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Selling vs. renting, it's not like buying vs. renting!

Rent Vs Sell New Milford CTTo sell or to rent, that is the question. Sometimes a seller feels like their is no choice, if they can't sell in a very timely fashion then they feel pressure to rent. 

Maybe you have already purchased another home, or are relocating out of the area, or you are trying to sell to get out from under a mortgage you can no longer afford. 

There are pro's and con's, just like buying vs. renting. But the brunt of the con's fall to the would be seller turned landlord. 

In New Milford, CT over the past few years some sellers felt forced to rent. The real estate market just wasn't strong enough and homes were sitting on the market far too long. Many sellers made the painful decision to rent for a while, hoping the market would improve when the lease was up. Some sellers are still facing this decision despite the market improvements. 

In theory, it works. In practice, there are many things to consider. And unfortunately the negative side just might outweigh the positive side. 

A few things you need to think about before you make that decision to rent. 

  • First and foremost, make sure there are no restrictions on your mortgage that will prevent you from renting out your home. It all depends on what type of mortgage you have. 
  • Next, contact your insurance company. You will have to have a different policy and it will probably cost you more money. If you don't think this is important, consider if something should happen and you have to make a claim they could deny it. 
  • Make sure you require renters insurance policy and that you are a named insured. Ask to see the declarations page at lease signing.
  • Are you going to allow pets? Again, check with your insurance company. Many have a list of dog breeds that they will not insure. In Connecticut it is against tenant landlord law to take an additional deposit for pets, but it is acceptable to charge non refundable pet rent every month. 
  • If you are going to allow pets, make sure you actually MEET the pet. A small mixed breed can end up actually being a 50 pound pit bull mix. 
  • When you do decide it is time to sell at the end of the lease, I can tell you from first hand experience that trying to set up showings when tenants are involved can be an absolute nightmare. Can you afford to wait until they move out before putting it back on the market again? 
  • What is your plan if they don't pay the rent? Eviction is a long, costly process here in Connecticut. 
  • If you have oil or propane heat make sure your tenants are on automatic delivery and that they have a contract on the furnace/burner. 
  • Take your lease to a real estate attorney to review. Do not take a chance that a boiler plate lease is the right one for you. Protect yourself as much as possible. And while you are speaking to your attorney, ask about the eviction process, just in case. 
  • Make sure you understand the law all the way around. From the laws on deposits to fair housing laws. The last thing you want to do is to find yourself on the other end of a law suit! Check out the State of Connecticut Website on Landlord Tenant laws. Then familiarize yourself with Fair Housing Laws.  These are no joke. Do not just rely on your real estate agent to know the laws! 
  • Will you need a management company to oversee the rental? That will cost you money too. 

These are just a few things you should consider before you decide to lease that house out because it hasn't sold yet. You need to think long and hard about this one before making that decision.  

If you did rent your house out, the lease is up and you want to try and sell again, you need to understand WHY your house failed to sell before. Was it because it was not priced correctly for the real estate market? Pricing your home based on what you need to get instead of what the current real estate market says it is worth will certainly prevent a sale. If that was your pricing strategy, I am not surprised you felt compelled to make the decision to rent.

Was your house presented to prospective buyers in the best light possible? What exactly was the marketing strategy? Was it progressive and aggressive? Or was it more along the lines of the 3 P's approach, put up a sign, put it on the MLS, pray. 

Want more information about selling your home in New Milford, CT? Check out my website and order a free ebook on my sales and marketing plan, or give me a call at 203.460.1775.

Remember, renting vs. selling carries many, many risks. It is nothing like someone who is trying to decide if they should rent or purchase a home. Once you sign that lease, the tenant has far more protection than you do! 


Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

Comment balloon 19 commentsAndrea Swiedler • June 25 2015 03:10PM


Andrea this is a well thought out post that all home sellers considering renting out their home - until the market improves should read.  We had a lot of that going on here several years ago and it was so important to be aware of so many laws and obligations as a landlord.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 5 years ago

Hi Anna Banana, we saw this start happening a few years ago, and it is still happening. Now that some of the leases are up... what issues there are for the sellers! 

Being a landlord is very serious business and not for everyone. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

When Virignia home owners find out that hoarders are legally protected classes that you can not simply evict, but must put a counseling program in place to help first, they usually decide to sell.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 5 years ago

I went down the landlord path.  It took me to a place I never want to go back again.  I have shared my experience with do I sell or rent? consumers from time to time.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) about 5 years ago

Chris Ann, well, I did a bit of research after reading your (horrifying and eye opening) comment. Although I cannot find anything that says a landlord in CT must put a counseling program in place to help first, I did find that eviction can only be done if it has become a health and safety issue based on objective assessment. 

But who pays for the cleanup? 

Hoarders are indeed a protected class. I hadn't even thought of that. One more reason to rethink and think again. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Tammy, it can be a good thing... or as you found, somewhere you never want to go again. I wish you would share your story in a post, if you haven't already!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Good morning Andrea. I am a landlord, a very good one. I have sold many of my properties to my tenants and over the years handled many of the mortgages for them. It is all about the interview process.

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) about 5 years ago

Good morning Andrea. There is a huge difference. I did the landlord bit and it did not work out well for me.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 5 years ago

Joe, I am sure you are a great landlord! I think the difference is... you want to be a landlord and understand and are prepared for the risks. One bad tenant won't cause you to lose a property! 

And yes, that interview process is all important indeed!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Michael, it wouldn't be for me either. There is a very big difference. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Excellent, excellent points Andrea...this should be so many agents do not protect the homeowners amazes me.

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in Southern RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) about 5 years ago

Ginny, some people just don't want to be protected! But really, what I think happens is desperation sets in. Real estate transactions and desperation do not mix well. 

Thank you!

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Very informative post for anyone thinking of renting instead of selling.  You're right on the money with some great advice Dean, Dean.

Posted by Roger D. Mucci, Lets shake things up at your home today! (Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092) about 5 years ago

Good morning Andrea. Renting isn't for everyone and sometimes after thinking it through it is better to just bite the bullet. Terrific information.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 5 years ago

Good morning Roger, Roger! It is a painful decision for those who are faced with it. Knowing the potential issues is a must!

Hello Sheila, no, renting is certainly not for everyone. It may be best to do what you have to do in order to sell, rather than hope in the future it will sell for what you need it to. 

Posted by Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties) about 5 years ago

Andrea I am sure that is not a pleasent situation to be in and probably comes with lots of stress.  I have never wanted to be a landlord, and would never rent my property unless I was left without any choice but to do so.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 5 years ago

Andrea, renting out your home is a huge decision, and you have listed great items to think about before doing so! 

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) about 5 years ago

Hello Andrea ... great post my friend and as for the Bay Area in NorCal with the average home priced between $600,000 to $700,000 dollars and average property taxes around $10,000 per year, I would have to say renting is much better than a home purchase in the Bay Area ...

Unless a person is purchasing homes for invertment and or rental properties 

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz about 5 years ago

As a landlord, the homeowner can deduct certain expenses (repairs, insurance, maintenance, and property management fees) directly from rental income; this may provide some tax relief. 

Posted by Inna Ivchenko, Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA (Barcode Properties) over 3 years ago