So you’ve got a property but are not sure what to do before marketing? Well luckily for you I have a 7 point checklist below.

Before you spend the bucks just remember this is an investment so you need to always consider longevity over a high end finish for the mass market. It is not your own home so do not be tempted to as if it were

1. Decor

There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh paint on a viewing.

If your property is a bit tired round the edges it will have a negative effect on the level of interest and therefore return on the rent. Best to decorate in white matt. Boring maybe but you want to appeal to as many as possible and very few have an issue with this colour. Woodwork is best in eggshell these days, avoid gloss!!

You should aim to decorate every 5-6 years so make sure you put away a small amount from the rent every month towards this expenditure.

Don’t forget sealant and grout in the bathroom and kitchen also, not a great look if it is covered in black mould or cracked/missing

2. Furnishing

It depends on where you are as to what is the norm. London is about 50/50 for furnished/unfurnished as it has quite a transient population. Furnishing there can result in a 5-10% higher rent in the right area so is well worth considering.

Here in Brighton it is more like 90% unfurnished, so maybe not!

3. Flooring

You can’t beat solid wood so if you have it, treat it, keep it.

If carpet and you can see the general route of traffic on a carpet, frayed edges or multiple stains it is time to replace. Mushroom brown has had its day, different shades of grey are popular and hide wear and tear well. Laminate is not quite as popular as it used to be, and has been replaced by sheet vinyl. Karndean is the well known higher end product but there is a huge choice of affordable and stylish finishes for investors out there now.

Much like decor you should aim to replace carpet every 5-6 years,  replaceable hard flooring more like 10 years.

4. Cleaning 

If it is your home you are renting out just make sure you keep it clean & tidy. If you have Tenants then a polite request would go a long way, especially if you have a good relationship.

The best smell for success in a viewing is fresh coffee, vanilla pods in the oven or toast. All in the kitchen, the heart of the home.

A clean property generally smells goodtoo, what you don’t want is bad smells. If the carpet smells of pets, food or smoke then a carpet wash may remove it or you may end up needing to replace. Best to get a professional clean quote before deciding as one is more expensive than the other!

If you have heavy smells throughout like food or nicotine it can sometimes be better to wait until after the redecoration and/or new flooring.

You may loose marketing time but your viewings will be positive which will translate to a better rent.

5. Garden

It is important to bear in mind that while Tenants often appreciate outdoor space they are not always the most avid gardeners. A low maintenance garden with no flowers or pots which need constant watering is the way forward here.

6. Ready?

Get an unbiased and honest friend or letting agent to check the property. You don’t want anyone being too nice to be sure you you get constructive feedback and you hit all the right notes.
7. New Tenants

When you finally get new Tenants it always goes down well if you treat them to a bottle of wine and a card or note for their arrival. Everyone sets off on the right foot and a bit of goodwill during the Tenancy can go a long way when you need it.


If you need any assistance letting your property in Brighton, Hove, Kemptown and surrounding areas or if you just have some general queries please feel free to contact us on +44 (0)1273 646426 or lettings@bishopsullivan.co.uk

Best Regards,


Julian Bishop

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