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Trulia Chica…, Other/Just Looking in Chicago, IL

How do you sell with sitting tenants?

Asked by Trulia Chicago, Chicago, IL Mon Nov 26, 2012

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It can be challenging if the tenant is uncooperative. Ultimately, however, it is your property. You do have to give some notice and respect their wishes to a certain extent, but if worse comes to worse, you can put a lockbox (as the owner) on the property. This is allowed in most leases with notice. Then it motivates them to either be there or not to accomodate the showing, but either way it happens.

But it is a tightrope. You want them to have it look presentable and not deter people. So working with them is best.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
I don't know why Trulia would want to know this.
Web Reference: http://www.archershomes.com
3 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Meet with the tenants/owner several weeks in advance to set expectations, establish notice requirements, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Show the tenants that you realize how important it is to respect their privacy, but make sure they understand the importance of accomodating nearly all showing requests and a relative clean apartment. Just like any relationship, if you establish a good rapport early on, you will have much smoother sailing later when the showings start
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Not every tenant is motivated in the same fashion...find the carrot that works for yours. I have found that some of my tenants are very willing to help me sell the property (ie: make it available for showings and be cooperative) when I tell them that the potential buyer is an investor that would likely be interested in keeping them in place. For those, I have no problem gaining cooperation. Otherwise, the claws come out, and getting cooperation (when they know they're going to have to find a new home) goes out the window. Definitely a more challenging arena than an owner occupied listing. It's all about incentives and motivation!!! Psychology 101...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 5, 2012
I would simply like to echo Seth's comments and ideas. When dealing with the public we get so much farther by being thorough, fair and considerate!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
For those new to real estate, or looking to improve their practice, if such a thing is possible, please treat your tenants with respect. It will pay for itself. Over and over. And over again.

I work with a lot of multi-units and come across this issue every week. It's not difficult, but considering a large chunk of this profession would fail a GED test, it's not surprising.

Establish set days and times that you will show. And make sure the tenant (s) is ok with that. Always give them 48 hour notice (24 absolute minimum) that somebody is coming. Do not confirm the showing until the tenant has confirmed with you. Most lockbox style showings turn up tenants who say nobody ever told them. Implore the showing agent to return everything the way they found it and keep their buyers out of the underwear drawers.

Bring the tenants a treat once in awhile. Some candy or a massage. Whatever. They are doing your job for you. The audacity of many listing agents to collect a 3% commission without physically showing up at the property AND not even having the decency to establish positive relationships with tenants is appalling.

If the tenants are difficult, consider buying them a sausage pizza and a free REALTOR sweatshirt. Proven winners.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 4, 2012
While different Property Management Firms may have different policies, at Stars & Stripes Homes, Inc., the tenants agree in the lease to (1) permit Landlord or Broker to enter the Leased Premises, including storage areas, if any, at any reasonable time, upon twenty-four (24) hours prior notice, for the purpose of inspection, repair or maintenance of the Leased Premises or to show the Leased Premises to any prospective tenant, buyer, lender or insurance agent, and (2) agrees to allow Landlord to show property for rent or sale during the last month of this lease with 8 hours notice from Landlord.

We generally have good relationships with our tenants and owners alike, and don't usually have much of a concern with showings while tenants are in place.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Nov 29, 2012
Hi Trulia Chicago,
I would recommend that you negotiate a one day or one weekend Open House for buyers to see the house and possibly offer the tenants some cash for their inconvenience. Pre-advertise the "event" and hopefully you will have a good selection of possible buyers. Make it a win - win as much as possible and then everyone will be happy.
Restricting or limiting access can also help to get the house sold because it will force buyers to see the house during those times or miss the opportunity. Market it and get it Sold.
Best To you
Janet McCarthy
Professional Realtor
Connect Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2012
You are able to sell property that is tenant occupied. You would be selling the property as investment to the buyer. The investment property loans have a larger down payment and the rates are slightly higher. So this may not be acceptable to the buyer. I believe that in standard apartment leases there is a termination clause so that you can terminate the lease when you find the right buyer. Joanna 773-327-3580
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Nov 28, 2012
This I feel this is a two part answer because it is not completely clear what is meant by “sitting tenant”:

Part One:

If the current lease is in force and everything is good standing with your tenant you should have no problem selling your property. The purchaser has to agree to the terms of the lease in force or you must gain the cooperation of the tenant at the time of sale to buy out the lease if the new owners want immediate possession at closing. The key is maintain good relationship and open communication with the tenant and make sure anyone showing the property has given ample notice remembering they are entering the tenants’ home.

Part Two:

If you have a hostile tenant it can be very very difficult. I have experienced this. The tenant can through up all kinds of obstacles to you being able to show as well as obtain photos of the interior of the property. If the current tenant is not paying rent, give the tenant the proper notices and I personally would hire an attorney that specializes in evictions. Remember a tenant not paying rent has no respect for your property. Take the proper steps to rectify any issues.

Manuel Brown.
iMove Chicago
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Yes, as Bill stated. Communication is the key. However, if the tenant is uncooperative, it may be best to just hold off on trying to sell until the tenants vacate. The longer your home lingers on the market, the more buyers will be curious as to why your home didn't sell, and it may negatively affect your bottom line.

I hope this answered your question! If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me by the ways below.

Wishing you all the best,

De Vonte Williamson , LSA
Proudly Serving Long Island
Coldwell Banker Residential
"I Stand Behind Getting You Results!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Its tough thats for sure. You can give them a small discount to allow showings. This way it will allow you to show the unit, but not upset the tenants too much.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
tenants go along with the sale... lease agreements survive sales as well.
Negotiate the sale with the same tenancy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
If the building is in Chicago
Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Make arrangements between tenants, owner and Realtor to establish guidelines to showing the home. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
You need to give them notice before showing their units. Perhaps limit showings to certain days/times to accomodate their schedules.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Work with the tenants. You can be very persuasive when you want to be and a tenant can be your best advocate.

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Group Founder

Innovative Property Consultants Group | Sales and Leasing


Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 

O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030

"Locally Known, Globally Recognized"
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Really situational - tough question to answer without specifics.

Erik Sachs
RpV Realty LLC
Cell 773/368-5515
Email esachs@rpvinc.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
you hire an agent like me and we meet with the tenants and discuss the win / win involved with the sale
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
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