Expert Advice: Rental to Resale

Satisfy your guests while increasing the value and desirability of your vacation rental property.

What do people look for in a top-notch vacation rental? It’s a question Beverley Serral is often asked. And it’s a quick response from the real estate broker and founder of the boutique vacation rental company BESTNEST by Beverly Serral.

1. Great light

Natural and man-made. Keep windows clean and let the sunshine in. Use some imagination and make a statement with chandeliers and sconces, and you can (almost) never have too many recessed lights. Make sure switches are easy to find, and use lots of dimmers. Your guests will be enjoying the home in the evenings; blinding lights spoil the ambiance.

2. Open walls

The last time someone searched for a closed-off kitchen for a rental or purchase? Not in our lifetime.  A home doesn’t have to be one big open room to mean “open plan.” In fact, we like a few twists and turns/character in our houses. A kitchen that opens on at least one wall or has lots of room for people to congregate makes for great gatherings, conversations and fun.

3. Room for everyone

This rule is very often overlooked, but oh so important. Does the house have 5 or 6 bedrooms but only enough parking for three vehicles? Does it “sleep” 12 but the dining room seats eight? If the main living room seats 6-8 and advertises sleeping space for 12-14 with no additional space for gathering for TV or puzzling, then we call this house “off-kilter.” It just doesn’t function as it should and will never feel fabulous for guests or owners.

4. Think art

Even more than lighting or furniture, great art grabs people’s attention online — whether they are browsing rentals or sales. Great art might be colorful, thought-provoking or whimsical, but is most effective when it is memorable. Skip the canned, fake lighthouses from discount stores, and buy real art and photography or at least very special production art. Even if you are selling and the art doesn’t convey with the property, you can still make a splash and set the bar.

5. Keep it clean

Nothing says “welcome” or “buy me” quite like a home or villa that very nearly screams well kept and scrubbed clean. This includes landscaping, entry, interiors and also patios, pools and docks.  Squeaky clean properties rent for higher rates and more often than those that either look tired or are reviewed as less than fresh. Same for selling: Cleaner = quicker sale, higher price and better terms.

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