Update: Issues with possession after house closing

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nydoc
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Update: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

Hi,
We are about to close on house. Seller’s realtor suggested that keys will be handed over the next day after closing as seller will do closing on their next house the day after our closing and then will move the stuff. I am not thrilled about this. Contract clearly states that keys will be handed over at the time of closing and house will be delivered vacant. I have asked my attorney and awaiting the response.
My question is how common is this scenario? Sellers are decent reputable people and I don’t feel any ill intentions but I also don’t want to be stuck in this situation forever.
Is it ok to get the possession at the time of closing and let them get their stuff later within a stipulated time frame? I can ask them to sign that I will not be responsible for the wear and tear of their stuff and also they will be liable for any damage during moving the stuff.
Thank you.
Last edited by nydoc on Sat May 07, 2022 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
runner23
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by runner23 »

I would get it written into the closing documents any stipulations you want and make them bring cash to the settlement to compensate you. Sounds like their attorney is trying to get a handshake deal and see if that flys.
drk
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by drk »

It's common for sellers' realtors to ask for this after signing the contract, and I assume it's common for people to accept it because they either don't know any better or feel uncomfortable saying "No." Personally, I would delay closing until they're out, ask for a substantial amount to be held back in escrow, or insist that the contract be executed as signed. I would not let them leave their stuff behind because solutions exist for the problem they face (e.g., a moving truck, PODS).
Californiastate
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Californiastate »

No handshake deals. 1 day becomes 2 and more.
rkhusky
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by rkhusky »

Usually you get paid rent if seller wants to stay after closing. Often daily cost of mortgage and taxes, but could be any agreed upon amount. Gives the seller a reason to be quick about vacating. Should be in the contract with a max number of days.
Last edited by rkhusky on Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Topic Author
nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

I already gave them few extra weeks for closing. If they leave their stuff behind or stay in house after closing then I won’t be able to do a final walkthrough before closing. I think the best solution is to keep it the way it states in the contract.
Topic Author
nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

Totally naive question- can they refuse to hand over keys at the time of closing?
drk
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by drk »

Californiastate wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:59 pm No handshake deals. 1 day becomes 2 and more.
100%. The California in your username reminded me of the Riverside couple who bought a home and couldn't move in because the seller (a) refused to leave and (b) couldn't be evicted due to the moratorium (Insider article).
setancre
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by setancre »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:01 pm I already gave them few extra weeks for closing. If they leave their stuff behind or stay in house after closing then I won’t be able to do a final walkthrough before closing. I think the best solution is to keep it the way it states in the contract.
I would be concerned about a delay in their other closing. What if it gets pushed back a week or two after you've already closed? Or something falls through with their loan and they can't close on the new home? Do they have a plan B for their stuff?
Normchad
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Normchad »

Oh heck no. Fork over the keys..

Since I’m pretty handy, and this is a hot market, I wouldn’t threaten to walk away. But I would go over there after closing, let myself in, and change the locks.
Topic Author
nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

That’s my concern too. They are using cash from our closing to close on their new property all cash. For sure it’s not happening the very next day as those checks don’t become available for use so soon.
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gasman
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by gasman »

possession after closure is very common in my state. Like everything else, it is negotiable.
rkhusky
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by rkhusky »

We closed on our sold and bought houses the same day. Realtors know how to handle this stuff.

We had a week to move our stuff between houses. Cost us $100/day.

Surprised this wasn’t covered in the contract. Seems like it should be boilerplate.
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nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

Yes. Not sure why they didn’t insist of something like that in the contract. Now is not the time to discuss this I think.
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Watty
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Watty »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:43 pm I have asked my attorney and awaiting the response.
That is what you should be doing.

How taking possession of a house works varies by what part of the country you are in and the local custom and of course what is in the contract.

It has been a while but I think my last home purchase has a clause in it where there would be a charge of something like $500 a day, plus any actual costs, if there was a delay in handing over possession of the house. Your contract should say what happens if there is a delay.

That was high enough so that the seller would not be tempted to drag things out for their convenience but reasonable if something happened like as moving truck did not show up when it was scheduled.
rbd789
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by rbd789 »

I've never heard of this. When buying, I've gotten the keys at the closing and already had a locksmith lined up to change the locks later that day. I would insist on it and not accept anything less.

I never want to start ownership by becoming a landlord.
Last edited by rbd789 on Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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lthenderson
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by lthenderson »

I’ve never closed on a house without the seller handing over the keys first nor would I unless there was a very specific clause in the contract setting times and penalties and protection from lawsuits should the house be destroyed by an act of god in the meantime. How does one insure a house or transfer utilities if you don’t know the date of transfer?
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by delamer »

We once sold a house, had a miscommunication that was the buyers’ fault, and ended up spending the night in our then former house with the new owner’s furniture.

They seemed like a nice, but very young, couple and even their agent agreed that they screwed up
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Topic Author
nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

From all the indications it appears seller’s agent/attorney didn’t advice their client properly before signing the contract.
Mr. Buzzkill
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Mr. Buzzkill »

LIABILITY

If someone hurts himself moving things out while you technically own the property, YOU almost certainly can be held liable.

Get indemnification for yourself in the closing paperwork if you are willing to give them a day before getting the keys.

Plus, if they damage the property moving things out?

Others here have pointed out other risks of granting their request.
rbd789
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by rbd789 »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:40 pm From all the indications it appears seller’s agent/attorney didn’t advice their client properly before signing the contract.
Likely correct. However you want to take ownership of the property, not of their problem. They can move their stuff to storage for the interim. (Where do they propose to be living during that time? In your house? )
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nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

They want to live in the house with their stuff until they close on their next house which they think can happen within 24 hrs of our closing.
mw1739
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by mw1739 »

We let some acquaintances stay in our previous home after we had already moved out while they waited to move into their new house. Once our house sold they arranged for movers to come on the day of our closing. The moving truck didn’t show up until around 5 pm (closing was in the morning). The new owners realtor called my realtor nonstop that day, threatening to call the police etc until the movers finally arrived.

Long story short - things happen, accidents, miscommunication etc. I would not knowingly close in this situation.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by JoeRetire »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:43 pm
My question is how common is this scenario?
I've never heard of this. And I would never consent to someone keeping the keys to my house after closing.

Unless they want to pay me a lot of money, they can put their possessions into storage or ask to delay the closing.
If I owned a company, my employees would love me. They’d have huge pictures of me up the walls and in their home, like Lenin.
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cchrissyy
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by cchrissyy »

just tell them sorry but no that doesn't work for you.
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jfn111
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by jfn111 »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:08 pm That’s my concern too. They are using cash from our closing to close on their new property all cash. For sure it’s not happening the very next day as those checks don’t become available for use so soon.
We do double closings, on the same day, all the time and the money is just wired between title companies. There is no reason they have to close the day after on the new house.
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JoeRetire
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by JoeRetire »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:48 pm They want to live in the house with their stuff until they close on their next house which they think can happen within 24 hrs of our closing.
How much did they offer for this privilege? What happens if the 24 hrs turns into weeks?
If I owned a company, my employees would love me. They’d have huge pictures of me up the walls and in their home, like Lenin.
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nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

None. Their realtor said this practice was very common and that’s why I asked here about it.
RubyTuesday
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by RubyTuesday »

What happens if:
- they accidentally burn the house down?
- they damage the walls moving?
- they get hurt?
- their next house doesn’t close for a day?

Who pays:
- insurance
- property tax
- HOA
- utilities

Say “no” or have them pay exorbitantly for the above and indemnification
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tyrion
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by tyrion »

I've never heard of someone not delivering the keys for 24 hours, but renting back the house is pretty common from what I understand. Surely your attorney can offer you some advice on how to do this (if you want to) while protecting your investment.

I would think something along the lines of half of what it would cost for them to rent a storage place for a month. I'm sure they want to avoid the cost and hassle of moving twice, so they should be willing to pass some of the cost savings on to you.

And yes there should be an escalation in price for each additional day.
rbd789
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by rbd789 »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:58 pm None. Their realtor said this practice was very common and that’s why I asked here about it.
Call me a cynic (you'd be right). Do you even know there is another house under contract? That, with your money, they'll actually be able to close on it? They "think" it'd be the next day??? Perhaps you inadvertently end up with a fulltime renter?

Remember, the seller's agent is NOT your representative. They represent the seller's interests, not yours.

Just say no. Stick to the contract.
Last edited by rbd789 on Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Northern Flicker »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:43 pm Hi,
We are about to close on house. Seller’s realtor suggested that keys will be handed over the next day after closing as seller will do closing on their next house the day after our closing and then will move the stuff. I am not thrilled about this. Contract clearly states that keys will be handed over at the time of closing and house will be delivered vacant. I have asked my attorney and awaiting the response.
My question is how common is this scenario? Sellers are decent reputable people and I don’t feel any ill intentions but I also don’t want to be stuck in this situation forever.
Is it ok to get the possession at the time of closing and let them get their stuff later within a stipulated time frame? I can ask them to sign that I will not be responsible for the wear and tear of their stuff and also they will be liable for any damage during moving the stuff.
Thank you.
Occupancy after closing has to be negotiated in the contract. Does your sales agreement say that you get the keys at 5pm on the day of closing?

Liability is a much broader issue than just moving damage. You should be speaking with a real estate attorney.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
Nicolas
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Nicolas »

rkhusky wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:01 pm Usually you get paid rent if seller wants to stay after closing. Often daily cost of mortgage and taxes, but could be any agreed upon amount. Gives the seller a reason to be quick about vacating. Should be in the contract with a max number of days.
Right. I paid rent to the buyer for a few days after closing so I had time to move.
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StevieG72
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by StevieG72 »

Reminds me of a situation that happened recently in my area.

Couple planned on buying a home, sellers had already moved out and allowed couple to move some of there property in and stay in the home prior to closing.

House catches on fire, significant damage.

Couple decided this is unfortunate but will still buy the home after repairs are made. Also couple suffers loss of personal property during the fire.

Fast forward to home has been repaired and seller does not want to sell to the couple and prefer to re-list the home as they feel they can sell for more following renovations post fire.

Of course there are probably many more uneventful closings that allowed possession by either party, you only hear and remember the train wrecks.
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Michael Patrick
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Michael Patrick »

As others have said, you may agree to let them do it in return for some amount of rent. If you do, it should all be in writing and agreed to beforehand.

You may, but you are not under any obligation to do so.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Northern Flicker »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:58 pm None. Their realtor said this practice was very common and that’s why I asked here about it.
It is common but it is by mutual agreement in a contract.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
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mmmodem
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by mmmodem »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:04 pm Totally naive question- can they refuse to hand over keys at the time of closing?
Of course they can. The question you should be asking is: are you willing to sign for the home and not take the keys?

I don't know if this is common but it's called rent where I come from. And I have purchased a home where the seller rented from us. The amount and duration were stipulated in the contract. That's my advice to you.
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nydoc
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by nydoc »

Contract states-
Conditions of closing-….. property must be delivered vacant, broom clean with keys to the premises.
RoadThunder
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by RoadThunder »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 5:43 pm Hi,
We are about to close on house. Seller’s realtor suggested that keys will be handed over the next day after closing as seller will do closing on their next house the day after our closing and then will move the stuff. I am not thrilled about this. Contract clearly states that keys will be handed over at the time of closing and house will be delivered vacant. I have asked my attorney and awaiting the response.
My question is how common is this scenario? Sellers are decent reputable people and I don’t feel any ill intentions but I also don’t want to be stuck in this situation forever.
Is it ok to get the possession at the time of closing and let them get their stuff later within a stipulated time frame? I can ask them to sign that I will not be responsible for the wear and tear of their stuff and also they will be liable for any damage during moving the stuff.
Thank you.
“Hey we left a small safe here, we can’t find it now” My house, my rules - anything left after closing will be professionally hauled away and the bill will be forthcoming.
Last edited by RoadThunder on Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Northern Flicker »

Michael Patrick wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:08 pm As others have said, you may agree to let them do it in return for some amount of rent. If you do, it should all be in writing and agreed to beforehand.

You may, but you are not under any obligation to do so.
A concession of X dollars for up to Y days of occupancy after closing is fine. Rent would not be acceptable to me. The latter could establish a legal landlord/tenant relationship. The contract needs to address insurance as well. I would just say no and ask for they keys at closing or insist on a proper occupancy after closing addendum to the contract to be signed by both parties.

My guess is that the seller thought they could qualify for a loan on the new property while still owning the current home, but learned they could not, and need the cash out of the sale or need to shed the current mortgage or both to close on the new property.
My postings are my opinion, and never should be construed as a recommendation to buy, sell, or hold any particular investment.
runninginvestor
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by runninginvestor »

nydoc wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:12 pm Contract states-
Conditions of closing-….. property must be delivered vacant, broom clean with keys to the premises.
I would not do anything that's not in the contract. Sign an addendum with a lease back if needed. But by no means let them stay if there's no contract indicating. Realtors are a dime a dozen.

The realtors that let this happen and it didn't not go smoothly, likely aren't realtors anymore. So there's probably survivorship bias for the ones that claim it's normal. They are also biased bc they've spent time and effort and don't want the seal to fall apart last minute.

Put it in a contract.
runninginvestor
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by runninginvestor »

Northern Flicker wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:17 pm
Michael Patrick wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:08 pm As others have said, you may agree to let them do it in return for some amount of rent. If you do, it should all be in writing and agreed to beforehand.

You may, but you are not under any obligation to do so.
A concession of X dollars for up to Y days of occupancy after closing is fine. Rent would not be acceptable to me. The latter could establish a legal landlord/tenant relationship. The contract needs to address insurance as well. I would just say no and ask for they keys at closing or insist on a proper occupancy after closing addendum to the contract to be signed by both parties.

My guess is that the seller thought they could qualify for a loan on the new property while still owning the current home, but learned they could not, and need the cash out of the sale or need to shed the current mortgage or both to close on the new property.
I'm more cynical. I think the seller won a contract on a new house by offering cash and waiving other contingencies (like selling the previous house). and is now trying to be sly. And a housing market like this, that's what I would be concerned about which would make the deal fall through if they didn't agree to put it in an addendum to the contract.
Last edited by runninginvestor on Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Katietsu
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Katietsu »

Not uncommon here anyway. But as others have said, there is usually a cost to the sellers. The other issues already discussed in previous posts are also addressed by legal agreement not just a courtesy handshake.
Northern Flicker
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Northern Flicker »

runninginvestor wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 7:21 pm Realtors are a dime a dozen.

The realtors that let this happen and it didn't not go smoothly, likely aren't realtors anymore. So there's probably survivorship bias for the ones that claim it's normal. They are also biased bc they've spent time and effort and don't want the seal to fall apart last minute.
More likely, someone screwed up and the realtor is trying to fix it. It would be better to be up front and just ask for an addendum. Whoever screwed up (seller or listing agent) should just be offering to pony up to fix their error. If a mortgage broker pre-approved a loan for the seller’s new purchase that won’t get through underwriting without sale of the current house, then the seller needs to step up.
Last edited by Northern Flicker on Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Mr. Rumples »

It may be "common" but is ripe with problems and may be a violation of the mortgage terms not to mention insurance since the insurance is for homeowners not rental property. It would be heck of a mess if the previous owners hurt themselves, a claim was filed against the new owner's insurance and the claim was denied. Will the sellers have rental insurance for the few days they will still have stuff there?

Based on my experience, once the closing takes place, the keys are handed over and that's it. Unless in writing, the old owners are trespassers and the items left are abandoned and belong to the new owner. The walk through prior to closing should be the house and contents which will be the new owner's.

When we bought our first home, the seller had a storage unit that was still full; he had enlisted in the USN for medical school and was gone. After closing, I broke the lock on the storage unit. Lots of neat stuff. A few days later, I found someone in there saying it was his stuff and he was renting the storage space. I called the police, then my attorney for the closing. We worked it out amicably, but my attorney made it clear it was my stuff after closing.

Buying a home is full of surprises; this is one that can be avoided.
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DoubleComma
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by DoubleComma »

It’s common for a seller to negotiate a rent back while in the initial negotiations. It’s also common for a buyer to concede a no cost rent back in the current real estate market, again during the initial negotiations. What you are being asked for is not at all common in my experience. I would not close in this situation. I would also, through my agent, set the expectation they are out before closing…even 1 minute before, but not 1 second after.

If they need you funds to close on their next house they should move their stuff into storage and get a hotel.
Nohbdy
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Nohbdy »

Here is a cautionary tale for you.

Our first house contained a clause that allowed the previous owners to stay indefinitely for a pre-determined rent which covered the mortgage plus a little bit. The intent (verbal agreement) was for this to go on for a month or so while the previous owners’ new place was under construction. I figured: no problem, they clearly want to move out of this starter home to the nicer new one. Also, they seemed to be very decent and reputable people. The month became two, then three... At some point one member of the couple decided that they loved the house and did not want to move. We house sat for everybody we knew, camped a lot, and spent WAY too much time in cheap hotels eating out of styrofoam containers. This was an absolutely horrible experience for us, and I do not think it was any better for the previous owners either. That is when I learned that the the law is on the tenants’ side. They did eventually move, and then divorce shortly thereafter. While I have some empathy for this couple I have to tell you I would rather have kept it at arms length in, what should have been, a business transaction. But I knew all about their details as their problems became my problems. And they had more problems than I could even make sense of, much less solve.

I will not be doing this again. In your case, I hope you realize that it should not concern you how they reside in the future. They may have an unsolvable, forever type of a problem with housing. Does that sound like something you want to share?
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Nate79
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by Nate79 »

Tell them to get a hotel room.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by unclescrooge »

Rent back after close is pretty common in California.
It's also customary for the seller to pay whatever the new PITI is and it is deducted from escrow. There is usually a small deposit as well.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Issues with possession after house closing

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Apr 25, 2022 10:04 pm Tell them to get a hotel room.
^^^ This is the correct response.
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