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Strategies for Selling a Home with Difficult Tenants

Selling a home can be challenging in any circumstances. Add a difficult
tenant to the mix and it becomes even more complex. While it would be
nice to simply ask the tenant to leave, if there is a valid lease in place, this
may not be possible. In addition, any issues with the tenants must be
disclosed to the potential buyers, further complicating the sale negotiations.
The best option is to try and resolve any issues before starting the sales
process.

Before doing anything, have a conversation with the tenants. Work to
understand and mitigate any issues they may raise. For example, they may
be concerned about having their lives disrupted during showings, and
simply limiting access to the home may resolve the situation. Another
option is to offer a buyout of the lease or other financial incentives for their
cooperation or early departure.

If the situation is more severe, such as tenants causing property damage or
non-payment of rent, you may need to postpone the sale to address the
tenant issues legally. Eviction is a lengthy and costly process, so again
offering a financial settlement may resolve the issue. If not, consult with an
attorney for options and guidance.

Finally, consider the timing of the sale and be sensitive to the tenants’
needs. The end of the lease term is the best time to list, but also timing
based on the end of a school year may help tenants with families make the
move. The best thing to do is collaborate with your tenants to find solutions
that allow you all to move forward easily. If the tenant will stay in place,
ensure the change is smooth by introducing the new owner and putting
them in the best position to have a successful transition.