Friday, March 21, 2014

5 Big Reasons Your House Hasn't Rented... Plus, News from the 31 Flavors!

So we've come to that time of the year when homeowners far and wide start calling real estate offices and saying, "How come nobody has rented OUR house?!"   Well, it's never easy getting to the bottom of the issue but there are 5 points that seem to be the do or die of Hamptons rentals.    I've spoken to agents all over the east end and the common responses seem to be the following....

1) Dated Interiors - Does your home look like a chic clean hotel room or your great aunts house that hasn't been updated since after the Eisenhower administration?! Think about who the people are that rent for the summer season.  It's mostly successful urban professionals who  want clean, modern and easy to maintain interiors.   Expensive rugs, white sofas and antique end tables may all look great but they scare the heck out of potential tenants who fear losing money (security deposits).   Just think about it this way, if you were checking into a hotel and it looked like your house, would you wan to stay there?    If not, go to Pottery Barn and get yourself some new digs.    It may not be everyone's bag but it's what rents!

2) Smells - Everyone loves the smell of "home" but if that involves wet dog or cigarettes, I can guarantee you nobody is going to want to rent your house.    But that doesn't mean if you're a dog lover (like me) or a smoker (like my dog) your out of luck.    Call a local carpet cleaner and have both the rugs and furniture done.    It's also not a bad idea to cook some cookies before showing the house.    It's not about the smell, although it don't hurt.  It's really about the cookies.  Brokers and agents always like to eat and when they're happy the potential renters are happy (Hint: Chocolate Chip)!

Man's best and smelliest friend!
3) Access - Make it easy for agents to show your property.     Be ready to show your house at any time or any day.    Thursday's between 1-4 while good for you might not work for most agents.    Renting a home is going to be a bit of a task, you're going to have to keep it clean while showing and be ready at a moments notice.   There's a reason why you're getting that big check, nothing in life is that easy!    If your really want to promote your house, think about hosting a weekend open house to encourage easy showing.

4) Be A Fair Landlord - Here's something you might not have thought of but agents in the Hamptons talk to each other!  Now, how is that going to effect your chances for renting?   Well if last season you involved the agent in a war over a $2000 deduction for a broken coffee cup, odds are you're a marked man or woman!    As I said in a previous blog, document the condition of your home but don't look for the deposit to be an income generator!   There are landlords who have a reputation for being unpleasant and difficult and agents avoid showing these homes like the plague.    So you want a few names?  You'll have to buy me a drink first! HA!

5) Price - ahhhhh the last and most important item on the list.   As a builder once told me on the east end, "there's a butt for every seat.... it just depends on how much they're willing to pay for the chair."
You're house doesn't have to look like something from Architectural Digest but then again don't ask the same price of the house that really was in the magazine!   If you're curious about what price to ask for a summer rental, my generic rule of thumb has always been 3.5% to 5% of the value of the home for Memorial Day to Labor Day with August garnering half of that amount.     Now, I know not every agent or broker will agree with the formula but I've always found it's a fairly good place to start.

Finally, speaking of open houses... yes I mentioned them in paragraph 3.... My best friends sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who spoke to the broker at the 31 Flavors last night who told me they heard I really don't give out the I-
Pads at my open houses.  Well I have news for you... yes I do!   I always say agents show what they know and it's my job to get them there!  That's my promise to my sellers.  One thing that I've found that works is a good "give away."   So don't believe me ask Peter Moore of Corcoran, Mary Slattery of Corcoran, Ann Ciardullo of Sotheby's, Nancy Howell of Corcoran or Justin Agnello of Douglas Elliman among others.... It's the real deal!   So as for the gossip monger at the 31 Flavors,  "You're still here?  It's over.. it's over.  Go Home!"

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