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How can I sell my rental with the tenants still in?

I am afraid they may no longer pay the rent and may refuse to move or keep up the propery
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August 20 2013 - San Jose
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Best Answer
You catch more flies with sugar than vinegar!
Giving the tenants money to move (and that means giving it to them when the truck is leaving with their things) is the best way to get a tenant out. Its amazing what people will say to a landlord, but when they have to come up with the money they find a way (unless someone is sick or really in danger). If the really bad things are not happening to them and they don't have a pitbull that bites I will generally get them out, pay them to move and sell your home without you having any hassle at all.
The alternative of eviction is not necessarily costly (about $1000 with a good attorney) or you can do it your self by posting a 30 day notice to quit. This is of course if you have a month to month lease.
That does not include damage to the property and eviction is a good trigger for people to become destructive at times. So coming full circle I suggest the "sugar" approach.
I would not suggest listing your home until the tenant issue is resolved. A comprehensive look at the entire situation (pitbull included) is the best first step. A ready home for prospective buyers to walk through without tenants or clutter maximizes your return on the property.
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August 20 2013
That is a great question.  It is a good idea to go and talk with your tenant prior to listing it.  Bring the Realtor with you and ask the tenants how they would like this process to occur. 
Some tenants will work with you. If they are not willing to work with you then you will have to give the 24 hour written notice to enter with a prospective buyer.  You can always have your real estate agent list the home subject to interior inspection.  This way you will get offers and know who is actually interested in your home prior to arranging for them to preview it.  
Hope that helps.
TRICIA WIRTH GREGORY
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August 20 2013
I would suggest telling the tenants as it will be near impossible to sell it secretly.

List it "subject to" interior inspection.  The only person who gets to see the inside is the buyer - not a bunch of people that may or may not buy.

I would make sure that you get proof of funds for either cash or closing.

If tenant has a lease that lease will need to be honored until the end.
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August 20 2013
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Selling with tenants is tricky.   Consider giving them some financial incentive to be cooperative.   Some possibilities would be a month's rent in cash when the house sells successfully,  or a $50 to $100 per showing and double that for an open house.

Make sure you have insurance to cover their possessions in case of pilferage (your normal policy will not cover this).  

Be very respectful.  Having one's home on the market is very disruptive to daily life.  Make sure they always get notice as required by law for non-emergency access and work with them to establish hours when they may cooperate.

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August 20 2013
 
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