Options for Selling with a Tenant in Palm Beach

Need to sell a house with a tenant in Palm Beach County?

Tenants make selling a property extra challenging. Angry or disgruntled tenants may make showings impossible, or even worse, harass potential buyers when they walk through the home. On the other hand, having a good relationship with a tenant can be a major boon when maximizing a rental sale of property. A cooperative tenant may keep the house neat and tidy, open the door with a smiling face, and even “talk up” the house to the buyer

Keeping your tenant motivated to help your sale can be the key to selling a house in Palm Beach with a tenant! Knowing how to sell a house with a tenant is a critical aspect of getting top dollar for your home!

Options for Selling with a Tenant in Palm Beach

Wait for the lease to expire

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Real estate professionals agree it is best to let the tenant’s lease expire before selling your house.

Tenants frequently can become angry when they discover that you are selling the home they live in. This is only natural: once new ownership comes in, they may decide to end the tenancy forcing the person to find a new place to live when they wanted to stay. Some tenants may just be disrespectful by nature. Others, may be nice people but simply messy (it’s very a common for tenants to keep rental property in poor shape – they don’t own it after all).

Since there are many ways a tenant can throw a wrench in your sale, it may simply be the best course of action to sell my house in Palm Beach wait until the lease expires and let the tenant leave. Once he or she is out of the house you can clean it up and make any necessary renovations to make the home appealing to buyers. Then you and your agent can list the house and sell it like you would any other home. If there is any doubt whatsoever that this is the type of tenant you have renting your place do not make the mistake of trying to sell your home while they are there! Your chances of success are very slim.

According to Jlia Davis – agent in Brandon MS, when asked if selling after a lease expires “Absolutely! As Realtors it is difficult to show a home that isn’t cleaned and kept up, let alone with a hostile audience watching TV as we’re walking through. Vacate, clean and paint, price right and sell quickly.”

Houses can become “stigmatized” fast when they are hard to show, displayed in disarray, or being disruptive during showings. Buyer agents may even recommend to their clients the house is not checking out due to the tenant problem. Days on market will grow and grown. The longer a home is on the market, the bigger discrepancy there will be between asking and sale price.

Sell With The Tenant Present . . .

Sometimes a tenant may be on a long lease and the Palm Beach property owner simply can’t sit around and wait to sell. Perhaps you were forced to rent the home when the market hit the skids, and you didn’t have the finances to cover the mortgage while the home remains empty.  It may take months to sell any house, so you may simply need to sell now while the tenant is in place.

If you must sell with a tenant present, it is absolutely critical that you make them your “home sale ally”. You need them to keep the property tidy and in good shape if you’re going to sell for a good price. If you’re lucky, the tenant will be amicable and do this of their own accord. If not, take matters into your own hands.

Incentivize The Tenant!

One option to encourage the tenant to work with you on the sale is to give a rent credit for a few months. Everyone likes extra cash in their pocket. You can go above and beyond by promising to cover moving expenses if the new owner, or offering the tenant 30 to 60-days’ notice before having to vacate. These all are ways to get the tenant on your side before the sale.

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You can offer rent credit, gift certifications, or moving expenses to encourage the tenant to cooperate with the sale.

Author Michael White at RentPrep spoke to the issue of tenant incentives:

Many landlords understand that it is a big shock for tenants to discover that the rental home they are living in will be sold. The fear of the unknown is always going to worry some tenants, and landlords can do their best to help tenants feel like they are not being kept in the dark. Many landlords do offer incentives to tenants to encourage them to help out during the process of finding buyers, showing the property and keeping it clean.

Here are just a few ideas for tenant incentives when they are in residence:

  • A percentage off the monthly rent.
  • Rent rebate when the property sells.
  • Free weekend in an upscale hotel during an open house.
  • Gift certificates after every positive showing.
  • Gift certificates for every month the property is showing.
  • Agreeing to pay moving expenses upon the sale of the property.

Clear Communications.

Open, professional, and kind dialogue makes a difference to your tenant. Don’t let your words make an enemy. When landlords communicate well with tenants in residence, they are more likely to cooperate throughout the entire process and contribute to a successful sale.

Here are 5 tips for keeping that communications positive:

  1. In writing, landlords should explain to the tenants a summary of their intent to sell.
  2. Landlords should remind tenants about their state laws concerning proper procedures for showing an occupied property that is for sale.
  3. Set up a considerate yet firm process by which landlords will notify tenants when the property is to be shown.
  4. Assure tenants that the landlord won’t allow dozens of unknown strangers to parade through the occupied property and that their safety and their possessions are of utmost consideration.
  5. Offer an incentive to the tenants if they assist in the process, such as keeping the place cleaner than average.

Work With What You Have

Only you can decide how to manage the tenant sale. Although there tenants that seem to be out to sabotage your home sale, many are not this way and will be happy to work with you ­if you give them the property incentives. If they aren’t, you can always wait until the lease expires to try and sell the house.

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