Q & A’s – What to Expect When Renting Your Home

q&a HEADER

How can I find out more about the possibility of renting out my home for the Super Bowl and/or Pro Bowl?

You have two options, either call Joyce Hazen, REALTOR, with Realty ONE Group @ 602-284-9822, or you may go directly to my website at www.Joycehazen.com and view the Super Bowl Tabs, the Blogs and the Listings/ Featured Listings for more information.  You may also use the ’Contact Me Button’ and send your questions for a reply back with more detailed information, prior to an appointment.

How much can I earn renting out my home?

The rental price of your home will be determined after a complete walk through.  There are a number of factors to consider such as location, sq. footage, # of beds & baths, amenities, etc.   I recommend that you visit my website, www.Joycehazen.com, go to the Listings/Featured Listings & view homes that might be comparable to yours.  I will advise you of what I believe to be a reasonable price during our Listing Appointment.

How do I know my home won’t get damaged?

Renting is always a risk.   We are working with tenants who are credible and who are willing to pay the price for a private property rental. After vetting, there is no reason to think they have any intentions of staying in your home for any bad intent.  They are here for an event, and want a nice place to stay.  To support you, we are requiring the tenants purchase an insurance policy with Rental Guardian providing you with insurance for personal contents up to a value of $3000 (US).  If you desire more we will have to see if the tenants are prepared to put up a security deposit in addition to the policy.  This will vary from home to home.   Any desired coverage in excess of this and/or any potential liability issues should be discussed with your personal residential home insurer.

What are the event dates during which I should rent my home?

The scheduled rental time frame is entirely up to you, however we recommend rental availability period between January 20th, 2015 thru February 8th, 2015, allowing for a few days before Pro Bowl and a week following Super Bowl, which also include the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Barrett Jackson.

What do I need to remove from my home during the rental period?

When you have your Listing Appointment with me, as a Certified Home Stager, I  do a “walk through” of your home and provide professional staging advice.  You should anticipate removing personal items of value, sentimental items, jewelry, religious and political materials, alcohol, personal documents, medications (both prescription and over the counter).   Additionally, all closets, dresser/chest of drawers and nightstands need to be emptied for tenant use.

Are you going to screen tenants?

Yes, a $40 fee to run a background and criminal report will be charged to each tenant or person named on the lease.

How are people being screened and what paperwork are they being required to fill out? 

Any guests interested in renting your home will be required to complete an application with our property manager, Colleen of Redscape Realty.  This will provide property management with the information required to perform a criminal and background check.  If approved, the application will then be forwarded to the home owners for final approval.

Should we check with our home insurance company first to make sure there are no issues with coverage during the rental period? 

During the listing appointment, I always recommend that you contact your Home Insurance company, and it is also documented on the checklist I leave with you upon our visit.

What is being done to protect homeowners against property damage?

Like you, we do not want to see any damage done to any of the properties we list.   We remind you that these guests are paying a significant amount of money to rent your home and their intent is not to visit and cause damage.  That said, we are partnering with Rental Guardian and  selling Property Damage Protection insurance protection, offering the homeowner an insurance policy with a value of $3000 to cover personal contents.   This is a mandatory cost to the Tenant.  Should this coverage not be adequate for your home, we can, upon discussion, see if the tenant is willing to put up a credit card or cash security deposit in addition to the insurance coverage.

Is there any liability coverage?

No.  We do not provide liability insurance. We sell the tenants a property damage protection insurance policy to cover potential damage of personal property during the rental period.  You should already have a residential insurance policy and it is recommended that you contact your policy provider regarding liability questions and coverage.

How will I know who is staying in my home?

From a renting perspective you will not meet your tenants, however, the applications will be shared with you and ultimately you will be the decision maker on who will be staying in your home.

What do you charge to list my property?

I charge $100 per listing appointment, and I do not schedule an appointment unless the property owner has reviewed the Q&A, and/or had a telephone conversation with me and decided to list their property for rent.  This charge is non-refundable and will be applied against my fee of $995 once the property is rented.

What are the fees if we successfully rent out my home?

The fees associated with the rental of your condo, townhouse or home, are the same across the board; The Realtor’s fee is $995 per executed rental contract, and the Property Management fee is $500 per executed rental contract.   The only variation to this fee is for a timeshare, where the property mgmt role is reduced, therefore their fee is lower:   $250 per executed rental contract (The REALTOR fee remains the same).  In all cases, there is a potential 3% fee if another REALTOR is engaged, either locally or from out of state, when referring us a tenant to your listing.  Other possible costs you may incur are service repairs to your home during the lease term (eg: plumbing, electrical, etc.) which would be deducted from your proceeds.

Will there be a sign on my property?

There will not be a sign on your property. 

Where will my home be advertised?

The goal is to get as much exposure as possible.  Your listing will be uploaded to the MLS and to the Featured Listings on my website.  Your home will also be listed on multiple other sites such as Zillow, You Tube, Visual Shows, Blogs, Realtor.com, Homes.com, and many more (several hundred).   You will be signing an acknowledgment that your photos can be used for marketing and promoting of your property for Super Bowl & Pro Bowl purposes.

When will tenants pay their deposit and how much will it be?

The tenants will be asked to pay 50% of the total reservation as their Earnest Deposit to hold the reservation on your home, and this is non-refundable.   Should they cancel, 40% of the proceeds will be sent to you, and 10% to me at Realty One Group for marketing and advertising efforts.   We will then continue to market your home in anticipation of another reservation.

Are the tenants paying a security deposit?

In lieu of a security deposit and to protect the property owners, we elected to require the tenants to purchase damage protection insurance that will provide you with $3000 personal contents coverage.

When do the tenants pay the balance of the rent?

They will be requested to pay the balance of the fee 30 days prior to arrival.  If they make their reservation within 30 days of arrival, the entire payment will be due.

When will I get paid?

Property Management will retain the rental funds in their Brokers Trust Account. Your compensation from the rental income will be sent to you after the tenant has visited your home and any costs accounted for and deducted.

What if the Tenant cancels?

The deposit we collect is 50% of the total reservation, and is non-refundable.   If the reservation is cancelled, this deposit will be returned to you, less 10% for the REALTOR to cover marketing and advertising costs.

Will you be collecting $995 if a tenant cancels their reservation?

No, the deposit we collected (50% of total reservation) will be distributed as follows: 40% to you, and 10% to me for marketing and promotions. It is possible that the 10% compensation exceeds the $995 that I would have otherwise have earned.

What if I decide to rent my house on my own?

Once your have listed your home with me and decide to rent your home on your own during the Super Bowl and/or Pro Bowl period, you are still liable for the $995 fee as the marketing and advertising has already taken place.  The property management fee is not payable at that point since the tenant is not yet engaged.

Do I have to pay taxes on what I receive from this rental?

Typically, yes, you would receive a 1099 for the income received.  However, thanks to one of our homeowners who did some research, we have found an exception to the rule and here is a link that you can visit: http://eepurl.com/T0ONX

If Topic 415 applies to you and you chose not to receive a 1099, you will sign a waiver with Redscape Realty releasing them of the obligation to issue the document.

Do I have to pay City and State Tax?

It is collected from the Tenant and payable to the city and state.  We will charge your tenant both city and state tax and Prop Mgmt will remit this accordingly on your behalf.

Can we use our existing property mgmt. company?

No, the program offered with me as your REALTOR is a partnership with Realty ONE Group and Redscape Realty Property Management. The Property Management Company cannot be substituted during this vacation rental period.

Will you be giving us tips on what to do to prepare our home for the rental period?

Absolutely.  When you have your listing appointment with me, as a Certified Home Stager (HSR)  I will walk through your home with you and make the necessary recommendations on what to do to prepare and stage your home for your guests.

Will REALTORS be coming to see my home?

Will they?  Not likely.  Can They? Yes.

Allow me to explain further.  Guests will be from out of town; therefore it is my assumption they will reach out to me directly with questions regarding your property.   There is the possibility that an out of state client may contact a local REALTOR, and should that occur, they will likely want to visit your home.  Should that occur, they will contact me directly, and I will make arrangements with you.

Will you show our home

It is my intent to show your homes, personally whether there is another REALTOR involved or not.  The only time this may be an exception is if I am unavailable or out of town.

I don’t want smoking in my home.

We clearly document No Smoking on the listing, so whomever is calling about the property will be informed that it is a non-smoking home.  That’s not to say they won’t smoke outdoors, but at least we can set the rules within the interior of the home.

What if something like a water leak occurs in my home during the week it is occupied by the tenant ? 

We have a list for you to complete called the Homeowner Trades Form providing us with all your existing contractors and service providers.  If you do not have a provider in all categories, do not be concerned, the Redscape Realty will provide one.  It is also imperative that the providers be very responsive during this rental period given the rates the guests are being charged.  If your provider has an unacceptable response time, we will have to use another provider to be selected by the Redscape Realty.

Can I come to my home while the tenants are there to clean, or cut the grass?

No.  Owners cannot visit the home during the tenancy, it would be uncomfortable for the guests, and since you have an emotional attachment to your home it’s best that you refrain from any contact during the rental period.  That said, you are welcome to use your own cleaning service to do a ‘spot check’ mid-week, with a partial cleaning service.  Those arrangements can be made through our  property manager, Colleen.

Will my house be cleaned during the week?

That is entirely up to you.   We will be charging the tenants a cleaning fee, per house,  and of this, $50 can be applied for a mid- reservation clean by either your cleaning service or that of the Property Mgmt. firm.  The cleaning merely covers making the beds, cleaning the bathrooms and tidying up the kitchen.  It allows for a set of eyes during the reservation period, and provides the guests with an added service .   Appointments will be made with the guests at the time of their reservation is made so they know when to expect the cleaning service.

If you prefer daily maid service, we need to know this in advance and it will be charged to your account.   Tenants may or may not want this service.  It could be a negotiated item.

Who will the tenants call if they have any questions about my house or any related problems ?

The Property Management firm, Redscape Realty, will be available 24 x 7, during the tenant’s stay.  A card with a 24 hour phone number will be left in the home for the tenants should a problem arise.

Will I receive a call if there is a problem at my home?

Absolutely, you will be contacted immediately.

Is it recommended that I have a Home Warranty?

Having a Home Warranty is always good.  You would include that information on the form ‘Homeowner Trades Form’ that I left with you.   This form needs to be turned in to our Property Manager, Colleen.   Again, the service & turn around time is critical and we must ensure that contractors are responsive and meet the needs of the tenants.

Is there anything I need to have in the house for the tenants?

Definitely, you will be reminded to leave toilet paper, paper towels, tissues, cleaning supplies in kitchen and bathrooms, as well as a broom, mop and vacuum.  In summary, if there is a spill or mess, we want the tenant to be able to clean it up.  They won’t likely be buying any cleaning supplies, so the more you leave, the better.  I will walk you through this during the listing appointment.  Some homeowners have opted to leave a Welcome Basket without alcohol, and others water and/or some beverage in the fridge.  This is up to you.

I have regular cable TV.  What do I need to have on my TV?

Whether you have a satellite dish or cable, it is required that a comprehensive sports package with football be included. Remember, our guests LOVE sports and that’s exactly what they will want to see on TV.   Call your provider to determine which package is best.

Do I need to purchase new linens and towels?

We leave that to your better judgment.  If you think you should have better linens, please buy them before the guest arrives.  The worst thing that can happen is they complain about the bedding or towels and we have to use your proceeds to go shop at Costco to replace your current linens.  Here is a blog that is helpful: Click here

Do I need patio furniture?

Yes, please!  Remember, this will be January & February, which is perfect outdoor weather.  Please be sure you have outdoor furniture for your guests.  You are always welcome to rent some if you don’t want to purchase, or you can also look at consignment shops if you don’t’ want brand new furniture, but you must provide adequate outdoor seating.

I don’t have a fence around my pool, is that a problem

Remember, safety is always a priority!

You will have the option to review the tenant application and determine whether you find they are suitable tenants for your home, based on your amenities.  If you find there might be too much liability, then you need to make that decision.  Having a pool is always a concern, especially where children are involved. We do have the guests sign a Pool Safety disclosure to ensure we are letting them know State of Arizona laws for pools, as well as the safety tips in the event there is any issue.

Do we need to empty our closets?

All bedroom closets must be emptied.  We need to imagine checking into a condo or a hotel room and the room being ready for the guests.  Please empty nightstands, dressers and closets.  When I view the home, there may be exceptions, such as double closets in a room, but until your home is viewed, you must make the assumption that all closets need to be emptied.

Do we empty our medicine cabinets?

Yes.  All medicines, both prescription and over the counter must be removed from the home. This includes, for example: Tums, Pepto Bismal, aspirin …. everything.  If anyone requires medicine, they must provide it on their own.

Can we post signs on areas we don’t want them to access, such as the pantry?

No, that is unprofessional.  Remember, we are renting to individuals who are paying a lot of money.  If you don’t want someone to touch or use something, remove it.   I will walk through your home and make recommendations on how you can secure personal possessions from tenant access.

Do we have to give them access to our garage?

It’s always a bonus to have the garage available to the tenants, but many home owners are using this space for their storage.  As long as parking slabs on the driveway are available for parking, this is acceptable.

How can we ensure that they won’t make a copy of our house key?

There are never any guarantees, which is why you should take precautions.  If you prefer, change your front door lock, only, and provide that ONE key (x 4) to our property manager, Colleen.  Once your guests leave, rekey it back to the original house key.  Some Homeowners are considering changing out the front door hardware to an electronic keyless entry, which is wonderful for house guests and service personnel.  This is available at Home Depot for $75-$139 –        Click here

Do I need to contact my HOA?

We recommend you contact your HOA to determine if your agreement permits you to rent out your home. Here is a helpful blog with some insight:  Click here

How and where will you be promoting our home(s)?

I have extensive experience renting and selling homes through social media.   Your properties will be touted on several hundred websites filtered through Realty ONE Group, MLS, Visual Shows, Blogs, and beyond.  You will see your properties on every site you can imagine, including You Tube, Craigslist etc.   Each property will be featured in blogs and will also be promoted on my website (www.JoyceHazen.com).

What is your marketing strategy?

I am targeting the NFL teams, employees,  players and their families, NFL Agents, NFL Owners, and all NFL Coaches (assistant coaches, special team coaches, secondary coaches, linebacker coaches, running back coaches, etc.).  In addition, there are Public Relation groups, camera crews, TV production crews, TV/Radio media, and much more.  I will be reaching out to as many NFL related contacts as possible while also capitalizing on Press Releases.   I will leave no stone un-turned in striving to rent out your property.