Julie Butler, Real Estate Pro in Virginia Beach, VA

Any advice regarding listing a home that currently has a tenant living in the home?

Asked by Julie Butler, Virginia Beach, VA Wed Feb 29, 2012

This particular home is a wonderful home in a very desirable neighborhood. The problem is it won't show well due to the tenants' mess and clutter. I'm going to talk to the tenants but they won't have any incentive to be overly cooperative (by cleaning it and keeping it clean) because they really hate to have to move when it sells.

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Butter them up as well as possible. They can help you, or be your worst hurdle to over-come. Make them feel important ( as they are for the reasons I previously stated ) , and part of the marketing plan. Maybe the seller can offer some incentives to the tenant as well based on their cooperation.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Sep 9, 2012
It's a hard call but they need to know that it is effecting the sell of the home. I would talk with the seller to let them know. Most every agent out there showing a home with tenants realizes that tenants have no incentives to do anything to help the home sell. Maybe if the seller offered them a bonus when the home sells might do it. One thing though, if they are messy and don't see it, it might be hard to get them to understand. If they think they will get something for their efforts, they might be more motivated. Just a thought.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 19, 2012
If it would be a positive cash flow to someone with 20% down I would market it to an investor.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 10, 2012
My best advice is to wait until the tenants have moved out. In most cases trying to sell a home with tenants become a nightmare for the agent and seller. They way the market is now, after the tenants move out, attempt to sell. If it does not sell right away, you can find anoter tenant.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 4, 2012
Well of course notice should be given from the landlord to them, that the home is going on the market. I my experience, tenants will not and are not very helpful in the selling process of a home (I have one now and they never allow buyers to view the home). Most of the showing I have done with tenants there, they always tell the worst stories about the home and the neighbors and the cost of utilities and the brocken AC unit and the leaks in the roof and the ghost inside the kids closet.
I guess you can tell I am not a fan. But you have to work through it. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 3, 2012
Trying to sell a house, or even rent it, with tenants still residing in the property can be very challenging, and frustrating to both the tenants and agents trying to show the property. Explain to the tenants the situation. The sooner you get a contract, the sooner the showings will stop. Also, let the tenant know you will be accommodating as much as possible and have the agents contact them before showing to set up an appointment, or put 24-hr advance notice in MLS. Find out a time that works for the tenants, perhaps they would prefer evening showings when they are home or perhaps just the opposite -- no showings after 6pm.
If the house is sold to an investor, the tenants may not have to move. Plus investors would appreciate having the property already rented and producing an income. Ask the tenants if they have considered purchasing a home yet, and refer them to a lender. It could be a longshot that pays off. I like the previous idea about providing the tenants with an incentive. I will try that in the future.

Good Luck.
Web Reference: http://www.suncompanies.biz
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Honestly, in my experience, if at all possible I would wait until the tenants have moved out of the property. I had a home on the market last year that was in a wonderful neighborhood with lots of upgrades and I put it on the market before they moved out. It didn't sell and the week after they moved out I sold it. I knew better and should have trusted my instincts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
I have found that setting up showing times with the tenant ahead of time and putting it in the listing has been the best.
Jennifer Smith
William E. Wood & Assoc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Advertise it as a rental investment with a paying tenant, the tenant is paying rent at the moment right? If not evict the renter first then sell.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
I like the "per showing" incentive suggestion - although it's sad that you would need to "pay" someone to keep the place they live clean. The problem I've always run into with properties that are rentals, is not so much the condition of the home, but the fact that the tenants aren't cooperative with appointments. I would possibly suggest sitting down with the tenants and trying to come to some sort of compromise by determining the showing times that work "best" for the tenants in advance. You can include these in your agent remarks section of the MLS so agents know beforehand the best times to schedule showings - and minimize last minute surprises for the tenants. This hopefully will also give them ample time to "tidy up" if needed. Hope that helps!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
Ask the seller to offer the tenant some incentive. When we sold one of our rental houses. We offered the tenants $20 per showing (up to $250/month) to be willing to show the house and keep it clean. As an agent it's always frustrating when you request showings that get declined due to uncooperative tenants. Also, I'm sure you know, if it doesn't show well, it will bring a lower price. It's impossible to compete with a well kept home at the same price.

So, my advice would be find some sort of incentive, and get them to work with you, or don't list it until after they move out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
You could try selling the home as an investment property with tenant already in place and willing to stay.
Someone out there might just like that.
Web Reference: http://www.321property.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 29, 2012
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