Let me start by saying this is not about the legalities of selling tenant occupied condos. It is about the monstrosities that I have seen when showing clients through tenanted condos for sale:
Being a Realtor in Vancouver it is a reality that there will be a ton of condos that are rented. If you are the owner and are selling a tenant occupied home here are some tips that can really help you with the sale of your home.
#1 – Make it Available to View
Yes your condo is for sale, that’s fantastic. Does your renter realize that you will need access weekly? Introduce your Realtor to your tenants and let them know there will be showings when they are not home. You do need to give 24 hour notice which is fine. I can’t believe when a Realtor tells me that the home can’t be seen because the tenants need to be present. Or they are not comfortable having someone come through when they are not there. If your Realtor has met the tenants and established some rapport, this should really help.
#2 – What “Clean” means
I was taught from a great Realtor to always have in your contract that the home will be professionally cleaned for the first set of opens at least. I do consider myself a full service Realtor but cleaning up after renters is just not a road I am willing to go down. But I will help them move out once we sell!
Make sure your tenants know the more de-cluttered the home is, the better. I know it is hard to police the cleanliness of the condo but do whatever you can to make the tenants feel as if they are a part of this. A dirty home will never leave a lasting impression with a buyer and will devalue an offer if one comes in.
#3 – Vacate the Condo for showings
This one is probably the most important tip I can offer when selling a rented condo.
We all know rental rates in Vancouver are high. We also know that you can cram 3 people in a 1 bed and den condo. We also know that when you walk into a home and the tenants are all there (one cooking, another sleeping in the master bedroom, and the other one surfing the web) it is awkward. Make sure to set the standard with the renters that they should be gone when there is a client coming through. The last thing a buyer wants to see is the previous people who are living there – especially if the place is a mess. We can use our imagination as best we can but at the end of the day we will leave with a bad taste in our mouths (literally sometimes). Tell your Realtor to send them for coffees at the local Star B’s and that will help you tremendously. Don’t get me wrong, I love meeting new people, but I would prefer not to on this occasion.
Think about this – if we see 5 condos on a tour, 4 are vacant, one has 3 people hanging out and they are just going along with their normal business, which condo do you think will be crossed off the list. You are already at a disadvantage if you are selling a rental condo, follow these tips and you will notice a huge improvement. Have your Realtor show up a little earlier to check up on the tenants, send them for a drink, and tell them to take the empties to the recycling bin on their way out!
I have enjoyed many successful sales with tenanted condos as I always show empathy to their situation and make sure to take care and show them I appreciate their time and invasion of privacy. I establish trust from the first time I meet them and make sure it is a comfortable process for everyone involved.