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Tips for Selling a Home with Tenants

By Mike Wheatley | January 18, 2012

During the housing crisis, many homeowners found themselves having to reluctantly rent out their homes in order to balance the books. But now things are beginning to pick up at last, many of these reluctant landlords are looking to sell.

Home selling tips

How to sell a tenant-occupied home © Andy Dean via

According to real estate professionals however, selling a home that is currently occupied by a tenant can be a bit of a challenge, as the tenants don’t always share the same motivation as their landlords – consequently, they may fail to keep the home looking neat and attractive to impress potential buyers.

Even so, these days it’s fairly common for landlords to try and market their homes while tenants are still living in them, says Chris Hager of Long & Foster Real Estate in an interview with the Washington Times.

“There are many reluctant landlords these days who chose to rent their properties rather than sell them,” Hager told the Washington Times. Now however, many of these landlords are looking to market their homes, explains Hager, who said that this created a potential for conflict between tenants and landlords, especially in cases where the tenant didn’t know beforehand that the landlord wanted to sell at a later date.

So what can landlords do to prevent problems?

Firstly, real estate professionals agree that landlords should never attempt to deceive tenants in the first place, and so they should make it absolutely clear that they intend to list the home once the local market picks up again.

Landlords can also offer their tenants some kind of concession in return for their cooperation – for example, in return for the tenant keeping the home looking neat tidy while it’s listed, they could be given a 10% discount on the rent. However, landlords would need to clearly communicate their expectations regarding cleanliness, like making sure the bed is always made up in the morning, and ensuring dirty dishes aren’t left in the sink for prospective buyers to see when they come visiting.

Landlords are advised to offer incentives so tenants don't leave sights like this for buyers to see! © rauf_ashrafov -

Setting established hours for buyers to view the property will also do much to get tenants onside, reports the Washington Times.

Landlords need to keep in mind that they don’t usually get a second chance, and so it pays to keep tenants onside, especially when a property is first listed for sale.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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