Selling your house can be a stressful task in itself, but how do you sell a house if you have tenants already in place? Here are five steps for selling your house with tenants in Calgary.
Step #1: Ask the Tenants
The first step to selling your house with tenants in Calgary is to notify the tenants the property will be listed for sale, and ask the tenants if they are interested in purchasing the property. This sounds too basic, but you would be surprised how often a property owner goes and lists a property and the tenants have to reach out and ask if they can buy (or worse, they move out but would have bought if given the opportunity). If the tenants have been in place for a few years, they might have fallen in love with the property or really enjoy the school district for their children. They also might really love the area and want to live there permanently. This would be a great opportunity for them to buy the house they know they love. If they are interested, have them qualify for a loan on your property and the purchase process will be nice and smooth. You may also want to offer an owner financing deal to the tenant if they cannot qualify with a traditional lender. This may also be ideal if they have a great payment history, and you can continue to look forward to monthly payments unless you need the lump sum of cash now.
Step #2: Review Your Lease… and the Alberta RTA
The first step to selling your house with tenants in Calgary is to review the lease you have in place with the current tenants. Most leases will have some sort of clause about what will happen if the property sells but the Alberta Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) supersedes your lease so make sure you check what you are allowed to do. In a lot of cases, when the property sells the tenant has a certain time frame to vacate the property, usually about 90 days. Your tenants may or may not be in a position to locate new housing at the time of the sale, so the earlier you are thinking about selling, the better to inform your tenants, especially if you are really serious about listing right away. If your property is in a hot market, the house may sell quicker than you think and the tenants may not make it out in time which will add a whole lot more hassles to your life.
Step #3: Wait for Expiration
One of the least complicated steps for selling your house with tenants in Calgary would be to let the current lease expire and inform the tenants that you do not intend to renew it. They can then find alternative housing or you may want to still accept month to month payments to cover your expenses or mortgage payment. You would have to make it crystal clear to the tenants that if you sell the property, they would have to vacate the property and how much time you will allow them for that. BE CAREFUL HERE: If you put a tenant on a month-to-month lease the Alberta Tenancy Act states that you must give minimum 90 days notice of eviction, if your tenant knows his/her rights and decides to dig their heels in this could affect the closing date you have agreed to on the sale and potentially cost you more money or possibly have the sale be terminated. Having the tenant leave at the end of the lease without accepting month to month payments may leave you carrying the cost of the property on your own until it sells but it is the cleanest and best way to sell.
Step #4: List with Tenants in Place
If you are unable to wait for the lease to expire, the next step for selling your house with tenants in Calgary would be to list the house with tenants in place. This may work to your advantage, especially if the tenants agree to leave during house showings because the property would already be staged. On the other hand, the tenants may be upset that the house is being sold and might cause problems when the house is being shown, especially if you have had a rocky past with the tenant. Be prepared that they may also cause damage to the property when they leave, especially if they leave on bad terms. In our experience this is rarely the best option, it doesn’t take long before the tenants are annoyed with the showings and the unknown of when they may have to pack up and move. Too many times have we gotten reports from Realtors that the tenants have done something to sabotage the desirability of the property, only if you had a close relationship with the tenant would this really be an option in my opinion.
Step #5: Pay the Tenant
The fifth step for selling your house with tenants in Calgary would be to offer payment for them to vacate the property. This might help smooth over any uncomfortable house showings or help them move into their new home. You could also pay them by offering a discounted rental rate but whatever you do make sure you get everything documented and signed by both tenant and landlord. Verbal agreements are worth the paper they are written on…
How You Can Avoid These 5 Steps!
If you need to sell a house with tenants in Calgary, the fastest, easiest, and most convenient way is to sell the house to a direct buyer. This will eliminate property showings, dealing with upset tenants, and the costs of putting it on the MLS.