Author Topic: Selling my rental property  (Read 747 times)

BlueHouse

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Selling my rental property
« on: January 30, 2019, 12:36:43 PM »
Finally selling off my money-losing, cash flow negative, rental condo.  Tenant is moving at the end of February.  I haven't been in the unit in at least 5 years, but I've always heard what a neat freak he was.  Well, now that I've had real estate agents in the house, I don't believe he's any kind of neat. 

They tell me the tub and toilet look stained or dirty (in need of "professional cleaning") and probably recaulking.
The tenant has a closet filled to the top with boxes and stuff
The tenant has clutter on top of cabinets, etc.
On top of that, the place hasn't been painted in 7 years. 

This condo doesn't seem to be in huge demand.  The sales price will be almost 90K less than I paid for it in 2005. 
With these things in mind, should I hold off listing it until he's out of the unit and I can address the paint/caulk/cleaning aspect? 

I'm one of those people who sees clutter and is instantly turned off.  Are most buyers like me or can they see through those things?  Every month that I have to pay for the unit without his rental fees, I'm out $2400. 
Is it worth it to delay until he's out or should I start having potential buyers even while all of his clutter is still there? 

To be fair, it's not horrible -- he's not a hoarder or anything.  It's just not going to be a vacant, staged unit like everyone is so used to these days. 

Advice???


ETA:  I forgot to mention that the tenant added a pot rack hanging from the ceiling between the kitchen and the living room, which I think looks awful and needs to come down ASAP.  That will also need to be removed.
And some other shelves that he hung on walls. 

« Last Edit: January 30, 2019, 12:44:21 PM by BlueHouse »

therethere

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2019, 01:00:44 PM »
Selling with a tenant in place is hard. This is from the perspective of a tenant who had to show their condo for sale. I would advocate to get in ASAP after they're out and fix up everything and stage nicely.

Having a tenant show the condo puts you at risk of:
- Not having the place clean for showings.
- Having to invade privacy for showings and upkeep. Which, depending on the tenant and real estate agent, can either go smoothly or go downhill very quickly.
- Having the tenant get annoyed with showings and cause difficulty (staying in unit during showings and letting people know what needs fixing).
- The last 1-2 weeks they'll be packing  up and the place will look even more cluttered.
- Not being able to do easy updates/fixes to get top dollar.

cchrissyy

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2019, 01:17:11 PM »
Now I'm curious, where are condos not yet back to 2005 prices?

Anyway, yeah you need to paint and clean after the tenant is gone and before listing it. Honestly I think you're being a bit hard on the tenant. Of course there is clutter on the surfaces and boxes in the closet. Somebody lives there! And it is completely normal and expected that after 5 years or whatever it's been, the house will need new paint and caulking or other maintenance before re-renting or selling it.  I understand this place has been a weight on you and probably you never wanted to be a landlord but really, this is part of renting a house and it doesn't speak negatively on the tenant that you need to do these sorts of tasks after they leave.

If you did list it while still occupied, and endure the hassles of scheduled showings with the house not in show-worthy condition, you are only hurting yourself, and I sincerely believe your price will be lower than the little bit of lost rent you are trying to save.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 03:51:42 PM »
I'm one of those people who sees clutter and is instantly turned off.  Are most buyers like me or can they see through those things?  Every month that I have to pay for the unit without his rental fees, I'm out $2400. 
Is it worth it to delay until he's out or should I start having potential buyers even while all of his clutter is still there? 
Well, when I viewed my first house there were college students living in it. I thought it was a plus since I could ask them what was wrong with the house and get a someone unbiased answer, but my girlfriend (now wife) was not too keen on seeing their crap piled up in the house.

BlueHouse

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2019, 04:24:23 PM »

Having a tenant show the condo puts you at risk of:
....

Very helpful advice.  Thank you @therethere.

Now I'm curious, where are condos not yet back to 2005 prices?

... Honestly I think you're being a bit hard on the tenant.
....
If you did list it while still occupied, and endure the hassles of scheduled showings with the house not in show-worthy condition, you are only hurting yourself, and I sincerely believe your price will be lower than the little bit of lost rent you are trying to save.

Reston, VA.  Bought for $355 in 2005.  Comp sales are for $270. 

I am being hard on him.  He's been a great tenant for 5+ years and I guess I had it in my head that the place would look as great as it did when I lived there.  i'm okay with normal wear and tear but when someone tells me that a place needs to be "professionally cleaned", that makes me think that it needs acid-etching or something beyond normal human cleaning.


It sounds so far as if everyone is advising to wait until he's out and then spend a little time and money on repairs so that I can show it in move-in condition. 
I know when I was shopping for a condo, that's what I wanted, so it doesn't seem too far-fetched. 
Thanks!

MNBen

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 12:07:49 PM »

With these things in mind, should I hold off listing it until he's out of the unit and I can address the paint/caulk/cleaning aspect?

I'll turn it back on you.  If you could get $5,000 more for your place, how much work would you put into it?  $7,500 more?  $10,000 more?

While many MMMers would be fine buying a fixer-upper on discount and doing the work ourselves, most of the public wants it turn-key ready.  Clean yourself or hire a cleaning crew.  Recaulk, repaint, etc.   Stage if you want.  Take professional pictures and it'll show THAT much better.   I think you'll find doing that work will make it show much, much better.

K-ice

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 04:52:01 PM »
It will show much better without him in it.  How quick can you turn it around? 1 week or 1 month?

You could get the listing up with just an exterior photo and get some interest and be ready to show the second week of March.

I'm sure you have crunched all you numbers and know its a money pit for you. But $2400/month is quite high rent in my area.  My friend pays $2300 but her 2+ den apartment/condo is new and sleek & would sell for over $500K.

$270K bringing in $2400 per month should be attractive to someone.  I really hope you are able to get over $300 for it.

Flashgordonisalive

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2019, 03:35:42 PM »
Just sold a Reston townhome rental property in September of 2018. The market is definitely not back...we bought in 2005, not exactly at the top of the market, but close. Got $10,000 less than previous price once all was said and done. That was the second time we tried to sell--no bites at all in January of 2016. Over the years we did quite a bit of work (bought it in shambles but loved the location). New siding, deck, kitchen, bathroom, floors, paint over 10 or so years. Just glad the albatross is gone--the place had two HOAs. Reston Association is a pain in the ....
« Last Edit: February 02, 2019, 03:41:37 PM by Flashgordonisalive »

BlueHouse

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Re: Selling my rental property
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2019, 12:23:06 PM »

You could get the listing up with just an exterior photo and get some interest and be ready to show the second week of March.

Excellent idea.  I hadn't thought of doing that.  Thank you!  (And that might explain why so many people list with no interior photos -- drives me nuts when i'm looking for comps, but as a seller, it will work fine!)

Just sold a Reston townhome rental property in September of 2018. The market is definitely not back...we bought in 2005, not exactly at the top of the market, but close. Got $10,000 less than previous price once all was said and done. That was the second time we tried to sell--no bites at all in January of 2016. Over the years we did quite a bit of work (bought it in shambles but loved the location). New siding, deck, kitchen, bathroom, floors, paint over 10 or so years. Just glad the albatross is gone--the place had two HOAs. Reston Association is a pain in the ....
I'm in the town center, so I don't belong to Reston Association, but I know what you mean.  My condo fee is a pain...and keeps growing and growing.  Can't wait to be out from under that.

It's not that my mortgage is so high.  The condo fees are high and they just keep growing each year.   
Also, I don't know why I said $2400/month.  I must be losing my mind.  It's more like $2100.  I pay 1741.85 PITI + 360 condo fee.  I get 1650 in rent.  So I've been cash-flow negative for a long time.