Tnrealestateblog's Blog

January 8, 2014

Don’t Sell Your Home with a Tenant Inside!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — tnrealestateblog @ 6:43 am

sink dishesWhether you intended to be a Landlord or you fell into the role, you better think twice before you put your home on the market with a tenant living there.  I know it’s not desirable to have a vacant property but that rent-paying tenant can deter or even kill a sale!  The tenant may say they will keep the place clean and agree to showings but they can easily turn around and do exactly the opposite.

Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of having your Franklin or Nashville, Tennessee home on the market while it’s tenant occupied.  I see two main pros:  the tenant is paying the rent and in many cases also keeping the utilities on.  As for cons, I see many more:

  • The tenant may not keep the house neat or clean.  The way a homeowner keeps their home clean when they have a goal to sell it is very different than the way a renter will “present” the home that they don’t own and they might really not want to sell.
  • They many have pets which smell or at the very least make showings more difficult.  Potential buyers might not even go inside if there are animals inside and they happen to be allergic to dogs and/or cats.  Ahh-choo!  Some people are scared of dogs, even friendly dogs that are small or medium size.
  • Tenants may decline showings even with adequate notice.  If buyers can’t set foot inside the residence, they certainly aren’t going to make an offer to buy it!
  • Depending on the terms in the lease, obtaining a sale contract on the property might signal a count down for the tenant’s departure.  If that’s the case, the tenant could intentionally sabotage the showings and sale in any way possible.
  • Cat & dogSaid tenant may even remove the “For Sale” sign, one of our biggest marketing tools, from the yard.  (Yes this has happened to me!)
  • When is the Landlord’s obligation to the tenant over?  Can the property be marketed to buyers who need to owner occupy the property or do we need to focus on investors who can honor the remainder of the lease?  If the answer is the latter, then you have significantly limited your buyer pool to those who want a super duper deal.  Depending on your goals, perhaps that fits your needs but chances are that you don’t want a discount price for your property.  Most often you will get more money for your home from an owner-occupant buyer who falls in love with it and imagines their family living in it than the investor who puts a calculator to the numbers.

The bottom line is that you loose control of the look, smell and availability of the property if it is occupied by a tenant.  This loss of control can result in longer days on market and a lower sale price.   Just say no!  Wait for the tenant to move out or strike up a deal for them to move out early.   Once the property is vacant, you can accommodate short notice showings and regain total control of the property!

Button Franklin

If you are considering selling a home in the Franklin TN area, please give me a call at 615-260-5858 for a no-obligation market analysis for your home!  Visit Tiffany’s Real Estate Statistics Page or visit to see market reports for  Greater Nashville TN.


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