Selling Occupied Properties

6 Replies

I've had a property listed for sale in the South Side Slopes in Pittsburgh, PA since August 11th of 2020. I have had nothing but issues trying to schedule with the occupants to get in the property. I've been able to get my marketing team through the property and have scheduled two showings for this property since this was listed. When I was able to enter the property on Saturday when I tried to conduct an open house, I had to cancel the last minute for the house was in disarray. The tenants have bunnies that roam wild through the second floor of the house just urinating and defecating all over the floors in the property. The tenants are keeping the property in poor condition. The house smells of animals and has deterred any potential buyer because they are able to occupy until August of  2021. If you have any sort of advice, I would be greatly appreciative. 

Surely that's a violation of the lease. And if you don't want the hassle have you thought about turning it over to a property management company to do the heavy lifting for you on the eviction? It would be worth the cost to get the stress off of you I'd say.

As Heath mentioned, this would have to be a lease violation. This is why you need to not only have the lease, but also enforce it. A lease is no good if it is not enforced, and a tenant is no good if they are causing more harm than good. Your course of action will have to be to fine the tenants or terminate the lease agreement. I am sorry to hear about your predicament but best of luck on the sale. 

So the issue seems to be that the owners/managers are out of state, with vendors doing the servicing, if any. I have a copy of the lease, but I'm still having trouble getting the seller to enforce the lease. I've done almost everything that I can think of, and am still having trouble getting this sold. If I cannot gain any headway, I believe that terminating may be of my best interest. I've had signage stolen from the property and have had to deal with multiple violations from the city for trash accumulation.

What exactly is your role with the property? If you're just a listing agent and the owners are the managers, why are the trash violations from the city your problem?

Suggest you create a win-win situation for yourself - you give the sellers 2-3 options that all result in a win for you.

1) They enforce the lease and curb tenant behavior (you win!)

2) They enforce the lease and evict the tenants for lease violations, not nonpayment, which can't happen right now due to CDC Eviction Moratorium (you win!)

3) If they can't assist you with either 1 or 2 above, then you'd like to know how serious they are about selling. If they're serious, then they'll need to agree to a drastic price reduction for someone else to buy their problems.

Otherwise, if they won't agree to any of these, or other options you come up with, then THEY WILL FORCE YOU to terminate your listing agreement.

Good luck:)

@Christopher Schink I have advice, but it's probably not the advice you want to hear. 

The sellers are simply offloading their problems onto you and hoping that you make them disappear. To be honest, as a listing agent, this is not your problem. Sellers need to help you sell the property by putting their best foot forward. If they are not willing to help you do your job in the form of enforcing their own lease, then that tells me exactly just how serious they are.

I can tell you put significant time into getting this property sold, and are just not getting the results that you're looking for. I have learned in my few years in business that if I am frustrated with a client over and over again, the money is not worth it at the end of the day. I would rather spend two times as much time and money in marketing and growing my business than make the money I would have gained with that sale / commission.


Best of luck. Probably time to let them go.

I appreciate all of your advice! It pains me to admit it, but at this time, I have given the seller the ultimatum to either enforce their lease or terminate this agreement. I've never had to do business in this manner.