand dollars waiting for it just sitting on the market.
We always believe it’s price and product, price and product and the product is your house.
You need to be realistic about your house. Is your house outdated? Does it need to be painted? Do carpets need to be replaced or can they just be cleaned?
You really have to take an honest and objective view about your house.
The thing that we notice about most rental house owners, especially owners that are renting their personal house, say they’re moving out of town for a job or they’re moving to a different house and want to keep the house as a rental is a lot of times they’re very subjective.
They get emotional about their house. This is the house that their kids were raised in.
This is the house that, you know, they’ve lived in for so long. What’s wrong with it?
And you know, you may overlook things as a homeowner, but a lot of times tenants recognize things and if they find something that they just don’t like, then they won’t do it.
So there’s all kinds of things to think about.
Some things you can control such as fixtures, you know, outdated appliances, outdated light fixtures, outdated faucets and things like that. I mean, does your house look up to date?
Are the walls, the paint still good or does it need a new paint job? How are your carpets?
So are they wore down and need to be replaced or are they good and still in good shape?
Things that you probably can’t control that will affect the price of your house will be what we call white elephant issues.
And so a white elephant issue is something like you live on a very busy street or what if you live right beside a power line, you know, big power lines, those things are probably going to detract from the value of your house and probably it means it’s going to take a little bit longer for your house to rent.
Also think about like if your house was on train tracks. Some people find that very cool, some tenants are not going to want to live right next to train tracks.
You don’t really have anything to do with it. You can’t help it.
Think about your product because it’s going to be very, very important when you’re trying to determine how long is it going to take to lease your Birmingham House.
And then lastly, what I would say is really the season affects how quickly somebody can lease your Birmingham house.
Right now it’s July, middle of July and we are leasing houses like crazy.
Once it hits later in the fall, kids get back in school and things start to slow down, they really slow down around the holidays and those holidays are in November and December, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
And then people don’t really want to move a whole bunch. And then at the beginning of year, it starts to pick up until we get a full head of steam in May, June.
So seasonality is going to determine how long your house sits on the market or how long it takes to lease your Birmingham House.
Those are really the three factors to remember. Price, make sure you have a market price.
Product, make sure your product is in really good shape and then it matches or exceeds other people’s houses that are on the market.
And then lastly, just think about the time of the year that you’re putting your house out on the market because that will also have an effect on how long it takes, especially here in Birmingham.
I hope those tips help. Let us know if we can do anything for you.
You can give us a call. (205) 940-6363 extension three. You can ask for me.
My name is Spencer Sutton. I’d be happy to help you out. You can shoot an email to [email protected]
That’ll get to me as well. And anyway, so best of luck renting your house and we hope you lease it up to a great tenant.
Spencer is the VP of Marketing at Evernest. He wakes up with Google and Facebook on his mind. Having bought and sold over 150 homes in Birmingham, Spencer gets a kick out of helping new and seasoned investors navigate the mistakes he made as an investor. Spencer is also passionate about his love for Michael Jordan and does his best to explain to the Millennials (who never saw him play live) how much better he was than LeBron. He loves to hang out with his wife, kids, and the world’s best black lab, Jett.