After seeing a TV commercial for Express Homebuyers, Walter contacted us in early June to discuss the possibility of selling his Capitol Heights property with tenants in it. The single family home was located on 71st Avenue in the Gregory Farms section of Capitol Heights. He spoke with Acquisitions Manager Tom Parmentier, who asked him a few questions about the house and its condition. Within seven minutes, Tom made an offer for the property. However Walter decided the offer wasn’t as much as he wanted and he would wait to sell.
Three months later, Tom followed up with Walter to see if his situation had changed. During their discussion, Walter shared his reason for wanting to sell. Sadly four years prior, at only 44 years old, Walter had been diagnosed with heart failure. He didn’t need the stress of owning a rental property anymore. But one of his major concerns was allowing the existing long-term tenant to remain in the property.
Rules about selling property with tenants in it vary from state to state
The laws about selling property with tenants in it vary from one jurisdiction to another. So if you are a landlord who is considering selling a home, you need to find out what the local regulations are. You also need to make sure you are working with real estate professionals who are well aware of tenant-landlord rules.
In Washington, DC for example, before an owner can sell the house, tenants must be provided the opportunity to purchase the property, as mandated by the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). We talked about what you should know about TOPA in an earlier article. Specific documents must be sent to the tenants as well as filed with the Mayor’s office. Sellers must follow the steps precisely, which are outlined here, or risk wasting a lot of time and money and still not selling the home.
In Maryland, a purchaser must honor the provisions of a lease. That means a buyer would not be able to kick a tenant out and move in and live there himself. The challenge for you as the seller is that it might be more difficult to to find an investor who would want to keep the tenants. Most people would want to buy so they can live in the house themselves.
Regardless of the laws in your state, many traditional real estate agents are reluctant to show buyers a home occupied by tenants because they expect tenants won’t want to allow visitors into the property or think the condition will be poor. You could wait until the lease expires and the tenants leave, but not everyone can afford the luxury of waiting or having the home vacant for months, especially if the tenants aren’t paying and the mortgage is due.
Selling a property with tenants in Capitol Heights can be effortless
None of these complications are a problem for Express Homebuyers though. Keeping the tenants in the house would be part of the agreement with Walter. Once Tom had the opportunity to see the property first-hand and confirm its condition, Walter and Tom signed a purchase agreement. We closed on the sale in just ten days. Walter was relieved to eliminate this worrying element from his life.