I admit that several times I started reading Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. Each time I was unable to get interested in the World War II story, so I put the book down.
Nevertheless, I know what people mean when they say, "It's a Catch-22."
One of the most disheartening "Catch-22s" of real estate begins when what is normally an owner occupied home is rented to someone else. It's a logical way for the owner to not be burdened with day to day maintenance, and to get significant assistance in paying the monthly mortgage payments.
The fly in the ointment is the understandable lack of interest the renter often has in seeing the home sold. After all, none of the preliminaries of showing, selling or the outcome -- him having to move elsewhere -- is anything more than a bother and inconvenience for him.
And he easily rationalizes and forgives himself for all of that. "After all, I'm paying rent," he says to himself and anyone else who questions his motivations.
Often times this means the home may not always be in pristine showing condition. The renter may refuse to allow a showing because it will present a minor inconvenience for him. And then there are those renters who refuse to leave during a showing, and then make it a point to tell the prospect and the agent things he doesn't like about the house.
We can't ignore the additional drama that will come when the house sells - trying to meet the demands of the buyer's move-in date with the tenant's move-out date.
It's no wonder that many agents, when selecting a group of homes to show a client, will not include homes that have a tenant. There are too many things that can go wrong, he reasons. Why subject himself and his client to any of that if he doesn't have to?
Showing homes to clients always must be as close to a 100% positive experience as the agent can make it.
Nevertheless, it's no wonder that many homeowners who have moved elsewhere themselves find it necessary to rent out their last home if it didn't sell before their move. And I've never known a listing agent or a buyer's agent, for that matter, who wasn't totally sympathetic.
So let's lay out the "Catch-22." Every party to the process - including the tenant - wishes the house were either occupied by the owner or able to be left vacant. Understandably, it can't be.
Nevertheless, in most cases the fact there is a tenant, a tenant who will have to move when the house is sold, means marketing the home will carry with it a significant cloud.
My good fortune is that one of my listings, although occupied by tenants, is leased to a fellow-Realtor. She and her family are the made-in-heaven match for my client and for me.
BILL CHERRY, REALTOS
DALLAS - PARK CITIES
Now Entering Our 46th Year