Deciding to sell your tenant-occupied property, a house that someone else calls home, is much different from selling your personal home. No matter what type of tenant you have, it pays to know your landlord rights as well as your renters’.
If your tenant is on a month-to-month lease
Look up the laws of your state to see how much notice you need to give your tenant to vacate. Most states usually have a 30- or 60-day notice requirement.
Send a letter to your tenant letting he/she know when their tenancy ends.
Give them a specific move – out day and ask that your tenants please remove all their stuff by that day and leave the keys on the kitchen counter.
You could wait until your tenant has moved out to show the place. Or, if your lease allows, you can show the property with your tenant still in it. The best way to do this is to talk to your tenant about the situation beforehand and hope that they are on board to be helpful and then be sure to give them 24 hour notice before so that the tenant has the time to prepare the home for showing.
If your tenant is on a fixed-term lease
Unless your lease has an early termination clause that allows you to end the lease in a certain amount of days after closing, your tenant will get to live out the lease period, assuming the tenant has not violated the terms of the lease. If your tenant failed to pay rent or violated any other lease terms, you can terminate the lease early. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait until the lease is up to sell the property. Try giving a break on rent if your tenant cooperates, meaning he not only agrees to showings, but also keeps the place uncluttered and tidy before prospective buyers come to look at the property.
Sell to an investor
Another great option if you want to sell immediately but your tenant still has a ways to go on the lease, you could market the property to investors who are happy to have a tenant already in. This might be a tougher sale because you’d be limiting your market, but the new owner would need to honor the tenant’s current lease.
Pay your tenant to leave
If you really want to sell the place without the hassle of dealing with a tenant, you could pay your tenant to leave. So how much should you offer?
Search to see what rents are going for in your area. If typical rents are higher than you’ve been charging, offer them an amount to cover the difference in price for the number of months left on the lease. You might want to consider offering to pay moving costs as well. If your tenant won’t budge, throw in some extra money to help pay the security deposit on a new place. In the end, if your tenant doesn’t want to accept the cash you offer, you might just have to wait.
Sell the property to your tenant
If your tenant really doesn’t want to leave, ask whether he wants to buy the property. If he can’t get a mortgage, consider seller financing. With seller financing you’ll be the seller and the lender, letting your tenant make payments to you.