Whatever your reasons are for selling your rental home, you need to consider your options carefully in order to get the best possible price for your house and sell it within a reasonable time.

Decide who to sell to

You can decide to sell to a real estate investor or to sell on the open market. If you decide to sell to a real estate investor you will probably get a slightly lower cash price but it will be coupled with a quick sale. You won’t have to wait for the tenant’s lease to expire and can sell at any time.  If you decide to sell on the open market, you will possibly get a higher price, but you must be able and willing to wait for the right buyer.

So you will have to decide what is more important to you at this moment.  Is it more important to sell fast and move on or are you in the position to wait and possibly sell for a higher price.

Whether you sell to an investor or to and owner occupant will also depend on the location of the property.  Is it in a mostly rental area or are most of the houses owner occupants?

Selling a vacant home

You can sell the home once the tenant’s lease has expired and they have moved out. This option costs more because you are not receiving rent, but it gives you the greatest chance to sell quickly at a higher sales price. You can sell the property both to investors and homeowners, so you are not limiting yourself to only one type of buyer.

Without the tenant in the house, you can fix up or refresh the property to make it look its best. It is easy to keep the property show-ready and you won’t run the risk of disgruntled renters discouraging people from buying the property.

This may be the only route to go if you have a difficult tenant or one that is unhappy that their house is being sold from under them.

Selling a home with tenants

By having a tenant, you limit your market to mainly investors because you are not only selling the house, you are selling the lease with it. Buyers on the open market usually want the home available with full vacant possession on completion of the sale.

There are several cash property buyers that are more than willing to buy a tenanted property. To increase your chances of the quick sale, have the following paperwork in order:

  • The tenant’s lease
  • The rental application
  • A copy of every rent check
  • Proof of security deposit

It is in your best interest to show that you are not wanting to be bailed out of a horrible situation the potential buyer will be inheriting, but rather that the reason for selling the property is external to the renter.

Getting the full cooperation of your tenant can be tricky. Some ways of getting their cooperation during the sales process is the following:

  1. Give the tenant the first option to buy the house. Even if the tenant cannot afford to buy the house or is not interested in buying, this can lead to a better relationship between you and your tenant.
  2. If the tenant has something to gain from the sale, they might be more inclined to promote the sale. You are expecting a lot from them in keeping the house show-ready and having people coming to inspect the property. You can compensate them in some way. For instance, offering them a discount on the rent while the house is in the market or offering to pay for their move might get them on board more easily.
  3. Communicate clearly with your tenant to keep them up to date on developments regarding the sale of the property, so that they can feel more secure in knowing exactly what is going on.

Happy selling!

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