Selling a Home With a PITA Tenant in Sacramento

Selling-rental-home-with-tenants.300x199A reasonable person would conclude that it’s kinda stupid to turn into a PITA tenant when your landlord is selling your home and you need a future reference, but the odds of running into a reasonable person under these circumstances is kinda slim. I’ve met some wonderfully cooperative tenants in my real estate career but those were primarily the guys I plied with alcohol. There were also a few tenants I didn’t have to bribe, who were kind, considerate and all around super nice people but somebody has probably killed them by now or they moved to Alaska.

I encountered a PITA tenant recently in Fair Oaks. I called to make an appointment to view the home and take photographs because the seller is hiring me to sell his home. It was previously in MLS but did not sell for a variety of reasons, one of which I suspect involved tenant sabotage. I say this because when I called, the tenant was immediately defensive and combative. She argued intensely with me about the photographs, which are owned by the previous agent. She felt they were beautiful — featuring a hamster cage in the middle of the living room floor — and rattled on about how she knows what good real estate photographs are supposed to look like. She carried on like she shot them herself, and maybe she did.

After much complaining by the tenant, I was able to set an appointment for next week. Due to the tenant’s combativeness — to be on the safe side and comply with CA Civil Code 1954a, which gives sellers or their agents the right to show a property for sale with 24 hours notice — I prepared a written Notice of Entry. However, the tenant turned into a screaming lunatic when presented with the document. She has no way to legally refuse entry but my California real estate license does not include going into the home packing heat. Unfortunately, that seller, with a balloon payment looming, now can’t sell his home due to the tenant. The poor guy will probably be forced into short sale territory after the PITA tenant eventually vacates.

I have another home in Lincoln coming up for sale next week. We’ve been trying for several months to list the home for sale but the tenant has refused to cooperate. These tenants are doctors, too. Just goes to show that medical physicians are not exempt from being a PITA tenant. They don’t care about receiving a good recommendation because they are closing a home and no longer need to rent. Their attitude is screw the landlord. They don’t care. Sue ’em. They can afford a judgment.

Sugar and honey doesn’t always work.

That’s the thing about being a busy Sacramento real estate agent. We get an up-close and personal view of the underbelly of society: the PITA tenants. The best way to sell a tenant-occupied home in Sacramento is when it is vacant. Sacramento homes for sale that are vacant are a) easier to show b) show better, and c) they also tend to bring top dollar, which often more than makes up for the vacancy factor.

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