If you’re selling a tenant-occupied home in Houston, you may need to do a little extra planning to grease the wheels during the process.
For most tenants, trouble is the first thing that comes to mind when they see a for sale sign on their lawn. Intuitively, they brace for disruption.
A new owner may raise the rent or change the lease terms. In a worst-case scenario, the new owner may force the tenant to move. The possibility of a forced eviction alone is enough to make most tenants cringe.
Fortunately, it’s not necessary for every tenant-occupied home sale to require a Herculean effort. At the least, however, the tenant is a wildcard.
You never know how a tenant will react to a potential sale. You can, however, open the lines of communication with the tenant to support a cordial transaction. You can make the process go smoother by recognizing that the tenant also has a stake in the sale, albeit more emotional than financial.
Learn why you need to lower your showings when you’re selling a house with tenants by continuing to read.
Selling a House With Tenants: Looking at the Sale From the Tenant’s Perspective
The best thing that you can do when selling an occupied home is to show compassion. Throughout the process, it’s a good idea to practice transparency. If possible, you want to show the tenant that the sale is a good thing.
Began by explaining how you plan to show the home. At the same time, you must demonstrate that you understand that the process is an inconvenience.
You must also assure the tenant that you will do everything to minimize the disruption to their life. By showing this type of empathy, it’s easier for you to win the trust of your tenant. More importantly, however, the tenant is more likely to cooperate, making the process go smoother.
Make sure you have all the tenant’s up-to-date contact information. Also, find out their work schedule. If a tenant works late at night, for example, they most likely won’t appreciate an early morning appointment.
Miscommunications happen, but you must minimize them as much as possible. It’s best to keep the tenant informed throughout every step of the sales process.
This point is especially relevant when you receive an offer. By keeping tenants informed about offers, they can prepare in the event that the sale goes through.
The tenant also needs to know important facts about the sale, such as if the new owner will continue to rent the property. By keeping tenants informed, you can alleviate their concerns significantly.
During the sales process, the biggest thing that you can do to reduce tenant inconvenience is to keep showings to a minimum. If you’re trying to sell a house with tenants, tips – such as the following 7 – may help.
1. The Tenant Is a Part of the Process, Not the Property
In all fairness, you should give tenants a minimum of 24-hour’s notice before showing. You should also inform the real estate agent about your tenant’s schedule.
This way, the listing agent can coordinate showings that work for everybody. Unless the tenant says otherwise, real estate laws say that you must notify your tenant that you’re going to enter the property.
During showings, you’ll make buyers more comfortable if the tenant is not present. No one wants someone following them around while they are viewing a home, especially not a disgruntled tenant.
As a result, it’s in your best interest to convince the tenant to vacate the home during showings. An empty house will enable potential buyers to view the property freely.
It may help to cover expenses for the tenant to dine out during the showing. However, no matter how many times you offer to pay for dinner, the tenant will not appreciate your kind gesture if you schedule excessive viewings.
2. Appearance Is Everything
When you’re selling a property, you must keep it looking its best. At the same time, you must remain aware that your tenant must continue to live their life. Life, however, can get messy.
People have a lot to do. With so much to do in a day, dirty dishes in the sink and products and linens strewn about the bathroom happen – often.
It takes a lot of cleaning to keep a home in showroom condition. If anything, this aspect of the process may prove the most annoying for the tenant – even with their cooperation.
Accordingly, you must make it easy for the tenant to keep the property clean. For example, you can hire a maid and yard service to help your tenant keep the property in order while the house is up for sale.
The tenant doesn’t have a tangible stake in the property. As a result, it’s your job to make sure the property looks its best for sellers. Again, no matter what you do for your tenant, multiple daily showings will only make the sales process more difficult for everyone.
3. You Need the Tenant on Your Side
Although your tenant won’t realize a significant financial gain from the sale, they’re still your partner in the process. You must include them in the ongoing activities regarding the transaction.
It’s much easier to accomplish this task if you maintain a good relationship with the tenant. Ideally, you’ve already done a great job maintaining the house. It’s also fortunate if you have a tenant with little to no payment issues.
If there any issues with your tenant, they’re going to blame you for them if you’re selling the home. In this instance, it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong – blame isn’t going to help to sell the house.
In most cases, tenants aren’t happy when the owner sells the property. Because of this, tenant-occupied homes can serve as a bane to real estate agents. If you want to sell a tenant-occupied home, you must overcome both of these obstacles.
Again, communication is the key to salvaging the relationship with your tenant. You can’t get a tenant on your side if you’re aggravating them with showing after showing.
4. If the Tenant Is on Your Side, It Will Probably Be With Reluctance
Congratulations! You’ve said and done all the right things, and now the tenant is on your side.
However, understand that they’re doing so reluctantly.
No matter what you do or say, there’s no way to comfort a tenant facing the possibility of having their home sold from under them – no matter how remote. Also, you’re asking them to allow strangers to roam through their dwelling.
Although your tenant has agreed to a showing schedule, no time is a good time to let someone you don’t know into your house. In the back of their minds, they’re giving access to the enemy voluntarily.
5. In Some Cases, the Tenant May Help You
Your talk about the showing schedule is probably the most important conversation you’re going to have with them about the sales process. You must let the tenant have considerable input during that conversation.
You may even want to give the tenant more control. For example, you can provide a lockbox that the tenant can control for the showings. This gesture can help to make the tenant feel as though they have more control over the property.
An agent may assume that because there’s a lockbox present, they can show the property whenever they want. A tenant-controlled lockbox can prevent conflicts that can arise with the agent.
For example, Supra Systems sells a programmable lockbox. Tenants can control the lockbox using their smartphone. The included app will also inform them when someone enters their home.
Still, it’s essential to limit the number of showings. By keeping viewings to a minimum, you’ll reduce pushback from your tenant.
6. The Less Tenants Have to Do, the Easier Things Will Go
Communicating with your tenant during a sale is not a one and done task; it’s an ongoing process. As an aside, the first person that you should offer your property to is your tenant. If they don’t want to buy your property, you must share critical pieces of information with them about the sale.
You must come to a consensus about both of your expectations during the sales process. By taking this approach, you’ll increase the likelihood that your tenant will cooperate with the sale.
You’ll also increase the chances that your tenant will allow some flexibility with the showing schedule. Everything’s not going to fit into a perfect box. You’re most likely going to need some wiggle room to accommodate potential buyers.
From the start, you must assure your tenant that only two kinds of people are going to enter the property – serious buyers and real estate agents. No tenant wants to give access to their home to just anyone who’s read a classified ad.
This approach to the sale will undoubtedly limit showings. Even so, you must find a happy middle ground regarding a reasonable number of viewings. From your tenant’s perspective, you can bet money that fewer showings are more desirable.
7. You Need the Property to Look Awesome
Even though you have a tenant, you can still hire a staging company to prepare your home for the sale. A real estate agent can help you find a qualified staging professional.
You must make the home feel warm and inviting for potential buyers. A stager can help you accomplish this. They know what to do to make rooms look brighter and feel larger.
A properly staged home helps to create an emotional connection for potential buyers. Staging is especially important for buyers who are on the fence.
No one wants to feel like they are bothering residents of a property. A neat, organized home eliminates any such notion.
Already, you’ve asked the tenant to remain absent during showings. If a tenant doesn’t agree to let you show the home when they’re not present, potential buyers will feel rushed. This feeling is uncomfortable and will most definitely kill the sale.
Additionally, you’re going to need to convince them to keep the home in tip-top shape for potential buyers. No matter how much cooperation you’ve garnered, tenants can only do so much. You must limit the number of showings so that you don’t turn a cooperative tenant into a hostile one.
Why Choose Real Estate Photography?
Great photos can make or break a sale. People love pictures, especially great ones. When you’re selling a home, a bright, detailed photograph instills trust in potential buyers.
When someone’s in the market for a home, the internet is usually the first place they go to start their search. Professional pictures can make all the difference in the world.
When you’re selling an occupied home, you want to schedule fewer showings. However, you can attract more qualified and serious buyers with professional real estate photography. Furthermore, you can sell your home faster.
A professional photographer can also provide aerial photography using drones. Aerial photography is a cutting-edge service that can make your property stand out and sell.
Professional photos are also an excellent resource for promoting your sale on social media. A real estate photographer can help you make up for lost exposure due to fewer showings, allowing you to sell your home as fast as if it were unoccupied.
Book Professional Photography for Your Property With Ease
154 Photography understands that there’s a lot involved when selling a house with tenants. However, a professional presentation can help your home sell faster and for a higher price, so it’s well worth it. Also, when you set your home up for a professional photoshoot, you’ll give your tenant a good idea of how you need the home to look for potential buyers.
If you need Houston real estate photography, you can count on 154 Photography. Contact us today to learn more about real estate photography and how to sell your home faster.