Selling a house with tenants

7 Replies

I have a house in Pittsburgh with a tenant inside that is paying 800 per month which is good but I had a property manager that was crap.  I caught him giving me a quote of 1200 and one price and paying only 800. So now I am managing the house and I am debating if I should sell it.  The rent is nice but I am not sure if it worth it for me any more since I am doing larger deals. I also own a 62 lot park and a hotel.

I think this might be good for an investor that likes single family rentals and they would probably want to buy with a tenant in place already.  What is the best way to sell this house.  Should I just talk with an agent in Pittsburgh or just try to sell it my self?

Hi Iyan, 

Yes, I'd suggest speaking to a local agent who could help make a smooth transition for the tenant and new owner. An agent will also be able to market it to the right type of buyer through their network and be mindful of the showing schedule for the tenants. I agree with you, it's likely better suited for an investor who focuses on SFRs.

@Iyan Tan there is a catch 22 when selling a home with a tenant in place. If the tenant is friendly, works with your listing agent for showings and is clean and neat and their place is tastefully decorated then its worth trying to sell when you have a tenant in place. If any of the above are not accurate then it may be best to wait till the tenant moves out. Also the area that the property is located, how much holding costs you have if its vacant, how much deferred maintenance there is on the home and many other variables will factor into when to sell the property.

You will appeal to more potential buyers and likely get a higher price f you get rid of the tenant first. The market for SFHs is driven by home buyers not investors. For top dollar get rid of the tenant before you list or you will be turning off may buyers.

Having shown many tenant occupied properties, it is VERY difficult to gain access.  I've met with some very interesting and possibly dangerous situations.  I agree that removing the tenant first will work to your best interests.  

I agree there are pros and cons. Some investors appreciate having a tenant in place as there will be instant income, but others prefer to put in their own. Maybe list the property yourself through investment groups (like facebook groups) and see if you can sell for sale by owner with the tenant in place. Offer a buyers agent commission if the buyer has an agent. If you can't sell it at a reasonable price, hire an agent to list and sell the property with the tenant out of the property. Good luck!

I think this is real hit or miss. You just have to find the right investor buyer who wants a tenant in place. Many buy-and-hold investors want to qualify their own tenants as part of risk mitigation. So as @Elise Bickel notes, if you find a buyer, great. And it's probably worth trying yourself. And if you need to get an an agent, that could be fine too. Selling without a tenant has a bigger market.