8 tips when renting your homeIf you're thinking of renting out your home to a golfer, here are eight tips to consider:
- Plan ahead. Dauwalter says to call the golf club sponsoring the tournament at least five months in advance and ask how to proceed, as the rental protocol varies with each tournament and each golf club.
- Take photos. Golfers want to see images of your home's exterior and of all of the main living areas and bedrooms. Photos will be posted on a website. Each tournament is unique in the sense that the website may be a Realtor's, a public website (as the Masters does) or on a private website managed by the golf club.
- Calculate extra costs. Fees and commissions for renting your home can vary from $0 to over $1,000. Most Realtors who assist with a rental will charge a commission. Websites that host photos of your home typically have fees that range from $25 to $50. However, if a golf club hosts your pictures on their private website, it may be free. Be sure to ask the individual or group advertising your home if there are any fees.
- Clean thoroughly. Since the golfers are renting your home for top dollar, Sausedo recommends that a professional cleaning service clean your home just before they arrive. He even recommends painting or other cosmetic touches if need be. All appliances, TVs and home entertainment systems must be in excellent working order.
- Use a lease. Sausedo says homeowners should require golfers to sign a lease. State-specific leases can be bought at Office Depot or similar stores. Simply fill in the dates and other information, such as the weekly rent, to complete it. If you have additional questions, contact a real estate agent or attorney, says Sausedo.
- Consider your location. Your home should be within two miles of the golf course, unless you have a private helicopter pad in your backyard (some golfers own helicopters).
- Make sure you're insured. "Your homeowners policy should be good enough and will cover the basics -- fire, water damage and stolen goods," says Steve Taub, an Allstate Exclusive Agent in Media, Pa. But since homeowners insurance policies vary from state to state, "it is best to check with your local insurance professional before renting your home because your policy may have exclusions," says Mark Rindom, an insurance agent for Wiglesworth-Rindom Insurance in Delray Beach, Fla. "It could also be a good idea to raise your liability coverage for the rental period," says Taub. Or, if you're really concerned, he suggests adding an additional policy -- known as an umbrella -- that will cover you and your home "above and beyond your existing homeowners policy."
- Depersonalize the house. Before the renters arrive, empty your closets and remove all personal items from around the home. Remove the soap and shampoo from your bathrooms and provide clean linens and towels for the golfers.