How to Prepare Your Rental Home For A Showing

You’ve just created a professional ad using Pendo’s free rental listing website and already you have appointments set up with great potential tenants. But now the big question is…. Is your rental home ready for a showing?

First impressions matter and you only get one chance to make a good one on prospective tenants. That’s why it’s important to make sure you can showcase everything your rental has to offer. Here are a few tips to follow when you prepare for your next appointment to show your rental:

1. Clean out the suite and remove all previous tenant’s belongings.

If the suite is still occupied, make sure it is clean and tidy. Once you get legal possession of the suite, clean out everything and throw out any belongings left in the refrigerator, shelves, pantries, underneath the bathroom sinks, and the medicine cabinet.

Kitchen Interior In Empty House.

Storage space looks much larger and appealing when it’s empty.

2. Check that the plumbing is in working order.

cleaning faucetMost tenants will turn the faucets on and off to check the water flow, water pressure, and flush the toilets to make sure they’re in working order. This is something you should be doing too before the showing. You need to also make sure that there are no leaks and proper drainage in every basin.

Something not working right? Call a plumber to make any fixes before your next showing.

3. Check that all appliances, lights, windows, and locks are in working order.

Group Of Household Appliances On A White BackgroundThat microwave that needs to be smacked on the side before it works? Or that light that flickers and kind of works? It’s time to toss it out and get a new one.

These are all things that pertain to your tenant’s safety and security. If you can’t afford to replace an appliance like a microwave, it’s best to toss it than to risk injury to your tenant. Including faulty or broken appliances in your rental will not increase your rental’s value.

4. Get rid of odours.

Portrait of a young woman holding her nose because of a bad smelOpen all the windows to air out your suite especially if your suite is carpeted or has curtains which are often culprits for holding scents and odours. Wash the curtains or replace them. (You can find great looking curtains for $10 at Ikea.)

You may find it hard to rent out a suite with stained and smelly carpets so if you find the carpets are stained and still smell after your best efforts to clean them, it may be best to hire professional carpet cleaning services.

Don’t forget about the refrigerator too. Place a fresh box of baking soda to suck away odours.

5. Include some toiletries and cleaning supplies.

toilet paperMany tenants who apply will tell you how clean they are because of course that is what all landlords look for in their dream tenant but it’s also a two way street. Prospective tenants are also looking for a clean suite and there are small things you can do to convey that in addition to showing a clean and tidy rental. For example, include a roll of toilet paper in each bathroom and some cleaning supplies. Your local dollar store will have plenty of cleaning supplies with most priced at only a dollar.

Consider including these supplies:

  • small trash bin
  • toilet bowl brush
  • cleaning detergent such as dish soap, window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, or a multi-purpose cleaning solution

Not only does it convey that you appreciate a clean tenant but your tenant is more likely to use these cleaning supplies if they’re available to him or her. A clean tenant and a clean rental suite. It’s a win-win situation.

6. Showing your rental in the middle of the winter or in the heat of the summer?

Imagine a potential tenant making a comfortable drive over in their air conditioned car only to step into your top floor apartment and discover that it feels like a sauna! Now that’s a lasting first impression… that you don’t want!

Comfort in a home is a key deciding factor for many tenants so if you have A/C, arrive early to turn it on and ensure your rental is at a comfortable temperature. The same goes for showings in the middle of winter too. And make sure you check that the A/C and heating is in good working condition before the showing.

7. Turn on all the lights.

Clean empty apartment room

Have you ever been to an open house where all the lights were off? No? Me neither. There’s nothing welcoming about a dark home. In the flick of a switch, your rental will look more warm, homely, and inviting – everything a tenant looks for in a home.

8. Bring disinfectant wipes with you for quick clean-ups.


When you’re waiting around for your next appointment, you’ll always find something that needs a quick clean. Disinfectant wipes are perfect for that.

It’s also better not to toss used wipes in your garbage bin!

9. Remember the keys, rental applications, pens, and note pads.

Tenancy Agreement

In all the excitement of showing off your rental, you’ll be surprised at just how many people show up and forget the keys! Along with rental application forms, pens, and note pads for the applicants, remember to bring the keys to save yourself from embarrassment!

Do you have any tips to share? Tell us how you prepare for your showings in the comments below!

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