Selling Your Commercial Property: Tenant Occupied vs. Vacant

Commercial property owners and investors often find themselves weighing the decision to sell their rental properties. Evaluating your portfolio during shifting market conditions is important to maximize returns on your investments. But one question that comes up frequently during this process is whether to sell your property while it’s tenant occupied, or wait until it’s vacant.

Selling Occupied Properties

Selling a property currently occupied by tenants has a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. 

Occupied properties offer the advantage of continuous income as tenants cover expenses during the listing and closing process. They are also attractive to potential owners seeking income-producing assets, with a good tenant record enhancing the property’s sale potential. 

However, they may be less appealing to owner-occupant buyers and have a limited market to investors due to existing tenancy. Other things to consider include cooperation with tenants for successful showings and maintaining accurate tenant records to streamline the sales process.

Selling Vacant Properties

On the other hand, selling vacant properties presents its own set of pros and cons. 

Logistically speaking, vacant properties are easier to market because it is easier to schedule showings and a vacant property allows the owner to make any overdue repairs or improvements which may result in higher net proceeds. Vacant properties will also appeal to businesses who are interested in owner-occupancy, not an investment property with tenants in place. 

However, vacant properties can come with increased costs until closing, including utilities, maintenance expenses, and holding expenses (like an ongoing mortgage payment). Additionally, there may be security concerns associated with vacant properties like vandalism or theft. 

Which One is Better: Tenant Occupied or Vacant?

Local market conditions and your individual circumstances should be factored into whether or not it makes sense for you to sell your property vacant or tenant occupied. You may also need to navigate complex legal and regulatory requirements, including tenant rights and lease agreements. If you’ve weighed all of the pros and cons above, your next step may be to partner with a specialized commercial real estate broker to decide when is the best time to sell.

Working with a Broker

Brokers provide additional insights to help you choose the best selling strategy while navigating laws and regulations. A skilled broker, like those at ELIFIN®, uses their expertise to secure the highest price and greatest benefits for clients. ELIFIN® brokers specialize in specific property types and are supported by an in-house research team that tracks every commercial real estate sale in Columbus, Ohio, and beyond.

This research is published in The Pulse, a weekly newsletter anyone can access. ELIFIN® brokers leverage this data and their deep local market knowledge to analyze trends and advise on whether selling an occupied or vacant property is best. Combining your evaluation with broker insights ensures strategic, informed decisions.

For more advice about selling commercial real estate in Columbus, Ohio, visit ELIFIN® or call 800-895-9329.

Elifin Realty
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