How to Get Your Rental Property in “Make-Ready” Condition to Go to Market

two people about to paint walls

How to Get Your Rental Property in “Make-Ready” Condition to Go to Market


Do you own a property that is just perfect for leasing? Before you list it on the market, you should do your due diligence and ensure it is in make-ready condition. Here’s why. 

Many rental property owners often allow prospective tenants to view their property without first ensuring that it is move-in ready, robbing themselves of receiving the rental price the property deserves. 

Take for example if the carpets hadn’t been cleaned yet or the walls painted, this doesn’t provide the best first impression. And potential renters may have a tougher time picturing that property as their next home. This often compromises the rate at which a landlord can set the rent and in effect the profit that property owner could have earned otherwise. 

Regular maintenance makes a great impact in this regard, as well as property upgrades and many other things. In this article, we will share all the information on how you can get your rental property in that ideal make-ready condition to go to the market. 

Make-Ready: What it means

Those who own a rental unit must make sure it is move-in ready before leasing it to tenants. But what does move-in ready mean one may ask? This is the condition that you’d want a home to be in, if you yourself were to start living in it – as we like to say, “hotel room ready.”

As such, it usually entails having the plumbing and electrical fixings in place. It would also include a functional HVAC system, gas connection, phone connection, optimally-functioning appliances and painted walls etc. The make-ready process includes all those processes that prepare your property for the tenants to take over. 

Consider it this way: when you book a hotel room for a trip, how do you expect it to be the moment you enter it? Surely you expect to see a well-made bed, an electric kettle, the HVAC unit running and a TV a click away from springing to life. This is exactly similar to how a tenant would want the rental property to be the day they move in. 

A well-maintained and attractive unit will fetch a more profitable transaction. While the make-ready process may be somewhat strenuous and lengthy, it is also highly essential. You could enlist the help of your local handyman or other reputed professional services in your vicinity, and you may even be able to DIY a couple things. But always trust the professionals to get the job done right the first time to avoid any unnecessary repairs or costs.  

Let’s take a look at the primary processes you need to complete for a make-ready property:

1.    Upgrade the Exterior

Remember, the first impression is the last impression, even in the case of rental properties. Hence, you must make the exterior of your house attractive so that tenants get a great impression. The outside of your property is also the first thing your prospective tenants will inspect. 

Therefore, it would be great to improve the aesthetic value and appeal of your home’s exterior. Here’s how you can do it:

      • Plant colorful flowers outside, preferably in the front yard
      •  Neatly cut and trim the grass
      • Tidy up the outside areas so there’s no clutter or debris piling around
      • Give the outer façade a nice paint color, along with the front door
      • Pressure-wash the sidewalk and windows, etc.

An Austin handyman will be able to handle all these tasks for you and ensure your property is the most attractive one on the block. 

2.    Plumbing

Plumbing is an absolute must and is also required by Texas law (and is likely the case in most other states) to meet the required “habitable” conditions for any rental property. 

For a make-ready condition, you must ensure that all exterior and interior plumbing is in functioning order. Also verify that there are no leaking pipes or fixtures anywhere or slow drainage from tubs and sinks. 

3.    Electrical Appliances 

Life is nearly stagnant without electrical appliances. Surely, the first thing your prospective tenants will want to check is how well
the appliances work and how they look. They will want to verify if these items are not outdated or unsafe due to improper installations or malfunctioning electrical components. 

You must also add a detailed and thorough inspection and upgrading of the following:

      • Thermostats
      •  Ceiling fans
      • Air conditioning 
      • Heating system
      • Outside fixtures 
      •  Exterior outlets
      •  Porch lights

    De-Personalizing and Decluttering 

Even when we rent a property for ourselves and our family, we want the home to be reflective of who we are. We like seeing an imprint of our identity and our values on the home. As a property owner, it is important to remove traces of your own personalization before your tenants can move in, so that they too can make it their own.

In fact, even before you advertise for leasing, it is important to clean and declutter the entire home. It will absolutely enhance the appeal. You should clear away any personal décor items and create a neutral theme throughout. Only when prospective buyers see a home as an empty canvas, theirs for the taking, will they consider moving in. 

Let your property invite potential tenants to use their own creativity and desires when imagining what that home may look like when it’s theirs. 

5.    Flooring and Fresh Paint

No tenant would want to see ripped flooring or peeling paint on the walls when they want to move in. In fact, the most welcoming sight for them would be freshly painted walls,
well-maintained flooring (or even brand new flooring) and generally a fresh-looking interior. 

Don’t hesitate giving the interior walls a fresh paint application because it will revive the space and fetch you a profitable rental rate. It’s also a great idea to check for water damage on the floors, the walls and ceilings. Repair or replace whatever is necessary and in the end, all your efforts will pay off quite well.  

6.    Doors and Windows 

A rental property owner cannot hope to make a good impression on the prospective tenants if their doors and windows creak and groan. We all love doors and windows that lock and unlock smoothly, with the least amount of trouble. 

Hence, while you’re going about your residential maintenance, do remember to check the soundness of your exterior doors and windows. Check the seals on the exterior doors and windows as well and ensure they’re not loose or have any cracks or openings. In case of the latter, the loose seals can cause an unpleasant draft and water damage too. 

7.    Complete Paperwork 

This is a highly crucial requirement. Completing the necessary paperwork before leasing is a mandatory step. You must have all the documentation in place, including property walkthrough reports, utility and tax bills, contracts, warranties, expense papers and all essential documents. It is the right of property managers and landlords to demand completed documents before they begin any contractual agreements. 

The Bottom Line

A make-ready home is sure to get you excellent tenants and the most profitable return on your investment. For a market-ready home, you can
contact us to enlist the help of our professional handyman services. We will ensure your rental property is all set to impress your future renters. 


By: Kayla Gonzales, GARSC Marketing Manager