By: Wendy Cheung & Craig Barton-Hill

4 Tips for Selling an Occupied Property

Tags: Homes, Rentals, Investments, Ottawa Houses, Buy, Sell

 
tenant occupied home

There is a lot to think about when you’re in the process of selling your property. There are moments of uncertainty as you hope to sell for the best possible price within a reasonable amount of time.

The process can also be stressful for your tenant, who may be concerned about where he/she will be living after the sale.

We reached out to our RE/MAX Influencers—a panel consisting of RE/MAX Sales Associates from throughout Canada—to find out the best advice they give to clients who are attempting to sell tenant-occupied homes.

Offer incentives

Several RE/MAX Influencers suggested that it’s a kind gesture to offer some sort of incentive to tenants during the time while the house is being listed.

A slight reduction in rent could mean a lot to your tenant if you’re in a financial position to offer the discount. Other options may include offering maid/cleaning services free of charge, giving your renter gift cards for restaurants, local shops or movie theatres, or even throwing in a nice bottle of wine. These gestures may be of minimal cost to you, but can go a long way to making the process smoother.

A happy tenant is far more likely to be cooperative and helpful during the listing process.

Respect their time

Until your property is sold, it is important to respect the fact that it is still the place your tenant calls “home.” It’s important to be open and honest with showing timelines and schedules.

One tip is to determine days and times of the week for showings that are most convenient for your tenant. Once those times are determined, advise your real estate agent to book during that schedule.

“When people feel heard, and are a part of the process, they are much more likely to work with you, rather than against you,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Work together and communicate

By working together, the situation may end up being a win-win for both yourself and your tenant.

Coach them through how to show potential buyers they are great tenants so that the new buyers may want to keep renting to them. The more cooperative, clean and tidy the tenant is, the more likely they won’t have to move if an investor is purchasing the home.

It’s a good idea to have your real estate agent introduce him/herself to your tenant early in the process so that they can explain what will be happening and how the renter may be impacted. In some cases, real estate agents may be able to act as an intermediary, to keep the flow of conversation going.

“Try to make your tenant feel part of the team. Have all documentation available regarding the legal positions of all involved. Manage expectations proactively,” said a RE/MAX Influencer.

Help them out

Do your best to find someone who will either continue to be a landlord for your tenant, or, be sure to give your tenant more than the minimum notice required by law. Some sellers take this a step further by waiving the rent payment for the final month of the renter’s occupancy if they are helpful during the selling process.

In situations where the tenant is forced to move out following the sale, you may want to offer assistance in helping them locate a new place to live.

By helping your tenant, he/she will feel more positively about the situation, and will likely return the favour by being more cooperative throughout the time your property is listed.