Martha’s Vineyard Real Estate Sales for Buyers and Sellers
10 Union St., Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 C: 203-270-9357

Vineyard Open House Real Estate - Property Preparation

We advise and consult about preparing the house for renters.
(See our Guidelines for preparing your home for the rental season.)

Working with Your Renters

Our Fee: 15%, payable out of first rental payment which is due with written lease. Rental fee paid in 2 or 3 installments & complete 60 days before rental

Concierge Service

Once you have made the decision to rent your home, we will have a consultation with you either on the phone or in person--at no cost to you—to discuss rental price range and any questions you may have about renting in general.

David Lott rented out his house in West Chop for 25 years. Kristin and her husband have rented their home here on Martha’s Vineyard to vacationers for nine summers. Along the way they have learned the way to do it to get the highest return on investment. They also have spent a lot of time working in the hospitality industry and decided to apply the principles from that industry to the vacation market. The furnishings have to be just right, the listings of your house have to be just right and the message to potential renters has to be just right. 

We will help you through the process and make it as simple as possible and as inexpensive as possible. We know how to write winning copy on your listing on Home Away, VRBO and, we know what vacationers are looking for and we know how to get work done and where to buy furnishings and how to get them to the Vineyard. 

We will also take over the onsite management of your property so that you don’t have to manage renters from your home off-island. We look forward to working with you!

Rental fees will include much more than just the weekly cost. Don’t forget about the following:

Additional Considerations

1) Flat-Screen TVs. Must have a minimum of one, if not two, large flat-screen TVs with 2nd level TV channels from Comcast (best option in West Tisbury)

2) Washer and Dryer must be in good working order, as should all appliances. Provide a clothes dryer/line outside to save on Electricity if there is an electric dryer.

4) Safety. Have the Washer and Dryer Vents professionally cleaned! Safety issue!

5) Repairs. We will orchestrate any repairs that need to be done during the summer, when you aren’t here. Vineyard Open House has workmen--plumbers, electricians, handymen--lined up who will come within hours rather than the usual 3 - 4 week wait in summer! We can also work with your regular caretaker/handyman.

6) A good gas grill should be included with propane and an extra full tank.

7) If you have central AC, or add AC via window units in the upstairs bedrooms and splits downstairs, you can increase the rental fee each week by $100 to cover the added electricity in July/August.

8) Two sets of decent sheets for each bed. We’ve found that Costco consistently has the best quality inexpensive sheets.

Queen 400 TC $39 (sets with 4 pillow cases is optimum), Twin $29, King $49 New non-allergenic pillows cheap ones 2 for $16 at Costco two for each bed Towels can be just for renters. COSTCO sells white hotel towels 6 bath towels for $20. We can do the shopping for you online or at COSTCO and purchase the right items within an agreed upon budget.

9) The Master Bedroom should have extra special bedding. Even an old bed can be improved with a 3-inch memory foam topper that costs less than $100 for a Queen. (Kristin has put foam toppers on all the beds in her house and everyone says those beds are the most comfortable they've experienced in a rental.)

Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Crate & Barrel duvet covers and quilts on the beds. These companies continually have design options that appeal to renters on the Vineyard. Vivid colors and designs will show up best in photos on online listings.

The most popular look is “Relaxed Country.” Light colors, breezy lightweight curtains in the windows, old furniture repainted in the New England Historic Palette of Benjamin Moore or Sherman Williams. 

Couches for $399 each with washable slipcovers is the ideal way to build a house that appeals to renters. Remember, everything you buy for the house is deducted from your rental income.

11) Rental Insurance. Regular homeowners insurance is ok as long as a home is not rented more than 12 weeks per year, according to our insurance consultant. More than 12 weeks merits an additional policy.

Suggestion: Avoid groups of young adults if you can. They are most likely people that will turn the house into a frat house party place.

Accept Dogs?

Unless you are allergic to dogs you should consider accepting one or two max, depending on breed (Pit bulls and breeds that insurance won't cover should not be accepted) and a host of other rules.

People who rent Up Island in West Tisbury and Chilmark tend to want to bring their dogs. We can provide you with a list of dog requirements and rules. Separate security deposit and pet fee should be added to the rental, etc. And extra $100 added to the cleaning fee. Suggest providing covers for the LR couch and LR chair. Good for dogs and kids.

Dogs must be treated with anti tick/flea preparation a week prior to coming to MV. Proof of Rabies, Licensed etc. Most families from the Northeast already have an anti-tick and flea preparation on their dogs as a matter of routine. Puppies should not be allowed.

Ferry Reservations!

We can purchase up to 10 round trip Ferry reservations that can later be transferred later to the renter’s name and car’s registration. Providing ferry tickets up front can be a good promotional tool as well as prevent unpleasant surprises when the renter announces they can’t get to the island.

The renter pays for the car reservation $157 RT for a REGULAR size car in summer. Doesn't include the people tickets, which can be purchased at the steamship office on arrival in Woods Hole. (Cars have to arrive a full 30 minutes before ferry departure.

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