A common question we hear is “What do I physically need to do to make my home ready to rent”? The answer is very basic – clean it. There are 3 basic areas to be cleaned – the exterior, the interior, and the carpets. Homeowners can either clean the exterior and interior themselves or hire outside services (including our company), while carpets will typically be done by an outside service.
The goal is to make the home as appealing as possible to tenants. The yard should be mowed, bushes and trees trimmed as needed, and fresh mulch put down in flower beds. Always keep in mind that tenants will rarely spend the time outside that a homeowner will and make any landscaping decisions accordingly.
We often see lawn clean-ups ranging in price from $200 – $300 for an average size residential lot. Obviously, that can range higher or lower depending on lot size and maintenance required.
While we are all accustomed to cleaning are homes, there is a benefit to hiring an outside service. We hear repeatedly from our owners how clean the house seems after hiring a professional service – they truly do make a difference.
Expect to pay in the range of $35 per hour for cleaning services with a total of 6 to 8 hours needed to clean your home. It’s common to see 2 cleaners for a half day assigned to a home for a robust cleaning.
Carpet cleaning usually is the greatest sticker shock of the services needed. Carpets may be cleaned with either a wet process (think Stanley Steamer) or dry process (think Chem Dry). Each has its pros and cons. The wet process will typically range slightly over $.20 per square foot while a dry process will be slightly over $.40 per square foot – each with additional charges for stairs, stains, etc. A larger home can have 1,500+ square feet of carpet so the cost can add up quickly.
We have a strong preference for the dry method even though the cost is double. We feel the carpets come out cleaner and, very importantly, are not left damp in a closed up rental house. That is especially noticeable in the wetter winter months here in Oregon.
Cleaning those three areas will improve the marketability of your Tualatin home and set a baseline expectation of conditions you expect from your tenants. We see a much better return on investment from simple cleaning compared to investments in new appliances, landscaping, etc.
Two great providers we recommend are Jenny’s Carpet Cleaning at (971) 371-9882 and Citrus Fresh Cleaning at (503) 267-9548.