Selling a Tenant Occupied Home in Los Angeles

In a perfect world, before listing your home for sale, your tenants would have moved out of your home, you would call a staging professional, and your home would be ready for immediate showings.  But what if your tenant still occupies your home? It’s going to be a true balancing act that affects four different parties: the seller, the listing agent, the buyer, and the tenant.  Of all four, the one with the least to gain in the sale is the tenant, who is paying for the privilege of living in your home while being asked to keep the property clean and to leave the home for an hour or two every time there is a showing.

If you don’t have a good relationship with your tenant, it could complicate the sale and discourage prospective buyers.  The most important advice we can give a potential seller with involved tenant occupied home is to be upfront with your tenant from the beginning and work with him or her to obtain his or her full cooperation.  The best result for selling your home is when there is solid communication between the listing agent, the owner and the tenant.

Here are some tips that are proven to help gain your tenants’ cooperation:

  • Let your tenants be the first to know that the house is up for sale and ask for their help. If you have tenants and suspect they won’t be cooperative, perhaps simply let their lease run out.
  • Assure your tenants that they will have a sufficient amount of time to move (i.e., they won’t be kicked out on the street).
  • Represent to your tenants that they will be notified prior to any showing and ask them how much advance notice they need so there is no miscommunication.
  • Offer your tenants a 20% reduction on their monthly rent for the inconvenience during the process.
  • Most importantly, ask your tenants how you can make the process easier for them.

In reality, it can be very beneficial keeping your tenants while you are selling your home, as it provides a nice monthly income instead of having your home empty for months. Plus, it’s always better to show your home with furniture, as it gives prospective buyers a better idea and feeling of what it would be like to live in your home.

As always, if you have any questions regarding your next sell or buy, please feel free to reach out to PSL Realty at any time at 424.333.0557 or

Paolo Lissia

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