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Selling a Property with Tenants in Place


The strong seller’s market has prompted homeowners across the country to consider selling their homes. What if your property is a rental unit with tenants in place? Can you still sell and take advantage of the rising home values? Yes, by understanding the steps and following a few tips, you maximize your profit in this strong market.


The first step in selling your home with tenants in place is to understand your rights and responsibilities. The kind of lease you hold will determine if you can simply give notice to the tenants or if the new owners will buy the home with a lease in place. Only month-to-month leases can be terminated unilaterally with proper notice.


Next, meet with the tenants and discuss the situation. Explain your reasons for selling and assure them that you wish to make it as easy as possible. Offer to sell the home to the renters first, and then discuss any future plans they may have. If they can’t or don’t want to buy the property, you may be able to offer them money to move. Your goal must be to have the cooperation of your tenants so they will help facilitate showings and maintain the home.


When you have tenants, who will remain in the home after the close due to their lease, then you must disclose the lease terms to the buyer. The new owner will be legally obligated by the lease. In a strong market, you may find a buyer willing to wait for the expiration of the lease, even if they intend to occupy the home.


Selling with tenants in place doesn’t have to be difficult. Do your homework, understand your obligations and be transparent with the renters and potential buyers. This way, you make it easy on all parties and can reap the reward of high home values.

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