Uncooperative agent-What Would You Do?

9 Replies

We are getting ready to close on a duplex at the end of January.  Originally the listing agent told us the tenant in unit 1 wants to stay long term and they had an excellent prospective tenant for unit 2 that wants to move in Feb 1.  None of this influenced my decision to purchase the property, but at least I'm cash flowing on day 1.

When I met the tenant in unit 1, she was already asking me if she could break her lease which ends in May.  Strike 2 (strike 1 was another half truth from the realtor for another thread some day)

Late in December I see unit 2 listed on Craigslist.  Sooo.... they don't have a tenant? Strike 3.

I personally called the listing agent to ask if I could just market unit 2 myself.  (especially sine they're doing a poor job)  Tells me about how she's been very sick.  (which I'm sorry to hear but has no bearing what so ever on the situation).  I asked her to check if they have a commitment from the prospective tenant and if not, I would begin marketing the rental.  That was 3 days ago.  Haven't heard anything.

Should I go ahead with the marketing?  I have no real way of getting into the property to show it unless they allow us in for a few hours or something.  Should I keep pestering the listing agent?  I believe she just won't take my calls t this point.  Any Ideas.  Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions.

you don't have a legal right to market it yet, so it's dangerous to do so. I would just take it to closing and once that is done, market it. what happens if you market, somehow get a lease or commitment and then the deal falls through for some unforseen reason?

As you described it , I would insist both sides be empty before settlement , then you can screen the tenants yourself .

Buy his property based on good intel. If u have done your market research you will know what u can rent if for and how it will perform for you. To me sounds like u have one empty unit. One that will be or can be empty in May. Set the close out 60-90 days. Allows for one re get to almost complete their lease. U may have them for a month then you can either renew the lease with your terms or ditch them and find your own. I’d have a little extra cash on hand as you may have to carry this property for a few months. But in the end you will have it on your terms with your renters

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

As you described it , I would insist both sides be empty before settlement , then you can screen the tenants yourself .

Maybe I wasn't clear.  I'd love to keep the tenant in unit 1.  The place is in exceptional condition.  Tenant is quiet and soft spoken.  But she wants to move closer to her new job which is an hour commute.  The problem is that the listing agent originally told us the tenant wanted to stay long term.  Listing agent lied.  That is who i have an issue with. 

Originally posted by @Donald S. :
you don't have a legal right to market it yet, so it's dangerous to do so. I would just take it to closing and once that is done, market it. what happens if you market, somehow get a lease or commitment and then the deal falls through for some unforseen reason?

 I have no legal right to market the property.  But when it shows up on the internet for rent, I'll bet I get a response from the agent!!

I would either need to add a clause to the lease regarding closing (like a contingency) or not sign the lease until closing.  But that's only 2 weeks from today, so by the time I get a few phone calls and take a few applications, we'll be closed anyway.

Right , I get it , but the lease you inherit , the payment and terms , and the screning of the tenants you will have no control if its done before hand 

@Tony Salemi ,

Whenever you ask a tenant if they want to stay (while putting it up for sale) they always say "Yes, until the end of time, I love it here". Because they want to be in control of having a place to stay and not give the impression that they want kicked out. You should get estoppel letters from the tenants (giving rent rates and time frames as well as a copy of the leases) as part of your DD. You should not be going to speak with them until you own the place.

As far as marketing, you don't want to market a property someone else owns without permission. Your purchase and sale contract should outline if you have tenants in unit 1 or 2 and what their leases are going to be at the time of closing. Without that outlined, they could sign a 5 year lease for $120 a month to a person with a 510 credit score. I'd be happy they are not marketing it, you get to choose the tenant that way.

Good luck, it's only a couple weeks away then you can do it your way.

Originally posted by @Mike Cumbie :

@Tony Salemi,

......You should get estoppel letters from the tenants (giving rent rates and time frames as well as a copy of the leases) as part of your DD. You should not be going to speak with them until you own the place......

Lesson learned on writing the lease info into my offers.  And I received permission to talk with the tenant after my offer was accepted along with my realtor being present.  I have done this before.  I don't think there are any laws against it, but maybe I'm breaking protocol.  Either way, I'll just add it to my offers in the future.

Thanks for the advice.

Quick update...I had contacted my attorney and asked him what my restrictions would be.  His advice was that I could not represent to anybody that I owned the property (until after closing) and I could not sign a lease or take a deposit until after closing.

So I listed it on Jan 19 and started setting up appointments for afternoon on the 26th since we closed that morning.  By the morning of the 26th, I had 5 appointments set among the leads that i pre-qualified.   By the next day I had 2 tenants ask to take it and I selected my best candidate.  We are scheduled to meet today to sign the lease.

So, I was able to get it rented in 8 days and have essentially zero vacancy to start.  I'm very happy with the results.

Thanks for everyone's help and advice.

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