You have a situation where you need to sell real property that’s occupied. The occupant can be a paying tenant or someone that was not authorized to occupy it. In some cases, the occupant is one of the estate’s beneficiaries. The occupant does not want to vacate the property, is unwilling to provide access to the property to show it to prospective buyers, and refuses to allow access to your agent to conduct open houses or any combination of these.
You consult with an eviction attorney, who advises that the eviction process may take at least six months, or more, and there is a cost. The estate or trust does not have the funds to pay for the eviction, or, needs the funds from the sale as soon as possible and can not wait for the duration of the eviction.
What to do?
Owner-occupants won’t purchase a property they have not seen, and, won’t be willing to take on the risks of an eviction and the costs involved. You can, and many agents will advise you just to sell the property occupied. This will require you to sell the property at a substantial discount to an investor. Many agents will tell you they already have investors lined up to purchase such properties, and they do! But will this generate the best and highest value for the estate? Would this be acting in the estate’s best interest? Would you be upholding your fiduciary duty and your commitment to act in the best interest of the estate?
There is another option to consider! You may offer the occupant relocation assistance for vacating the property within a short period of time. I have completed these transactions hundreds of times and developed best practices that motivate the occupant to cooperate with me and leave in a short period, usually two weeks. If the estate doesn’t have the funds available for payment of the relocation assistance, my firm can provide those funds and will obtain reimbursement through escrow once the property has sold.
For more information about this, or other probate real estate related topics, please contact me at 323-606-1919 (call or text).