Rules around vacation rentals may be changing in some areas of Sonoma County, but many homeowners with properties sitting on the market for several months have relied upon VRBOing to recoup some of their holding costs. A new report by  expert and AirBnB Superhost Sarah Karakian looks at some of the pros and cons of renting your property while it’s listed.

In addition to leasing properties Karakian is also a home flipper, stager, and real estate investor with insights on various aspects of the real estate market. From her years of experience she has gleaned the following insights:

You may have to pay for furnishings

Found a new home but can’t sell the old one? If you are planning on leaving your home furnished until it sells, you are in good shape for establishing a VRBO. If not finding all the appropriate furnishings to accommodate guests and stage a home may cost a pretty penny.  Wine Country tourists also expect a certain level or refinement when renting properties in Sonoma County. Is your property up to snuff? Are the added expenses worth the investment?

Is it the right time to sell? 

There is a seasonality to the real estate market. Although this occurs at different times throughout the year, in Sonoma County there is a noticeable decline starting in November and carrying through the winter months. When prices are low and sales are sluggish it might make sense to rent your property to traveling families looking for a home away from home for the holidays.

Location, location, location

With our number of world-class wineries, restaurants and farms, Sonoma County is a haven for tourists looking for a rustic yet refined escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Vacationers are looking for getaways in picturesque vineyard locales or in close proximity to historic town centers.  If your home satisfies these criteria, you should have no problem renting your property to weary travelers.

Sell it as a business investment

As an added perk, many vacationers are also in the market for a long-term getaway or forever home. If you can prove that your home is a successful (and legal) vacation rental you may be able to sell the home as a  business investment for potential buyers.

Do you have the time or patience to take on a VRBO? Can you afford a property manager?

Although, vacation rentals can earn you a few extra bucks they take time and energy to maintain. Do you have hours available to answer guest questions, clean and maintain a VRBO? If not, Karakian suggests finding a property manager to book rental dates, coordinate housekeeping staff and possibly show the home to potential investors. But all this costs money? When all is said and done will the added income be enough to offset management costs?

Many homes with vacation rental potential are currently on the market. Click through our gallery above to sneak a peek.