The buyers for our house have asked if they can move a few things into the house prior to settlement. Is that okay?
The short answer is NO. Whether settlement is a few weeks, a few days or a few hours away, it's generally not a good idea to let the buyers start moving into your home until settlement is done. There are lots of compelling reasons a buyer might want to get a jump start and get into a house prior to settlement. We have heard it all:
"The movers are waiting and they won't be able to finish today if they don't get started now."
"We have to have the U-Haul back by 6pm."
"I took the day off from work and I can't get another day off."
"Our other house already closed and we need a place to put our things."
"I want to have the carpets cleaned before we move."
"The contractors are ready. The sooner they get started on removing the rugs and wallpaper, the sooner it will be ready for us."
Not so fast... what if?
What if the house does not settle as scheduled?
This is the most likely problem scenario. A last minute issue with the mortgage could cause the closing to be delayed or not happen at all. Then the sellers may have to remove the furnishings or worse evict the buyers. If contractors get started on work and the house doesn't settle, who is going to pay the contractor? Will the work be left half undone?
What if there is a fire, other damage or burglary?
While a remote possibility, damage or theft could occur to either your property or the buyer's personal property. Whose insurance would cover the issues? What if the buyer brought something onto the property that caused the damage (i.e. a propane tank for a gas grill)? The possibilities are endless and could make for a very unhappy ending.
Is there any way to make it work?
A pre-settlement possession agreement could be drafted to define responsibilities, mitigate the possible scenarios and protect all the parties in the transaction.
If you are considering a move, please give us a call.
Contact Scott Loper, Associate Broker, Realtor®, RE/MAX Realty Group at 215-513-1333 for help buying or selling a home in Lansdale, Harleysville, Hatfield, Souderton, Skippack, Collegeville, North Wales and the surrounding areas of Montgomery County Pennsylvania. To Search for Homes For Sale in Montgomery County Click Here.
Is it OK to get a jump start on moving? - Copyright © 2011, The Scott Loper Team, All rights reserved.
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The Scott Loper Team
Scott & Lisa Loper