But, first, the critical question is: Can you sell a tenanted property in Canada? The answer is yes. In fact, as a property owner, you will have two choices: one, you can have your tenants move out and sell vacant, and, two, you can sell it as an investment property without asking anybody to vacate.
However, the realistic answer to the question isn’t quite as simple as those two. There are situations where you really need to sell your property now and are looking for the best realistic valuation on your property, and the fact that you have renters isn’t making this easy. The thought might also be stressful for your occupants, who might be worrying about where they will live after you’ve sold the place.
We spoke to some of the real estate consultants in our network to find out how they handle such situations, and we received golden pieces of advice.
Be Honest About The Timeline and Respect Your Tenants
Understand that the property you are trying to sell is what your tenants call their home. That’s why it is crucial that you are transparent about the schedules and timelines and to be as gracious and sensitive as possible while explaining this to them. You can start by asking your tenant the best times of the week for you to schedule site showings and inspections. When this is determined, then you can tell your agent to book appointments around these times and days.
When people feel that you are listening and considering their feelings throughout the process, they will likely be more cooperative and accommodating.
Lay Down Attractive Incentives
Several consultants advised that offering incentives is one nice way to get your tenants’ cooperation and understanding while the property is being listed for sale. You could offer rental discounts or waive some utility expenses if you can afford to do so. Alternative incentives can be free cleaning services, gift cards to the movies or groceries, a nice bottle of wine, or whatever token or gift you feel your tenant would appreciate. These are small gestures, but they can go a long way towards ensuring that the transition process is seamless. The goal is to try to keep everybody happy as the sale process moves along.
Always Communicate Clearly and Make Them Feel Important
Communication is key. Work towards a win-win situation for both your tenant and you. You can teach them to show the potential buyers that they are wonderful occupants so that maybe the next owner would decide to have them continue renting. It’s a generous gesture to introduce your agent early on during the sale process so that the tenants would be more comfortable asking questions and getting advice on how the sale will affect their lives. By making your occupants feel like they are part of the decision-making process, you can expect better responses. More importantly, don’t forget to have all the paperwork and legal issues ironed out to avoid any bottlenecks.
Offer Help In Whatever Way Possible
It would be nice if you could find a property buyer who would also want to keep a landlord’s role so that your occupants won’t have to move out. Or perhaps you can talk to the new owner to give your tenants a few months’ notice so that they can transition peacefully and smoothly. If you can afford it, waiving the final rent makes a huge difference, as well. The bottom line is, in such a scenario where your gain could cause somebody to lose a home, be as gracious as possible and extend the best help you can give.
If you need further advice on selling a property that is occupied by tenants, feel free to call the Turn Key Real Estate Investments team at 647-490-4555. We are happy to answers your questions.