This week, I’ve heard two tales of woe from investment property owners who engaged agents to sell their properties.
The first gentleman listed with the same company that manages the rental. Not without common sense he thought they would be best placed to market the property because of their relationship with tenant. After four months on the market he has finally had enough of being told that the reason they, the agent, can’t sell the house is because the tenant isn’t giving them access. I tried to keep a straight face because the poor guy actually bought this story. I explained to him the basics of the Residential Tenancies Act, especially the part pertaining to notice for access.
The next chap’s experience is even better; or worse depending on your point of view. In this case he gave the property to an agent who told him he was a residential investment specialist and knew how to handle tenants. I’m laughing as I write this because you can see were this story is going. Anyway, the owner gets a call from the tenants giving notice. Why he asks because you have been there for years. The agent had so upset them they didn’t want to stay during the marketing process and try as he might they he couldn’t convince them to stay. When he confronted the agent to get his side of the story he was told by this “residential investment specialist” that tenants are an inconvenience in selling a rental and he is better off with the house empty anyway. Who does he think will pay the rent that pays the owner/vendors mortgage during the marketing/selling period?
Handling an investment transaction is different from owner/occupier real estate. The effective marketing of a tenanted property is not easy and that is why so many agents do fall flat on their faces trying. Just because it’s a rental doesn’t mean agent shouldn’t put in as much time, effort and professionalism as for any other home. Investment property isn’t just about numbers, we are dealing with people. Fiona and I understand the importance of people’s wants and needs and we consciously work the emotional aspect to create the deal. We must respect the tenant who is the petrol in your wealth creation engine and like any other volatile substance they should handled confidently but with care. A well managed listing agent and tenant relationship will have a clean, tidy, smiling rent payer opening the door to our buyer; we are already halfway to closing the sale and putting money in your pocket.
Like anything else in business, selling a rental with sitting tenant is a matter of following a successful formula.