Should you Buy or Sell a House with Tenants?

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Just last week I sold one of my listings with tenants living in it and I must say it was a bit of a pain.  When you don’t have total control over the actions of renters living in your home, it can make the job of selling your property much more difficult.  However, as a buyer, it can be an opportunity if you can look past what’s going on inside the home with the tenants.


Sometimes tenants will be very considerate and treat your home like you would, but it’s usually the opposite.  Most tenants feel that if the house sells they will be put out on the street (which is not true, the lease should survive the sale typically).  Often when the tenants feel uncertain about what will happen if the house sells, they will leave it messy and make it very hard and inconvenient to show.  I always tell sellers to offer the tenants a reduced rent while showings are going on due to the inconvenience they are going through and this usually helps to keep them happy.  Also, make sure to explain the lease terms and that they will not be kicked out if it sells.  Give them direction and certainty.  It’s like anything in life; communication is key and will help you meet your selling goals.


If you are buying a house with tenants in it, look at it as an opportunity for instant cash flow.  If it’s difficult to even see the home, realize that every other buyer is going through the same difficulties and use this as your advantage – don’t give up!  Most people will, so keep moving forward and you’ll most likely end up with the house.  Don’t worry so much about how the tenants keep the home.  Everyone lives differently than you do and they don’t own the home so obviously they aren’t going to treat it the same way you would.  Your biggest concern is that they pay rent on time every single month.  Some tenants will call and want things fixed in the house, don’t be annoyed like most landlords are.  This is a good thing; it means the tenants actually care about having everything in working condition in the home, thus preserving your asset.


Although it can be difficult to buy or sell a home with tenants, don’t be deterred.  This can prove to be a great opportunity for all parties involved!


Need help Selling, Buying, or with Property Management?  Gulf Pointe Properties would be glad to help!  Please contact Gabe for advice at:  239.825.2234,  or   Gabe Mellein is the broker of Gulf Pointe Properties,   He has 8 years experience in the SW Florida Real Estate Market.  He is a member of The Naples Area Board of Realtors, Bonita Springs – Estero Association of Realtors, Realtor Association of Greater Fort Myers and the Beach, The Florida Association of Realtors, The National Association of Realtors, and is nationally certified in Feng Shui for Real Estate.

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