Listing property for rent before closing?

4 Replies


I am wondering if it is ok to list a property for rent before I close on the deal?  I would like to list the unit, but not disclose the address.  This is basically just to start the advertising process and begin weeding out people, hopefully.  I could state that the property is available for viewing on (some date after closing) to get the ball rolling to save as much time as possible.  I do NOT plan to show the place until it is in my name, because I know there is a liability for the seller.  I am new to this and am not sure if I am thinking about this correctly, so any input is greatly appreciated!



Hi Will! It's great that you have the desire to be proactive in finding tenants. However, it could be a recipe for trouble. If you're accepting application fees as part of the weeding out process, and the deal falls through, you would have unhappy prospects at best and there could be legal ramifications depending on the laws in your area. 

That aside, we've advertised vacancies both ways - as they become vacant and ahead of vacancies, and in our area at least (Seattle), we tend to have a better response from serious prospects if the unit is vacant and available. Good luck!

You could, but without pictures (assuming you have none), I don't think you'll gain much from it. Few folks will get serious about an inquiry with an unpublished address and no pictures. If you have pictures, you may be able to get a read on market value by how many folks respond to the ad.

If we know that a unit is coming up for rent we try to start advertising about a month prior to the vacancy date, especially if we are certain of the condition of the unit.  However, as a matter of practice, we don't advertise until we have actually closed on the property.  If I can't show it then I don't want to list it.  I have also had delays in closing that would have brought a considerable amount of embarrassment if I was holding out promises for potential tenants.

However, if there is a vacancy, then as soon as I close I post the listing & put a sign in front of the property.

Thanks for the responses!

@Melissa Melia I understand what you're saying.  I was only going to market it's availability and perhaps send a survey by email to get the information needed for a tenant to qualify.  For example, "Do you make 3x the rent.."etc.  This will at least weed out half of those interested (hoping 50% tell the truth on the survey).

@Mike M. I agree with you on the pictures 100%.  The unit is empty now and I was going to ask the selling agent for permission to use pictures just for advertising. 

@Jesse Waters Good point about if you cant show it, don't list it.  I was thinking it would at least start the process and state in ad "Showings begin 4/1, subject to change" or something similar.  Good advice, thanks.

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