Realistic expectation for a turnover?

9 Replies

I have a townhome property and the tenant is moving out the end of August.  We need to do some painting, minor wall repairs, tighten some doorknobs, wash and tighten the carpet, apparently it was not installed great.  So, basically nothing major, all just some basic repairs, cleaning, etc.  

I need a gut check - is the following a realistic expectation of my property manager:  

  • A detailed turnover/project schedule in place to make sure the vacancy time is limited 
  • scheduled contractors - NOW - some of the work will be done by their internal staff but still, I don't want to be waiting around 6 days for the painters because they were not scheduled ahead of time 
  • I would like our agent to be in there to be able to take pictures and have the place listed on the MLS by Sept 5 at the latest.
  • I would like new tenants in place by the 15th or the latest the 1st of the next month. NOTE: this is Northern VA so places tent to turn quickly.

What am I missing?  Am I being too aggressive in my timeline?  Seriously, I would like it to be already listed but I am getting alot of pushback that they can't show it until the current tenant is out and they don't want to list it until it can be shown.  

Anyway, just need some other opinions and a gut check as I don't want to be unrealistic but I also don't want to waste time.  


I don't understand why it can't be shown until the current tenant vacates?  Most landlords have a clause in the lease that give the right to show the unit (with proper notice) during the last 30 days of occupancy.  Does your lease have this? If you're really in a hurry to turn it over the PM should be showing it now, and telling potential renters that they can't have possession until whatever date the PM think repairs will be done, and obviously explaining to the applicant what repairs are going to be done.  None of that work seems like it should take more than a day or two if they got everyone in there working immediately so possession by the 5th should be possible if you were to start showing now.

That's not what *I* would do, but I have a very different opinion about turnover than most landlords I know.  I am in the "don't bother showing it until it's move-in ready" camp because I've found that showing a unit occupied is a pain.  Waiting to show means I take a big hit at turnover time, usually two months vacancy, but this works best for me because A) I don't have a lot of debt so I'm not desperate for the money and B) It gives us time to do a thorough job turning the unit over, meaning plumbing repairs, improvements, general maintenance and the most important thing C) Plenty of time to find a good tenant thorough screening of new applicants.

I think your timeline is fine, but I think it could be done faster if that's what you're really looking for.

I wouldn't pressure the PM to get new tenants fast. I would rather he take longer and do a better job screening them.  Or screen them myself.

I don't use a PM though. I also do not use background checking services. They don't go the extra mile. I can usually find things myself that they won't.

Unless the place is a total dump, or there are far more places than renters, I don't really see any reason based on what you've listed that the property can't begin to be shown immediately. I recently closed, total rehab (nearly all work done by me, new kitchen and bathroom, floors, etc), and had a place rented and occupied in 35 days. Once I had the demo done and finish work started I allowed it to be shown and it rented immediately. In your case, you are talking about minor repairs and cleaning, and the tenant will be able to sign off on the finished product. 

If your preference is to show it before the clean up tell your PM that is what you want to do an ask them to show it.  Perhaps you can advertise it now with a future occupancy date and show pictures of the outside and take some furnished pictures now f the inside  and publish any good looking ones.

You might want to get it finished ASAP but those things are usually difficult to control completely.   Also renting it on the 15th as opposed to the first of the month is more difficult.   

With our first duplex the existing tenant moved out almost the next month after we closed.    We showed the apartment when we were renovating it and it did not work out well.  As soon as we were finished with the renovation we were able to rent it immediatly so our exprience was there was no point in showing it unfinished. 

I do my own management and turnover work. 15 days for what you describe seems totally reasonable if I was doing it with my helper. I usually get that kind of work done in 4-5 days. I also try to start tenant screening ahead of time.

@Michelle Mapp It seems odd that they won't show it until the tenant moves out.  I usually start showing about 30 days before a vacancy in hopes that it will be rented as soon as the original tenant moves out.  Now, if the place is a disaster or the current tenants are being uncooperative, then maybe we would wait, but it would have to be a very special circumstance.

Thanks everyone.  These comments have been incredible helpful.  I don't want to micromanage our PM but on the other hand I don't believe I get enough communication coming from them.  Through the years they have been pretty good, but we also have not had a turnover in 3 years so I have not been through this process with them yet.  


We don't show units until the tenant is out and the place is cleaned up. However, we do begin advertising 30-days before its available. We always do a full video tour and post pictures online so that people can get an idea of what it's like without an actual viewing.

@Michelle Mapp Adding to this forum thread because I am interesting in average turnover times. What have you experienced in the past year? I have a house that the tenants vacated on the 31st. We could have showed it earlier, but it was a mess. We spent all weekend cleaning, sprucing up, and having opening houses. We have a new tenant in place as of the 6th, and she will probably move in the 10th. We still have little things to complete during the week, including inspection. Do you have the locks changed between tenants?

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