rent-nov-4It’s time to let go: you’re just not at your vacation place enough to hold on to it, especially considering the tax implications of maintaining it as a rental.

It’s time to sell. Here’s how to sync the selling process with short-term rentals so you can extract a bit more income while the place is on the market. Even a bit of income from an unoccupied home can help offset the property taxes and other costs of ownership. (Use this guide to estimate the income you might be able to pull in from short-term rentals.)

 

First, look at your timeline. If you want to sell quickly, it might be more bother than it’s worth to get set up with Airbnb, Homeaway,FlipKey or another short-term rental site.

Second, consider the cost of preparing the house to simultaneously show and sell. Staging a place to sell usually involves decluttering, removing most personal objects, and arranging furniture so that it showcases the features of each room. The first two steps streamline your place for paying guests, so the effort you put into decluttering and depersonalizing works helps both goals.

Staging is different, though. You’ll need to stage each room to highlight its features and take listing photos accordingly. (Use the USRealty.com guide to Getting Your Home Ready for effective staging.)

Create two portfolios of photos: one for the photos for the property listing and the other for the rental listing. Do the staging first and take a lot of photos under different lighting conditions. Then, rearrange the furniture to make the rooms welcoming to guests. For example, for staging, you might want to showcase the view from the living room, which involves situating an armchair and lamp to one side, with drapes pulled back. But for renting, you might want to draw the chair into a conversational cluster with the sofa, even if that blocks the window a bit.

Use the rental listing as a way to promote the selling listing, but think twice before using the selling listing as a way to promote the rental listing.

Set up the for-sale listing first . Next, create the rental listing and include a link to the sale listing in the rental description. That way, people who are checking out the neighborhood by renting will find your house either way. But, you don’t want househunters to get the impression that your place is undergoing rental wear and tear while it is on the market.

Factor in the cost of fees and cleaning. When your house is for sale and you aren’t living there, it stays clean between showings. But you’ll need to closely manage the showings and cleanings, making sure that the place is show-worthy after each renter departs.

Showing considerations will dictate your rental conditions. You might want to ban pets, smoking and larger groups to minimize disruption and dirt.

Offer very short-term rentals so the place is always available on short notice for showings. By renting only for two or three nights at a time, you can respond more quickly to buyers’ requests to see the place. This will limit the income you likely can recoup and might also increase cleaning expenses and fees.

Additional tips:

  • Be sure to check with your homeowners’ association rules to ensure that you are selling and renting in compliance with community guidelines.
  • Coordinate closely with the homeowners’ association manager so that the traffic to your unit doesn’t disrupt neighbors.
  • Prominently place fresh listing sheets along with the guide to staying at the place. Include your contact information.
  • Add a condition to the rental agreement that the place must be available on short notice for showings.
  • Make sure buyers have a place to park, especially if you are both renting and selling a condo unit with assigned parking.