When to list my first rental?

4 Replies

My wife and I are set to move into our new home at the beginning of August, and we are subsequently turning our current townhouse into our first rental property. The townhouse will be vacant by August 5 or 6, which means I would be looking for a new tenant to move in on September 1. How soon should I post the listing for the townhouse to begin getting tenant applications? I’m assuming the earlier I list it, the better chance I will have of getting good tenant applications, because they are clearly planning ahead for a future move. That said, I would prefer not to have to physically show the house to prospective tenants until after we move out. Is this feasible? Or do I need to set the expectation with my family that I will be showing this house to tenants in mid July before we officially move out? Thanks in advance for all the advice!

@John Woodington we have found that 30-45 days before that lease start date is the ideal time to list the property for Houston. 

You can always list it and say that showings start August 10th or whatever.

You could do a group showing, which may create some sense of urgency?

@John Woodington

Advertise right away. Take a photo of the front of the hOuse and list it as a future rental in your area, ready in September. Once you advertise your home as a rental you can legally start writing off: repairs, cleaning supplies, updates and photos. Save the posting of your “future rental” and stow it away for tax time.

Also, I would switch out the locks on the doorknobs so people can’t accidentally lock themselves out.

Good luck


Unless it is really, really difficult to find renters, 30 days should be more than sufficient. What you want to avoid is finding a tenant July 15th with a move-in date 45 days later. A lot can happen in 45 days. If you are going to wait that long, make sure you take a holding deposit that is non-refundable if they change their mind.