Selling property with tenants

There are both positives and negatives to placing a property on the market with tenants still in residence.

With a tenant still in residence, the period between the sales listing and the sale can be fraught with complication. Even the most accommodating tenant is likely to be stretched by the extra requirements that come with living in a property listed for sale.

Legally, all tenants must allow access to agents to show prospective purchasers through their residence once open for inspections begin — providing reasonable notice is given.

Tenants are also generally obliged to allow photos of their residence to be displayed in advertisements however we at M Residential ensure extra steps are taken to be mindful of the tenants privacy. They must also face the fact that once their lease expires, the new owner is not obliged to renew it, however they are guaranteed whilst still in a fixed term tenancy, their residence at the property is secure.

Yet, despite the imposition of a sales campaign, we at M Residential believe most tenants are co-operative, and we ensure close communication is upheld with the tenant to assist in a smoother process.

When you’re selling a residential property, you want to attract as many buyers as possible. If you have a tenant in a fixed term lease, immediately you eliminate a potential owner-occupier.

Naturally, there are some tenants who will also undermine the success of a sale, sometimes shaving tens of thousands from the price a vendor may otherwise have achieved.

Some tenants have beautiful furniture and really make places look smart but if you haven’t got good tenants, you could be devaluing your property, by anything up to 10 per cent less on some places that are poorly presented.

In real estate terms, “poor presentation” can translate to something as simple as breakfast dishes being left in the sink or carpet that hasn’t been vacuumed.

While tenants must allow prospective buyers to view the property, there is nothing to say the tenant must be absent during those inspections. They can slouch around the place during your viewing.

Despite some drawbacks of selling with tenants in place, most sellers with M Residential choose this option.

In part, this may be because sellers are obliged to give 60 days’ notice to tenants if they wish them to vacate for the sale, effectively delaying the sellers’ sales listing by two months.

Or because many sellers can’t afford to have their property sit vacant for the duration of a sales campaign.

If you have a tenanted property that you are considering selling, make sure you chat with the sales department at M Residential and we can provide suggestions and recommendations based on your current situation.

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