Advice For Selling A Tenant-Occupied Home

Just because your San Jose home is occupied by renters doesn’t mean you can’t sell it!

Landlords often wonder what their options are for selling a tenant occupied home. What  contracts are they bound by and laws must they comply with? Some wonder what to do about the renters themselves. Should they wait until their tenants lease runs out before putting the home on the market? Is it possible to sell the house with them still living in it?

There are a lot of things to consider!  If you want to sell your renter-occupied home but aren’t sure how to go about it, here’s some advice worth considering.

Play Fair

Like any major decision, not to mention major transaction, it pays to follow the rules. No matter how you go about selling your San Jose home, get familiar with California state tenant-landlord laws. As a property owner, you have a  right to sell whenever you want. As a landlord, you must respect that your renters have rights too.

Dig up all that renter-landlord documentation signed once upon a time ago. When does their lease end? How many days notice are you required to give them? Even if you know, signatures and contracts insure you against possible discrepancies. If things get tricky, verbal agreements over anything won’t stand for much.

Assuming that you honor the terms stated in the lease agreement, it is OK to initiate a home sale while the renters are living in it.You may even want to include the renters as part of the deal! Although the pool of buyers is smaller, there are people out there looking for a buy-to-let. In that case you’ll have to negotiate transferring agreements to allow the tenants to remain on site (with a new landlord).

Sell It Occupied

In many cases, waiting for the lease to expire before putting the house on the market is not financially feasible. The months between renters leaving and the property actually selling add up. . Stopping the stream of incoming rent payments can leave you without a lot of money, depending on how long it takes to find a buyer.  If you can’t afford that risk, use renters to your advantage.

Well-informed renters can be useful allies. Once you decide to sell, let them know! Ideally, notify them in advance of the 30 or 60 day period stated in the renter’s contract. If you want them to stick around during the process or for a period of time after their lease ends and the house sells –  strike a deal with them. Maybe you offer a reduced rent in exchange for their cooperation during inspections or renovation. Another idea is chipping in for their moving costs in exchange for their cleaning up and maintaining a well-staged home during scheduled showings.

Get Them To Move Out

In a perfect, predictable world, they’ll simply start looking for a new place and move on. But what if they’re unhappy to learn their home is being sold out from under them? If you put yourself in their shoes you might feel the same way. If they’re angry, however, they can hurt your chances for a successful home sale in countless ways. Do your best to respect their point of view  before you decide to fight for yours.

Also known as the cash for keys approach, offering money in exchange for vacating the home is one solution to getting them out on their way. Obviously it will cost you, but not as much as it will to evict them. For troublesome tenants, violations of the terms stated in the lease can be used against them. Delinquent rent payments, major damage caused to the home, problems with the neighbors, or illegal activity on the property may all be cause for you to terminate the lease. Just be sure you can prove these activities before making a move to do so.

Eviction should be the last straw, as it can set you back thousands of dollars and be really stressful. Just because you hire a lawyer doesn’t mean you’ll win the case. The laws tend to favor the renters over the landlord. Exhaust diplomacy: explain your situation as many times as you need to and listen to theirs as well.

If your tenants are truly nightmarish, you can skip the traditional home selling process and opt for selling to investors. Professional home buyers can purchase tenant-occupied properties for cash and relieve you of the hassle spent dealing with them.

Are you a landlord looking to sell your San Jose home? The home selling process is challenging and dealing with tenants can make things even more confusing! We have solutions. We are San Jose cash buyers and we’re just a phone call away!

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