Listing a home for sale with a tenant in place comes with its own advantages and disadvantages.

An advantage for the seller is the fact that a home that is already occupied can make the property more attractive to a buyer than an empty or unfurnished home and especially for a buyer who is looking for an investment property as they will have a home that will be generating rental income from the day of closing.

The disadvantage is there may be some restrictions for viewings of the home by potential buyers - such as the tenant having young children in bed, an adult working unsociable hours so is sleeping during the day. Also the home may not be 'staged' the way you would stage it .... having a tenant in place does mean you have to surrender some control over how the home looks, because even if the furnishings are yours the personal items and accessories most likely will not.

So if you are going to list your home for sale with a tenant in place you may want to consider the following:

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Make sure your rental/lease agreement makes provision for potentially selling your home - it should include the terms and conditions under which you can sell your home to enable you to market the home for sale even before the end of the lease, rather than having an empty home. A typical agreement allows the owner to start showing the home 90 days before the lease terminates.. Your agreement should specify the terms under which you want the home to be kept during this period - eg - you may want to specify how the tenants must keep the home - ie 'kept in show condition', to either be available with reasonable notice to let prospective buyers view the property or enable the agent or the owner to show the home if the tenant is out. Keep any pets away from the property during viewings ....

Try to enlist the help of your tenant ... this may be in the form of offering the tenant some incentive to co-operate in the process - such as offering some form of commission after the home is sold or some form of refund on the rental/turn key deposit paid over by the tenant when they first moved in. However if the tenant doesn't want to co-operate or is very untidy you may have to wait to the end of the rental agreement/lease and the tenant has moved out before showing the home.

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If you are staging your property either yourself or using a professional, make sure you have the co-operation and permission of the tenant. Some may be quite happy to have the home staged while others may not be comfortable with the situation - you have to respect the tenant's wishes in this situation as they do have rights.

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Keeping the home clean can be an issue depending on your tenant, if the tenant is basically tidy and either cleans the home regularly or has their own cleaner then that is a bonus, however, if this is not the case you may want to consider paying for a cleaner to go in on a weekly basis for the duration of the listing of the home.

If it is possible for the tenant to be out of the home when it is being viewed then all the better, if possible try and arrange for them to be away from the home for approximately an hour prior to the viewing and then for an additional 30 minutes after the viewing time so that you or your agent can go into the home to check that it is set up for viewing and then the potential buyer has time to view the home without feeling rushed,

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Kerb appeal is important as it creates the first impression so even if the tenant keeps the garden tidy you may want to pay for a landscaper to maintain the garden every 2 weeks to keep the exterior as neat and appealing as possible - you may be able to make a deal with the landscaper for a special rate for their service if you allow them to display their cards/advertising in the home or the garden for agents and potential buyers to see.

Linda Sanders Headshot
Phone: 407-287-2393
Dated: November 1st 2017
Views: 214
About Linda: Co-owner of a multi-award winning property management company and award-winning REALTOR® I immig...

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