Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Selling and Staging a Home That is Being Rented

With owner-occupied homes that are going on the market, you have to edit, declutter, repaint etc because the desire and motivation of the owner is first and foremost - to get the property sold. But with a rental, you also have to consider the renter as well...and not every situation will be a smooth one. Will the renter keep the home clutter-free, neat and tidy - or... will there be dishes in the sink and an unmade bed during showings?

When I was selling the second house I had ever purchased - a two family home in Whitestone, NY - I had a single male renter who kept his apartment immaculate. He was sometimes a little late paying his rent...but he was a very quiet tenant and he kept his place as neat as a pin. While I sometimes bemoaned choosing him to rent my place - he turned out to be such an asset to me when selling the house! I staged my downstairs apartment where I lived - and I had little to do with his apartment (it looked fantastic). The home sold in two days - for $70,000 more than I paid for it two years prior. Having a tenant who was amenable to showing the home - and the fact that he was neat and quiet - was one of the reasons why I sold the home so quickly.

I know that it may be hard to figure out who will be a neat tenant - but, just in case you ever have to sell an income property such as a rental - it really pays to put in the time to know who your tenant really is: Not only from a credit standpoint...but also from past landlords as to how they kept their apartment. Fortunately, I got to meet his former landlord and from him I understood that my tenant would keep the apartment in tip top shape.

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