House listed for sale - Can I continue to host?

I’ve listed my house for sale, but would like to continue hosting. If my agent has a potential buyer I may not be able to postpone the viewing until after the guests have left. I usually have 8 hours notice. Has anyone had to deal with this before? I was considering offering a cash discount to any guest who agreed to allow a viewing during their stay. My daily rate is $100, weekend $150/day. I had thought of $20 or $25. The situation would be part of the listing, so guests would be aware of the situation. This is a cottage, in a rural setting.

I think it could work. There are some things to think about, though.

You won’t be able take listings far enough out that escrow can close before your guests’ stay is over. Some escrows are short.

I think you should be at your house whenever there is a showing. There are people who use showings as a ruse to case the house or steal on the spot. So that you can make sure that your guests’ belongings aren’t stolen you should post yourself in front of the guest room.

Personally, I would find it to be too much hassle, but if you’re up for it why not?


An agent is present for any viewing. I wouldn’t find it difficult to be present for viewings. As it is now, the possession date/closing date would be 60 days after sale. I would limit bookings to 60 days in advance.

Most agents ask the seller not to be present during the showing. I think you can get this to work with discounts extended to your guests for the inconvenience.


The agent will be with the potential buyer. The ruse that fake buyers run is that while one of them is being shown the house another one asks to use the restroom, get water, whatever and pockets things. Even if potential buyers aren’t thieves, they are known to paw through belongings at a listing. If I had a house being shown while I had a guest I would be there myself, not burden the realtor with watching the guests’ belongings.

You will have to tell your realtor that you cannot accept an offer with an escrow of less than 60 days. Bear in mind that a typical escrow is 30 days and some are shorter. Also, bear in mind that a longer escrow is beneficial to the buyer and a shorter escrow is beneficial to the seller. This is because the longer the escrow the more time the buyer has to find things they don’t like about the house and ask for repair or to abandon the deal.

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It might be different where you live, but once the sale is confirmed, that’s it, no more bargaining. Buyers have the option to make an offer with the option to alter price/opt out based on inspection, but once the deal is signed that’s it.

I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to have guests while the house has showings. Buyers are funny creatures and the strangest things will set them off. We sold our house a few years ago and one time a potential buyer showed up about an hour before our yard crew was due, so the grass was a little ragged (we do it once a week so it was hardly overgrown). Their realtor wrote a nastygram to our realtor saying that the outside was neglected and that they refused to even set foot in the house because they were sure it was filthy. I cried for an hour when I saw this, because our house was spotless and we spent a fortune on upgrades that the buyer never saw because they had already made up their mind that something was wrong.

Now imagine that your guest is sleeping in some morning while they are on vacation and you have to knock on their door to let them know that there is a showing. So who is going to make sure that the room is neat, the bed is made, the bathroom is clean? You probably can’t do that while they are there and they have no incentive to do those things. They don’t care if you sell your house!

It would be awful to lose a sale because a guest left a mess. And what if they don’t want to leave the house during the showing or refuse to let the buyer look at their room?

You will make a lot more money selling the house (if you have decent equity) than you will from a few more guests. Selling a house is one of the most stressful things you can do - don’t add to it.


@azreala and I were talking about this idea recently too.

My rental’s due to go on MLS in mid-September, so I’ve blocked off bookings from the end of August. I’ve been lead to believe that, in my market, the right kind of staging is likely to increase the sale price by significantly more than the potential loss in AirBnB income (say $10K over 8 weeks)… whether or not that’s really true I guess I’ll never know, but, boy am I glad not to have to worry about guests on top of everything else that goes along with selling a house.

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Another ABB near us is currently for sale, so I have of course been trolling their listing. They have gotten some odd reviews, about relators showing the house while guests were there, etc. I would agree with @Lucy_R that if you are going sell, then go all in on selling, and don’t try to ABB.

It is doable- simply set aside specific days for showing the property, and block them from your ABB calendar.

Have to agree with @Lucy_R on this one. I went through the sale of a rental that had a tenant living in it. We asked that they keep the place clean/tidy and gave them heaps of notice when someone was coming through. Well they didn’t cooperate and I’m sure they lost me a sale very early on in the process. They were given the boot, then I staged the place, and the house sold within 4 weeks. I’m a firm believer now in staging and first impressions - you get one chance to get it right.

I would not book at a house for sale and would not host. It’s stressful to sell but your sale is too important to risk having issues with guests.

If people are put off by some long grass, they’d probably be a pain to negotiate with. I’m dealing with a health problem that limits how much I can work.
I need the income.

I just sold a house in CA and we delisted. I so agree with you. I think you can lose more from the sale than the rentals are worth.

In ‘theory’ it’s doable, but in practice I don’t think it will turn out to be easy or stress free.

We have sold too many houses to count, and even if I tell our realtor ‘no tours’ on this day bc XYZ, there is always the possibility of buyers and their realtor showing up unannounced, bc they thought the property was on ‘lock box’ ‘they didn’t now’ ‘buyers were really anxious’, etc.

It would be a double whammy if you pissed off your guests and potential buyers all at once!


Just wanted to bump this up to say after several months on the market we have successfully entered escrow on our Northern California home and thankfully only had to have Airbnb move one booking. We did experience all the trouble that was mentioned in this thread including rude agents showing up unannounced. We chose to keep renting while leaving weekends for Open Houses. Once a month I would take a weekend booking as well.


Cash incentives work very well with tenants. For Airbnb guests, however, the rooms won’t necessarily present well, and then there is the question of liability if something goes missing.

I would reduce my minimum and maxi stays to 1-2 days. If there is a crisis you can always offer to spiff a current guest if you have a representative there.

Good luck!

How much are the rentals worth vs. the potential sale? If a house doesn’t sell right away it can quickly lose its ‘value’. That’s why you always want your house to look its best when a potential buyer comes through. Are you going to be there to make sure the guests have cleaned up? What if they didn’t vacate the premises? What if they claim someone stole or broke something of theirs? What about when you do sell the house and have to do inspections?

For me personally (we’re in the middle of selling a home, but not one of our rentals) I can’t imagine adding ‘dealing with renters’ on top of everything else. I would cancel the rentals and help find them other accommodations.

We blocked the calendar for the first 4 weeks exclusively for showings. After the first month the listing loses its sheen anyway. The home would otherwise take in 10-12K a month (while still leaving out weekends for Open House) so we chose to keep booking. While slightly more annoying because we have to have my cleaning team put away the real estate papers and put out the Airbnb House Rules/Bible from the cabinet, we were still able to sell the home in half the time the last owner did and thankfully right before property tax is due.

We also did our inspections prior to MLS listing so that disclosures would be available and sufficient prior to offer. This is very common in Northern California to facilitate a fuss free sale.

Although we did have an incident with a pushy broker who did not let us know she was coming ahead of time. For the most part, our guests never mentioned or openly expressed concern about the For Sale sign.

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I’m not sure why this matters. You would have either been reimbursed or had to pay your portion of the taxes - you pay taxes based on ownership, not on when they’re due.