Vail Daily column: Leasing a home while trying to sell it |

Vail Daily column: Leasing a home while trying to sell it

Joan Harned

Dear Joan,

I am very anxious to sell my townhome, but I have not even had an offer yet. I feel I have priced it right and I have taken care of every maintenance item that has come up since I have owned the property. I have two very nice tenants in the property, and I have always found them to be neat and tidy. Their lease runs out in 90 days and I have told them I will honor their lease or give them monetary compensation to move. Both tenants seem to be fine with that. The only issue I can think of is that one of them works days and one of them works nights. The listing agent has said he often has trouble accommodating showing requests with their schedules. What advice would you give to expedite a sale?

Dear Anxious to Sell,

An online real estate-related blogging platform named “ActiveRain” recently polled 1,000 Realtors and asked them the top-three mistakes sellers often make when it comes to trying to get their homes sold. Six items rose to the surface. I believe that with the information you have provided, the top two issues from the poll are the most likely reasons why your property has not sold yet.

The top mistakes made by home sellers:

• Overpriced home: 77 percent.

• Showing availability: 34 percent.

• Cluttered space: 32 percent.

• Unpleasant odors: 28 percent.

• Unwilling to negotiate: 21 percent.

• Won’t make repairs: 20 percent.

I know you believe that you have priced the home right. However, it can always be argued that a home is over-priced if it is not under contract. I would say that there are other variables, but if a house is priced low enough, then it will almost always sell despite any and all other issues. You, of course, want the highest price possible, so I would suggest you look at the second issue, “showing availability.”

Not being able to show on short notice is always detrimental to getting property sold. Now your tenants have not only made it difficult to show on short notice, but often your agent cannot set up showings even with 24 hour notice at times that are convenient for the buyer. This is very detrimental to getting your property sold because some buyers simply will not be able to look during the few times available to them. And another possible consequence could be that showing brokers may get discouraged trying to get into the property, so they pass it by on the properties they present to their buyers, if the buyers are not flexible with their viewing times.

Serious Conversation

If I were you, I would have a serious conversation with your broker and see if the broker thinks that the price is at or above market value. If you want to leave the tenants in, then you may need to go under current market value to encourage buyers to deal with the schedules and the lease that the tenants have.

If you have the ability to wait until the tenants move out, then that may be a solution also. However, you will need to deal with no rent for a few months, the time of year you are selling and whether or not the market will be going up or down at that time. I would look at the above statistics and work on the price first. Good luck with your decisions.

Joan Harned is an owner-broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years, is a past chairman of the Vail Board of Realtors, past Realtor of the Year, past director on the Great Outdoors Colorado Board and a member of the Luxury and Land Institutes. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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