Post from MilitaryByOwner
If you’re a homeowner, then you have a big decision to make when it comes time to PCS: to sell your home or rent it out when you head on to your next duty station.
And, while you’d normally weigh major factors like the market, your finances, and your long-term goals, you should also consider your timeline and the preparation required to sell and rent before you decide what’s best.
There’s a lot of work involved with getting your home ready for the market. And while there’s overlap in the to-do lists, there are a handful of things specific to each type of real estate transaction that might influence your decision.
How to Make Your Home Move-in Ready For Potential Buyers or Tenants
Many of the preparations necessary for both selling and renting your home are cosmetic and won’t come as a surprise.
Paint. Homeowners want move-in ready, and potential tenants appreciate freshly painted walls. It’s a good way to make the space look clean, bright, and well-cared for.
Clean flooring. Get the carpets cleaned and replace any flooring that’s stained, torn, or peeling.
Landscape. Landscaping increases your home’s curb appeal immensely. Take the time to add flowers in beds or pots, weed the yard, shape shrubs and bushes, and create an inviting yard.
If you’re renting, immaculate landscaping will not only help attract tenants. but it will also set a standard level of care you expect your tenants to maintain.
Stage your home. Remove clutter and make your space look open and clean. Consider staging your home to show buyers the property’s potential. Then, take pictures!
Advertise. Get your home out there for everyone to see! If you’re hiring a property manager or a real estate agent, then this isn’t something you need to worry about.
What to Do if You’re Selling Your Home
In addition to checking big-ticket items like the roof, foundation, and air conditioning unit, getting your home ready to sell requires a lot of paperwork and time—especially if you decide to sell it yourself instead of using an agent.
Gather all relevant paperwork. This could include the title and documents related to purchasing your home, home inspections, mortgage, tax records, property taxes paid, your appraisal, homeowners insurance, maintenance paperwork, and more. Check with your state for specific requirements. If you’re using a Realtor, they will help guide you with this step.
Negotiate. Once you find buyers, you’ll begin the negotiating process where you discuss price and what’s included in the sale. This can take several weeks.
Close. Although you’d think that this is the quickest part of selling a home, it’s not. It actually takes on average four to six weeks to close. So, as a military homeowner, you need to think about whether you can afford to get the house ready to sell and do so before you PCS. If not, you’ll need to plan ahead to travel back for the closing, close on the property long distance, or provide a Power of Attorney for someone local to sign for you.
What to Do if You’re Renting Your Home
When you prepare to sell, you want everything to be the best it’s ever been in order to get the most money for the property. But when you’re renting, you need to make sure that the home is habitable, safe, and clean.
Evaluate appliances. They don’t need to be the newest models on the market, but they do need to function correctly!
Create a book. Equip the tenant with everything they need to feel at home. Be sure to include:
- List of trusted vendors/and or home warranty policy
- Info to reach the homeowner or property manager
- Upkeep schedule
- List of paint names/colors
- Any quirks of the house
- A picture and location of the main water valve
- List of trusted neighbors
- Neighborhood information
- Keys and garage code
Decide how you’re going to manage the property. Will you hire a property manager or maintain the home from your next duty station?
Screen tenants. If you choose to forgo a property manager, then you will be in charge of finding and screening your own tenants. MilitaryByOwner recommends using Smart Move to help ensure you find a great tenant.
There’s no right answer when it comes time to deciding whether you want to sell or rent your home when you PCS. Maybe that’s why we find it so difficult to decide? The best thing you can do is understand factors like your personal goals, the market, and lastly, the preparation required to sell or rent out your home.
And when you figure out what’s best for you and your family, get in touch with MilitaryByOwner to help sell or rent your home near a military base!