Austin TX Real Estate - Hill Country Austin Lakeway Homes for Sale: Is Your House Really For Sale?

Is Your House Really For Sale?

Is the house for sale or not? Just because there is a For Sale sign in the front yard, a lockbox on the front door, and a listing in the local MLS, doesn't mean the house is actually For Sale.

A couple of weeks ago, I had an appointment scheduled to view some houses with a buyer. We got to the last one, and it was the buyers' favorite, on paper.  It was tenant occupied and the tenant mentioned he would be home during our appointment so I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. I repeated... I then took the key out of the lockbox and attempted to unlock the door.  Deadbolted from the inside!!

austin texas real estate sellers house for saleI called the tenant. I told him I was outside the house and asked if he was maybe in the shower or bathroom and didn't hear us. He proceded to tell me he left town that morning.

I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you. You left town?  But I scheduled an appt yesterday and you confirmed it. When do you plan on being back?
I'm not sure, maybe 3-4 days. Oh wait, are you the agent who called yesterday to schedule the appoinrment to view the house?
Yeah, I'm not there, I had to leave town.
But you were expecting me, why would you leave town? Why is the door deadbolted from the inside? Is there another way into the house since we're here?

What an idiot!  I decided to try the back door and that was also deadbolted from the inside. We looked at each window to see if any were unlocked, which they weren't.

I called the listing agent:
The house at 123 Main Street has been on the market for 154 days. Do you think the reason is that the tenant isn't allowing showings?
What do you mean? We had an issue in the past with the tenant, but the home owner talked with him and we thought things were better.
I had an appointment for this morning and he left town. Deadbolted the doors from the inside so the lockbox wasn't helpful. You might want to call your seller to see if he really wants to sell the house and then get rid of the tenants or have another conversation with them. Those tenants are making that house stay on the market longer than it should.

We have yet to go back and view the house. The buyer has a bad taste in his mouth to the process right now. Tenants and sellers that behave badly make the Buyers' agents look bad when we can't help our own clients. Such a shame in such a hot selling market!

If you want to sell your home quick(er), it's best to do it vacant than having a "regular" tenant in the property. Staging tenants or Home Managers are different and they are there to help with a smooth showing. In the mean time, Mr. Seller, don't hold your breath that the house will sell any time soon!

**Are You Packed Yet?**

donna harris Realtor Austin TX blog

Donna Harris, REALTOR®
RE/MAX Austin Skyline

Austin TX Real Estate and the surrounding areas of Lakeway, Bee Cave, West Lake Hills, CedarPark, Round Rock, Spicewood, Circle-C, Steiner Ranch, and everywhere in between... Hill Country Austin TX Real Estate and beyond. Whether you're buying or selling an Austin home, I'll be with you every step of the way. 

For real time Austin TX listings,click here.

** Multi-Million Dollar Producer Year after Year **
** Platinum Top 50 Finalist 2011 out of almost 9000 agents in Austin TX**
** Five-Star Professional 2011 & 2012 **
** RE/MAX 100% Club **

Copyright© 2012 By Donna Harris, All Rights Reserved. You may re-blog with links back to this post.
* Is Your House Really For Sale?
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Comment balloon 7 commentsDonna Harris • November 02 2012 01:46PM


That's the reason I always put the home on the market after the tenant leaves. It's just better for the sellers and buyers altogether.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 7 years ago

Selling a tenant occupied home is almost always hard.

We dread to read a listing "tenant occupied."  The likelihood of getting in is about 25%.

All I can say is, the owner should have a lease that spells out the duties of the tenant when the home is for sale.

That is rarely covered adequately.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 7 years ago

So true Donna.   I think "Cooperative Tenant" is an oxymoron.    Best that the tenants be gone before listing the home.

Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus ,Merced, San Joaquin Counties ( Aspire Home Real Estate 209-404-0816) almost 7 years ago

I've been there, frustrating, not too mention a complete waste of your time and your clients!

Posted by Mike Mitchell, REALTOR (R) (Real Living Kee Realty) almost 7 years ago

Maybe there should be a clause in the leasing agreement charging the tennant for issues such as this!

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 7 years ago

PS -- I forgot to tell you that I love your new picture!

Posted by Sussie Sutton, UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers. (UTR Texas Realtors) almost 7 years ago

Donna  I just loved your post .  It is so true best to have the home vacant when selling your home. Having a tenant occupying the home is a no sale situation 9 times out of 10. i hit the suggest on this one


Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) almost 7 years ago