Showing an Occupied property-when it is a mess..

10 Replies

How do you deal with showing a property that filthy tenants currently live in?  I hate to show the house in the shape it is in and I cant force the current renters to clean up their act... Dirty dishes, laundry...Stuff everywhere!

I show the house all the time while the tenant is in the house. It has helped me maintained my almost 0 vacancy turnover. What is the neighborhood like? If it is a highly desirable area I would tell them that you will have it rent ready but wanted to get the first crack. If you don't think the house will rent, have you thought about offering the tenant a free "clean". As a thank you for letting you show the house?

When are they moving?  If you show it this way warn the potentials that it is really messy before showing.  Know that some people cannot visualize and it isn't worth it to take them through such a place. If the current tenants are moving soon have potentials drive by and let them know when you will be able to show if they are interested. the only group I have luck showing like this is in the student rentals and that means the next tenants are going to be as messy as the current ones.

@Sarah Brown  I'm in total agreement with @Colleen F.  but I would say, MOST people can't visualize.  They'll see that mess and they can't get out of there fast enough.  Even if you promise that it will all be cleaned up, they have to trust you to deliver that.  Whereas when you show a clean place, they see exactly what they are getting.

That's why I only show my rentals when it is in move-in condition or very near it.  I clearly set expectations when I show a place and say out loud, that I'm looking for someone who appreciates a nice place to stay and wants to keep it "this way."

You didn't say if you are showing it to potential renters or buyers?  If it's a listed property for sale and you are showing it for a client, there's not much you can do.  Especially if it is being marketed as an occupied rental.  If it's a lease listing, I wouldn't show it before its cleaned out.

The House is currently up for rent.. I have some tenants that got in over their heads and I am (gladly) letting them out of their lease, they were horrible renters.  They will be out on the first, and it is a house with a $1000+ mortgage, so I don't want to go too long without having tenants.  I did a check of the home today and everything was structurally ok with the home, it was just a disaster... I personally would be disgusted if I looked at a house like that because I don't live that way.. I just don't want to miss out on potential renters by not showing it.  I guess if I do show it that way and let the people know this is one reason they are no longer renting from me... the would be more apt to take care of the property?? yeah right!

Maybe you can offer to have a cleaning person over there at your expense; otherwise, showings might be a waste of time and effort.

@Sarah Brown  

Hey there, I would send a cleaning team in there on your own expense. If you show the house in the current state, they will run to the door and you don´t only loses them now, even later they probably wont be interested. So either show the house in a good fashion or dont show at all, keep them on record, who knows, maybe a year down the road they are still (again) interested...but dont waste a house tour when the house is dirty.

Btw: Its really bad how some people can live like that!

Good luck anyway!

Originally posted by @Al Williamson :

@sarah brown, it's a great habit to visit your applicants home and walk inside as part of your screening steps. Messy people just can't pull it together. You'll know what you're getting. Go the extra mile so you never have to deal with current situation again. Best to you

Excellent advice. When screening new applicants, look inside their car. Did they tell you they are non-smokers and it is full of cigarettes? Do they have McDonalds and Wendy's cups and wrappers thrown about? How about making a visit to their house to give them an application? If it is a total wreck you know they will not make good tenants.

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)

Do all showings at night and turn off all lights except one lava lamp per room, that should hide the mess.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.