If you’re considering selling your property that is occupied by tenants, you want to be prepared, so the sale goes as smooth as possible. A tenant in a property you are placing on the market can make it easier if they know what your plans are, what might happen, and if they have some incentive to help the process. You want them on your side, and you don’t want them angry. Most tenants are reasonable and will understand the situation, but keep in mind their side of the situation and the inconvenience this will bring to their life.
You will be asking the tenant to get ready to move if the buyer does not plan to purchase the property for investment purposes. The property needs to be in show condition, so keeping it neat and clean maybe more than the tenant normally does. Disruption of their work, school, and life activities schedules. The tenant having unknown people traipsing through the home and seeing their belongings can feel like an invasion. The tenant left waiting around for someone to view the property, and it doesn’t happen, especially after they changed their schedule to be there.
Secrets to Selling
- Communication – Open communication between you and the tenant is the key to your success. Sitting down and explaining why you want to sell the property and what you expect from them will help gain their support.
- Tenant Sale – Offer the tenant to purchase the property. Sometimes the tenant has not considering buying a home or is unaware they qualify to be a homeowner.
- Incentives – Consider providing incentives to motivate the tenant to help you because this will benefit the sell. Some incentives to think about are:
- decreasing the rent while the property is on the market
- paying for a cleaning service
- paying the tenant a fee each time the house shows
- paying their moving costs
- a gift certificate or bonus added to their security deposit after the sale
- Expectations – Be transparent about the likelihood of what the property sell can mean for the tenant. For example, if they need to move, let them know how much time they will have following the sale to leave. Clearly outline your expectations of how you want them to help sell the property, such as keeping it clean and presentable inside and out.
- The Realtor – If you are planning to use a real estate agent, work with the agent to make sure they consistently communicate showing times with the tenant in case they need to change their schedule. The realtor needs to be on top of showings and let the tenant know canceled showings as soon as possible.
You do not want to anger the tenant if at all possible. An angry tenant can damage the property, avoid the realtor’s calls to set-up showing times, leave the property a mess, or work to sabotage the sale through a variety of avenues. You want to avoid the cost and hassle of a messy eviction, so invite the tenant to be on your side and help with the sale of your property.
Jodi Bakst, a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and Broker Owner of Real Estate Experts based on Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is not only an out of the box thinker, she is trained to showcase and sell executive homes
July 21, 2016