If You’re an Absentee Landlord, It Might Be Time to Sell Your San Diego Property

by | Aug 11, 2016

When I first got into real estate, I was a property manager for an absentee landlord who owned a home in San Diego. The house was charming and just a short walk away from North Park—still an up-and-coming area at the time, full of budding shops and restaurants. Needless to say, he was getting his money’s worth in rent from tenants who enjoyed living in a great neighborhood.

But the landlord lived in Los Angeles and had a full-time job, so he rarely set foot anywhere near his property. That’s where I came in as the property manager. Still, every now and then I’d run into a bigger issue and I’d have to give the landlord a call in LA. Even though he was only a few hours away, he was always busy at work and he could barely fit the drive over into his schedule.

He sold the property just a year later. He was tired of being so far from his investment and never being in a position to handle problems on his own. It sounded like a bad move at the time because the San Diego property was so appealing, but now I realize he did the right thing. He no longer had to shell out money for property management or worry about difficult tenants while also juggling his other commitments.

If you’re an absentee landlord, this probably sounds familiar and you might already be anxious to get this burden off your shoulders. But if you’re busy with your day-to-day work and living far from your property, the traditional real estate market probably isn’t looking very appealing. Luckily, you have options.

The Problems with Being an Absentee Landlord

Being a landlord comes with enough headaches, but if you’re pressed for time, far from the property in question, and generally not present, those headaches can quickly multiply. Some of the problems you might face include:

Lease violations:

When the landlord’s away, the tenants will play! If tenants know a landlord isn’t likely to show up on the property, the likelihood of lease violations goes up because tenants know there’s a lack of accountability. Even if pets aren’t allowed, tenants can easily sneak a cat or other small pet by you (and even by a property manager) because it’s unlikely to be spotted. Tenants may even illegally sublet their space or add additional tenants beyond those permitted on the lease.

Late rent payments:

Now imagine how powerless you’ll be if your tenant is late with paying the rent or worserefuses to pay at all. If you aren’t located in the same town, your ability to pressure them into paying is greatly reduced and just going over to knock on their door could be an entire day trip for you. Plus, having a solid, familiar relationship with your tenants decreases the chance that they’ll try to pull a fast one on you in the first place.

Property management costs:

Small repairs become a big problem when you can’t handle them yourself. A backed-up toilet in the middle of the night could cost you far more than it’s worth if you have to pay for outside help. Even if you do pay for an excellent property management company to help with these issues, they’re not accountable for everything and they’re not without a price. Ultimately, they’ll take a good share of the money that could otherwise be going directly into your pocket.

So imagine all these problems accumulating over all the years of owning property. It’s a huge loss of time and money that reminds me of a saying I once heard: No matter how good of a real estate deal you find, it’s only as good as its ability to be managed well. And if you don’t have the time to be involved with your property, is that really good management?

Be Careful Selling on the Open Market

If you’re considering selling your place, it’s important that you do it right. Listing with an agent on the open market may sound like a good idea, but there are some important things to consider.

First, if you slap a “For Sale” sign in the front yard, imagine how your tenants will react. While you want to promote your property, you also need to consider their feelings and make sure you stay within the law. While it is your right to put the property on the market at any time, if you intend to terminate a month-to-month lease, you have to give your renters at least 30 days’ notice.  

The problem is, once your tenants are out after the 30 days are up, you might not be any closer to finding a buyer and now you’ve lost a stream of income in the meantime. You may also be facing expensive repairs depending on how long the tenants have been there and how well they took care of the property. If you’re eager to get out of the business, the last thing you want to do is sink more money into a house you’re about the unload.

Sell Your House Direct Can Help

If you want to avoid the market altogether and sell your house with minimal fuss, Sell Your House Direct is the answer. The process is simple. We can make you a fair cash offer within 24 hours and close the deal within a matter of days – no “For Sale” sign or renovations required. We pride ourselves on a people-first approach and want to make this process easy for you. Let us take care of the property so you can move on to the next chapter in your life. Give us a call today and let’s get started.

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