After the sluggish real estate market of just a few years ago, millions of homeowners are keen to get back into the market, as it continues to recover across the country.
Many homeowners were forced to rent their home out when they found they were unable to sell it, becoming accidental landlords. Selling became more of a realistic option as home values went up, although many homeowners found they had the added complication of a tenant in their house.
Communicating with your tenant is essential, as is planning your sale well ahead of time, although you may find that a tenant means you have to postpone your sale.
The following tips will give you some pointers on how to sell a house with tenants in it
Option One Wait Until the Lease Expires
Because tenants can often be a little unpredictable, some real estate agents advise that you should simply wait until the lease is expired before putting your home on the market. Then you can sell your empty home after spending a little time and money on some simple repairs.
However, you may have a tenant who has thoughts about extending their lease, or is disgruntled because they feel that you are simply waiting for them to leave. Try to handle the situation tactfully – if you have an upset tenant they can leave your house in a mess, either deliberately or because they just don’t care. Of course, that means you have to spend money and time on repairs and makes it difficult to show your home to prospective buyers.
Of course, the obvious disadvantage to waiting until your tenant moves out before you sell your home is that your home may take months to sell. In the meantime, your home is sitting vacant yet you still have to pay the mortgage even though you have no rental income coming in.
Option Two Sell Your Home While Your Tenant Is Still In Residence
If you have a strong relationship with the tenant in your home, it can actually be an advantage to market and sell your home while they are still there. A potential buyer can get a much better feel for what it is like to live in your home if it has furniture and possessions in it when they see it.
Many tenants will simply start to look for another place to live immediately if they learn that their landlord is planning to sell the home. The typical tenant doesn’t want to have to handle calls from agents, or work around the home being shown, or have to keep the home clean.
Make your tenant work to your advantage, especially if your home is located in a desirable neighborhood and you believe it can sell quickly if you put it on at a realistic price. Give them an incentive to stay in the home a while longer by offering them a lower rent for the first month or two before you show the home.
Assure your tenant that you will give them plenty of time to find another place to rent if they will cooperate. You can offer to pay their moving costs if they are assisting you in getting a quick sale for your home.
The message and how you deliver it are important.
While some tenants do make a fuss and make the headlines for it, most tenants don’t want to get in the way of a sale and will cooperate with you.
It’s easier to wait until the lease expires if you believe your tenants are going to be difficult about the situation. Or you can sell your home while vacant if you can come up with a way to legally take it back from them. Most tenants don’t want to be told that they have to move out with little or no notice, and when it comes to it, most tenants will work with you.
Just how you deliver the message to your tenant is what’s important, rather than the actual message itself.