How to sell a home as a landlord

Jennifer Y. Ross
Published on March 27, 2019

How to sell a home as a landlord

Tenants come in two “flavors,” affable and nightmarish. We hope, for your sake, that when it comes time to sell your rental your tenants are the former. The whole process will go much smoother.

If they are disagreeable, you may want to take option 1 when deciding when to list your rental property.

Timing the sale of your rental property

Option 1: Wait

Many landlords decide that their tenants aren’t the type of people to tolerate the home sale process so they decide to wait until the lease is up.

The biggest problem with this decision is that the property will be vacant, and vacant homes don’t show as well as furnished homes. Of course, you can get around this problem by hiring a professional home stager.

If you’re on a tight budget, have only the most important rooms staged, such as the kitchen, bathrooms, master bedroom and garage.

Then, consider that you’ll be on the hook for the mortgage payments until the home closes escrow. Speak with your agent about how long it may take to ready the home for sale, market the home and to close escrow.

This will help you decide if you can afford the carrying costs of the home without tenants in place.

The lack of tenants, on the other hand, makes it easier to perform any needed repairs or updates to the home. It also offers maximum flexibility to buyers’ agents.

Option 2: List now

There are many things to consider if you choose to list the home while the tenants are still living in it. As previously mentioned, you’ll avoid having to pay the carrying costs of the home while it’s for sale.

Another advantage to listing now is that the home will be attractive to investors. If the tenants want to remain after the sale, they are much more likely to be cooperative during the process and the potential investor/buyer has the bonus of in-place tenants when the purchase closes.

The disadvantages of this scenario are many, however. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Although a furnished home is easier to sell, is the tenants’ furniture, accessories and overall taste in decor something that will appeal to the home’s target buyer or what a stager can work with?
  • Has the tenant taken care of the home?
  • Is the tenant amenable to keeping the home clean at all times?
  • Do you have a good relationship with the tenants or can you create goodwill prior to listing the home?
  • The tenants will be acting on your behalf when it comes to scheduling showings with buyers’ agents. An unhappy tenant can make or break the sale by sabotaging showings, delaying inspections and being generally uncooperative.

There are ways to entice your tenants to be more cooperative. Consider the following concessions:

  • If it’s not already in the lease, offer the tenants the first right of refusal. This means that before accepting an offer, you must notify the tenants. At this point, they will decide whether or not they wish to buy the home. If they decline, you are free to entertain other offers.
  • Give the tenants a rent-free month.
  • Offer the tenants a reduced rent until the home sells.
  • Offer them a financial bonus for every showing. Have the showing agent sign off on a register to prove the home was shown.
  • Offer to pay their moving costs.
  • Offer a bonus when the home sells (such as an extra $500 when they move out).

Review the lease and, if necessary, consult with your attorney before you make a final decision on which path to take. We’re happy to work with you on timing the sale for your needs.

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Introduction to Jennifer Y. Ross & The Westchester Living Team at COMPASS

Jennifer comes from Platinum Drive to Compass as an experienced agent. She epitomized Platinum Drive Realty’s motto “I grew up here. I live here. I sell homes here” and she is known for providing each of her clients with an exceptional experience guided by her expert local knowledge. She works tirelessly to ensure each of her clients has a professional, enjoyable and successful Westchester community & home buying search or selling experience. She often remains very friendly with her clients and welcomes the opportunity to be an ongoing resource as they settle into Westchester Living. Every step she takes will embody her core principals; integrity can never be compromised, clients’ interests always come first and character, commitment, and passion truly matter. For her buyer clients, Jennifer looks forward to the opportunity of being “Your NYC to Westchester” guide and real estate broker. For her seller clients, Jennifer is proficient at implementing an aggressive marketing strategy in order to obtain the best price possible in a highly efficient and seamless manner. Jennifer thoroughly enjoys assisting buyer clients in navigating the landscape of the Westchester residential real estate market. She is skilled at enabling clients to define where they see opportunity & facilitating the process from initial search through closing. Jennifer was awarded the Platinum Drive Star Award for Outstanding Performance in Sales & Client Services in 2014 & Platinum Drive Realty’s Superstar Award for Excellence in Sales and Client Services 2015 & 2016 for her outstanding performance in sales and client service. In addition to her passion for local real estate, Jennifer has a firsthand understanding of home renovation and new construction. Upon moving from NYC to Scarsdale, she and her husband performed an extensive renovation on their first home. After completion, they moved onto their second project in Larchmont, a full house renovation and expansion. More recently she is active with local developers who specialize in new home construction, home expansions and renovations. Jennifer has the ability to understand a home’s full potential and can help clients find or create their dream home. Jennifer was the Manager of Platinum Drive Realty’s Larchmont Office. Jennifer was raised in Scarsdale. After graduating from Scarsdale High School, Jennifer received a BA in Child Study & Sociology from Tufts University and an MA in Language & Literacy from New York University. Jennifer currently lives in Larchmont with her husband, Michael, and their three sons, Braden, Devon & Zane. She specializes in communities in Southern Westchester with a concentrated focus on the Sound Shore Communities of Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye Neck, Rye, New Rochelle as well as her hometown of Scarsdale. Prior to real estate, Jennifer was a teacher in the Mamaroneck Public Schools. Jennifer has a deep understanding of the local school systems and the needs of young families.

Professional Associations & Accreditation

Jennifer is a Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker & has her Accredited Buyer Representative designation (ABR) and her Seller Representative Specialist designation (SRS).  Jennifer is a member of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors & the National Association of Realtors. Jennifer’s

Website: westchesterliving.house

Jennifer Facebook Page:  facebook.com/JenniferYRossRealtor

Jennifer’s #FromNYCtoWestchesterLiving Facebook Group

Jennifer’s Instagram: instagram.com/TheWestchesterLivingTeam

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