Should You List It With Tenants in It or Not?

Debbie Reynolds's picture
A Tenant Occupied Home Can Sabbotage the Sale

All agents have been asked to sell a property with a tenant in it. My first reaction is oh no, there will be roadblocks all the way especially if the tenant isn't wanting to move, I know the tenant can make it difficult to show and even scare some buyers completely away.

Generally, it is better to wait until the tenant has vacated to list the house. This gives the seller the opportunity to make the house look its best. Once all the tenant's stuff is gone the home will look neater and bigger. This isn't always the case though and it could actually look better with the tenant's things in place especially if the decor is tasteful and the tenant is a neat and clean housekeeper.

Tenant's can deny showings on the property saying it is not convenient or they are sleeping or sick. And if you can't get them to leave during a showing, they may want to share some of their opinions about problems with the house or neighborhood. What do they have to lose? If can even seem like the tenant is trying to sabbotage the sale so he doesn't have to move anytime soon.

On the flip side, if there is a cooperative tenant in the house and they are the ones wanting to leave, they may cooperate fully especially if it means their liablity for rent might be less. If they are neat and have the home staged nicely the home may show better than when it is empty. Getting a dream tenant like this is rare but I have one now on one of my listings. She is always cooperative about showing and has gone the extra mile to plant flowers and add plants to the front porch to make it look more inviting. It looks like a showplace.

Bottom line, it depends on the tenant. When you call for the appointment to go see the home you will know if the tenant is going to play nice. Then when you see the property you will know if it will make a positive impression on buyers. You don't know until you try. Make sure the owner or property manager has explained fully that the home is going on the market and the tenant's cooperation is needed. Sometimes just asking for help makes the tenant more agreeable and helpful.

When you have a home to sell in Clarksville TN you need an experienced agent that can get the job done right. Contact Debbie Reynolds with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty to get a sold sign on the front of your home. 931-920-6730.


Yes Debbie, it all depends on the tenant. We recently had a tenant show one of our listings, and she was more than co-operative. It worked out well in this instance.

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