Since the global pandemic known as the Coronavirus reared its ugly head on the world, everyone has had to reevaluate their investments and options amidst the crisis. Of course, the real estate industry is inclusive, with landlords taking hard hits due to overdue rent and eviction bans.
Yet, amidst the challenges businesses now face due to COVID-19, there is still an impressive seller’s market that offers property owners a ticket out of their financial uncertainty.
Depending on your circumstances, selling your rental property could be a good idea that puts more money in your pocket. Despite the financial toll of the pandemic, several buyers are looking to take advantage of record-low rates and make a purchase. So if your prices are reasonable, you could have multiple offers to choose from and sell your house faster.
How do I sell my rental property during COVID?
Although we are in a seller’s market, landlords still have to be safety conscious to avoid spreading the virus.
- Follow COVID-19 regulations
The last thing you want is to contribute to the curve, so while trying to sell your rental property, adhere to COVID-19 regulations as strictly as possible. That includes limiting contact by social distancing. Rather than hosting an open house, it’s best to schedule a time for different prospective buyers to come and tour the place.
Before they come in, you could ask relevant questions about their travel history and if they have any symptoms of the virus, such as a fever. Alternatively, you could also employ the use of a contactless thermometer to check people’s temperatures. But bear in mind that some people, especially children, may be asymptomatic, so you should still limit contact as much as possible.
- Prioritize cleanliness
Despite your best efforts to minimize contact, one or two potential buyers will inevitably touch something around the house. That’s why you also need to prioritize cleanliness.
Make provisions for people to wash their hands or use a hand sanitizer on entering the house. It would be best if you also insist that they wear their nose mask to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Also, don’t forget to disinfect and wipe down communal surfaces like hand railings, doorknobs, and kitchen counters between visitors. You could pro-actively limit the amount of touching necessary by leaving the lights on and closets open, which would reduce contact.
- Capitalize on virtual technology
You could skip the hassle of maintaining COVID-19 protocols and wiping down the house by capitalizing on virtual technology. Consider hiring a professional videographer or make a few videos of the house yourself.
If prospective buyers prefer a live broadcast of the home, video conferencing platforms like Google Meet and zoom are ideal for the occasion. Not only are most people familiar with them, but it also allows you to answer questions about the house that the clients might have in real-time.
What if the property is occupied?
Real estate marketing can be a lot of work, but selling rental property becomes a lot more tricky when your tenants still live there. In such a scenario, if you can’t wait for the lease to expire, you can use one of the following options:
Use the early termination clause
It’s not uncommon for landlord-tenant agreements to have an early termination clause. Otherwise known as a break clause, it allows both parties to end the lease before the agreed-upon time. This clause provides the perfect exit from a lease you no longer deem favorable.
However, in most instances, the tenant has to initiate this process, and other times your agreement might not contain an early termination clause. In such an instance, this method is not viable, and you have to look for an alternative means to sell your house with the tenants still in situ.
Offer a cash for keys incentive
Alternatively, you could get your tenants to move out voluntarily by offering them an incentive in the form of cash. It might sound counterproductive to give out money to make the current occupants leave, but it could be worth your while if you need them out quickly.
Offering cash for keys incentive lets you avoid a lengthy eviction process and quickly gets your house on the market. The best way to do it is to be straightforward with your tenants about why you want to sell, then make an offer. While a cash incentive can be expensive, if you explain the situation and remain to understand, it could come down to the cost of moving, unpaid utilities, and maybe a security deposit on a new place.
Sell the property to your tenants
You could kill two birds with one stone by offering your current residents the opportunity to buy the home. Not only does this option save you the trouble of looking for loopholes to evict your tenants, it also means you can bypass the marketing phase and sell your house faster.
Transfer the lease to another landlord
Another option is to find a buyer looking for an investment opportunity. In this scenario, a rental property that already has tenants is a lucrative deal and could persuade a new buyer to take you up on your offer.
In that case, you can transfer the lease to them once they become the new landlord.
The obvious downside to this option is that your target market reduces, as you’re strictly looking for people who want to invest in property rather than move in as tenants.
Selling a rental property requires a lot of work, and adding COVID-19 to the mix increases the stakes. Despite the demand for houses being high compared to the available inventory, it still takes some expertise to attract the right tenants.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do it yourself. Local Property managers are highly skilled professionals that specialize in making property management more effortless. That includes helping you find qualified renters, selling your house, and everything related to closing the deal.
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