So after 3 months of screening potential tenants, and showing the condo, the tenant moved out at the end of March with no next tenant yet in place.
The search started out slow - not a lot of interest in January. But the few times we did show the condo, it was always very neat and clean. The existing tenant was very accommodating to our showings, as it was in her best interest to be - we had agreed that if we found a tenant before her lease was up, she could be excused earlier as she desired.
However, as it got closer to the end of the lease, we found the condo to be kept not quite as tidy. Once she was leaving as we arrived, and we had to wait outside. And another time she just didn't leave at all. In fact, she stayed in the kitchen in her bathrobe for the entire showing. Needless to say, the potential renter that was viewing the condo didn't even venture into the kitchen area - it was far too personal an encounter. It would be hard to picture the apartment as your own, when it is evidently still someone else's!
So last week, the tenant moved out. Matt and I spent the weekend cleaning and refreshing the place, and while we did, we had several other showings as well. Wouldn't you know that by Monday, we had received 3 applications to rent - all wanting it immediately. We had each of the tenants offer to pay retroactively to April 1st. Being already into the first week of April, we compromised to show good faith, and have signed a lease effective April 15th.
I've learned a lesson I think - the condo shows better vacant. It may just be worth the lost rent to keep it vacant for a month or so while showing it, rather than spinning our wheels and showing it while it's still occupied with the probability of it renting very low.
Are there other landlords out there who have found this is the best method for them? Has it been worth it?