You may be wondering whether it’s better to rent your property out furnished or unfurnished, and today we’re looking at the pros and cons of those options.

Location Matters

One of the factors that may impact your decision is the property’s location. If it’s close to the city center or near major modes of transportation, you have a better chance of finding tenants when you offer a furnished property. However, if your home is in the suburbs or further out from the city, you won’t have as much demand for a furnished property.

Avoid Partial Furnishings

You also have to think about what you’re willing to supply. If you rent out a home that’s fully furnished, you’ll need to supply everything someone might need, including flatware and linens. Partially furnished properties are the hardest to rent. The person coming in has to buy some furniture and other housewares, but not all of them. We recommend you go in one direction or the other: rent it out fully furnished or fully unfurnished.

Do Furnished Properties Earn More?

Think about your reasons for wanting to rent the property furnished. If you want to make additional money, it is true that you can rent out a furnished property for more rent. However, the people who rent furnished properties are usually short term renters. They are more transient, and you’ll have higher turnover. Your vacancy costs will add up. There’s also going to be more wear and tear on your property. You’ll need to factor this into your decision. If you take your vacancy rate and high turnover costs into consideration, you might find you actually make more money when you rent out an unfurnished property to a long term tenant.

Unfurnished Properties Attract Long Term Tenants

The most important benefit to completely unfurnished properties is you get a longer term tenant. The average tenancy is now two and a half years. You won’t have any vacancy costs during that time. You’ll also have less wear and tear. There’s less marketing required, and you’ll keep your vacancy rate low.

Furnished Properties are More Labor Intensive

If you keep your property furnished, you need a full inventory of everything in the property. And, you’ll have to check it during property evaluations and upon move out. This is more labor intensive. It can be done well if you’re proactive in your management, and if you can find new tenants constantly. That will mean a lot of marketing.

Furnished properties might make sense if you are only going to be gone for six months or a year, and you’re planning to move back into the property. If you don’t want to store your furnishings, it could work. But if you’re keeping the property for a long term rental, we recommend you take all your furniture out, and have the property clean and ready to go. Then, your tenants can move their own things in. You’ll get a long term resident, and it’s easier to find those tenants. The largest demographic of renters are looking for unfurnished properties for at least a 12-month term.

We can definitely answer any questions you may have. For more details, please contact us at SJA Property Management. We are the industry leader in the Puget Sound area including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle.