Difficult Tenants Who Refuse to Cooperate With Home Sale

Difficult Tenants

Better options exist for Realtors who want to tear out hair over difficult tenants.

A fellow agent in southern California wrote on an agent website about struggling with a listing in which he is dealing with difficult tenants who refuse to cooperate with the sale of that home. The tenants wrote a lengthy letter to the seller, filled with demands, including a snotty retort about social non-responsibility because the seller wanted to put grass in the yard. I could see them kicking back with a few craft beers among friends, composing the letter, scratching off sentences, changing the format and laughing their fool heads off.

Of the 35 or so comments received by other agents, almost every real estate agent said they would not take the listing under those circumstances. They expected the sellers would evict the tenants. But the sellers did not want to evict the tenants and lose the rental income. Like many, the sellers want the rental home home sold with the tenants in place.

I guess I must be the oddball agent in that group because I most certainly will take the listing occupied by crazy tenants. It’s not my place to demand that the seller evict the tenant. Oh, I will suggest eviction and explain why, but if the seller refuses, that’s the seller’s prerogative. It’s not my house. I’m hired to sell that listing with the difficult tenants, so that’s what I do. My sellers make their own informed decisions. I give them the phone number of the best eviction lawyer in Sacramento. If they don’t make the call, it’s still all good.

Solutions for Dealing With Difficult Tenants When Selling a Home

The first step is to get inside to shoot photos, and I can generally arrange that with a bit of finesse. I put the home on the market. If the tenants remove the sign from the yard, we put it back. When I show up to initially meet with the tenants, I size them up. They think I’m there solely to inspect the home, but I am checking them out. I also hand them a Notice of Sale and document the delivery.

Then I slip the listing into MLS with a notation that all offers will be subject to interior inspection because the tenants refuse to cooperate with the home sale. Now, I know some of you will say, hey, the seller has a right of entry with 24-hours notice, and that’s true. But difficult tenants means even if you secure a showing, the tenants will most likely do everything within their power to discourage the buyers, and I think you know exactly what I mean.

Rodents. ¡La rata! Mold. Health and safety issues. Noisy neighbors. Meth lab. Leaky roof. They make up shit.

After we receive an offer — and we will receive an offer, you can bet your bottom dollar on that — we can arrange for the home inspection to occur at the same time as the buyer’s initial inspection, with the seller present, if necessary, and after posting a Notice of Entry the day before on the front door. Once it closes, the new buyers are free to evict the difficult tenants. I refer a spectacular lawyer.

But not take the listing due to difficult tenants? That seems silly. Call Sacramento Realtor Elizabeth Weintraub, 916.233.6759.

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