Are you a landlord selling a house with tenants in Florida?
Selling a rental property in Florida isn’t always easy. Depending your lease and the tenant’s willingness to cooperate, the sale can be incredibly frustrating.
The good news is you can take control and simplify the process.
You’ll want to make the transition as easy as possible when selling a tenant occupied house whether it’s as far south Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, or Palm Beach, or north towards Jacksonville and Tampa.
Let the tenants know your intentions and what they should expect. If they wish to stay in the home, look for a buyer who will welcome the idea of buying with tenants. Someone who will honor the lease agreement and make the transition invisible to the tenant.
That said, it is business. If you are losing money or need to sell for other reasons, don’t hold on to the property longer than you have to.
Learn more about selling a property with tenants in Florida in the video below and the blog post by Earl from the House Heroes Team!
We Buy Houses With Tenants!
Call Us (954) 676-1846 or Fill Out This Form For Your Offer.
Get familiar with the tenant’s rights before selling a house with tenants in Florida.
The rights and duties of tenants and landlords are guided by the Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act. Familiarize yourself with the law and educate yourself on tenants rights in Florida.
As a landlord, you owe your tenant the right of quiet enjoyment and written notice before any changes are made to the tenancy.
This includes an intent to sell or lease property.
You will need to give them written notification at least 15 days prior to listing.
According to the Community For Services:
A tenant has certain basic rights protected by Florida law, which the landlord must observe. A tenant is entitled to the right of private, peaceful possession of the dwelling. Once rented, the dwelling is the tenant’s to lawfully use. The landlord may only enter the dwelling in order to inspect the premises or to make necessary or agreed-upon repairs, but only if he or she first gives the tenant reasonable notice and comes at a convenient time.
In other words . . . you can’t just barge in on the tenant.
If you are selling a rental home occupied by tenants in Florida, you will need to show the property to prospective buyers. Tenants are entitled to reasonable notice before buyer walkthroughs and inspections.
Are you asking the tenant to vacate the proper prior to closing your sale?
Florida law varies depending on if the tenant is “month to month” [no lease] or currently under a lease agreement. If the tenancy is from month to month, a landlord may not terminate it by giving less than 15-days’ notice (see Section 83.57 of Florida Residential Landlord Tenant Act). Tenants have legal rights to receive a “notice to vacate” or a notice letter at least 15 days prior to the date they must vacate.
If your tenants are on a year or 6-month lease agreement, they need a proper notice to vacate before you sell the home they are living in. Weigh your options and determine if it’s more beneficial for you as a landlord to wait out the tenancy or attempt negotiations to buy out the tenant.
Selling an occupied property with tenants in Florida has its challenges.
One best practice is to give your “month to month” tenant a lease termination letter to formally give clear notice. This helps avoid disputes or confusion. See this sample below:
If the tenant has a written lease, the lease agreement may specify required notice (but it’s still good practice to give as much notice as possible). You may need a termination clause in your lease allowing you to end the lease early.
Selling your house with renters in Florida can be challenging. But if you adhere to the legalities and work with the right buyers, the process can be done quickly and without much disturbance to anyone’s lives.
Sell Directly To A Cash Buyer
Cash buyers won’t have to break the rental agreement you already have established with your tenants. When the lease expires, cash buyers will often allow the tenants to renew or give them a new lease. With this option, you won’t need to worry about an early termination clause or getting a legal advisor to discuss what to do about your tenants.
Cleaning up, marketing, staging, open houses, daily showings . . . these are the steps most owners take when selling a house. With a cash buyer, you will get a fair market value price for your rental home. The existing lease your tenants currently have can stay intact, and the new owner will deal with all repairs, closing costs and fees.
Preparing the house for sale on the open market may prove impossible with a tenant in place.
Selling directly to a cash buyer simplifies the process – there is no need for regular walkthroughs, online listings, or a “long and drawn out” sale. You don’t need to worry about letting in inspectors and appraisers required for buyers using a mortgage.
However, it can be difficult to find a buyer to sell directly to. Regular homeowners are not potential buyers – they aren’t landlords interested in paying for a house they can’t immediately move into. Tenant occupied property also tends to be worn down and needs some updates. Regular homeowners want something that doesn’t a bunch of work.
The best bet is to sell the house to a cash buyer or investor willing to take on a property with tenants present.
Investors often pay more for tenants. They don’t have to do the work to find a tenant or have a period where the property is “vacant” and not producing rental income. As long as the rental price will cash flow on the payments for the property, investors will be open to keeping the current lease for the rental unit! Professional buyers expect to buy property that may need some updates, repairs, or renovations. Investors have the skill and experience to deal with tenants – they are less likely to back out at the last minute. If your current rental payments on the lease agreement cover the cost of the monthly payment on the home, then a real estate investor will be interested! When the property sells, you will be able to protect tenants currently living in the rental unit and won’t have to worry about when their lease ends.
Wondering “who will buy my house with tenants in Florida?”
Here at House Heroes we regularly purchase properties occupied with tenants. You won’t have to work with real estate agents and pay realtor fees. You pay for no repairs or closing costs. You just simply sell your rental property for cash. Find a real estate investor to buy your property with cash and sell the property with ease! Click here to learn about Our Three-Step Process for buying houses with tenants. Give us a call at (954) 676-1846 to find out what we can pay!
Offer Incentives For Cooperation
If you intend to list the house on the MLS, it may make sense to wait for the tenants to leave.
Selling a house on the MLS requires showings and inspections – which might be impossible with non-cooperative tenants. It’s not the tenant’s fault you’re selling the property, so it is possible they do not always cooperate with showings.
One solution is to simply wait to list on the MLS until the tenant leaves. Once the tenants leave the property (and if they paid rent and left it in good shape!), you can easily show the property to prospective buyers. If you sell the property to a regular home buyer they will be more open to offers if they can move-in immediately upon buying. If they are looking to purchase as a rental property, they will be responsible for finding other tenants to occupy the home.
Here’s what the Wilmoth Group had to say about waiting for it to be vacant:
The simple solution is to wait until a lease has ended before putting the property on the market. The challenge of selling a tenant occupied home is often not related to the market, but the tenant. If the tenant is not cooperative toward the selling effort the owner’s options are limited. As long as the tenant is fulfilling the terms of the lease, they have the right to enjoy their residence.
Do you need on-going income from the rental property to keep paying bills? Keeping the cash flow may be necessary to survive financially. In this situation, the goal is gaining the tenant’s cooperation with showings and other parts of the traditional sale process.
Here’s a list of five incentives to get the tenant on board with the sale:
- Give Them A Break On The Rent! Nothing gains cooperation like putting cash in the tenants pocket. If you’re looking to end the lease early, this could be a good option to incentivize the tenant.
- First-Month Rent & Security Deposit At The New Place. The reality is the tenant may need to move when you sell. The tenant may need help with the security deposit and first-month’s rent at their new place.
- Moving Costs. Moving isn’t easy – particularly if all the packing and moving has to be done for the tenant. Offer to pay for a storage unit while they look for a suitable living situation. Paying for moving costs makes the process much easier.
- Help With Relocation Costs. The reality is if a sale goes through the tenant may need to move. Consider helping the tenant with security deposit, first-months rent, and moving costs. Paying them a relocation fee could be the right thing to do.
- Cash For Leaving Now. Need to get the tenants out ASAP and the lease doesn’t allow it? Maybe the tenant signed a fixed term lease and does not want to leave until the lease expires. The straightforward solution is to pay the tenant to waive their tenant’s rights on the lease.
If the tenant is sufficiently motivated to cooperate with the sale – open up the topic about how the house should be presented. Suggest they keep the house clutter free with items like jewelry and medication out of the site. No dishes in the sink, dirty laundry, or pets present. You can even make a formal written agreement to make sure everyone is on the same page. Try to give your tenant a day notice before showings and inspections so they can properly prepare the home.
Although it’s your financial investment, the tenant occupied property is their home.
They have built their life around that neighborhood. Whether they are on a month to month lease or a fixed term lease, being unexpectedly uprooted is emotional and stressful.
Try to be as respectful and accommodating to your tenants as possible. Tell the tenant you want to minimize any inconveniences. Work with them for the most reasonable hours to show the property and how much notice is required. Provide a written contract by the landlord stating when they can and can’t show the property if necessary.
This will make things easier for them and for you as the home seller. This way when the tenant leaves the property it will be on good terms and will abide by all tenant rights.
Sell To Your Tenants
Have you considered selling your house in Florida to the tenants?
Finding a buyer is simple if your tenant is willing and able to buy it themselves. You save time and money marketing your house (and the headaches of dealing with non-cooperative tenants). You also don’t have to worry about making a bunch of repairs. There are a few ways to approach this. You could offer the tenant a purchase option or, if you’re not in a rush, a lease-to-own agreement. This allows them to continue to rent the house until they can buy it in the future at an agreed upon price.
You can also consider financing options with your tenant such as seller-assisted financing. This arrangement involves you lending money to the tenant so they can afford to purchase the property. If the property sells to your current tenant then you can avoid a long closing process, security deposit issues, breaking a rental agreement, and much more involved with the property sale.
There aren’t many people who know and love the house the same way you do. If your tenant has been there for a while, they will have likely developed an attachment not only to the house but to the community where they are living. If the house has truly become their home, they may be interested in buying it outright and may pay more than anyone else so they don’t have to relocate.
We recommend taking “10 Steps” when selling to a house to your tenants:
Consider a Real Estate Attorney
A real estate attorney or legal consult can help understand the local landlord and tenant laws, as well as how to structure the sale to be mutually beneficial.
Assess Home Value
Owners want to sell at a price that is fair and meets their goals. Getting a sense of the local neighborhood prices helps to find a fair market value for your home.
Negotiate Price and Terms
Although you want a certain amount – your tenants may want to pay less. Negotiate price, as well as terms such as inspection period, closing date, and financing contingencies. Discuss with your tenant about their monthly mortgage payment rather than having to pay rent.
Figure Out Earnest Money Deposit
The earnest money deposit shows a commitment to the sale on the part of the buyer.
Consider a “Contract–For-Deed”
A contract for deed helps buyers by-pass the traditional lending process if they can’t qualify. In short, the seller retains legal title to the property until the buyer pays off a specified amount. This is a great way to sell your rental home to the current tenant if they aren’t able finance it right away.
Review the Written Offer
Give it an hour or so and review the proposed offer. Pay attention to big terms like the escrow deposit, inspection period, closing date, and contingencies.
Sign the Contract
Once you’ve agreed on price and terms with the tenant, the next step is to sign a purchase and sale agreement.
Order the Title Work
An attorney needs to review the county records to confirm ownership and conduct a lien search for “surprises”.
Consider an Appraiser
Just not sure how much you want for the property? A formal appraisal can point you in the right direction.
Prepare For Closing
Arrange for closing with notification to the escrow agent at a time mutually convenient for all parties.
The perfect buyer for your Florida house with a tenant may be right under your nose!
Wait For Vacancy
If waiting is an option, consider holding off on the sale until the lease agreement is up. Then, let your tenants know that they will need to relocate as you will be putting the house on the market. You can give them a heads up ahead of time, letting them know of your intentions. Make sure to give them at least 15 days notice to vacate. Helping with moving or letting them use you as a reference can help soften the blow, especially with a long-term tenant. If the sale isn’t needed immediately and you want to spend the time and money on a listing, waiting until the house is vacant will be in your best interest. If your tenants want to stay longer, you can offer them a month to month lease option with a contingency that states they must vacate the property within 15 days of a written notice.
Why You Should Sell Your House Directly
By keeping your rental property with tenants off of the MLS, you won’t have to deal with property showings, staging, marketing, and continued upkeep. You won’t have to wait around, not knowing when your house is going to sell or what offers you will get. You won’t have to pay real estate transaction fees or closing costs. Our process is simple, we help you sell your rental property with tenants fast without hassle… no matter what condition it’s in! Whether the tenants are on a month to month lease, or long term lease agreement, we will buy your property! We adhere to all tenant rights and make the landlord tenant interactions seamless for your current tenants. Get a free, no obligation quote by filling out our form below or giving us a call at 954-676-1846.
Thanks for checking out our blog about selling a house with tenants in Florida. Whether your selling a house with tenants in Miami, Tampa, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, or Jacksonville it can be challenging depending on your situation and who your tenants are. However, when you plan ahead, act thoughtfully, and stick to what the law says, selling a rental property in Florida can be a positive experience.
Want to learn more about the House Heroes Team?
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