By - Hanny

Selling Your House with Tenants in It? (The Do’s & Don’ts)

If you’re looking to sell your home but you still have tenants living in it, then you’ve come to the right place. This may be a difficult situation for some people and it can be hard to do, but we are here to answer all your questions about selling when you have tenants still living in the home. We will go over how to tell tenants that you’re selling the home, as well as if having a tenant there will affect your property value and many other questions.

Our team at Bradenton cash home buyers can help you sell your house fast for cash – with or without tenants in it!If you’re interested in learning more about our home buyers, get in touch with us by phone or fill out a quote request on our website.

Can You Sell a House While You Have Tenants?

The short answer to this is yes, you can sell a home while a tenant still lives there. They may actually be able to stay there legally even until their lease is up regardless of whether you’ve sold the home already. However, sometimes selling with a tenant still living there can make you less successful in sales. There are both pros and cons to selling while a tenant is still living there.

Pros & Cons To Selling With a Tenant

There are pros and cons to selling a home with tenants still living in it. Ultimately, it will be your decision on whatever is best for your sale, tenant, and possible buyers. Some pros to having a tenant still staying in the home while you sell is that your house will be staged. A lot of the time seeing a staged home can give a buyer a more sense of a “homey” feeling as well as it can give the buyer inspiration in seeing it all together. They don’t have to imagine what it would look like with furniture because it will be seen with furniture in it. Investors also like to invest in homes that already have tenants in them. So it is much more appealing to them if you are planning or thinking about going that route with investors.

Let’s get into the cons of having tenants living in your home while you’re selling. Sometimes, depending on how the tenants take the news, it may be hard to keep a “staged” setup for potential buyers. Ultimately, the tenants will have to keep up with the house which means cleaning it, redecorating to make it look staged and everything else needed to show a home. This is difficult because some tenants have no interest in helping the landlord if you’re planning on selling their home. Another con is that some buyers may just prefer not to have tenants in the home. It could very well be a deal breaker for some buyers when it comes to viewing the home.

How to Tell Tenants That You’re Selling The Home

This part of selling the home is never easy and it can be extremely difficult depending on the tenants. It’s important to stay on the good side of the tenants because having resentful tenants may impede the selling process of the home, especially if they will still be there while you are showing the home to potential buyers.

First of all, you need to have a conversation with the tenants. They need to hear the information from you first before anyone or anything else. You should have a very straightforward conversation with them letting them know that you will be selling the home and you can give them options on what they need to do or what you need from them. You should have this conversation before you decide to list the home, this will keep your tenant’s trust in you by allowing loyalty to them. You should also always explain their rights as tenants. They won’t be kicked out, so be sure to let them know that their lease will just end whenever it regularly was supposed to end.

This is usually a big thing for the tenants. If you have the option, offer to sell the home to the current tenants first (if this is a smart option for you) just so they can get first dibs or at least know you considered them in the selling process. You can help your tenants by giving them references to other housing options or helping them find something.

Does Having A Sitting Tenant Devalue The Property?

In short, yes, having a sitting tenant can devalue the property. Overall, the pricing for a home will most likely sell at a lower value with a sitting tenant than without a sitting tenant. This is based on the property value itself as well as how much the buyers in your area are willing to pay for a home with a sitting tenant. You may feel like you want to evict the tenant before the sale, but this isn’t exactly necessary. You should weigh the pros and cons of evicting the tenant and losing that rent money that you’d otherwise be gaining.

What Rights Does a Sitting Tenant Have?

A sitting tenant is someone who still lives in a property after it was sold to another buyer by the landlord. Sitting tenants do have rights when it comes to the home selling process. If this is happening then you should know your rights when it comes to everything that has to do with your current residence.


For example, showing off the home is something that happens regularly when it’s listed for sale. This happens whether you are living in the home or not, but there are regulations on this. Your landlord still has to abide by the fact that that is your home. They can only show the home during business hours, you are required to have 24 hours’ notice before having your home shown and the landlord cannot kick you out of your home for a showing just because they decide they don’t want you in there.

They also cannot force you out until your lease or contract ends, regardless of if the home is sold or not. If the home is foreclosed then in most states this does not terminate the lease which means the tenants can still live there legally until the lease ends.

The Bottom Line

Overall, when it comes to selling a home with tenants in it you definitely can, but you must weigh your options and the pros and cons. Only do this if you feel it is a good decision for yourself, the tenants, and potential buyers. Be honest when talking to your tenants about you selling the home and try to help them as much as you can through this time. There are rights that a sitting tenant has if you go that route so just be cautious when addressing your sitting tenant. Communication is key when it comes to selling a home that still has tenants living in it.