Can I Sell My House with a Tenant in It?

selling house with tenants

You might want to sell your property for sundry reasons but if you have tenants occupying your home, selling it can be a little tricky business. There are various things one has to consider such as ensuring smooth eviction by current tenants, staging your home and finding new buyers. Following tips can help you make this transition smoother, without much of a hassle.

1. Inform your tenants

Let your tenants know that you intend to sell the home. Though you can send a notice informing the same, talking in person is a better idea as your tenant would appreciate the gesture. Discuss with them why you need to put your holding on market and seek their permission to show it to prospective buyers and their cooperation in the whole process.

2. Sell the home to your tenants

Before putting the property in the market, you can ask your tenants if they are interested in buying it. Considering they have been living in it for quite some time and consider it their home, they might consider buying it. You can assist them in seller financing option wherein the tenant makes the payment to you directly. If they aren’t interested in buying, or are unable to get approved financing, they’ll appreciate that you at least offered it to them first.

3. Do not renew the contract

Your state laws determine how much notice you need to provide to your renter to vacate the property, which is usually 30 or 60 days period. If the lease is coming to an end, do not renew while the house is up for sale. Keep it on monthly basis so that the property can be vacated within 30 days should you get a sure buyer.

4. Sell the property to an investor

If you are in an urgent need to sell the property, but the tenant has the lease agreement going for a longer duration, consider selling the property to investors, who are ready to have the tenants already in. This limits your market though making it a tough sale, as the new property owner is obligated to maintain renter’s current lease terms.

5. Help your tenants to relocate

Help your tenants move out of your home into another location. If available, move them into one of your other rentals. Alternatively, assist them in finding a new place and give them a rental reference. This helps in smooth transitioning before the closing date with the new home occupant.

6. Offer financial incentive to the tenants

Whether it is the cooperation that you need from tenants for showing your rental accommodation to prospective buyers, or coercing them to vacate the home so that the new owners can take possession, offering financial incentive works in most cases. A little financial impetus can be offered to the tenant to keep the house neat and tidy while is it up for sale. It can be a small waiver on the rent or a bigger commission when the house is sold. When a tenant feels he is being benefited from the deal, he’ll go an extra mile to cooperate with you. Once the house is sold, you can pay a premium to your tenant to move out of the house. Alternatively, you can also offer to pay for the relocation costs.

In most cases the above tips work. However, if you have a hard to please tenant who just refuses to cooperate, a better idea would be to simply wait till their lease or notice period ends. Thereafter you can stage the property as per your liking and expect a good buyer.


  • Troy Erickson says:

    Jul 31, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    The short answer is ‘Yes’, but oftentimes it can be tricky.
    It is not easy to sell your home when you have tenants leasing and living in the property. A lot of things can happen. Tenants in Arizona have the legal right to stay in the home until the lease expires. It’s always best to be up front with them, and hopefully on good terms with them as well. Tenants can make it difficult for you to show, they can leave the home messy, and they can say negative things about the home itself.
    The best way to sell your home with tenants is to absolutely sell it to another investor. That way they automatically have a tenant, and don’t have to make the effort to find one. They can start earning income day 1.
    If that doesn’t work, like the article says, you can try and help your tenant relocate, and offer them an incentive to move. Otherwise, you may just have to wait until the lease expires and then put your rental property on the market. However, if you don’t have a tenant paying rent, you may have to foot the mortgage payment until that property sells.
    It takes the right agent to help you do everything you can to minimize the risk, and ensure a smooth transaction for everyone involved. I have not only helped investors sell their rental properties, but am an investor myself, so I have the experience to help others.


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