For one reason or another, you’ve decided to put your rental property up for sale, but there’s one slight drawback – there are tenants living in the property.  While it is true that a property will show best when it’s vacant, you can still have a successful experience showing your rental property and getting it sold even with tenants in it.

Keep in mind that just because you are selling the property, you can’t force your tenants to vacate if they are under a lease.  You must legally abide by the terms of the lease, and so must the new owner should the property sell.  Now, if there is no lease in place, you have every right to give your tenants proper notice to vacate, and if they don’t, you can evict them.

Below are some tips to help ensure successful showings.

Get Rid of Deadbeat Tenants

If you’re seriously considering – or are in the process of – evicting tenants, let that process finalize.  You certainly don’t want to coordinate showings with tenants with whom you are at odds.  Get them out, and get the property show-ready before you put it on the market.

Unless you’re selling the property for a price that is too good to turn down, few buyers will be willing to walk into a situation where they’ve got to deal with an immediate eviction.

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Reassure Your Tenants

Before you put the property up for sale, make sure you reassure your tenants that a sale doesn’t mean they have to leave or that anything will necessarily change on their end.

Tenants tend to get nervous when they hear the property is going up for sale, and many of them are not even aware that a new owner will still have to legally abide by the terms of the lease.  Now, if tenants are not under a lease, then they are a bit more at the mercy of a new landlord.

Compensate Tenants For Showings

Tenants have zero incentive to cooperate.  For this reason, providing compensation for showings will motivate them to help make the showings go well.  I’ve typically offered a $5-$10 rent credit for every showing.  Since showings typically take 10-15 minutes, that’s pretty fair I think.

Show Appreciation

A little appreciation can go a long way.  Be sure to let your tenants know how you’re thankful for their cooperation.  Appreciation can mean more than financial compensation to some people.


Showing your rental property with tenants doesn’t have to be a painful process.  If you communicate with your tenants and show some appreciation and even a little compensation, you might be surprised at how well your showings go.

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