Selling an unoccupied house is a pretty straightforward affair – you prep, find an agent, market, have some showings, get an offer, negotiate, and then close. But when you sell your house with tenants, things get quite a bit more complicated, and the challenges multiply. For example, there are legal issues concerning tenants’ rights to contend with, and marketing strategies will differ. But if you work with the right agency, you can pull it off. So let’s see how Shemeika Fox- Your Santa Cruz Real Estate Expert can help sell your house to tenants in Santa Cruz.
Can You Sell Your House With Tenants?
This is a common question, and the short answer is: Yes, you can sell your house with tenants in Santa Cruz. “In fact, most states’ laws give tenants the right to remain in a rental property after a sale until the lease or rental agreement expires.” But there are some things to consider and factor into your decision and your sales strategy, such as . . .
- “Overall, the showing and marketing of a property will go more smoothly if there is no tenant.”
- “You might have some options for ending the tenancy before the sale is complete if you believe not having a tenant will help the sale.”
- “If you decide to have a tenant in the property while you’re selling, you’ll want to ensure that the tenant is happy and cooperative.”
Your best course, then, is to work closely with a premier agency like Shemeika Fox- Your Santa Cruz Real Estate Expert from the beginning of the process. To discover more about this, just call 831-588-2334.
Options for Selling Your House With Tenants
To sell your house to tenants, you must carefully consider your options for ending the tenancy before taking any drastic steps.
Is the tenant a month-to-month tenant? If so, you are well situated. Just end the tenancy in accordance with state law and then sell the house.
Does the tenant have a long-term lease? In this case, you’ll have a tougher time ending the tenancy. Your best option here will likely be to try to negotiate with the tenant. A common tactic involves offering the tenancy a sum of money in return for modifying the lease to allow for an earlier move-out.
But negotiating an early move-out does carry some risk. “If the tenant ignores the renegotiated terms and remains in the property beyond the closing, the new owner can be put in the situation of having to evict the tenant. The new owner could then hold you legally responsible for all costs associated with the eviction.”
So it may be best just to wait until the lease is up before selling your house. In any case, to avoid legal ramifications, you should consult an experienced Shemeika Fox- Your Santa Cruz Real Estate Expert agent at 831-588-2334.
Marketing Considerations for Selling Your House With Tenants
If you decide to move forward and sell your house with tenants in it, you’ll need to consider your marketing strategy, particularly concerning tenants.
“Assuming the tenant will be staying on post-closing, and depending on your property’s size and layout, you might want to market it as both a primary residence and a potential investment property. Let the buyer decide how to use it. Some buyers who want a home for themselves will not mind purchasing a primary residence with a tenant if they do not plan to move in immediately.”
And then, you need to consider what you can do to “make a sale go more smoothly when a tenant is living in the property, regardless of whether the tenant will remain after the sale.” For example . . .
- Make showings as easy on the tenant as possible. “Let the agent marketing the property know that the tenant needs at least 24 hours notice for showings (or whatever time is specified in the lease for entry).” Also, “[l]et the agent know if there are times that the property cannot be shown due to the tenant’s schedule.”
- Ask the tenant to leave during showings. “No buyer, investor or otherwise, likes to be followed around by a resident – especially one who may be grumpy about the impending move. The buyer should be able to view the property freely.” One thing you could do to make the tenant more amenable to this is to “offer the tenant a gift card to a nearby coffee shop to use while the property is being shown.”
- Keep the property in good condition, and make it easy for the tenant to do so. “Offer to hire a cleaning or yard service for the time when the property is on the market. Since a tenant doesn’t have a stake in the sale of the property (and may even be in the process of moving out), it’s important that you, the seller, take some responsibility for keeping the property in show-worthy condition.”
- Make sure the tenant is current with rent payments. “If the tenant is staying on and is behind in rent, it’s time to take action. A delinquent tenant is not a good selling point. One option may be to forgive the delinquency in exchange for the tenant moving out. If the tenant cannot pay rent, court action and eviction are also an option.”
The main thing to remember here is that an “unhappy tenant can break a sale, especially if they prevent showings or decide to stop cleaning.”
Work With a Good Agent to Market Effectively
If you want to make it easier to sell your house when you have tenants, it’s almost necessary to work with an experienced agent. A good agent can get your house in front of the right buyers, the target market who will actually be serious about buying a house with tenants. So when you’re ready to sell your house, be sure to contact Shemeika Fox- Your Santa Cruz Real Estate Expert at 831-588-2334 for a custom-tailored marketing plan.