Category Archives: tips for selling a home with tenants

Give the tenant an incentive

Because the sale of a home is no easy undertaking for a tenant living in the property — think home buyer visits, home inspections, home improvements, etc. —  homeowners may end up having to offer the renter an incentive. Understandably not everybody wants to pay cash to a renter for any inconvenience caused during a home sale. But if there seems to be no way out of it, you can always offer a discount on rent, or promise a cash bonus once a sale goes through. Some even offer tenants a small fee for every home visit. Whatever your approach, make sure you get it in writing so that all parties are held accountable.

Protect your tenants

Keep in mind that viewings demand a lot of work and goodwill from tenants. The last thing you want are tenants who think their private lives are being intruded upon or that their lives have been turned upside down. Make sure tenants feel they are respected in this process by keeping the lines of communication open. Ask him or her after each visit what went well, what didn’t and then work to improve the process. It will pay off in the long run because a home with a cooperative tenant will typically sell faster (and for more money) than one with a disgruntled tenant.

Make it available for viewings

You need to find a workable agreement with the tenant to figure out the best times for home viewings. While you have to respect the private life of the tenant, you still are within your rights to arrange home viewings, even on somewhat short notice. Weekends are usually a big day for home viewings, as are early evenings during the week. Be sure your client’s tenant understands the need to have the home ready for viewings and can be flexible during those peak times. It might not hurt to send a weekly calendar to get time blocked off where the renter promises to be ready for home viewings. Using a 48 hr notice usually helps or a certain day and time that they can do showings this eases the situation with everyone.

Clean up the mess

This is something the tenant should take care of since their belongings are in the house. Not that the house should have a sterile hospital look-and-feel to it, but any clutter or dirt or mold and mildew needs to be removed pronto. Windows need to be cleaned to give the home a more open and warm feel; don’t expect renters to handle that job so your client may want to pay a professional to take care of it or do it themselves. The yard should look neatly mowed and bushes should be trimmed to maximize curbside appeal. The kitchen should look its best and not cluttered since kitchens are what helps sell a home.

Repair what is damaged

Make sure that there are no major repairs left to be done anywhere in the house prior to organizing home buyer visits. Even cosmetic ones should be fixed if they are visible. Before putting the house on the market for sale, the client is advised to do a walk-through with their Real Estate Agent and thoroughly inspect the property. You want to avoid showing off a property with patch marks on the walls, a toilet that keeps running, a gutter that is falling down or a water stain on the  ceiling.