Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Don't List Your Fort Walton Beach Home if You Have a Long Term Tenant

Remember when you could easily sell a single family home with a tenant in place? There were investors who would buy these types of properties in the Fort Walton Beach Florida metro market all the time. Not any more. Today, most single family and townhome buyers want a home they can move into immediately. Many of those buyers military, and PCSing to Eglin Air Force Base or Hurlburt Field.
A few days ago I spoke with a potential Crestview Florida short sale seller. He had a townhome that was leased through next Fall. I asked if the tenant would agree to move out with sixty days notice when we get a short sale contract. The seller said the property management company, who also wanted the listing, said “no”, and told him most of the buyers in the complex had been investors who bought with tenants in place! I checked the MLS statistics. There was no way to tell if that were the case, and most of the sales were from other brokers. It was just a ploy to get the listing. Who wants a listing if it won’t sell? I don’t, and neither would a seller! I told him "You will severely limit showings on your property, and minimize the pool of potential buyers. Your chance of selling with a tenant will be harmed". I did not agree to accept the listing under those conditions.
To prove a point, here are showing instructions from some recent expired listings:
  • "Home is Tenant occupied and the home cannot be shown at this time, tenant is unwilling to set appointments."
  • "48 hour notice required. Home is available for showings on Wed and Thursday from 11:00- 2:00"

  • "Home is occupied by long term renter through June 2012. If your customer is not interested in a home with a renter there is no need to show. Lease will not be broken. Do not show just to have something to show."
The last set of instructions must have been taken to heart-- "Do not show just to have something to show", since the listing expired, along with the others!
What's my advice? If you have a tenant with a long term lease and "need" to sell your Crestview or Fort Walton Beach home as a short sale to avoid foreclosure, ask them to cooperate. Many tenants will agree to move out early. They don't want to be inconvenienced by showings and they probably don't want to help you hurtle towards foreclosure. In some cases, offering a free month's rent or two will give them ample incentive. If your real estate agent does not bring up this point, you should.

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