Home sellers are a busy lot. They need to have their houses listed and marketed. Many sellers are often preparing their homes for showings while they’re also researching homes and neighborhoods that they would like to live in.
Some sellers have tenants in their homes. There are various reasons why people take on renters. They can be a good way to make extra money, but having tenants usually requires more work and may make it more difficult to sell the house.
Selling a home in Florida can take time. The entire process may not be completed for several weeks or months after an offer has been accepted, even if you have a buyer who wants to move in as soon as possible.
There are specific steps that must be taken and different people that become involved at various stages. You may also experience untimely or unanticipated problems or delays. You should still be able to achieve your goal in most instances. Persistence, determination, and a proactive sales plan can help you succeed. Here are a few things to know if you’re planning on selling a house that has tenants.
Advantages and disadvantages to selling a house with renters.
There are some definite advantages and disadvantages to selling a house with renters.
Some of the advantages are:
1. It’s a revenue-generating property.
Taking on renters can help offset insurance, utility bills, mortgage payments and other expenses. Charging rent can make those costs more manageable. You may even be able to make a profit that can be used for other purposes.
2. Rental homes are usually secure.
Security is a big reason why people choose to have tenants in their homes. There’s less possibility of theft, vandalism, and burglary for a property that’s occupied.
Owning home with tenants
Some of the primary drawbacks of owning a home with tenants are:
1. The home may not be available to show when you want.
Landlords usually have to fit open house showings around their renters’ schedules. There may be times when the property cannot be viewed by interested parties because renters are living there. Some may even be working from home. Scheduling open house times in advance can help alleviate potential problems.
2. Word can get around quickly.
Even though most owners would prefer to hear about a home’s condition solely from their realtor or seller, they may find out about it from its tenants either directly or indirectly.
Renters may disclose information about their home to potential buyers or friends or family members who in turn pass that information along to interested parties. This may or may not be a bad thing, depending on the seller’s honesty and if the house is well-maintained or if it could use some work.
House with active tenants
If you still want to sell your house with active tenants in it, you can take the following actions to help make things easier:
1. Make sure that your tenants are up to date on their rent payments.
Any and all active tenants should be paying rent on time. If there are any renters who are late, you may need to take appropriate actions. Tenants who are frequently late on their rent payments can be a headache that many buyers don’t want to deal with. Review the lease agreements.
You may need to evict any tenants who are late on their rent or take them to court. You may also opt to allow those renters to move out and allow their back rent to go unpaid so that they can move out right away.
2. Ensure that all tenants will be absent during open house showings.
No tenants should be present during open house showings. All showings should be scheduled in advance. Try to give your tenants as much advance notice as possible. This gives your renters plenty of time to adjust their schedules to accommodate accordingly.
3. Work with your tenants’ schedules.
When scheduling open house appointments, it’s a good idea to work around the schedules of your renters. No early morning or late evening appointments should be made.
The ideal times are when your tenants are at work or otherwise away from their rooms. You may even decide to offer your renters gift certificates for a local restaurant so that they won’t be present when your open house guests arrive.
4. Clean the property before each showing.
The home that you’re trying to sell should be thoroughly cleaned before each open house showing. You can do all of the work yourself, or you can hire a professional cleaning company to tackle the job for you.
The home should be in great condition. Remember how important first impressions are! Give potential buyers every reason to purchase your home instead of another similar property in the area.
5. Help your tenants relocate if necessary.
For some renters, it may be easier to relocate to another home or rental unit in their price range. You can assist them by recommending any other properties that you own. You could also help them search for different residences in the area or moving companies.
It’s a good idea to inform your renters about your intentions to sell the house before putting it up for sale. That way, they can decide if they want to stay or find another place to live. It will be the buyer’s decision whether or not they want to continue using the home as a rental property or if they’d prefer using it as a main residence, an investment, a guest house or other uses.
You should also talk to your realtor. They will work with you to develop a comprehensive marketing plan to help get your home sold in a timely manner. Explain the situation to them, so they understand that advance notice will usually need to be given before each open house showing. Most renters are unlikely to allow visitors into their rooms when they’re present and last-minute showings are probably going to be out of the question in most cases.
Weigh your options carefully before making any decisions. It’s not always easy to sell a home with tenants, especially if you’ve established personal connections and friendships with your renters. Saying goodbye can be difficult, but it will eventually be necessary. The day will come when you’ll need to put that phase behind you so that you can look forward to the next chapter of your busy life.
Have Questions? Ask Liz!
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