Rental House vacant for two months

Hi all,
I bought an investment home in january and it has been for lease on MLS for 2 months now and no luck finding a tenant. How much longer should I wait before I should drop an incentive package like $500 off first month or something like that. My rental price is already $50 lower than any other homes in that area with similar square footage.
Any advice would be helpful.

Get it OFF the MLS!!! I don’t know about your area but here in CT, MLS is the worst place to rent property. There is little agent interest in rentals because there is minimal commission. (Usually 1/2 months rent.) Most agencys won;t even show rentals around here.

Take that $500.00 incentive, put a bold ad in a major newspaper that gets results. Return phone calls promptly and be available to show it at the tenants convenience.

Good luck.

i have found that even newspaper adds lack in results (in my area anyway) i put a sign right outside my building or house that says for rent and my cell no. on my seven and nine unit it is out even when i’m full. that way i can keep a list to draw from first if i have a vacancy.
also you must have curb appeal. have a friend critique your curb appeal sometimes its easier for someone else to see what you might be missing
good luck

Try posting it on Also do a search for apartments in your area to get a feel for what the going rent is and price accordingly. It also helps to have pictures of the place and a good description.

Oh and ditto about MLS, around here it’s also terrible for rentals. Most rental places keep their listings in house and don’t put on MLS. Also rentals around here are usually non exclusive and multiple offices usually work the same listing.

Good luck.

I agree with what others have said about the MLS it is not the best marketing tool. I had a property that sat for 30 days with no tenant even though it was listed in the local newspaper and online. I got some bites but none who qualified. I took the following steps:

researched the rental rates agian in the area to determine if pehaps the rental rate was off

dropped my rental price by 10% of what others were offering for the same type of unit

Placed another ad

I received about 15 replys on the second ad and was able to choose a viable tenant :slight_smile:

Good luck to you

try newspapers, craigslist and local prp. mgmt companies.
MLS is the lousiest place to advertise as most people checking it are looking to buy not rent.
i’ve also tried posting near local collegies or on their bulletin boards.
I’ve also had my techie friends post on their companies online boards.

Thank you all for the excellent feedback. I’m currently working through my realtor to get me a tenant. Since this is my first purchase I don’t want to get a property manager just yet. When I purchase my second home at the end of the year then I will go with a property manager. Anyway, I’ve made note of all your suggestions and will give those a try.

Thanks again-Mondito

I have great luck throught the Housing Office at the local military base. If you have a base within commuting range, it could be a goldmine!


These are some great ideas. I know some people that also do the following so maybe they could work for you:

In my area there are FSBO and other home buying freemags available at all the grocery stores. You could advertise in one of those (or if you can buddy up to the store manager, you could just print up a stack of flyers and leave them in the little stand with the magazines). You could also network with a few loan brokers/officers for referrals of people who are looking to purchase, but need a little more time to qualify for financing. Just be sure that they only refer people that actually have a good chance of qualifying by the end of the option period.

It might be good to do these things whether you’re full or not . As hanatal pointed out, it is good to have a list of potential t/b’s to draw from.

market the property on your own. Mls and Property Management companies, honeslty don’t have the time and don’t want to waste time trying to rent your property.

For Large management companies, they are dealing with huge commercial and residential clientel. Your property is not worth their time which equals money. They can easily afford to neglect your property.
Similarly Agencies and Agents are trying to source deals for large commissions, not leasing a property where their return is minimal.

Post a for rent sign in the window or yard. Put the unit on craigslist. You can put the unit in the paper, but wait a week are so to see how the returns are with the previous meathods before you spend money to list the unit.

From my experiance the people that want to live in the area your unit is, are going to drive the area to see what is available.
If still after a couple of weeks nothing works offer undeniable incentives to get someone in the unit

My biggest suggestion if you don’t want to go to the trouble of marketing it yourself would be to send your houses info the the offices of any apartment locators or rental agents… they often don’t have access to the MLS. Also Apartment Locators are paid by the property management company or landlord of a particular property rather than the client… at least in my area. Also something for you to consider if you go that route in my apt complex where the rent is 1100/mo on a 3/2/1 the locator that found me the apt got a 1500 commission for taking me inperson, showing me the place, and helping me do my rental application.