FROM CONTRACT TO KEYS....YEAH, BUT NOT BEFORE CLOSING!

By
Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Liberty Homes RS-#62825

That's Right!I have heard of ASKING for an Early Occupancy but not actually SEEN it happen before the close of escrow.....without the agents knowing!  Well, now I have.  In one instance the seller and buyer were residents of the same community complex. In fact, they were really good friends and the buyer decided to put in an offer for the sellers townhouse. Right before closing, the seller's agent discovers that the buyer moved a lot of her furniture in after the seller gave the keys to the buyer!  That was a mess!

IN another case, the buyers somehow found out the seller's email address and started contacting them a couple of weeks before the scheduled closing date.  In fact, the ended up edging their way into a private meeting and then managed to coerce the seller into allowing them to move the 'big stuff' one day before recording....except recording was postponed.

Well, it takes all kinds in this business....I'm just glad we know how to handle it.

Oh, how?  Well, if we're fortunate to catch it in time, draw up the Early Occupancy Agreement to protect our clients from all liability, make sure the buyers have homeowners insurance in place, no alterations, pets, and so on....until the close of escrow.

Posted by

                                                       

 

Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.

 

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Rainmaker
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Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I really don't like folks staying longer or moving in earliet.  A lot of things can go wrong and then you have some BIG issues to resolve.

Jul 16, 2015 01:20 PM #3
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Jeff:  Well, as stated in my post.....sometimes the agents are NOT notified of any intent. The second case was a sneak job...the first was just unknowingingly....supposedly.

 

Tammy: I know right?  Why did they hire their agents if they know it all?  In any case hoping for the best for the first agent...the second...well, so far so good!

Jul 16, 2015 01:21 PM #4
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Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Century 21 Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

Joan... I have not EVER had an Early Occupancy Agreement...until recently.  It was a case of sneaky buyers, really good hearted sellers and both agents out of the loop.  We did find out two days prior and managed to get an Early Occupancy Agreement in place with buyers proof of insurance and all brokerages and agent not be held liable for anything. 

Jul 16, 2015 01:24 PM #5
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Praful Thakkar
eXp Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman - trying to think if this ever happened to me - and never so far....

 

Jul 16, 2015 01:40 PM #6
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.AtHomesCharlotte.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Sally, WAY too many things can go wrong with early occupancy - evidently both sets of buyers and sellers knew this but, decided to duck the agents and go it alone.  (Never a smart move!) 

Jul 16, 2015 02:34 PM #7
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Anna Banana Kruchten,CRS,CRB,GRI
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana of Real Estate!

Sally we haven't done pre or post occupancy in many years as there are so many issues and legalities that come into play - not a good situation for either party and/or agents and brokers.

Jul 16, 2015 02:54 PM #8
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Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Sally - I have always considered early occupancy to be a big no-no, unless of course they were tenants already who chose to purchase ; )  then they're already there.

Jul 16, 2015 05:01 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,342,989
Lise Howe
Long and Foster - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

I agree - pre occupancy is always a nightmare to be avoided at all costs. 

Jul 16, 2015 08:08 PM #10
Rainmaker
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Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I remember buying my first house and while it was in escrow, I loved to visit with it almost daily. I couldn't wait to move in. When that day came, oh what a feeling!

I just had the buyers agent on a transaction contact me yesterday saying that the buyers want to close early...I get it!

Jul 16, 2015 11:30 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,255,017
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman Never had this happen without my knowledge. I've had buyers wanting to store things in the garage before the closing. I always discouraged sellers from doing this.

Jul 16, 2015 11:49 PM #12
Rainmaker
2,377,013
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale - Probate Broker

Sally .... buyers somehow found the sellers email ... I see far too many agents forwarding emails to exposing information that should never be exposed to "all parties".  They think what they are doing is harmless ... think again.

Jul 17, 2015 12:30 AM #13
Rainmaker
752,612
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

When we purchased our 1st home, after escrow the sellers have not started packing it took them several days to move out. These days I will not tolerate anything like this... 

 

Jul 17, 2015 01:02 AM #14
Rainmaker
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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

With that being said, in a seller's market often they can rent back or get rent for free briefly.  We got this problem after 30 day rent for free, the seller says he can not find(afford?) a house and want to rent the smaller-in-law quarter for 3 months.  We fixed it quickly with keeping the deposit if he does not move out on the 30th day.  What a mess left by the seller.   

Jul 17, 2015 01:09 AM #15
Rainmaker
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Gay E. Rosen
Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty - Larchmont, NY
As Real as Real Estate Gets!

Never had that happen BUT just had a buyer knock on a clients' door when he didn't get the A/offer... it has gotten from bad to worse since then...

Jul 17, 2015 01:13 AM #16
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Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc. - Crofton, MD
Maryland Real Estate & Military Relocation

I've had lots of pre-settlement and post-settlement occupancy situations but, to the best of my knowledge, they all involved a standard agreement approved by our local association. I wouldn't be a fan of a private agreement between the parties because there is so much potential for disaster... And you know that the agents would get blamed.

Jul 17, 2015 09:05 PM #17
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Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Occupancy before settlement is almost always a disaster and should be avoided if at all possible.  What happens if the mortgage is declined?  What happens when the buyer once moved in finds issues with the house and demands repairs, credit or cancellation of the sale?

Jul 18, 2015 01:11 AM #18
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Patricia Kennedy
Evers & Company Real Estate, Inc. - Washington, DC
For Your Home in the Capital

Hey, Sally,

I included this one on today's list of last weeks favorites! 

Jul 19, 2015 01:43 PM #19
Rainmaker
3,607,857
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

It is not a good idea to allow buyers to move in before closing . Thanks for the post.

Jul 19, 2015 08:11 PM #20
Rainmaker
711,576
Rob D. Shepherd
Windermere/lane county - Florence, OR
Principal Broker ABR, GRI

Early possession is a bad deal. We have on occasion let them put things in the garage,but NO keys and NO in and out privileges. This has only happened when the moving truck came a day early. No going in the house.

Jul 19, 2015 11:12 PM #21
Rainer
268,858
Linda Metallo DiBenardo
Re/max Impact, Lockport, Illinois - Lockport, IL

No keys, no moving anything in prior to closing. It's easier to avoid potential libalilty and problems.

Jul 20, 2015 02:15 AM #22
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