If You Want to Sell Your Home – Get The Renters OUT

Property Manager with Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

I rarely see this situation in homes I lease...frequently the renters are homeowners themselves elsewhere AND are cooperative.

To Lenn's comment - this is ILLEGAL in most states as the performance in showing their home is not a condition under which a tenant's security deposit may be withheld....better option is a good lease with GUIDELINES included that come into play when the home is on the SALES or RENTAL market...I have this in my resident handbook and provide interior photos of the home VACANT with floor plans to the listing agent as a courtesy!

Original content by Belinda Spillman CRE# 40005863


If You Want to Sell Your Home – Get The Renters OUT


for rentMany homeowners try to sell their homes while renters are living in the property.  In my opinion, this is a huge mistake.  Renters are not motivated to help sell the home.  In fact, in most cases, renters do NOT want you to sell the home they are living in and go out of their way to make showings difficult and do not present the property in the best condition when showings occur. 


I listed a home a couple of months ago with renters living in the home.  I told the seller my concerns, but they still wanted me to try and sell it with the renters living there because they did not want to give up the rental income. 


I tried marketing the home for a few weeks and ran into problem after problem.  I told the seller I simply could not sell their home for the premium price they were asking while the renters were living there and pulled my sign from the front yard.  I told them I would happily let them out of the listing agreement if they chose.  Otherwise, they would need to get the renters out so we could market the home properly.


The renters moved out the first of July.  After some repairs and cleaning, we began marketing the home after the fourth of July.  Keep in mind that this home was listed with another Realtor for over 400 days prior to my listing. 


I am happy to say the home is now under contract and everyone is thrilled. 


If you are serious about selling, you should focus on selling and let the landlord business fall to the wayside.




Belinda Spillman
Aspen Lane Real Estate
Metro Brokers Marina Square
(303) 884-2026





Posted by

Wallace S. Gibson is a Certified Property Manager with over 50 years of property management experience and expertise.  She maintains a specialized property management business in Central Virginia serving Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties  


View our available Charlottesville, Albemarle and Lake Monticello rental homes online with photos and floor plans

"...to be a Virginian, either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one's Mother's side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Foreign Country, and a Benediction from the Almighty God...." Anonymous


Comments (9)

Jordon Wheeler
The Jordon Wheeler Group - Fairburn, GA
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service

Hi Wallace,

Very good points about dealing with tenants and trying to sell the listing.  I didn't see Belinda's post, so I will pop over now.  Best of GREAT success to you always!

Jul 27, 2013 11:29 AM
Lisa Friedman
Great American Dream Realty - Essex, VT
30 Years of Real Estate Experience!

I have had a lot of problems with this.  The worst is when the landlord offers the tenant a sub-market rent in return for them agreeing to show the home. Now the tenant's deal just got better and they are even less motivated to accommodate showings and keep the house in clean condition.

Jul 27, 2013 11:39 AM
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Wallace.  Rarely does the tenant help sell the property.  Get them out before selling.

Jul 27, 2013 09:07 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
RentVest - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

Renters can slow down the selling price if provisions are not made ahead of time.

Jul 28, 2013 03:53 AM
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
Gibson Management Group, Ltd. - Charlottesville, VA

Not planning for this eventuality UP FRONT is the MISTAKE....many renters in our area who rented from real estate agents last year feel BETRAYED that they were not told their home may be for sale in the spring....this causes problems almost immediately

Jul 28, 2013 06:27 AM
Charles Stallions Property Manager
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pace, FL
Pensacola, Pace & Gulf Breeze Property Management

We offer the deposit and one months rental amount plus 60 days to move if they will show and help sell. It just works for us and not once have we had an issue

Jul 29, 2013 01:10 PM
Mark Delgado
houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove - Benicia, CA
Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h
We don't sell so for us this only occurs with a separate selling agent involved. If that agent cooperates with us and follows our advice, all goes well. If not, than poor experiences follow. We have language in the lease but we also have a relationship with the tenant that we can often parlay int success for all parties.
Jul 29, 2013 11:21 PM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

This is especially bad if the owner rents it him/herself rather than going through a property management company. I've seen what Lisa has in comment #3. It doesn't work! I pulled the listing as well because it was obvious the seller wanted/needed the rental income more. Go figure.

Aug 12, 2013 06:11 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good advice for home sellers. You can not count on tenants to assist with sales and marketing efforts.

Aug 15, 2013 11:33 AM