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Potential Complications When Selling A House With A Tenant

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Selling a property that you are currently renting out to another person isn't easy. There are procedural and legal complications that may hinder the sale. Here are some of these potential complications:

It May Be Difficult To Show the House to Potential Buyers

One of the complications is that it will be difficult for you to show the house to potential buyers. After all, you can't just barge into your tenant's house and start walking from room to room in the name of showing the property to buyers. That would be a clear violation of the tenant's legal rights.

Use these tips to make the viewing easy:

  • Have a candid talk with the tenants; hopefully they will understand your quandary and cooperate
  • Incentivize the tenant, for example, by giving them discount on rent
  • Talk with the tenants so that they can get out of the house when you are showing it to potential buyers; otherwise, it would be weird for the buyers

The Tenant May Affect the Condition of the Property Negatively

One of the first things people do when selling a property is to do some minor renovations and improve the curb appeal. Then there is also the issue of staging a property before inviting viewers to the property. All of these things will be difficult to do if there is a tenant in the property. What if they don't keep the house clean and your potential buyer arrives to find the kitchen all dirty with water on the floor? It would be especially disastrous if the tenant is uncooperative. Apart from talking to the tenant, you can also offer to share the costs of maintaining the property and keeping it clean.

Complications with Lease Length

You can't evict a tenant whose lease is still valid just because you want to sell the property. The house may be yours, but the tenant also has rights, and their rights are protected by the lease you signed. One option is to renegotiate the lease to a shorter one so that the tenant can move out earlier than planned. Another option is to agree with the tenant that they will leave immediately the house is sold; don't forget to market your house as "vacant upon closing" if you decide to go with this option. A third option is to market the house as an investment property with an existing tenant.

Selling a home without a real estate agent is possible, but it's not advisable in all cases. This is one of those real estate deals that you shouldn't handle without an experienced agent's help.